Fanning Island (Tabuaeran) is among the many tropical atolls forming Kiribati's Line Islands. The island covers a total area of approx 34 km2 (13 mi2) and has population around 2,000.
Island's highest elevation is 3 m (10 ft) above sea level (high tide). Atoll's inner lagoon has an area of 110 km2 (42 ml2). Lagoon's deepest water is about 15 m (49 ft), but most of it is very shallow.
When Europeans discovered Tabuaeran, it was uninhabited. During the 19th century, the island was a copra producer. Currently, it has a small population. Best tourist activities are swimming, diving and snorkelling along the coast. Atoll's administrative centre is Paelau - located on the western coast, and south of passage into the lagoon. The health centre is also there.
Work opportunities were reduced by NCL Norwegian Cruise Line ceasing to call on the island, as well as due to reduced operations of Atoll Seaweed Company. Fanning Island was a weekly port of call for NCL, which had cruise ships homeported in Honolulu Hawaii.
USA's federal regulations required foreign-flagged vessels to visit a foreign port. US-based liner visited this island destination as it was more cost-effective (for visiting a foreign country) than to pay port charges as a consequence of US Passenger Vessel Services Act. The ship Norwegian Wind (now SuperStar Aquarius) left the NCL fleet in 2007. Later, NCL introduced 3 vessels to operated specifically in Hawaii USA. All these liners were US-flagged and not required to visit foreign ports of call.
Fanning Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Fanning Island dock (anchor) at Napari (Napali) - a settlement located at the northern end of Tabuaeran atoll, Kiribati.