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Monday 8 November 2021

French Polynesia bans large cruise ships

First it was Venice in Italy. Now French Polynesia has banned large cruise ships from docking at its ports.

French Polynesian authorities have imposed limits on the size of cruise ships allowed to dock.

Like other small island destinations, it is banning mega cruise ships with a passenger capacity of more than 3,500.

The rule takes effect on January 1, 2022, Travel Mole reported.

Ships with a capacity of over 2,500 will be allowed to dock at Tahiti and Moorea but Bora Bora (above) will only welcome 1,200 cruise passengers per day.

Bora Bora locals had been calling for limits due to the pressure on its local infrastructure caused by cruise passenger traffic.

"Both in terms of capacity and size, very large ships are not suited for our destination," the French Polynesian Government said.

More than one-third of tourism to the Islands of Tahiti comes via cruise ship although the new regulation will have a limited impact.

Most cruise traffic is generally on small ships such as those operated by Paul Gauguin and Aranui, which typical accommodate just a few hundred guests.

The move will, however, affect some transpacific cruises which are operated by larger ships such as those repositioning from the US West Coast or Hawaii to Australia.

French Polynesia president Édouard Fritch said the Government will consider possible alternatives for transpacific voyages and are currently in talks with cruise lines.

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