You did such a wonderful job and made our trip worry free. You are terrrrrrrific!

April 28, 2012

maori dancersHi Teresa
Yes yes yes! Our trip was all fabulous and even more than we expected! Auckland was great. Our tours were terrific! When we arrived we took a ferry to Devinport. It was such a lovely quaint town. In Rotorua the Springs was beautiful. We went to the Polanesia Spa and were pampered all day

Our cruise was wonderful. New Zealand is absolutely beautiful. We took so many pictures and had some enlarged and framed.

We saw our friends in Melbourne and had an Australian Barbie.

Sydney was really my dream. I had to touch the walls of the Opera House, to realize that I was truly there.  Our stop in Tasmania completed the dream of kangaroos and koalas.

We did so much and the time went so fast that we hardly believed it was time to come home.

You did such a wonderful job and made our trip worry free.  Absolutely everyone and everything was on time and perfectly planned.  You are terrrrrrrific!

Love ya
Mary Ann and Armand

[Read more]

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“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” - James Michener

April 28, 2012


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Polynesia’s best-kept secrets…Huahine is a Garden of Eden

April 27, 2012

One of the most picturesque and geographically diverse islands in the Society Group, enclosed in a single lagoon, it covers 75 square miles. Huahine (who-wah-hee-nay) is located 109 miles northwest of Papeete. The highest point on the island, Mt. Turi, reaches 2,200 feet and is located on Huahine Nui. Mt. Tavaiura in the Fitii Peninsula looks like a women’s face, leading to her chest and her round belly, hence one of the interpretation for Huahine’s original name (pregnant woman).

A deep, crystal-clear lagoon surrounds the two islands while magnificent bays and white-sand beaches add drama and solitude to their virtues. Relatively unchanged by the modern world, Huahine offers a slower taste of old Polynesia.

Probably one of Polynesia’s best-kept secrets…Huahine is a “Garden of Eden” with lush forests, an untamed landscape and quaint villages. It is relatively unchanged by the modern world. The island’s fertile soil provides bountiful harvests of a variety of melons as well as other fruits and vegetables. It is located approximately 105 miles northwest of the island of Tahiti.

Another unique thing about this island is the wooden boxes alongside the road that look like a newspaper delivery box. Very French in culture, these islanders have delicious-looking French baguettes delivered twice daily to residents and put in this box.

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m/s Paul Gauguin 7 Night Itinerary Around French Polynesia

April 27, 2012

The small, luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin offers 7 night cruises around the islands of Tahiti. Below is a sample itinerary. One of the benefits of cruising is that when you spend 1 day on an island, you will know if you’ll want to come back for a week.

Day 1: Embark m/s Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti - mid afternoon - set sail in the evening

Begin your journey to a paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands. Here you’ll embark Paul Gauguin. This luxurious yet casual, ultra-deluxe vessel will be your home for the next week. With an endless choice of things to do, from relaxing poolside with a book to playing the slots in the casino, you will never be bored.

Day 2: Raiatea 11:00am - 6:00pm

You will have the day to explore the island that was once the cultural, religious, royal and political heart of Polynesia, and, according to legend, and lore, as well as Tahiti’s most significant archeological sites.

Day 3: Taha’a (Motu Mahana) 9:00am - 5:00pm

Motu Mahana, an islet adjacent to Taha’a, is our very own South Seas paradise featuring white sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters and gentle breezes. As an exclusive Paul Gauguin event, guests will spend a full day exploring this idyllic, isolated island, and relaxing with a delicious barbecue lunch and Polynesian entertainment featuring strolling musicians and singers.

Day 4: Bora Bora 8:00am overnight

Immediately recognizable by the basalt tombstone of Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean, this half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or “firstborn,” because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea.

Day 5: Bora Bora Depart 5:00pm

Explore more of this magical isle on your own or on a choice of optional shore excursions. Choose from several, like a jitney tour on “Le Truck,” or a 4-wheel-drive safari, or a glass-bottom boat ride. We will set sail before dinner, enjoying a relaxing evening on board.

Day 6: Moorea 8:00am - overnight

Covered in an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons and palm-fringed beaches - Moorea’s awesome beauty is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples - said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia. An overnight here affords us two full days on Bora Bora’s gorgeous sister island.

Day 7: Moorea depart 7:30pm

Explore more of this peaceful oasis. Perhaps you will choose to trek on the “Trails of the Ancients” or snorkel one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. At the end of the afternoon, we cruise to our home port in Papeete, docking for the night.

