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Cruises visiting Belep Islands & all Belep Islands cruises for  2019

View Belep Islands 2019 cruises for 1 ships listing 1 cruises from Belep Islands with today's best deals!

The Bélep Islands constitute a coral archipelago in the Coral Sea, South Pacific Ocean. They lie 40 km to the north of New Caledonia’s mainland, within the 1500 km New Caledonia (double) barrier reef. The reef surrounds the country’s main island Grande Terre and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the reef is the largest lagoon in the world with an area of 24,000 square kilometres and average depth of 25 m. Today the country is an overseas territory of France.

The Bélep Islands were named after a chief of the Kanaks, the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of New Caledonia. From 1892 to 1898 the islands were used as a leper colony. The two larger Bélep islands are Art Island and Pott Island. The administrative centre Waala with a population of 900 faces a bay on Art Island. Expedition vessels anchor outside the bay. The archipelago has few visitors and lacks tourist amenities. The community is virtually independent, and visitors should arrive with a sense of adventure. Fishing is the main industry, particularly for scallops.

It is recommended that on arrival in the Bélep Islands you observe the Kanak tradition of approaching the Chief, presenting a gift and requesting permission to visit the islands. The local Maire an arrange this. The Grande Chef is very welcoming. It would be useful if you could discuss football in French! Remember that this is the official language, though most locals speak New Caledonian patois, and it is difficult to find English speakers outside of Noumea. So, brush up on your French, though the Bélep variety may be problematic. Most Kanak people still speak the language used in their native region.

Cruises visiting Belep Islands in 2019

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