Dravuni Island, Fiji
A call at this tiny (less than one square mile) island set in the midst of the Great Astrolabe Reef in the South Pacific is a rare opportunity to see what life is like for many Fijians. The island is home to fewer than 200 souls, who are uniformly friendly and welcoming. Although the island has a volcanic core, it is mostly made up of, and is a part of a coral atoll, surrounded by living reefs. When your ship arrives, much of the population will be round about the island jetty to greet you and offer all manner of goods and services, from colorful wrap-around pareus waving like flags in the fresh breeze to a chance to have a brilliantly colored parrot perch briefly on your shoulder for a picture. The local primary school is one of the island’s most imposing structures, and its inmates are as charming as can be imagined. An easy path leads up to the island’s highest peak, which is less than 150 feet in altitude, but offers breathtaking views. Snorkeling is likewise spectacular on the surrounding reefs. The island is also home to a research station of the University of the South Pacific.