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Cruising Article – 2011-04-20

Multiple eras tell the story of Guam

Australia/New Zealand Cruise Destinations

Nearly every island that you visit during your Australia and New Zealand cruise will offer you the chance to lie on the beach, sip on a frozen beverage and simply relax the day away. An entire vacation consisting of solely sticking to the sand can be just what the doctor ordered every now and then. However, some destinations also offer more to see and do, and Guam in the Mariana Islands is a prime example of this.

Guam is an official territory of the United States, so you won't have to deal with too much of a culture shock visiting this fantastic island. It also serves as the commercial center for pretty much all of Micronesia, meaning that modern conveniences and attractions are never far out of reach.

You'll really get the most out of your trip to Guam if you're a fan of history. The first stop that you'll likely want to visit is War in the Pacific National Park. Guam was a major point of contention during WWII, and your knowledgeable tour guide will explain all about some of the battles that took place here while you explore the hallowed ground. Be sure to visit Gann Point within the park, where the first Marines landed in 1941. You'll be able to see remnants of Japanese forts and even abandoned anti-aircraft guns as you visit this massive park.

Of course, World War II was far from the first historic event to affect the island. Guam was once ruled by the Spanish, and you can see the lasting influence in Plaza de Espana, which once held the residence of the Spanish governor. The building was unfortunately destroyed during the war, but the surrounding area is still quite picturesque.

Going back even further in history, visit the village of Inarajan for a look at pre-colonial times in Guam. This settlement was built long before Magellan discovered the island and you'll be able to learn about the traditional culture of the indigenous people and view historic cave paintings.