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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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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Blue Mountains National Park High Country Tour

March 18, 2012

When I have Clients cruising in or out of Sydney, Australia, I always suggest spending 4-6 nights in one of my favorite Sydney luxury hideaways as well as organizing a few day tours for them.  We can set up a private car & driver or a small group tour.  For instance, the Blue Mountain National Park is close by and not to be missed. Below is an example of a Full Day - Small Group Tour:

Departing your city hotel this morning, the tour starts in the historical precinct of the Rocks, the birth place of Sydney and Australia. Heading North, we cross the Harbour Bridge and west towards the historical towns of Windsor and Richmond. Some of Sydney’s earliest history can be found in these quaint villages. We enjoy some beautiful, home made morning tea at the foot of the mountains.

Continuing, we cross the Nepean River at the charming village of Yarramundi where we stop to view a myriad of Native Australian Birds in their natural wetland environment. Not far from here we enter the Blue Mountains National Park and view outstanding Aboriginal Rock Art. Hidden in thick bush land, you will be amazed at the detail of artworks that are thousands of years old. Our steep ascent of the mountains continues as we arrive at Hawkesbury Heights for outstanding views over the Sydney basin.

Next it is on to the town of Blackheath, deep in the heart of the Blue Mountains for a traditional Australian Barbecue under the canopy of the Bush. Enjoy world class food and wine in unique surroundings and experience the plethora of wildlife that surrounds us. After lunch we visit the stunning Wentworth Falls for a short walk to explore the area and the view the stunning scenery. Later we drop into a hidden valley where we roam the area, seeking out the many kangaroos that graze in the wild, before returning to Sydney.

For more informations and ideas (on cruise and land arrangements),

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

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Tahiti Restaurant Recommendations

March 13, 2012

Here are a few of our favorite restaurant suggestions when you travel to French Polynesia:

Bora Bora:  Maikai, Villa Mahana, Kaina Hut, Bounty

Moorea:  La Villa des Sens, Mahogany, Mayflower, Rudy’s, Te Honu Iti, Les Tipaniers.

Tahiti:  Le Coco’s and Le Lotus (located at Tahiti Intercontinental, the overwater restaurant)

Note: I found the islands of Tahiti are a wonderful combination of the South Pacific and Europe - the best of both worlds!

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You are Travel Agent Extrodinaire!

March 11, 2012

Dear Teresa;

Jim and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the wonderful vacation you planned for us. We loved Sugar Beach so much. Loved walking the 2 miles of beach every morning, the Farmers Market across the street, the close proximity to Up Country, Wailea beaches, shopping, etc. Even Kihei was great.

Doing the 2nd week in Lahaina was a brilliant call on your part. Lahaina Shores is such an intimate, homey, relaxed yet sophisticated hotel. Love that place! Our room was perfect. But with that view it wouldn’t have mattered much what the room was like.

Thank you for thinking of the whale watch adventure with Hawaii Ocean Rafting. We carry that memory of seeing them so closely with us still. Makes it a little easier to handle the fact that we’re back in 40 degree rain again.

Paddling with the Lahaina Canoe club was great too. Something I never would have done without your suggestion/encouragment. I worked my tail off, but felt truly exhilerated when we were done. If I lived there I would definitely be a member.

All in all it was really a perfect vacation. We feel so relaxed and rejuvenated (re-connected too). I mean that Teresa, with all my heart.

It was exactly what we hoped for and needed. Thank you so very much. You are travel agent extroidinaire!

Aloha, love and kisses,

Jim & Barb S.

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Travel Gal Returns to the island of Molokai

December 28, 2011

waterfall on MolokaiI am returning to the Hawaiian Island of Molokai after 5 years, this time my Mother and sisters are joining me.  I am planning an “Experience Molokai” on a 4 day excursion.   We will stay at Hotel Molokai (a genuine luxury hideaway) from all things mainstream - which is styled after a Polynesian village and located on Kamiloloa beach.  It is a tiny oceanfront resort complete with a bar and restaurant - by the way, it’s the only place to get draft beer on the island!  The hotel is “community minded” as they offer a Polynesian show every Friday night as well as host a community party once a year - this year its on January 24th - we will be there.

When visiting Molokai you will experience authentic Hawaii with unspoiled coastlines, serene seascapes, untamed wilderness and no building taller then a cocoanut tree.  In the central town of Kaunakakai, absent of traffic lights and virtually unchanged since the early 1900’s.

This charming paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) town is also the island’s main harbor, where some locals still fish for their dinner. Stroll down to Kaunakakai Harbor to the end of the state’s longest pier, extending well past the reef - just you, the local fisherman and the sound of local boats slowly jetting out of the harbor.

