Cruise – South Pacific
The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean.Three of the major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean.Most of the Pacific Islands lying south of the Tropic of Cancer are collectively referred to as Oceania,These islands are traditionally grouped into the three divisions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia:Melanesia means black islands. These islands, south of the equator, include New Guinea (the largest Pacific island and second largest island in the world after Greenland, which is divided into the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Zenadh Kes, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.Micronesia means small islands. These include the Northern Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia, although sometimes Nauru and Kiribati’s Banaba island are listed separately from Micronesia. Most of these lie north of the equator.Polynesia means many islands. These islands, mostly south of the equator, include New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, the Midway Islands, the Samoan Islands (divided between the Independent State of Samoa and American Samoa), Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau, Niue, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. It is the largest of the three zones.The islands of Oceania are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands.