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“Could be Gilligan's island” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fenua-ura

Fenua-ura
Republic of Kiribati
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Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Could be Gilligan's island”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

I was there about 11 years ago on a day stop during a Nowegian cruise out of Honolulu. At that time an out of country stop was required so we went to Fanning island. It's an atoll with not much atoll there. Beautiful palms trees and other plant life. Primitive living at best. No electricity. Fresh water comes from......I have no idea. The local natives, including surrounding islanders came for the day to sell Polynesian chachka's, including baskets and shell bracelets etc. The school house is a hut with no walls or floor. They set up a tiny convenience store/post office for the tourists which I am sure was only open that one day each week. I heard that the locals survive by collecting and selling seaweed. The Norwegian crew gave them a generator. They supplied a TV and VCR with tapes. They watched Superman and thought other people could fly.
Luckily they had no hilltops. The kids (maybe the parents) ended up making grass skirts except instead of grass they used VCR tape pieces. A very interesting and beautiful place.

Visited November 2012
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4 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • Any
English first
Geelong, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Most enjoyable stop on our cruise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

Fanning Island is the poorest island (actually it is an atoll) we visited but the one we enjoyed the most during a cruise from Sydney to Vancouver on the MS Volendam in April 2012
The ship had arranged to take any clothes donated to the villagers.
We were welcomed at the jetty by a lively band and choir.
My photos do not do justice to the congenial atmosphere the small local population provided. The islanders have stalls with souvenirs that are all handmade from the few raw materials available and amazingly cheap -Not a "made in china " label anywhere.
There were 2 young girls with a sign requesting donations for their school to buy a photocopier !!
My wife caused a hilarious scene by lining up a group of schoolboys and offering a dollar to anyone who could catch a pig that was wandering around the school grounds. It gave them a merry chase but it was finally trapped in a mud pool.
The only vehicles on the island are small trucks with a tray on the back, these were being used as tour coaches by the addition of a thatched roof and some padding on the seats down the sides. Incredibly one passenger attempted to bargain with the driver to take 2 for his advertised price of $10 per person for a 40 minute tour of the seven villages on the atoll !
There is no paved roads, running water , sewerage or electricity on the island.
When asked if they had ever practiced cannibalism our guide emphatically said “not on this island” then added a story of how a guy had murdered his wife then burned her body.
They sent the tractor with forks on the front to collect her body for burial and it smelt pretty good. !!
The beach is the typical idyllic pacific islands scene with white sand and blue waters, great for swimming.
The wharf that the tenders arrive at was in need of some repairs , the ships carpenters had obviously measured it up on a previous trip as they took some timber ashore and were busy fitting it when we arrived there.
It is a shame that Holland America have taken Fanning Island off the ports on their trans- pacific repositioning cruises, passengers must have been a huge boost to the economy of this poor community.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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