Day 8: Disembark Papeete 8:00am - Maururu - thank you for visiting these beautiful islands!

Life aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin:

Watersports Marina - Watersports are a highlight of the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ experience. The ships’ small size allow for them to navigate in shallow lagoons and narrow channels where larger ships may not sail. On the m/s Paul Gauguin,with the specially designed retractable watersports platform, guests may descend to sea level where they can conveniently hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or set out for a SCUBA diving expedition. A SCUBA certification program is offered on The Gauguin.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program: Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to the belief that the survival of the world’s oceans depends on capturing the imagination at a young age. In order to ensure that conservation remains a priority among future generations, he created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program under the auspices of the Ocean Futures Society.

Some of the benefits and features of this luxury cruise:

  • Spacious, all-oceanview suites and staterooms
  • Complimentary beverages incl. select wines
  • All onboard gratuities included
  • Complimentary select spirits & soft drinks
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • Watersports Marina
  • Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program
For more information, special pricing and upgrades contact the Travel Gal
at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Where is the Luxury Expedition Ship - the Clipper Odyssey?

April 27, 2012

Over the years I have received many calls looking for the 110 passenger luxury small ship Clipper Odyssey i.e. where is it sailing, what is it doing and which company is it attached to these days.  Great news - the Clipper Odyssey is with Zeagrahm Expeditions sailing amazing itineraries to remote islands around the world.

Zeagrahm Expedition trips are both educational and environmentally-focused, and are led by top experts in their respective fields. Zeagrahm strives assemble the “ultimate dream team” for the destination: marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, botanists, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and dive masters. Zegrahm field leaders are well-known throughout the world; many of them are published writers, authors, and photographers.

Clipper Odyssey is one of the finest adventure ships afloat, carrying a maximum of 110-passengers, this luxury expedition vessel is ideally suited for cruising in off-the-beaten-path locales.

Clipper Odyssey Upcoming Expeditions:

For more information on any of these amazing adventures, contact the Travel Gal at
800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Explore Papua New Guinea, Yap & Palau in 2013!

April 27, 2012

Its time to broaden your horizons, lose the laptop, turn off the cell phone, embrace your inner explorer and set sail for the remote islands of the South Pacific.  Cruise aboard Zegrahm Expeditions Explorer Ship, the Clipper Odyssey April 16-May 2, 2013.

Visit this far frontier of the western South Pacific-including the outer islands of Papua New Guinea, Yap and Palau where you will embrace authentic, traditional cultures on exotic tropical islands.

This 17-day South Pacific tour will astonish you with diverse landscapes, from soaring volcanic peaks to submerged craters teeming with kaleidoscopic fish, and offers unique encounters with native Melanesian and Micronesian people and their exuberant ritualistic hospitality.

During your South Pacific adventure, one of the highlights will be touring the island of Yap where you will experience everything from a war canoe greeting to energetic native dances to rhythmic drumming and curious schoolchildren - a photographers heaven!

Throughout your South Pacific expedition, you will have the opportunity to hike through tropical foliage in search of endemic birds, enjoy leisurely strolls along warm sandy beaches, and snorkel and scuba dive nearly every day among fringing coral reefs populated by more than 1,400 fish species.

South Pacific expedition highlights:

  • Watch energetic dance performances by the Trobriand and Yap islanders, as well as the Baining tribe’s dramatic fire-dance during the Yap tour and other island visits.
  • Hike lush jungles, stroll beaches brushed by palm fronds, view smoking volcanoes, and cruise by Zodiac along remote shorelines as part of your South Pacific adventure travels.
  • View spinner dolphins and sea turtles at sea and monitor lizards and flying foxes ashore.
  • Snorkel or dive amongst neon damsels, parrotfish, wrasses, and giant tridacna clams.
  • Look for magnificent frigate birds, white-bellied sea eagles, and sulphur-crested cockatoos.

Zegrahm Expeditions is an all inclusive South Pacific Expedition, including:

  • All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides
  • All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel nights
  • Welcome dinner and orientation briefing to get to know one another and get a good sense of what’s to come during your South Pacific adventure travels
  • Daily activity options, from snorkeling and diving among vibrantly hued marine life to exploring remote islands and visiting with local schoolchildren
  • World-class lecture and South Pacific expedition team
  • All meals onboard and with the group ashore
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • All transfers on the group arrival and departure days
  • Gift certificates for recommended South Pacific expedition gear and reading materials
  • Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your South Pacific and Yap expedition, with everything from currency information and weather to shipboard amenities and a packing list
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
For more information, costing and details, contact the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659
or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Tahiti - Interesting facts about these Islands in the Sun

April 27, 2012

1. There are 13 letters in the Tahitian alphabet;

2. Tahitian and French are the language of the islands however, English is widely spoken on most of the islands;

3. Most Polynesians believe the mythical island of Hawaiki, today known as Raiatea, rose from the bottom of the ocean and was the beginning of all life on Earth.

