2 Destination Guide - 3 South Pacific

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From the deepest rainforest, to the highest mountaintop, to the depths of the underwater world, there is no shortage of tropical adventures in the South Pacific. Known as Oceania, the South Pacific is comprised of over 25,000 islands, offering visitors a playground full of endless possibilities for discovery.

The best time to visit the South Pacific aboard Hanse Explorer is between May and October. Come explore the numerous island chains that make up the area known as French Polynesia, where the Polynesian people have a warm-hearted, welcoming spirit and are happy to share their culture with visitors. The Society Islands are home to places such as Bora Bora, with beautiful lagoons in different shades of blue, green and turquoise. Discover Atiu in the Cook Islands, known as the land of the birds for its famous breeding ground and many exotic bird species. Visit one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth, Papua New Guinea, with hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to the area and witness tribal ceremonies. Experience the mystery of Easter Island as you get up close to the monumental statues that have puzzled researches for decades.

The combinations of experiences that can be created in the South Pacific are endless. Snorkeling and scuba diving are at their best in the crystal clear, warm waters. Search for pearls, explore secret caves, wander an uninhabited island, fish for Mahi Mahi, hike over volcanic rock, surf the best waves or simply enjoy watching the sun slip slowly into the sea. Whatever your wish, we can create an experience to make your tropical dreams come true.

Points of Interest

  • The Pitcairn Islands are made up of four islands spread over several hundred miles of the Pacific Ocean. The island of Ducie is a remote coral atoll with several remote lagoons that can only be reached by zodiac. Enjoy the exotic birds above water and dive into the crystal clear sea to explore the marine life. The only inhabited island (67 inhabitants), Pitcairn, is home to the historical “Mutiny on the Bounty”, where mutineers took control of the British Royal Navy ship. Encircled by a large reef, Pitcairn Island can only be approached by zodiac.
  • The Tuamotus Islands are a chain of islands and atolls in French Polynesia. This archipelago forms the largest chain of atolls in the world. Besides its spectacular underwater world, the island of Puka Puka offers visitors a taste of their main source of income: dried coconut meat. Neighboring island Puka Rua has recently become world famous for the precious black pearls in the waters around the island.
  • Vanuatu is an island nation located in the middle of the South Pacific consisting of 82 relatively small volcanic islands. Islands lush with tropical forests and white sand beaches are a paradise waiting to be enjoyed. Visit Pentacost Island and witness the spiritual birthplace of bungee jumping, known traditionally as Gol (land diving) where men jump off of wooden towers 20-30 meters (66-98 feet) high with tree vines wrapped around their ankles.
  • Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands located at the southernmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. It is known for its monumental statues known as moai carved from rocks by the early Rapa Nui people. A total of 887 of these monolithic stone statues commonly referred to as “Easter Island heads” pepper the island and exude a mystery that captures the imagination of visitors.
  • Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth, offering visitors a unique cultural experience found nowhere else. Enjoy joyful sing-sings, celebrations of song and dance performed in ceremonial headdresses and body paint. Explore the rich artistic heritage of the people of the Sepik River and get to know the unusual culture of the little-known Trobriand Islands.
  • The Society Islands are perhaps the most well known group of islands in French Polynesia. The most stunning island, Bora Bora, has come to exemplify paradise with its majestic mountains, ancient volcanoes, shimmering lagoons and barrier reef. Moorea offer spectacular waterfalls and Tahiti brings its ‘Polynesia meets Paris’ ambience.