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Florida Islands (officially Nggela Islands) are part of the Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands is an island nation state consisting of 6 large and over 900 smaller islands (total land area of 28400 km2 / 11000 ml2) located in Oceania (southwest Pacific Ocean), to the east of Papua New Guinea and to the northwest of Vanuatu.
The Florida Islands archipelago is located north of the Guadalcanal Island. The archipelago includes two main (large-sized) isles - named Nggela Sule (aka "Florida Island") and Nggela Pile (to the south), plus several smaller ones, the largest of which are named Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo.
The Florida Island (Nggela Sule, the northern one) is famous with the MS World Discoverer cruise ship wreck at Roderick Bay.
MS World Discoverer cruise ship
On April 30, 2000, at around 4 pm GMT, the 137-passenger cruise ship (owned by the Adventurer Cruises company and chartered to Society Expeditions) struck an uncharted reef in the Sandfly Passage.
The vessel's Captain Oliver Kruess sent a distress call. It was received in Honiara (Guadalcanal Island) and a passenger ferry was immediately dispatched to transport all cruise passengers to safety. Then Captain Kruess navigated the listing at 20 degrees ship into Roderick Bay. The vessel was intentionally grounded to avoid sinking. No reports of any pollution as a result of the accident were issued.
After damage assessment, the cruise vessel was declared a "constructive total loss", meaning repairs cost was estimated to be more than its current value. Australian salvage companies found the vessel ransacked - all the equipment and furniture were taken by the locals.
The partially sunk cruise ship still remains in Roderick Bay (listing at 46 degrees starboard) as the island's main attraction. For other non-existing anymore cruise ships see at Scrapped Cruise Ships.
Florida Islands cruise terminal
Most cruise ships to Nggela / Florida Islands anchor at Roderick Bay - in the Island's northern part (where the cruise ship wreck is located). Here passengers are transported to the shore via the ship's tender boats or Zodiacs (big-capacity inflatable boats) on smaller ships.
Very often, ships may stop at Tulagi - port town located on the small-sized Tulagi Island (length 5,5 km / 3,4 ml, width 1 km / 0,6 ml) - just off the Ngella Sule's east-southern coast.