4. There are 118 islands and atolls spread out over five archipelagos.

5. The Islands of Tahiti is the only country in the world to have a winery, Vin du Tahiti, on a coral atoll.

6. On the island of Fakarava there is a church called Jean de la Croix made completely of coral.

7. The tattoo originated in French Polynesia;

8. The overwater bungalow (or fare) was invented in Tahiti 45 years ago;

9. What is commonly known as “Tahiti” or “The Islands of Tahiti” is officially categorized as an Overseas Country of France, with its own government overseeing all international decisions on behalf of French Polynesia;

10.The rare tiare apetahi flower can only be found in one place in the entire world, on a mountain peak on the sacred island of Raiatea;

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Hawaiian word of the day “A Hui Hou”(ah who-ee ho)- Until we meet again…

April 24, 2012


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Tui Tai Adventure Cruise & Dive Boat

April 22, 2012

For the trip of a lifetime, join Tui Tai Adventure Cruises and;

  • Visit remote beaches
  • Snorkel incredible reefs
  • Kayak to local villages
  • Flexibility in cruise experience
  • Catering to your every wish
  • Luxury appointments
  • Much more…..
Tui Tai Fij Cruise

Fiji’s only Luxury Adventure Class Cruise Vessel - Yacht Cruising At It’s Best.

Tui Tai, brings you the premier adventure cruise experience in the South Pacific. Designed for active travelers looking for the ultimate active style of Fiji Vacation, the Tuitai will take you sea kayaking through remote island atolls, whitewater rafting amidst lush rainforest canyons, snorkeling pristine reefs and immersing yourself in Fiji’s island culture.

How does the Tui Tai define adventure? [Read more]

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Christmas in Tahiti - It is possible & affordable!

April 19, 2012

Paul Gauguin Christmas Cruise - Save 50% off PLUS Free Air from LAX for the first 2 guests in a stateroom. Below is a sample itinerary that is offered on most sailings year around.  However, Gauguin does not offer this incredible discount very often.

Check out this itinerary:

21/Dec 12  LAX - Papeete depart 11:30pm arrive 6:05am

22/Dec 12  Meet/greet and transfer to pre-cruise hotel

22/Dec 12  Dayroom reserved

22/Dec 12  Transfer to Paul Gauguin

22/Dec 12  Embark Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti -  Mid afternoon - set sail 11:45pm

23/Dec 12 Raiatea - 11:00am to 6:00pm

24/Dec 12  Taha’a (Motu Mahana) - 9:00am - 5:00pm

25/Dec 12 Bora Bora 8:00am overnight - Merry Christmas!

26/Dec 12 Bora Bora Depart 5:00pm

27/Dec 12 Moorea 8:00am - overnight

28/Dec 12 Moorea depart 7:30pm

29/Dec 12 Disembark Papeete 8:00am

29/Dec 12 - Transfer to post cruise dayroom

29/Dec 12 - Transfer to airport

29/Dec 12  Papeete - LAX depart 11:50pm arrive 10:00am 30/Dec

Some of the benefits and features of this luxury cruise:

  • Spacious, all-oceanview suites and staterooms
  • Complimentary beverages incl. select wines
  • All onboard gratuities included
  • Complimentary select spirits & soft drinks
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • Watersports Marina
  • Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program

Watersports Marina: Watersports are a highlight of the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ experience. The ships’ small size allow for them to navigate in shallow lagoons and narrow channels where larger ships may not sail. On the m/s Paul Gauguin, with the specially designed retractable watersports platform, guests may descend to sea level where they can conveniently hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or set out for a SCUBA diving expedition. A SCUBA certification program is offered on The Gauguin.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program: Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to the belief that the survival of the world’s oceans depends on capturing the imagination at a young age. In order to ensure that conservation remains a priority among future generations, he created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program under the auspices of the Ocean Futures Society.

Reserve thru Park Avenue Travel/Luxury Hideaways and also receive an additional 5% off PLUS $100.00 per person shipboard credit for select cruises.

Contact the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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