Easter Island, Chile
The monoliths of Easter Island have fascinated and puzzled Westerners since the Dutch seaman Roggeven made landfall there on Easter Sunday, 1722. The mystery of Easter Island's first settlers remains just that - a mystery. Today, most anthropologists believe the island was settled as part of the great wave of Polynesian emigration. (The oldest of the Moai, as the great monoliths are called, date to 700 A.D.) The society that produced the Moai flourished during the 16th and 17th centuries, but population growth, deforestation and food shortages led to its collapse. Today some 3,400 souls inhabit this 64-square-mile island, which lies some 2,200 miles equidistant from Tahiti and South America.
The society of Rapa Nui possessed stone-working skills on a par with those found in the Inca Empire. Islanders also possessed a script called Rongorongo, the only written language in all of Oceania.
Please note: The current fee for entry into the National Park is $60 per person, this fee is included in all organized shore tours. Independent passengers are required to pay this fee on arrival at the park.
Easter Island is an anchorage port. Transportation from the ship to shore will be via the ship's tender service.