Majuro, capital of the Marshall Islands, lies on the eastern end of a 60-mile-long (97-km-long) boomerang-shaped atoll of the same name. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is made up of 29 coral atolls and five single islands spread out over nearly 1,000 square miles (2,590 square km). It is one of only four atoll nations in the world and one of the world’s youngest nations, independent since 1986.
Whilst exact settlement patterns remain arguable, it is generally believed that the islands were colonised from the south and southwest, linking the Marshallese with Eastern Melanesia. Being highly skilled navigators and using uniquely designed canoes, the islanders were known to sail as far east as Hawaii and as far south as Kiribati.
The Marshall Islands’ colonial history is characterised by early contact with Westerners and a number of colonial regimes, which have contributed to the shaping of the modern-day Marshall Islands. The Spanish were the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific and began their exploration in the 16th century. During these early visits, the Marshallese became some of the first Pacific islanders to establish contact and initiate trade with Westerners.
During World War II, the Marshall Islands served as the eastern base for the Japanese forces in the Central Pacific. With the U.S. attack in 1942, the following three years saw one of the fiercest battles in the Pacific, ending with the defeat of the Japanese and the United States becoming the next major power to occupy the Marshalls. Governed initially by the U.S. Navy, the islands were given by the United Nations to the U.S. as a Strategic Trust in 1947. In 1986, the islanders’ desire for independence became a reality through the Compact of Free Association, which transformed the country from a U.S. Trust to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Among the attractions in Majuro are the Alele Museum, the Peace Park Memorial and the 1918 Typhoon Monument. In an island culture, water sports play a big part of every day life and the Marshall Islands are no exception. Comprised of over 1,000 coral islands with white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons, water sports enthusiasts enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving.
Pier Information The ship is scheduled to anchor. Guests will be taken ashore via the ship’s tenders to the jetty at Hotel Robert Reimers. Taxis are available but fares should be established before leaving the pier area. Shopping Known for their artistic quality and originality, Marshallese crafts include model canoes, baskets and necklaces. The local currency is the U.S. dollar. Cuisine Due to the island’s central location in the Pacific, a selection of international cuisine including ethnic, local and Western food can be found at a wide range of restaurants. Other Sites 1918 Typhoon Monument
While generally rare in the Marshall Islands, a major typhoon struck the southern atolls in 1918, damaging Majuro severely and causing over 200 casualties. The large sandstone near Laura commemorates the victims of the typhoon and pays homage to the Japanese emperor for his generous contribution of private funds for rebuilding Majuro.
Peace Park Memorial
Located towards Laura and past the airport, this memorial park constructed by the Japanese government commemorates the soldiers who fought and died in the Pacific during World War II.
Marshall Islands Mariculture Farm
At this coral and clam raising facility, visitors can view different species and sizes of giant clams destined for the aquarium market.
For independent sightseeing, it is best to use taxis.