Almost all of the Earth's islands are natural and have been formed by tectonic forces or volcanic eruptions. However, artificial (man-made) islands also exist, such as the island in Osaka Bay off the Japanese island of Honshu, on which Kansai International Airport is located. Artificial islands can be built using natural materials (e.g., earth, rock, or sand) or artificial ones (e.g., concrete slabs or recycled waste). Sometimes natural islands are artificially enlarged, such as Vasilyevsky Island in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, which had its western shore extended westward by some 0.5 km in the construction of the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg.
The Virgin Islands are divided into the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are comprised of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, and the British Virgin Islands, made up of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with numerous smaller islands and cays. All are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. On the U.S. side, St. Croix is the charming, historic, culturally diverse island, St. John is the favored eco-friendly destination, and St. Thomas is the chic and sophisticated island. On the British side, the islands are less developed, but more exclusive, catering to wealthy luxury travelers and sailing enthusiasts.
Your love affair with Moorea begins on a clear day in Tahiti as you look out towards the horizon. Lush giant peaks rise out of the blue waters high into the sky, leaving you wondering if you’ve just discovered paradise. As you near the island on the short ferry across from Tahiti, dolphins lead the way into the harbor like a welcoming party. Moorea is known as ‘the magical island’ and for good reasons, with time ticking away so peacefully as you’re living out your Polynesian dream. Moorea’s twin bays carve out the island’s signature heart shape, and its lush deep valleys spill into a massive lagoon that feels like a giant heated pool. Your precious time in Moorea can be spent recharging your batteries in an overwater bungalow or in a simple beach hut. But with panoramic hikes in its valleys and peaks, diving with sharks, feeding stingrays and so much more above and beneath the gentle waves – Moorea certainly rewards those who manage to roll off the beach for a few hours!
Maui has many ideal snorkel spots, but for something completely different don your gear and sail on the luxury catamaran Kai Kanani to Molokini Crater—a tiny, volcanic crescent off the island's southernmost shore. A State Marine Life & Bird Conservation District, it is home to dolphins, manta rays, turtles, and dozens of varieties of insanely colorful tropical fish.