Cruisers heading for the palm-fringed shores of New Caledonia must ensure they have proof of their travel insurance - or they may not be allowed to disembark.
The New Caledonian government has announced that going forward, possession of travel insurance will be mandatory for guests to the islands. Visitors must ensure their health insurance policy covers medical expenses, hospital expenses, welfare expenses, and repatriation guarantee as well.
You must arrive in New Caledonia with proof of your policy, and evidence that it covers all the scenarios outlined above, otherwise you could be refused entry.
It’s worth noting that medical costs in New Caledonia are extremely high, so even before the new policy was put in place it would have been a mistake to cruise to the islands without adequate travel and medical insurance, including for pre-existing conditions.
According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the past couple of years, a number of Australians have been evacuated from cruise ships to hospitals in Noumea - the capital of New Caledonia - and their insurance claims have been refused. This is why it’s extremely important to secure a robust policy to cover all eventualities when travelling to this part of the world, offering minimum coverage of €30,000 (approx 47,550 AUD).
If you have any questions about the new travel insurance requirements or would like help selecting the right policy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Cruise Sale Finder who are more than happy to help you out.
Why New Caledonia?
Don’t let these requirements put you off a trip to New Caledonia though - even the most disorganised traveller has to admit that it’s just good sense to have a solid insurance policy in place before setting off on any trip. And New Caledonia is unquestionably a paradise.
A French territory in the South Pacific, this dreamy destination comprises dozens of islands. It’s famous for its huge lagoon, which - at 9,266 sq miles - is one of the world’s biggest, and is filled with a rich array of colourful marine life. The many paradisiacal beaches and turquoise waters have also turned New Caledonia into a popular honeymoon spot, and it’s easy to see why.
Around the main island - Grand Terre - is a stunning barrier reef, which has turned the spot into a bucket list destination for scuba divers. In fact, the New Caledonian barrier reef is the longest continuous barrier reef in the world, and the second largest reef after Australia’s. Meanwhile, in the capital of Noumea, you’ll find plenty of French-inspired culture, from high-end Parisian boutiques to luxury restaurants, as well as a smattering of museums.
If you like to keep active, head to Poe Beach for camping, kitesurfing and - of course - snorkelling, or visit Blue River Provincial Park for hiking and biking with breathtaking views. Nature lovers will be thrilled by the Zoo Forestier Michel Corbasson - a vast botanical garden and zoological park that is home to birds, reptiles, and small mammals.
For an off-the-beaten-track experience, take a boat over to rustic Tiga Island, which is tiny, sparsely populated, and offers white sand beaches and beautiful, secluded swimming spots. Meanwhile, the diminutive Amedee Islet is home to New Caledonia’s iconic lighthouse, not to mention crystal clear turquoise waters. But, thanks to New Caledonia’s island layout, it’s not hard to escape the crowds, with so many idyllic beaches and bays to choose from.
Want to experience this idyllic once-in-a-lifetime destination without worrying about whether you’ve got the right travel insurance policy for New Caledonia? Give our team a call. They’ll be delighted to help you sort it out ahead of your trip so you can get back to planning the exciting bits.