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Where are the Tuamotu Atolls?

November 22, 2011

The Tuamotu Atolls located in French Polynesia and are the remnants of ancient collapsed volcanoes and these coral atolls boast some of the most renowned snorkeling and scuba diving on earth. Expert divers refer to the magnificent coral filled lagoon as “God’s Aquarium”. This sheltered lagoon is home to dolphins, rays, and myriad colorful tropical fish. Nearby Fakarava is classified by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve as it is home to black sand beaches, a black pearl farm, and a variety of rare birds and plants.

Rangiroa
Rangiroa (rain-gee-roh-ah) is the largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago, which comprises 78 coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Life on these remote atolls is simple, quiet and peaceful. In the small villages, the visitor can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotus, often participating in the daily activities of the Taumotu people. The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish breeding farms, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Rangiroa, referred to as “The Island of the Long Sky” is the largest atoll in the Southern Hemisphere, the second largest atoll in the world, and heralded as one of the world’s greatest dive destinations. It is an impressive sight viewed from the air with its string of 240 coral islets (motu) encircling a 400 square mile turquoise and jade-green lagoon.

Fakarava
Fakarava (fah-kah-rah-va) is an atoll in the west of the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. It is the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls. Fakarava’s main village is called Rotoava.

Fakarava, “The Island of Dreams,” is the second largest atoll after Rangiroa. It is an untouched world with an ecosystem that is home to rare birds, plants, crustaceans and exceptional dive sites.

It was once the ancient capital of the region and the site of the first Catholic mission in the atolls built of coral in the 1870’s. The environment is so pure that the atoll is being considered for classification as a UNESCO nature reserve for the preservation of rare species.

Scuba diving and snorkle explorations are magical since many dive sites are virtually undiscovered.

If you would like more information or to plan a magical holiday to an amazing tropical island paradise, call us at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net today!

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Travel Tips for a Fabulous Vacation in the islands of Tahiti

October 19, 2011

Are you planning to run away to a deserted island with your true love?  Perhaps a romantic escape to a remote tropical island in the South Pacific? Is Bora Bora or Moorea calling you? Here are a few travel tips to consider while packing your suitcase:

Plan your spending money

Although major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are available in Papeete, Faa’a airport as well as several locations throughout the islands, its a good idea to have cash on hand.

* The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc (CFP or XPF)

* There are approximately 100 CFP or XPF to one U.S. dollar, although actual rates vary

* Travelers checks, US dollars and credit cards are accepted in tourist areas

* The hotels will also exchange money

Phone calls:
* Phone cards can be purchased at the local post office.

* Phone calls from Tahiti to the US are very expensive, so we advise calling your party and then having them call you back.

* Fax services are also available at the hotels.

* Some cell phone service may be available in Tahiti.   Call your provider before departure to check for availability.

Clothing

The islands of Tahiti and French Polynesia are very casual. Pack lightweight, loose-fitting cotton washables. Synthetic fabrics can be too hot and sticky.

* Casual slacks or walking shorts and sport shirts are fine for men at dinner.

* Women wear shorts, skirts or casual slacks during the day and cool dresses at night.

* Bring reef walkers or old sneakers so you don’t cut your feet on the coral.

* Most importantly, be sure to bring a swimsuit, a hat, sunscreen and a backpack for carrying any necessities.

* You may want to pack a light sweater or jacket. You probably won’t use it except maybe on the plane.

Other Important Items to Pack

* Make sure to pack any medications you are taking in your carry on bag. While there are medical facilities, some medicines may not be readily available.

* Pack lots of film since film is more expensive in Tahiti. Each person is allowed to bring 10 rolls through customs.

* You may also want to purchase a disposable underwater camera as the sea life is beautiful. A disposable panorama camera would be fun, too. And make sure to pack an extra battery for your camera or video camera!

* Extra memory cards for digital camera.

* Don’t forget toiletries, sunscreen and insect repellant as these are also expensive to purchase in Tahiti.

* You will want to bring an adapter for any appliances you bring with you. The current is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your location.

For more great tips and assistance with your luxury island getaway,

give us a call at 800 644-6659

or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Internet & Phone Service while on a Fiji Island Vacation

September 27, 2011

I have Clients asking about internet & phone service while vacationing in Fiji. I remind them that once they travel to an island the size of a postage stamp in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where the locals still use smoke signals and loli drums to communicate, their phone card just might not work.

Having said that, I have been told the best internet solution would be to purchase a local pre paid Flashnet from a Vodafone shop at the Nadi Airport or on the mainland. These are relatively inexpensive and the cost is currently from F$39 (plus the recharge cost). Vodafone currently has a shop at the airport, right beside the ANZ bank as you come through the arrivals door.

