The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue© Pixabay
The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue

The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue

© Pixabay

Cruises to the South Pacific and Niue: When is the Best Time to Go?

The South Pacific is an incredible cruising ground, where passengers experience diverse cultures and islands from day to day. Here at Niue Pocket Guide, we’re a little biased in saying that Niue is one of the best Pacific destinations to hit on the cruise itinerary, boasting some of the clearest pools for snorkelling and the friendliest locals. Before you start packing your bags, however, it’s worth considering when is the best time to take a cruise to Niue. We answer that very question in this guide, covering the climate, seasons and activities that are only available at certain times of the year.

For more cruise talk, open up How to Get a Good Deal on a Cruise to Niue.

5 Tips for Taking a Cruise to Niue

  1. First, cruises to Niue are very limited so the best time to cruise to Niue is when cruises are available! Look for cruises that depart from Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), San Diego (US), San Fransisco (US) and even Vancouver (Canada) – these are the departure ports for most cruises that visit Niue
  2. Get familiar with Niue’s port of call: Alofi. All the details and tips can be found in The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in Niue
  3. Book island tours independently to save money on shore excursions – tours will pick you up from port. See The Best Sightseeing Tours in Niue for ideas
  4. If you’d rather explore independently, car rentals are available, while bicycles can be hired from the Visitor Information Centre
  5. Bring snorkelling gear, swimwear, reef shoes and reef-safe sunscreen to port; Niue has some amazing swimming spots you’ll not want to miss.

For tips that are more generic for travellers visiting Niue for the first time, head to the 30 Tips for Travelling in Niue.

The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue©

The Seasons in Niue and the South Pacific: What is the Climate Like for Cruising?

Being close to the equator, the South Pacific only has two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. In Niue, the dry season is from May to October and the wet season is from November to April.

Dry Season – May to October

The average temperature in the dry season in Niue is a high of 25°C (79°F) during the day. The sea temperature is approximately 25°C (77°F), while the average rainfall per month is 80 to 100 mm (3 to 4 in).

About the Dry Season

  • Less rainfall
  • Less risk of cyclones
  • Lower humidity
  • High season for tourists – more crowded.

The dry season is when you’re less likely to have rain and tropical depressions (although, the dry season still gets its fair share of wet weather), which can be the biggest weather factors affecting your cruise. If you only have one day to explore your port of call in Niue, then most prefer it to be sunny rather than rainy.

On the downside, the dry season is the most popular time to visit Niue, so you’re less likely to have entire attractions for yourself or your group. But in comparison to more populated regions like Europe, Asia or North America, you’ll hardly feel that Niue is “crowded” no matter the time of year.

Wet Season – November to April

The average high temperature during the wet season in Niue is 29°C (84°F) during the day. The average sea temperature is around 28°C (82°F), while the average rainfall is around 250 to 300 mm (10 to 12 in) per month.

About the Wet Season

  • More rainfall
  • Risk of cyclones
  • High humidity
  • Low season – fewer crowds, cruise discounts.

The wet season is the warmest and most humid season to cruise the South Pacific, which are aspects that many travellers want from their tropical cruise! On the downside, there are more rainy days during the wet season, which may coincide with the one day you’re visiting Niue. At least, in many instances, rainy showers pass quickly.

Another downside for your South Pacific cruise is that the wet season is also the cyclone season where tropical depressions can build up in the South Pacific from November to April – some can become a cyclone. This makes for occasional stormy weather and is not much fun for those who suffer from seasickness. On a similar note, stormy weather and high swells have been known to cancel cruise visits to the tricky shoreline of Niue. Learn more about the cyclone season in our guide, Cyclone Safety in Niue.

Have more questions about the seasons in Niue? Check out our complete guide about yearly climate, as well as the climate month-by-month, Niue Weather, Seasons & Climate + Niue Weather by Month.

The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue©

Seasonal Activities That Might Affect Your Cruise

Other than the weather, what other seasonal occurrences are there that might affect your trip? If you’re coming to Niue with a particular activity in mind, the season is important to keep in mind.

Whale Season

If you’re coming to Niue or the South Pacific in the hope of seeing humpback whales, which is a possibility not only from your cruise ship but from shore and whale tours in Niue, aim for a South Pacific cruise between July and September. Find out more about the season in our guide, Whale Season in Niue: The Best Time to See & Swim with Whales.

Scuba Diving

There isn’t really a bad time to scuba dive in Niue in terms of the conditions, note that Niue’s dive operators are closed during the wet season (December 1st to February 1st). Find out more in The Best Time to Dive in Niue.


Again, fishing is great in Niue no matter what time of year it is. If you’re targeting a specific species, however, some seasons are better than others. All of that is covered in The Best Time of Year for Fishing in Niue.


Although snorkelling isn’t seasonal, many of the snorkelling spots in Niue are dependent on the tide. With that in mind, you may want to choose to visit Niue when the low tide times are at a convenient hour for your cruise. Check out What You Need to Know About the Tide Times in Niue to learn more.

Furthermore, avid snorkellers may want to avoid the kaloama season when some sea tracks (mostly likely to occur in February or March), therefore snorkelling spots, are closed. See What You Need to Know About the Kaloama/Goatfish Season in Niue for more details.

The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Niue©

Conclusion: The Best Time to Cruise to Niue and the South Pacific

If you haven’t concluded yourself on the best time to cruise the South Pacific and Niue with the information already provided in this guide, no worries!

The general consensus for the best time to take a cruise to Niue is either May, September or October. These months are also known as the shoulder seasons of Niue, benefitting from a little bit of both the dryer climate of the dry season and the warm temperatures that are experienced all year round. By not being right in the middle of the high tourist season, you also may benefit from more availability on cruises, as well as the potential for discounts.

Still not sure about the best time to cruise to Niue? Luckily, we have even more on the subject in our complete guide to The Best Time to Visit Niue: A Month-by-Month Guide.

More About Cruising in Niue

That’s it for our guide on the best time to take a cruise to Niue. Need more cruising advice? Check out our other cruise guides:

Finally, discover more ways to get to Niue with our guide, Getting Here: How to Get to Niue.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Niue Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. He is also consulting regularly with Niue Tourism to ensure content accuracy. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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