Live your Robinson Crusoe fantasy in Micronesia on a Holland America Line cruise. Approximately 600 islands comprise the sun-kissed Federated States of Micronesia. Chuuk, one of Micronesia’s largest islands, is graced with a deep, vast lagoon, a base for the Japanese fleet for part of World War II. Today the seafloor is littered with the remains of their once-mighty ships and the island is again a serene retreat with white-sand beaches, breadfruit trees, friendly locals. Snorkel the lagoon and watch for tropical fish, octopuses and shipwrecks.
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Sand spits and coconut palms hold sway in the outer barrier islands, but Chuuk’s glory lies in its vast, shallow lagoon. This 64-kilometer-wide (40-mile-wide) sanctuary attracted the Imperial Japanese Navy, which based its fleet here during part of World War II . . . until the U.S. attacked (with a ferocity and destructive power often compared to Pearl Harbor). The battle littered the seafloor with wreckage: an evocative and haunting spectacle that now attracts divers from around the world. But Micronesia’s easternmost state has much to offer beyond this kaleidoscopic underwater world. It consists of 10 atolls, 19 high volcanic islands and 225 low-lying coralline islets.