You may be able to purchase a Flashnet online so that the airport branch will have one ready for you upon arrival into the country, so all you will be required to do is register on collection. The Flashnet can be plugged into your laptop to connect to the Internet and can be used in many places. For further details, you may wish to visit their web site at: www.vodafone.com.fj.

For more information on travel to the Fiji Islands, call 800 644-6659

or email teresa@luxuryhideaways.net

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Small Ship Cruise Options for the Islands of Tahiti

September 21, 2011

Aloha and Ia Orana,
Cruising around the islands of Tahiti for a romantic cruise celebration sounds like a fabulous idea to me! Lets review some small ship cruise options for you:

7 Night Haumana Cruise

A unique experience of discovery in the pristine ocean environment of Rangiroa!  Cruise in luxury in one of 12 well-appointed cabins, with all-inclusive gourmet dining and charming motu picnics. Swim, snorkel, hike, or relax on the deck at sea in this romantic paradise. The 7 night cruise departs from Rangiroa on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The guests fly into Papeete, stay overnight 1 night, then they will be transferred by plane to Rangiroa.

Location: Rangiroa, Tahiti.

Haumana Cruise Amenities:
Air Conditioning, Bar (On upper deck & open all day.), Bathroom Amenities, Boutique, CD Player, DVD Player, Hair Dryer, Housekeeping (Twice daily), In Room Safe, Jacuzzi, Mini-Bar, Television, VCR.

Haumana Cruise Activities:
Dolphin Watch, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Jacuzzi, Jet Skiing (At an additional cost), Kayaking, Nature Excursions (Visit unspoiled motus and virgin reefs), Polynesian Dance Lesson, Snorkeling, Surfing, Vineyard (Dominique Auroy’s Vineyard).

Attractions:
Snorkeling, swimming, authentic island craft demonstrations and performances by local cultural groups.

If you would like to experience the romantic islands in the South Pacific,

Call 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more details

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The Aranui III offers 86 cabins & is an Inter-Island Freighter!

Have you ever longed to hop a freighter to the romantic South Seas? Well, now you can, with Aranui Cruises - a delightful alternative to the more sumptuous cruises in and around Tahiti. The Aranui III is a state-of-the-art freighter that delivers supplies to the Marquesa Islands and also carries passengers.

Inspired by the tales of Herman Melville, Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson, travelers go along to get in touch with the spirit of adventure that lies dormant in us all, and because no other cruise offers such an authentic slice of Polynesian life.

The Aranui III offers 13 to 16 night trips with Saturday departures.

Aranui Amenities:
Air Conditioning, Balcony or Patio, Bathtub, Cocktail Lounge, Gym/Fitness Center, Laundry Service (Washers & Dryers available; No Dry Cleaning), Library, Live Entertainment (Members singing and playing hand craft ukuleses), Refrigerator, Shared Bathroom.

Aranui Activities:
Fishing, Horseback Riding (On Ua Huka Island), Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Surfing, Swimming Pool.

If you would like to experience the romantic islands in the South Pacific,

Call 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more details

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Paul Gauguin Cruise

Named after France’s greatest Post-Impressionist painter, whose work is indelibly linked to Tahiti and Polynesia, the Paul Gauguin is the ideal ship on which to explore the world’s last natural paradise. The ship accomodates 318 passengers and departs out of Papeete. Come experience the ultimate in luxury, service and impeccable cuisine aboard a ship that celebrates the art of living in true Gallic style.

Paul Gauguin Cruise Amenities:
Air Conditioning, Bathrobe, Bathroom Amenities, Bathtub, Beauty Salon, Boutique, Business Center (There are four computers and a printer), Butler Service (In Suites only), CD Player, Concierge, DVD Player, Direct Dial Phone, Dry Cleaning Available, Fax Machine Available (Sent/received through the reception desk), Fruit, Gym/Fitness Center, Gym/Fitness Center, Hair Dryer, Internet Access, Laundry Service, Library (A wide selection of books is available), Medical Services (Doctor & nurse equipped to provide medical care), Mini-Bar, Refrigerator, Room Service, Room Service (24-hour room service), Shower, Spa Services (Carita Spa & Beauty Salon), Television (TV/ VCR), Video Library.

Paul Gauguin Cruise Activities:
Art Gallery (Fare Tahiti Gallery), Casino, Casino, Dance Club (La Palette Lounge, Piano bar & romantic nightclub), Diving, Island Excursions, Kayaking, Kayaking, Night Club (Polynesian performances, dancing, cabaret singer), Outdoor Pool, Scuba Lessons, Snorkeling, Swimming Pool, Water Skiing, Windsurfing.

If you would like to experience the romantic islands in the South Pacific,

Call 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more details

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