|Tabuaeran (Fanning Island)|
Tabuaeran Island (known as Fanning Island) has
lately become popular as a New Cruise destination for cruise
passengers. The island is 1,100 miles south of Hawaii. Passengers are
welcomed with local dances and string band, which are staged at the wharf.
Several local tours and activities such as Island tours, sightseeing and
snorkelling in the lagoon are offered to passengers while staying on the
The island was uninhabited when Europeans first saw it, but archaeological evidence points to 'local' people - probably Tongans - paying a pre-European visit. The Fanning Island Plantations Ltd Company decided they would own the island during the 19th century, and began exploiting the coconuts growing there for copra. A small and laid back population of a little over 1300 lives there today, and you can snorkel, dive and swim around much of the coast. Tabuaeran is 3130km (1941mi) north-east of Tarawa, and getting there is difficult unless you have your own yacht or can hitch a ride on one.
Fanning Island, reputed to be the most beautiful in Kiribati. A favorite port of call for yachts travelling between Hawaii and Tahiti. Some infrastructure (nice houses) accumulated over the years as the island was a former base of the Cable and Wireless Company. Now being settled in large numbers by I-Kiribati as part of a population pressure relief program. There are approximately 2,500 residents of Fanning, who accepted the Kiribati government's recommendation to move to the atoll to ease overcrowding on Tarawa.
Though this may not be in the Port of Paradise
category, it still is a rustic snapshot of Micronesian lifestyles. However,
everything is changing. The impact of the Cruise line on the life is readily
apparent as tourism provides a significant amount of income to the small
community. In addition, the Norwegian Cruise Line helped build the school,
which is now called the NCL Primary School.
The Norwegian Star's stop here is based on an 1890's law -- the "Jones Act"
-- where an international flagship cannot start and terminate its trip
within the Hawaiian waters. The Norwegian Star is Panama registry. For maps
of Kiribati's location, go to
ABC Translators on the web.
An excellent site for more detailed information on the islands and people of
Kiribati is at
"We came in to the island by tender. We were
welcomed by a group of natives singing. The children were delightful. The
island was very beautiful as we walked around. Homes were simple open
platforms with a thatched roof. Linda bought a basket from a lady making it.
It turned out to be a hat!"
"I was a hit with the kids. Bob told stories to the
class. The official language is English. They teach English in the school
but Most don't speak it well. The teacher had to translate as Bob told his