South Pacific Cruises:

“The first experience can never be repeated,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in “In the South Seas.” “The first love, the first sunrise, the first South Sea island, are memories apart and touched a virginity of sense.”

Paradise on Earth. The Ultimate Honeymoon Destination. The Most Stunning Sea. The Most Beautiful People on Earth. The superlatives that have built up in our shared consciousness about the South Pacific may seem overblown. The too-perfect-to-be-true turquoise and azure blue waters, majestic tropical scenery, gorgeous white sand beaches, year-round sunshine and the remarkably welcoming people you’ll find throughout the South Pacific seem, well, perfect in many respects.

The region that’s so captivated our imaginations is comprised of some 7,500 islands, only 500 of which are inhabited. Scattered across a vast expanse of ocean, the island chains are commonly grouped into three major regions:

Melanesia includes the mountainous island nations of the Western Pacific — New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Polynesia, a triangle of ocean formed by Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand represents an astonishing one-fifth of the earth’s surface. Within Polynesia are American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. French Polynesia consists of five archipelagos — the hugely popular Society Islands with Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Huahine, as well as Austral, Tuamotu, Gambier and Marquesas islands.

Micronesia, north of the equator, consists of eight nation states including Yap, Chuuk, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

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