Entry Requirements For Tahiti

August 19, 2014

All travelers must present a valid passport to board a flight to French PolynesiaYour first and last name on your passport must match your international air tickets. You will also be asked to present your passport to clear “Customs” in French Polynesia and upon return from French Polynesia.

Your passport must be valid for 180 days beyond your return date. U.S. and Canadian citizens only need a valid passport and do not need a VISA to enter French Polynesia. Citizens of all other countries may need a VISA in addition to a valid passport and should consult the nearest French Consulate or French Embassy as early as possible. It can take several weeks to obtain a VISA. It is solely the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that all needed documents are complete and up to date for valid entry into the country.

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Where is Tahiti? Did you know there are 118 islands?

August 19, 2014

Everyone dreams of visiting the islands of Tahiti so lets learn a little bit about this piece of paradise - making your dream of visiting one step closer to a reality!

There are non-stop flights out of LAX to Tahiti.  The main airport is Papeete (ppt).  The flight time is between 7 and 8 hours and is non-stop.  I suggest departing on the red-eye flight, that way you arrive in Papeete early in the morning and can transfer immediately to an outer island.  Otherwise you will need to have a “forced” overnight in Papeete.  The airline of Tahiti is Air Tahiti Nui.

The islands officially known as French Polynesia but widely known as “Tahiti” are actually 118 individual islands located in five island groups: the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Austral and the Gambier archipelago.

The Society Islands are the most popular island group including the main island of Tahiti and its capital city of Papeete, as well as popular vacation islands of Moorea,Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, and Tahaa.

The Tuamotu Islands are known for their outstanding diving and snorkeling including the islands of Manihi, Tikehau, Rangiroa and Fakarava.

The Marquesas Islands are historically significant with their ancient stone tikis, as well as the final resting place of poet Jacque Brel and painter Paul Gauguin.

The Humpback whales enjoy the waters around the Austral Islands between July and November.

You are now 2 steps closer to enjoying your umbrella drink under a palm tree - call me, the Travel Gal for more information and lets begin planning your vacation of a lifetime!

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Travel Tips - Guideline for Money & Phones in Tahiti

December 22, 2012

Whether you are visiting a luxury hideaway like Le Taha’a Resort & Spa or cruising aboard the luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, you do need to bring some $$$ - here is a money guide to assist you.

Money & Currency

Travelers checks, US dollars and credit cards are accepted in tourist areas. The hotels will also exchange money for their guests;
The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc  (CFP or XPF);
There is approximately 100 CFP or XPF to one U.S. dollar, depending on the rate of exchange fluctuations;
Major credit cards are widely accepted;
ATM’s are available in Papeete, Faa’a airport as well as several locations throughout the islands;

Phone Service in Tahiti

Phone cards can be purchased at the local post office. NOTE: 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;

Cell phone service

Cell phone service may be available in Tahiti.  However, check with your provider before departure to check for availability and international rates - NOTE: When you call your carrier, do be sure they are not listing your plan under “France” instead of French Polynesia - it can get expensive - last year AT & T did not have a plan for the islands of Tahiti.

For more information and to assist with your trip to the South Pacific call me, the Travel Gal at

800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Explore the Remote Islands of the South Pacific this Winter

November 13, 2012

Its beginning to feel alot like winter… and now is the time to plan your winter escape. How about cruising around the South Pacific - not on a huge cruise ship - but on a working freighter! I promise, they will not enlist your assistance in working aboard the Aranui freighter, instead you will be exploring the remote islands, deep in the South Pacific, where few Tourists have tread before!

Here is a sample itinerary:

Day 1 - Papeete, Tahiti

Day 2 - Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands

Day 3 - At Sea

Day 4 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Hatiheu-Taipival)

Day 5 - Ua Pou (Hakahau-Hakahetau) Marquesas

Day 6 - Hiva Oa (Atuona)

Day 7 - Fatu Hiva (Omoa-Hanavave)

Day 8 - Hiva oa (Puamau-Hanaiapa)

Day 9 - Tahuata (Vaitahu-Hapatoni)

Day 10 - Ua Huka (Vaipaee-Hane-Hokatu)

Day 11 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 12 - At Sea

Day 13 - Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands

Day 14 - Arrival back in Papeete with a pocketfull of stories at around 9:30am

For more information and to begin planning this fabulous adventure call me, the Travel Gal

at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Order a coffee & chocolate croussant aboard the Aremiti Ferry

November 3, 2012

When I visited the islands of Tahiti my favorite mode of travel was the Aremiti Ferry between the main island of Tahiti and Moorea.

