Call us on: 01342 840555
Call us on: 01342 840555
Island Escape Cruises are a privately-owned small ship cruise company, based in New Zealand who offer 7 and 10-night cruises around New Zealand and French Polynesia.
The company was started by Peter Bissett in 2004, after he retired from owning major shipping companies, and wanted to start his dream company of a small, luxury cruise business. He worked with maritime professionals to design and build his unique vision, a luxury small ship cruise vessel, with spacious cabins and public areas for just 24 guests, within the 42 metres they had to play with. They achieved this by utilising a catamaran-style hull, giving the additional width needed, nearly 13 metres, to provide the desired space. This also provided a stable vessel small enough to get into small bays and shallow estuaries, but big enough to provide the large cabins and bathrooms he wanted, spacious lounges and dining room, an expansive aft sundeck, a rooftop helicopter, two motorboats, a transfer tender plus numerous kayaks and paddleboards for guest use. And thus, the 'Island Passage' was born! Once he had the ship, Peter put together itineraries around 2 of his favourite places; the gorgeous coastline of New Zealand and, initially, the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu, and starting in 2016, changing the routing to cruise around beautiful French Polynesia.
Fine dining and excellent wines are offered on all their cruises, with a gourmet menu serving local seafood (maybe even caught that day by you or another guest), organic New Zealand lamb, local poultry and beef, and fresh produce from the local farmer's markets, along with an extensive wine cellar of award winning Australian and New Zealand wines. One of their Reislings has been voted one of the best in the world! All drinks, including premium spirits and champagne, are now included in the price.
Although the ship looks functional on the outside, inside, the accommodation has been designed to feel more like a luxury yacht than a small cruise ship. The light and airy Cabins and Suites are spread across 3 decks, with 5 Castaway Cabins on the main deck, 1 Castaway Cabin, 3 Hideaway and 1 Runaway Suites on the Promenade Deck and 2 Runaway Suites on the Bridge Deck.
The Castaway Cabins are 16sqm/175sqft with wide portholes with ocean views, hotel-style Queen or Twin solid wood beds with luxurious linens and bedding, individual bedside lights, an ensuite bathroom with shower and complimentary premium toiletries, a roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers, individual air conditioning and a 26" flat screen TV with 250 on-demand movies. The Hideaway Suites are 18sqm/195sqft with a large window and opening door to the Promenade Deck, and provide the same same facilities and amenities as the Cabins. Suite 4, the Motutapu Suite, has an accessible wet-room style showerroom. The 2 Runaway Suites are located at the front of the Bridge Deck with fantastic views from the large picture window and the opening door to the Bridge Deck, and offer 22sqm/235sqft of space, a King bed with luxury bedding, a 32" flat-screen TV and bathrobes in the spacious ensuite bathroom. The Runaway Suite on the Promenade Deck offers the same facilities as the Bridge Deck Suites, but has 1 Queen bed. Each night, regardless of room catagory, they provide a turndown service, with complimentary chocolates and bottled water.
The Cruises offer the best of each destination, providing journeys between 7 and 10 night journeys. There are 2 tours around French Polynesia and 3 around New Zealand. The French Polynesia cruises operate from May round to October and visits a number of beautiful islands in the Society chain on each tour. Please see the detailed itineraries below for more information.
The New Zealand cruises operate between December and April, and offer 7 night cruises around the North and South Island. Between February and April they visit the World Heritage site of Milford Sound and the Fiordland National Park, on the west coast of the South Island, and between December and early February, the beautiful Bay of Islands and the islands around Auckland, on the north coastline of the North Island. For more information on these cruises please click HERE or visit our dedicated New Zealand section.
To visit Island Escape Cruises own website, please clic
Children are welcome but this cruise is not recommended for children under 12 years. Most activities are geared more toward adults and there is no special provision for children.
Round trip Airport transfers are included in your cruise price.
On arrival from your international flight into Papeete (10 night cruise), you will greeted by the crew at approximately 2.30pm, and transferred to the ship at Pier de Pacquebots on the Papeete waterfront ready for boarding time.
On arrival in Bora Bora, (7 night cruise), the airport ferry will transfer you to Vaitape town, where the ship is moored. The crew will meet you at the ferry terminal at approximately 4.30 with light refreshments, when they will transfer you to the ship.
Although there are frequent
international flights into Tahiti, French Polynesia's international
gateway to the World, there are limited airports of embarkation to
choose from, with currently only Paris, Los Angeles, Auckland and
Tokyo offering single plane air service to Tahiti.
The international airline for French Polynesia. is Air Tahiti Nui, who operate daily flights from Paris and Los Angeles to Tahiti, and on some days there are additional fights to/from Los Angeles. In addition, they operate two weekly flights to/from Auckland and they serve Tokyo twice a week. Their services to New York and Sydney have been suspended at this time.
Air France currently offer a service from Paris, three times a week via Los Angeles
Air New Zealand operates twice a week from/to Auckland with it's own aircraft, it also operates a codeshare arrangements with Air Tahiti Nui providing seats on their two weekly fights from Tahiti to Auckland.
Air Calin, operate a weekly flight between Noumea, in New Caledonia, and Tahiti.
Hawaiian Airlines, provide a weekly service between Honolulu and Tahiti, currently operating on a Saturday/Sunday schedule.
LANChile, operate a flight once a week from Santiago to Tahiti via Easter Island, providing the availability to do a great side trip from Tahiti to Easter island.
Air Tahiti is French Polynesia's domestic airline, which operates an extensive domestic flight network covering all the country's main islands, with at least a daily service. With the main Society islands receiving a number of flights a day, since Air Moorea stopped operations between Tahiti and Moorea, the flight connections now to Moorea have become limited, most connections between the two are now done by ferry boat.
The less populated and outer islands have a restricted service, so sometimes a night stop in Tahiti may be required when connecting to these islands.
Air Tahiti provide the only air service between Tahiti and the Cook islands, which they currently do once a week on a Thursday, an extra high season flight is operated between June and August
There are a number of aircraft and helicopters available for private charters, but they all tend to be based in Tahiti so arranging charters between the outer islands can be expensive as the aircraft will originate and terminate in Tahiti.
Airline Seat Maps
For most airlines, we can pre-reserve seats for you once your flight booking is confirmed, and will do so as a matter of course. If you would like to have a look at a seat plan for your aircraft, check the airlines' own website, or one of the best independent websites for this information is SeatGuru.com, which is part of the Tripadvisor group. Click Here to find information on your particular airline.
Prices are based on a per cabin, per cruise all-inclusive price, which will include airport transfers, accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, all beverages, soft drinks, bottled water, coffee and tea, cocktail on boarding, use of kayaks, water sport equipment and facilities, port and handling charges, shore excursions and tender transfers, Government fees and taxes.
Bar expenses, optional shore excursions, telephone charges, shopping items, travel insurance or anything you buy from the local villagers or markets is not included. There are no cash withdrawal facilities on the ship, so it is advisable to bring sufficient local currency for your trip, as villagers and local markets won't accept credit cards, though they can be accepted for on board expenses.
If you have any questions regarding the islands of the Pacific Ocean or you would like us to provide a quote for your planned itinerary, then please contact us, we will be more than happy to help.
Phone: 01342 840555
Fax: 01342 841623
Just like Captain Cook, we cover the Pacific Ocean.
We have a wide range of brochures to cover most of the Pacific Islands in detail.
Click here to download a Transpacific Holiday brochure
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