Tabuaeran, also known as Fanning Island or Fanning Atoll (both Gilbertese and English names are recognised) is one of the Line Islands of the central Pacific Ocean, and part of Kiribati. It is an atoll located at . The maximum elevation is about 3 m (10 ft) above high tide.
At some 900 miles distant, Tabuaeran is one of the closest landfalls to the Hawaiian Islands, and the atoll was possibly used as a stopover by the Polynesians who first settled Hawai‘i. Artifacts have been discovered that indicate possible early settlements by people from Polynesia—probably the Cook Islands or Tonga.
The atoll was discovered by the American captain Edmund Fanning on June 11, 1798, on the American ship Betsy and was named for him. At the time, the atoll was uninhabited, and in fact, like all of the Line Islands, has no truly native population. After Fanning, it was visited by whalers of several nationalities.
Prior to 1855, Captain Henry English and 150 laborers from Manihiki settled, and began producing coconut oil for export. He put the island under British protection, when it was visited by W.H. Morshead in the HMS Dido on October 16, 1855.
Fanning was formally annexed to Great Britain by Captain William Wiseman of the HMS Caroline on March 15, 1888. A deep opening was blasted, thereafter called the English Channel, on the west side of the atoll. Tabuaeran hosted a cable station on the Trans-Pacific cable between Canada and Australia, a part of the All Red Line, beginning in 1902. In September 1914 (World War I), the Cable Station was shelled by a German gunboat, the Nürnberg, and the station slightly damaged. In 1939 the atoll was incorporated into the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and later, in (1979), gained independence, becoming part of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced kee-ree-bahs).
Tabuaeran features in John Updike's short story "The Blessed Man of Boston, My Grandmother's Thimble, and Fanning Island."
Tabuaeran has a population of 2500, principally Gilbertese settlers brought from Kiribati by Fanning Island Plantations, Ltd., to work in the copra industry (copra is the meat of the coconut). The capital is Napari (Paelau) in the northwest. The former capital is Napia (English Harbour) on the western side, south of a passage into the lagoon. Other villages are Tereitaki, in the northwest, Aontena, a resettlement area just south of Napia, and Manuku, a resettlement area in the south.
|1||Napari (Nabari, English Harbour)||194|
Tabuaeran was a weekly port of call for Norwegian Cruise Line, who had ships based in Honolulu. Due to federal regulations requiring foreign-flagged ships to call in a foreign port, the ships cruised to Tabuaeran. It was also more cost effective for the cruise line to visit a foreign country than to pay port charges as a consequence of the U.S. Passenger Services Act. In 2007, the Norwegian Wind left Norwegians fleet, and they introduced 3 Cruise ships specifically to cruise in Hawaii. These three ships were all US-flagged ships, and thus were not required to visit foreign ports. The Pride of Hawaii and Pride of America sailed 7-day sailings, and the Pride of Aloha took over the 10 and 11 day sailings which included Tabuaeran. In the fall of 2007, Norwegian announced that the Pride of Hawaii would be reflagged and renamed the Norwegian Jade and sail in Europe. Due to this change, Norwegian announced that both the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America would both sail 7-day cruises in Hawaii, and eliminate cruises to Tabuaeran.
However, note that in 2008, the last planned sailing to Tabuaeran is actually the 11-day Pride of Aloha cruise that is planned to leave Honolulu on April 5, 2008 (visiting Tabuaeran on Thursday morning, April 10, 2008 based on UTC+14 time in effect for Kiribati). That will be the last planned sailing to Tabuaeran based on the latest information from Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) as of March 3, 2008. Note that there was a completed NCL sailing to Tabuaeran on February 28, 2008 (which due to a medical evacuation event also went to Kiritimati Island the morning of February 29, 2008 UTC+14 Kiribati time), which may end up being the last NCL cruise ever to Tabuaeran, if the 4/5/2008 sailing from Honolulu (and/or subsequent planned stop in Tabuaeran on 4/10/08) gets cancelled for any reason, and NCL does not reconsider their decision to stop cruises to Tabuaeran.