Aranui III - Freighter to Paradise!

May 20, 2010

WHITE SAND BEACHExplore French Polynesia’s enchanting Marquesas Islands aboard the new freighter Aranui III. The 85 cabin Aranui III is custom designed with space and comfort in mind, but retains the friendly atmosphere and experienced crew that makes it half way between a modern-day cruise ship and an old island trader.

The ship’s large, family-style dining room offers French and Polynesian cuisine in a casual atmosphere. On board, you can enjoy the swimming pool and gym, cocktails in the two bars, and a library. Special facilities are offered for fishing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. You’ll learn about Marquesan history, culture and art from the guest lecturers.ARANUI

Lifeline for these remote islands, the Aranui III makes monthly 16-day voyages, carrying everything from baguettes to bulldozers, loading copra for the return trip to Papeete. With exhilarating surf landings and fascinating excursions, a cruise aboard the Aranui III offers the rare opportunity to visit islands which remain virtually untouched since the days of the early explorers.

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Life Aboard the Aranui III Freighter

May 19, 2010

The Aranui III is a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that operates between the islands of Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

She offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for fewer than 100 passengers, creating an intimate environment for her guests. Passengers will be able to sunbathe on deck, swim in the pool, or enjoy exotic tropical drinks while the Aranui navigates her way among the islands of the Marquesas.

Vessel Particulars

Length: 104 meters (343 feet)
Draft: 5 meters (15 feet)
Cruising Speed: 15 knots
Capacity: 60-100 passengers
Displacement: 4,000 DWT

The name “Aranui” means “The Great Highway” in Maori, another great Polynesian culture. The first Aranui was purchased from a New Zealand ship owner in 1959. CPTM kept her original name, because it suited her. Serving as a link between the remote Marquesas and the rest of the world, she truly was a “Great Highway” on which cargo and passengers traveled. The original Aranui was too small to meet the needs of the islands as trade increased. CPTM therefore retired her, and purchased a new vessel, which was also named the Aranui.

The current Aranui was originally built as a freighter for the Baltic trades, with unusually thick hull plates because of floating ice often found in that area. She was modified in Germany in 1990, when additional passenger cabins were added.

The ship features a small boutique where various sundries, clothing and souvenirs are available. There are washing machines and dryers aboard. There is also a bar and video room, which has a television, VCR and a small collection of videotapes.

The vessel operates under the French flag, and her crew are all Polynesian, primarily Marquesans.   They are extremely skillfull and very hospitable. It is often their custom to give an impromptu concert in the evenings, both for their own and our passengers pleasure.

For more information contact The Travelgal at 800 644-6659 or

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Maui’s Newest Resort - Honua Kai Resort & Spa Spring Specials

May 18, 2010

kayakHonua Kai Resort & Spa is situated on world-famous Kaanapali North Beach, provides an unparalleled level of service and all the amenities of a luxury resort with expansive one, two, and three bedroom suites. Perhaps the greatest luxury of all is simply the space to spread out. Inside, the feel is that of a luxury Maui vacation home, graciously furnished in exotic wood and polished granite, and tastefully equipped with top of the line appliances. The gourmet kitchens contain everything you need to make a fantastic meal. Or simply make reservations at one of our spectacular restaurants. This is the Hawaii vacation you have always imagined, exactly as you imagined it.

5 night packages - Valid 5/18 - 6/10/10

Maui’s Newest Resort - Honua Kai Resort & SpaOhana Suite Resort View $986 pp
Ohana Suite Partial Ocean View $1,068 pp
Ohana Suite Ocean View $1,153 pp
1 Bedroom Suite Resort View $1,068 pp
1 Bedroom Suite Partial Ocean View $1,236 pp
1 Bedroom Suite Ocean View $1,318 pp

Packages include:

5 Days Alamo Full Size Rental Car - Full Size Car at Compact Prices
5 Nights Suite Accommodations at Honua Kai
Sunshine Helicopters West Maui DLX Tour FX STAR in First Class Seating
$25.00 Nightly Resort Fee not included
All Applicable Taxes

Airfare is NOT included. Competitive coach and first class airfare is available nationwide on Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, Northwest or United Airlines. Prices are per person double occupancy and include all taxes. Not combinable with any other special. Full payment will guarantee fare. Subject to change without notice. Certain conditions and restrictions may apply. Travel must be completed within time periods listed for rates shown. Prices are in U.S. dollars.

Call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or
Your Friend in the Islands!

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Visit Lahaina Court House for a glimpse into the Kingdom of Hawai‘i

May 11, 2010

Kingdom of Hawaii flagAre you planning on a visit to Hawaii? I am sure you will want to experience the beautiful Maui beaches, drive up to Haleakala Crater, watch the World Class Windsurfers practice at Hookipa Beach & cool down with a cup of shave ice.

Please save a few minutes to tour the Lahaina Court & Custom House, located in the heart of Lahaina nestled in between the Banyan Tree and Lahaina Harbor. The Lahaina Court House has served in an official capacity since 1860. The building oversaw the change from Kingdom of Hawai‘i to government by the United States and was once used as a Courtroom, Police Station and jail. Lahaina Courthouse now officially welcomes visitors to West Maui.

The 2nd floor of the Courthouse functions as a Museum, featuring a large wall display box with a real treasure for the people of Hawaii: the 1890s Hawaiian Flag. This is the same flag that flew over the Court & Custom House when Hawai‘i officially became a U.S. Territory.

