Marshall Islands
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Marshall Islands Scuba Diving Travel and Accommodations



 General Information
Area: 181.4 sq km (70 sq miles).

Population: 50,865 (1999).

Population Density: 280 per sq km.

Capital: Majuro. Population: 29,000 (1994)

Geography: The Marshall Islands consist of two almost parallel chains of atolls and islands and lie west of the International Date Line. Majuro Atoll is 2285km (1428 miles) west of Honolulu, 1624km (1015 miles) east of Guam and 2624 km (1641 miles) southeast of Tokyo. The eastern Ratak (Sunrise) Chain consists of 15 atolls and islands, and the western Ralik (Sunset) Chain consists of 16 atolls and islands. Together these two chains comprise 1152 islands and islets dispersed over more than 1,900,000 sq km (500,000 sq miles) of the central Pacific.

Government: Republic since 1990. Gained self-governing status (in free association with the USA) in 1986. Head of State and Government: President Kessai H Note (since 2000).

Language: Marshallese and English are the official languages.

Religion: Christian, mostly Protestant.

Time: GMT + 12.

Electricity: 110 volts AC, 60 Hz. Plugs are American 2-pin style.

Communications:

Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 692. Outgoing international code: 00. There are international satellite links. In Majuro, dial (625) 3399 or (625) 3355 for the hospital; (625) 3183 for the fire services; (625) 3666 for police; and 411 for general information.

Internet/E-mail: Main ISPs include VPM (website: www.vpm.com) and Ntamar (website: www.ntamar.com). Availabilty and reliability are limited.

Telegram: 24-hour telegram facilities are available in Majuro, near the High School in Rita, and in Ebeye. Opening hours: 0800-1200 and 1300-1700 Monday to Friday.

Postal: US post offices are located in Majuro, Jaluit, Mili and Ebeye. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 1000-1530; Sat 0800-1200.

Press: The English-language newspapers are the Marshall Islands Journal and the Marshall Islands Gazette.
 
 Travel
Air Marshall Islands (CW) provides regular scheduled internal flights to ten of the atolls in the Marshall Islands and has planes available for charter. Flights are available between Honolulu and the Marshall Islands and to Fiji via Kiribati and Tuvalu. Continental Micronesia (CS) stops in Majuro and Kwajalein on its island-hopper service between Guam and Honolulu. Aloha Airlines also runs flights to the islands. Continental Airlines (CO) also offer weekly flights to and from Honolulu and Guam.

International airport: Majuro International Airport (MAJ). There are buses, taxis and hotel transport from the airport to the town.

Departure tax: US$20 on international flights.

SEA: The international port is Majuro. Shipping lines servicing the Marshalls include Matson Lines, Daiwa Lines, Tiger Lines, Nauru Pacific Line and Philippine, Micronesia & Orient Line.
Four government-owned field ships connect the islands within the Marshalls on a regular schedule. Comfortable passenger cabins are available on these ships and arrangements can be made for charter trips. Cruise: Royal Viking Line sometimes calls at Majuro port, but not on a regular basis. Inter-island cruises are available. Boats can be rented from boat rental companies on the islands for sightseeing, diving tours, picnics, game fishing, snorkelling, water-skiing and other boating activities.

ROAD: All the main roads are paved. Driving is on the right. The minimum age is 18. Taxi: Plentiful and cheap. Generally used on a seat-sharing basis. Car hire: These are usually Japanese sedans. Companies include Deluxe Car Rental, Majuro, MH 96960 (tel: (625) 3665; fax: (625) 3663). Documentation: A national driving licence is valid for 30 days.
 
 Entry
  Passport Visa Return Ticket Required
Australian  Yes  Yes  Yes
British  Yes  Yes  Yes
Canadian  Yes  Yes  Yes
Japanese  Yes  Yes  Yes
Other EU  Yes  Yes  Yes
USA  Yes  No  No
 
PASSPORTS: Valid passports are required by all.

VISAS: Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of USA;
(b) nationals of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

Note: Tourist visas are issued on arrival. It may be necessary to obtain a transit visa for the USA first, as flights to the Marshall Islands are via Hawaii or Guam. Contact an airline such as Continental Micronesia or Air Marshall Islands for further information. All visitors require proof of adequate funds and return or onward tickets. Visitors travelling from infected areas and intending to stay for more than 30 days may require a vaccination certificate - see Health section for details.

Additional Visa Information:
http://www.rmiembassyus.org
 
 Misc. Info.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: The Republic of the Marshall Islands customs authorities strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives and indecent publications. Certification from the Quarantine Division is required for importing birds, plants and fruits.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:
The Republic of the Marshall Islands uses U.S. currency. Most hotels and a few restaurants accept VISA and MasterCard.

CRIME INFORMATION:
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a relatively low, but increasing crime rate. Most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms and vehicles. Random acts of vandalism are also on the rise

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health facilities in the Republic of the Marshall Islands are adequate for routine medical problems, but they are available only on Majuro and Ebeye. Majuro has a private clinic and a public hospital. Ebeye has a public hospital. Most outer islands have medical dispensaries. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.

Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Republic of the Marshall Islands is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

Majuro atoll has a paved road, but there are few traffic signs and lights. Drivers should be alert for animals roaming the streets and children darting onto the roads. After heavy rains, some roads experience temporary flooding. Vehicle traffic proceeds at a slow rate, rarely over 25 miles per hour. Since visibility is poor with few streetlights, night driving requires special caution. Drinking and driving is a common practice, especially on the weekends, so drivers should use caution.

 
     
     

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