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Tonga Cruises

The islands of Tonga form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. They enjoy a tropical climate and a laid back pace of life, so it’s no surprise that Tonga cruises are a popular option with people looking for sun, sea, sand and ultimate relaxation.

But Tonga offers so much more. There are traditional villages where time seems to have stood still, as well as big resorts offering modern facilities and attractions, including adrenaline-inducing water sports. On a Tonga cruise, you can discover the rich variety of the islands, their many spectacular sights, and an abundance of natural wonder.

The name of the main cruise port Nuku'Alofa roughly translates as ‘Abode of Love’ – an evocative and symbolic label that goes some way to revealing the tranquillity of this sleepy, dusty town.

Top 5 interesting facts

  • Tonga is the only Pacific nation never to have been colonised.
  • Only 52 of Tonga’s 177 islands are inhabited.
  • Rugby union is Tonga’s national sport.
  • Tonga means ‘south’ in many Polynesian languages.
  • The Tongan government is run by both a king and a prime minister.
 

Highlights

Beaches

Tonga’s beautiful beaches boast fine, white sand and warm, turquoise waters. There are beaches where you can get away from it all – palms swaying in the breeze, a laid-back beach bar serving refreshments and the perfect sunset view – and others that offer a livelier, more family-oriented atmosphere.  

Many of the beaches are fringed by coral, creating some incredible underwater attractions. Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular here, for good reason – there’s a rich variety of marine life to discover. Divers often come across sea turtles, manta rays, tuna, marlin, tropical fish and even big whale sharks. If you’d prefer to keep your head above water, but still on it, there’s also kayaking, surfing, sailing and fishing. 

Food

Food lies at the heart of Tongan life with traditional methods still often employed to catch and grow the food cooked on the island. Local delicacies include lu pulu (corned beef and coconut milk wrapped in taro leaves) and ‘ota ‘ika (raw fish marinated in lemon and coconut cream).

The adventurous may also want to sample Tonga’s local brew, the strong and spicy kava, the drinking of which is an ancient island custom. A couple of sips will quickly numb your mouth and relax your body – it’s wise to keep the rest of the day free if you’re planning on trying it!

 

Culture

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Tonga has a strong sense of its own unique culture and history. At the heart of both lies the importance of family and a firm Christian faith. 

Traditional handicrafts are still locally made using age-old methods. You could take a trip to see bone carving, basket making, tapa cloth painting and mat weaving. Mats are treasured in Tongan culture and often presented at important events like births, weddings or funerals. 

Tongan dance is another tradition kept alive in all of its vibrant glory. Wearing brightly-coloured garlands and jewellery, male and female dancers move to illustrate the story of the song. 

 

Ports in the country

 

Cruises visiting Tonga

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