Arthur Waal Sr., Lahaina’s Assistant Postmaster at the time, was ordered to lower the flag of the Hawaiian Kingdom and raise the Stars & Stripes during a poignant ceremony on August 12, 1898.  Read about his family discovering & returning the flag to us just a few years ago! I am sure it’ll give you “chicken skin” (goose bumps) to contemplate what life was like when the flag you are viewing graced the flagpole & blew in the wind.

Contact the Travel Gal when planning your Hawaiian holiday.

Your Friend in the Islands! or call me at 800 644-6659

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Who is “See The South”

May 10, 2010

island star sailingAloha and mahalo for visiting my website!

My name is Teresa Nelle, I am a Travel Agent with 20 years of experience and I am passionate about assisting my Clients with their travel requests to exotic and unique destinations. I love to travel and when I work with a Client, I feel like I am planning my own personal holiday - its fun and exciting - then I love to hear about how their trip was when they return!

I am the Owner of Luxury Hideaways which is affiliated with Park Avenue Travel, a Virtuoso Agency. I have lived on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii for 20 years so obviously I am a Hawaii Specialist! I love living here and enjoy sharing my “kama’aiana” knowledge with my Clients! I have traveled extensively thru the South Pacific, having visiting the Fiji Islands 5 times as well as Australia & New Zealand. I have also sent many Clients to the Cook Islands, Samoa and as well as the islands of Tahiti.

HAWAII LESSON: Kama’aina is the Hawaiian language word for long-term resident of the Hawaiian Islands. It derives from the words ‘kama’, meaning ‘child’, and ‘aina’, meaning ‘land’.

The South Pacific is at the top of my list of travel destinations. I hope you enjoy visiting this site and do return to keep up with whats new and happening. Please also visit  On both sites you will find happy love letters from my past Clients.  I also have highlighting small ship cruises around the world.

Luxury Hideaways is rated A+ by Better Business Bureau! (the highest rating available) I am also accredited with the Fiji Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Australia Visitors Bureau as well as the Italian Visitors Bureau.

Last year I spent a month in Europe where I fell in love with the city of Rome ItalyRome, enjoyed a private walking tour of all things Rome (which I highly recommend), visited the ancient site of Pompeii with a Tour Guide from the Archeological Society of Pompeii as well as cruised the Mediterranean on a Windstar cruises, (which is a small cruise ship company) and visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre. Feel free to contact me about European travel as I just sent a family to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain where they had their own private balconey in the shade!

My life motto is a wonderful saying by Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

See you in paradise!

Teresa Nelle
Your Friend in the Islands
800 644-6659  -
Fiji Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Australia Visitors Bureau, Italy Visitors Bureau

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Australia - Frequently Asked Questions

May 6, 2010

What clothes should I pack?
Australia is a reasonably casual country, which is reflected in the locals’ attire. To attend a performance at the Sydney Opera House or dine at a fine restaurant, gentlemen may feel more comfortable in a jacket. To be prepared for any weather, use the layer system. Wear a t-shirt, but carry a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket in a daypack so you’re ready for all conditions. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. We provide you with a packing list with your final documentation.

Is it true that there are poisonous jellyfish in the waters around Cairns?
Yes, from about December to March, but there are designated swimming areas which are netted to keep the “stingers” out so that you can swim in the ocean. The Great Barrier Reef Islands are usually not effected, and all hotels have pools.

What regions do you recommend I visit?
Australia has so many experiences to offer, we’ll talk with you about activities you are interested in, your budget, your style of vacation and we can put a really unique and creative itinerary together for you that will cater exactly to the expectations you have. That’s what we are here for!

How far in advance should I book?
As far as possible to avoid disappointment at sought after properties. A minor deposit will allow us to confirm services and hold your reservation until final payment is due. We’ll supply complete Terms and Conditions with your Quotation.

What is the weather like; when should I travel?
Australia, which is as large as the continental US, has milder temperature extremes. The seasons are reversed so the northern Tropics are hot and rainy from December through February and the southern areas are cool, though rarely snowy, from July through September. Mildest months for all round travel are March and April, and October and November.

What documentation do I need for Australia?
To return to the US you need a valid passport. To enter Australia you need a passport valid for at least six months after the date of your departure. To enter Australia you need an ETA, which we can usually issue for you over the phone in five minutes, if you are a US citizen. When you book, we’ll fax you a Personal Information form to fill out which will ask you for all the details we need to issue your Australian visa. Getting a passport is your own responsibility.

How long should I spend in Australia?
Most people find that 2 weeks is the right amount of time to visit 3 regions. If you have more time, you’ll see more.

Will I lose a day?
On the way to Australia you’ll skip a day on the calendar when you cross the dateline, but the reverse happens on the way back so you really haven’t lost anything. Here’s how it works: If you leave the US on a Monday evening, you’ll arrive in Australia on Wednesday morning. If you leave Australia on a Monday you’ll arrive back in the US on Monday, the same day.

How long is the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney?
14 hours non-stop, or, as we like to say: Two good meals you don’t have to cook yourself, all the Australian wines and liqueurs you care for, and unlimited free movies. Seriously, by the time you have cocktails, eat, relax with a book or a movie, sleep and eat again; you’re there. Your vacation starts at take off.

How much does a trip to Australia cost?
That’s about as difficult as answering how much your house remodel will cost-it all depends on what you plan to do. Call us and we can work on a vacation to fit your budget/lifestyle.

If you would like to take a trip Down under to Australia
Call Me at 1-800-644-6659
Your See the South Pacific Specialist at Luxury Hideaways

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