Melanesia is a region of Oceania, consisting of several smaller islands, such as Fiji (a major island tourist destination). Beautiful beach resorts, coral reefs, and white sand beaches attract travelers to the region. It provides a wealth of tropical islands, where you can discover sandy beaches, world-class diving and snorkeling, a fascinating history and culture, spectacular waterfalls, inquisitive birdlife and much more.
There are a few cruise companies that visit this region. Other noteworthy places of interest in the Melanesian region are New Caledonia (under France), the Solomon Islands (a site of major Second World War battles), Vanuatu (a well-developed island destination), and the tiny Australian territory of Norfolk Island, which is home to about 2,000 people.
The large nation of Papua New Guinea and the neighboring West Papua (under Indonesia) are also the part of Melanesia.
Heritage Expeditions takes the 50 berth expedition ship to the most remote and hard to get islands in Melanesia.
A geographical distinction is often made between the islands of New Guinea and what is known as Island Melanesia. It consists of the chain of archipelagos, islands, atolls, and reefs, that form the bounds of an oval-shaped coral sea. This includes the Bismarck Archipelago (part of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands), the Santa Cruz Islands (part of the country called Solomon Islands), and the Louisiade Archipelago (part of Papua New Guinea).
New Caledonia consists of one large island and several smaller chains, including the Loyalty Islands.
The country of Vanuatu contains several of the New Hebrides island chain. In the past, New Hebrides has also been the name of the political unit of the islands.
Fiji consists of two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and also several smaller islands, including the Lau Islands.
September 13, 2016 1:02 am