Sailing boat on the Isle of PinesSailing boat on the Isle of Pines
©Sailing boat on the Isle of Pines|Ben Thouard - The Explorers

Reaching New Caledonia by sea

New Caledonia offers an enchanting maritime experience, boasting vast oceanic expanses, a stunning lagoon, well-protected bays, secure anchorages, secluded spots, consistent trade winds, and modern marinas. When arriving by boat, Nouméa serves as the primary port of entry for immigration formalities.

Embark on a cruise

Around ten cruise lines, including industry leaders like Royal Caribbean Cruise and Carnival Cruise Lines from Australia and New Zealand, make stops in New Caledonia. Typically, these liners disembark passengers in Nouméa between 7 am and 9 am, setting sail again around 5 pm. This allows ample time to explore Nouméa, offering activities such as lagoon snorkelling, city and bay tours, visits to major museums, and various water sports. The cruise terminal (ferry terminal) conveniently welcomes passengers in downtown Nouméa on Jules Ferry Quay. Here, you’ll find tourist service providers and some shops. Tourist buses and taxis provide transportation in the capital, including to nearby beaches and islets.

Bring your own boat

Before docking

As a vibrant South Pacific city, Nouméa offers a rewarding stopover experience. Yachtsmen should contact “Port Moselle” on VHF (Channel 67) or Port du Sud (24 47 77) for access to Nouméa. Upon arrival, each crew member must present a valid passport and visa, depending on nationality. Remember to display your yellow flag until all formalities are completed.

Visitor-Friendly Ports

  • Port Moselle: Limited stay to 3 days in high season (May 15-December 15) and 6 days in low season. Caution is advised when approaching the bay at night, as many boats anchor there without anchor lights.
  • Port du Sud: Visitors can stay for up to one month except in the event of a cyclone warning.

Find out more

Capitainerie de Port Moselle : port.moselle@sodemo.nc – +687 27 71 97
Direction des douanes : douanes.nc@offatel.nc – +687 26 53 85
Police aux frontières : dpaf-noumea@interieur.gouv.fr – +687 24 32 00
Find the yacht arrival formalities form to hand to Sivap agents during inspection
Sivap : import-sivap.davar@gouv.nc – +687 78 26 81

Where to go with your boat?

Port life

Nouméa‘s two harbours, Port Moselle and Port du Sud, provide sanitary facilities, water, electricity, laundry, and a service station. Port Moselle offers free wifi. Nearby, you can dine at restaurants serving French and Caledonian cuisine, shop in malls, or enjoy various activities, including diving. Nouméa also hosts numerous boat repair, deck fitting, spare parts, and equipment suppliers. Transit boats enjoy tax exemptions on spare parts for repair work.

For more information, refer to the “Stopover guide

Near Nouméa

The Southern Province offers 120 moorings in the marine protected areas around Nouméa. Islet Maître, Islet Signal, and Islet Larégnère feature beautiful beaches, barbecue spots, and snorkelling. When mooring, approach the buoys slowly, facing into the wind or current, and be cautious of swimmers and other boats. Check the condition of the mooring line you are using. Before departure, consult the tide times to avoid getting stranded on an islet.

Find out more:

In the Loyalty Islands

Sailing to the Loyalty Islands requires contacting Wé Marina on Lifou. All sailings to Ouvéa, Lifou, or Maré now require validation.

Wé Marina

On the Isle of Pines

Anchoring is only authorised in Kuto Bay. Before heading to Île des Pins, yachtsmen should contact the Gendarmerie and the Mairie de l’Île des Pins.

Gendarmerie de l’Île des Pins

Mairie de l’Île des Pins

  • Tel. : +687 46 11 03
  • Mail : mairie-pins@canl.nc
  • Opening hours : Monday to Thursday (7am-11:30am and 12:30pm-4:30pm) and Friday (7am-11:30am and 12:30pm-3:30pm)
In the Great South

The Great South offers vast landscapes of red earth, mining scrub, and rivers. Safe anchorages between the capital and the South lagoon are found in Prony Bay, Port Boisé, and Île Ouen. This region is also known for humpback whale sightings between mid-July and mid-September.

On the West Coast

The leeward West Coast features wide-open spaces with niaouli tree savannahs, mangroves, stockmen, cattle, and rodeos. Numerous safe anchorages allow you to enjoy wild bays and islets, including Ténia islet, Saint-Vincent Bay, Croissant Bay, and Koumac.

On the East Coast

The windward East Coast offers a change of scenery and authenticity with Melanesian tribes and lush valleys. Sheltered anchorages along this coast, such as Hienghène or Port Bouquet, are ideal for stopovers.

In the far north

The Grand Lagon Nord is a UNESCO World Heritage site, wild and exotic. It provides a sense of the end of the world, both on land and at sea. Anchorages like Chasseloup Bay, Bélep Island, Boat Pass, and Neba await your visit.

Before leaving

New Caledonia

Departure formalities must be completed within 24 hours before departure, and by Friday at the latest for boats leaving the Territory over the weekend. The boat’s papers and passports should be presented to:

  • Customs (using the form provided upon arrival)
  • The immigration department
  • The Port Autonome harbour master’s office, which issues the clearance

Vessels leaving Nouméa are no longer authorised to call on the Territory of New Caledonia, including the Isle of Pines and the Loyalty Islands.

Frequently asked questions about boating in New Caledonia
  • When to go / seasonal considerations?

    The best time to sail in New Caledonia is during the cool season, from late April to mid-November, when trade winds prevail, allowing for pleasant sailing conditions. From December to April, the cyclone season makes sailing less favourable.

  • Is it possible to make repairs on site?

    New Caledonia is equipped with well-appointed shipyards, and service providers are proficient in various fields. You can find a directory of service providers for repairs in your port of call booklet.

  • What services are available for superyachts?

    Noumea Yacht Services, located on the waterfront of the main port and marina facilities, offers comprehensive services for yachts, superyachts, and mega yachts. Their staff is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, providing services such as customs clearance, administrative formalities, caretaking, repairs, recruitment of onboard personnel, provisioning, organisation of activities and visits, on-site transfers, and transport services, among others.

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