Viewed by many as one of the most stunning and inspiring regions on Earth, the South Pacific is a haven for holidaymakers, offering truly idyllic experience. This collection of tiny yet striking islands are famous for their wonderfully warm tropical climate, miles of pristine sandy beaches and peaceful ambience, which combine to create what many believe to be the most exotic cruise destination in the world. Almost all of the major cruise lines operate voyages across the South Pacific throughout the year and below, this blog discusses some of the most popular destinations found within this astounding corner of the globe.
Arguably the most well-known area of the South Pacific, Hawaii is actually part of the USA as the country’s 50th state. Unlike any other American state however, Hawaii is a tranquil archipelago located many miles out to sea and made up of several small islands. The archipelago’s main island is known simply as Hawaii – or the Big Island – and is home to some of the world’s largest active volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. As an archetypal island of the South Pacific, the Big Island boasts an abundance of serene beaches and lush scenery. The other marvellous islands of Hawaii include Oahu, where the region’s capital of Honolulu is located, Maui, Kauai and Molokai amongst several other smaller unspoilt islets.
Another iconic cruise holiday destination, Tahiti is part of French Polynesia – a vast archipelago within the South Pacific. Tahiti is the largest of the many islands that make up French Polynesia and is very popular with tourists for a number of reasons. The island offers a tranquil escape from reality, in the form of verdant scenery and stunning beaches, alongside towering volcanoes and shimmering lagoons. Papeete is Tahiti’s capital and administrative centre and also one of the best places to discover the vibrant local culture. The island’s rich heritage is still visible at many historic sites and the local people are always friendly, creating a diverse and intriguing environment for visitors to uncover.
Located at the southernmost tip of what is known as the Polynesian Triangle, Easter Island is a well-known but remote destination, surrounded in centuries-worth of mystery and intrigue. A thriving and bustling culture is believed to have developed here during the first millennia AD, evidence of which can be found in the form of the moai – Easter Island’s most famous residents. These towering statues depict the human figure and were carved by local people between 1250 and 1500 AD. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, many tourists flock to the island each year to see these impressive monuments for themselves.
The tiny and secluded island of Bora Bora sits with the Society Islands of French Polynesia, offering the picturesque landscape typical of the region. Wherever you go on Bora Bora, you will be rewarded with incredible views of a dramatic and sun-soaked island. The area boasts a tremendous selection of superb beaches, but if relaxing on the beach isn’t really your thing, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to be found locally. Take a hike through the area’s flourishing forests, sample some delicious and exotic local cuisine or participate in a number of thrilling water sports along the coastline – the choice is yours!
Fiji is a remote and beautiful destination, situated within the Melanesian islands of the South Pacific. It lies between New Zealand and Hawaii and is made up of a total of 332 islands, only around 110 of which are currently inhabited. Interestingly, the international time line lies to the east of the archipelago, which means that Fiji has time zone all of its own, placing it ahead of the rest of the world in a sense. In terms of scenery, Fiji is famous for its dramatic volcanic landscape, beautiful coastline, crystal clear surrounding waters and fascinating local culture, the best of which can be discovered by exploring the region’s capital and main port of Suva.
Image Credits : Magnus Manske – wikimedia.org