Start planning your cruise and book your excursions to Easter Island
Featuring a picturesque harbour, and nearly all Easter Island’s restaurants and shops, Hanga Roa is the capital and only town in one of the most remote inhabited islands on the globe. Just 3,000 people live here. The nearest inhabited land is 2,000 km away, and mainland Chile is over 3,500 km distant. The Polynesians landed here sometime around 1,200 AD. And an MSC World Cruise expedition will take you back in time to see evidence of their industrious culture from numerous stone moai and other artefacts.
MSC Cruises excursions offer plenty of exciting things to see including:
• Orongo the stone village
• Ancient Tahai
• Anakena beach
Come to Orongo, a restored, stone ceremonial village, with World Heritage status. Here you’ll find the largest collection of rock carvings in the Pacific.
Then head to Tahai, the biggest and best restored archaeological site near Hanga Roa. You’ll be able to explore funerary chambers built for community heads, and the remains of the boat-house or “hare paenga” they inhabited with their families. Three ceremonial platforms made from stones and cobbles as shrines, called “Ahu” have been restored too.
MSC excursions also go to Hanga Kio’e, once home to the “ariki”, or kings. Today it’s an archaeological complex with two restored Ahu, or stone pedestals on which stand moai statues. Rano Raraku is a crater in Rapa Nui formed by volcanic ash. It was a quarry that supplied most of the stone from which the island’s moai were carved.
Incomplete statues in the quarry are remarkable for their size and weight, over 70 feet tall and about 270 tons.
Outside stand numerous, smaller statues, some partially buried to the shoulder.
Anakena in the heart of the World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Park and home to the Ahu Nao-Nao archaeological site with its seven moai.
It’s the main beach on the island, and so perfect it really does live up to its description of unspoilt white sand, crystal clear blue water and coconut palms. It’s also steeped in culture, because the island’s first king Hotu Matu’a landed here. Later it became a ceremonial centre where a small elite read from sacred Rongorongo boards – one of the few independent inventions of writing in human history.