30 Jul July 30, 2015 by Vision Travel in Cruise, Destinations, Featured Breathe in the fresh pure air. Wade into the cool, calm, blue lagoons. Let the untouched charm of these beautiful Cook Islands capture your spirit and hold your heart. The 15 islands of the Cooks lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the South Pacific, scattered like fragrant frangipani petals floating across 2.2 million square kilometres of a seductive, sensual ocean. Boasting rare beauty, an idyllic climate, warm welcoming people with the widest white smiles and a pace of life unsurpassed for peace: the Cook Islands is an Island Paradise. Southern Group A mix of coral atolls and volcanic islands – a good few of the nine Southern islands of the Cooks could be listed as “must see before I die”. An idyllic climate, stunning scenery, warm-hearted people and a desirable way of life where “hurry” has not been coined, make them irresistible. Bush clad volcanic peaks descend to glistening white sands and the inevitable palm-fringed blue lagoons: The Cook Islands is an Island Paradise. Rarotonga – the main island – and Aitutaki – breathtakingly beautiful – dominate the call of the conch. Northern Group Six of these beautiful Cook Islands lie to the north. Described as “the stuff that dreams are made of”, their remote appeal pulls at the hearts of explorers, adventurers, authors and artists. Each island is unique. Discover the largest atoll, Penrhyn , the intriguing island of Suwarrow with a population of two, Pukapuka with its own language and Manihiki with its treasure trove of black pearls. The palm-fringed pearly white sands framing turquoise lagoons will prove irresistible. Culture The Cook Islands culture is moulded by its Polynesian heritage mixed with a European influence. A melange of magical mystical islands shrouded in legends of romance and piracy, escapades and hidden treasures, all of which have shaped the traditions and customs that give the Cook Island people their own unique identity. Traveling to the Cook Islands One of the very best way to experience the Cook Islands is by cruise. Holland America and Paul Gauguin Cruises both feature some amazing itineraries that explore this idyllic destination.