Hawaii Tahiti & Marquesas from San Diego – HA Koningsdam – 15 February 2024
SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS
Moving east across the Pacific from the Solomon Islands to Easter Island, the flora and fauna become less diverse. Islands to the east like New Caledonia and Fiji have land snakes and fruit bats. French Polynesia and Easter Island don’t. Underwater you’ll find more soft corals in the plankton-rich waters to the west but better visibility in the greater reaches of open water to the east.
SOUTH PACIFIC HISTORY
South Pacific islands are culturally and geographically divided into Polynesia and Melanesia. Polynesian islands include Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. While Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands are Melanesian. The colonial history of the islands has resulted in a modern-day patchwork of English- and French-speaking island groups plus Spanish on Easter Island.
TAHITI & FRENCH POLYNESIA
With over 115 islands spanning five archipelagos. French Polynesia has it all from the legendary, Bora Bora and its over-the-water bungalows to uncountable forgotten islands perfect for Crusoe-wannabes. Wherever you go, you’ll be kissed with a touch of French style. Dive with plentiful reef sharks and manta rays in the Tuamotu Atolls. Ogle the world’s fastest hip shaking at a Tahitian dance performance. Or hike to waterfalls and mountain ridges on Tahiti, Moorea, and the Marquesas Islands. Or watch professional surfers brave cavernous tubes at Teahupoo, Tahiti.
SAMOA & AMERICAN SAMOA
The Samoan Islands are divided into two countries. Samoa, which is independent, and American Samoa, which is an American territory. Both however remain very traditionally Polynesian. Although Upolu in Samoa has a few relatively upscale resorts, all the islands feel untouristy and much other accommodation is in the form of basic open beach huts.