It was a real treat to board the ferry, stop at the coffee bar for a fresh chocolate croussant and strong cup of coffee before climbing the steps to the top deck to bask in the sun for our 30 minute ride to Moorea.

This was not a “Tourist boat”, this is their main form of transportation! We were joined by school children and Mothers shopping at the Market as well as a few Tourists.

Travel to the island of Bora Bora as well as the outer islands is a short airplane ride aboard the domestic airline, Air Tahiti.  It is located at Tahiti Faa’a Airport and is also a laid back and enjoyable experience.  No TSA lines of course!

As the major inter-island airline, Air Tahiti serves 40 islands, including Moorea, with newer, twin-engine, jet-prop aircraft. Flights to the neighboring islands depart from Tahiti Faa’a Airport with frequent daily service between the most visited islands. This is the same airport where the international flights arrive in Papeete (PPT).

When I assist Clients with a trip to Tahiti, I suggest they visit 2 or 3 islands, depending on the length of their vacation.  We organize the Ferry boat and any other inter island transportation needed prior to departing the U.S.

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

to assist with your French Polynesian adventure!

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Traveling to Tahiti - A Guide to the Language

October 30, 2012

Congratulations!  You’re packing your bags and finally the holiday to the islands of Tahiti is becoming a reality!
The Tahitian culture is fascinating - to take a peek inside, here are some words and phrases to guide you on your way - although english is spoken and understood in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, learning a few Tahitian words and phrases is encouraged and appreciated.

It can also be helpful, but not mandatory, to brush up on a few basic French phrases as French and Tahitian are the official languages and both are commonly used.

The Tahitian alphabet contains only thirteen letters.

Tahitian Vowels: a as incare as in may, i as in machineo as in cold, and u as in salute.

Tahitian Consonants: f,h,m,n,p,r,t,v pronounced as in English with the exceptions of theh pronounced sh when preceded by i or followed by o and the r sometimes having a trill sound.

hello, good day, friendly greeting - ia ora na!
goodbye - nana
welcome - maeva
thank you - mauruuru
no problem!, no worries! - aita pe’ape’a
how are you? - eaha te huru?
good! - maita’i
to your health, toast - manuia

Here are a few more for you:

bank - fare moni
church - fare pure
post office - fare rata
hospital - fare ma’i
store - fare toa

For more information on the islands of Tahiti - call me, Teresa your Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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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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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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Aranui III - Cruise on a Freighter thru the South Pacific!

April 6, 2012

The Aranui is a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that operates between Tahiti and the Marquesas.  Experience a 14-day adventure cruise in the French Polynesia, Marquesas islands, begin the journey from Tahiti to Fakarava, Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Rangiroa and back to Papeete.

She offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about two hundred passengers. Passengers will be able to sunbathe on deck, swim in the pool, or enjoy exotic tropical drinks while the Aranui winds her way among the islands of the Marquesas.

The vessel operates under the French flag, and her crew are all Polynesian, primarily Marquesans. To give you an idea of the schedule, please see below (itinerary subject to change):

Itinerary:

Departure from Papeete, Tahiti dock at 10:30am

Day 2 - Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands

Day 3 - At Sea

Day 4 - Ua Pou (Hakahau-Hakahetau) Marquesas

Day 5 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Hatiheu-Taipival)

Day 6 - Hiva Oa (Atuona)

Day 7 - Fatu Hiva (Omoa-Hanavave)

Day 8 - Hiva oa (Puamau-Hanaiapa)

Day 9 - Tahuata (Vaitahu-Hapatoni)

Day 10 - Ua Huka (Vaipaee-Hane-Hokatu), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 11 - Nuku Hiva (Taiohae), Ua Pou (Hakahau)

Day 12 - At Sea

Day 13 - Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands

Day 14 - Arrival back in Papeete at around 9:30am

Facts about the ship:

Facilities aboard the Aranui, include electrical current, telephones and a ship’s boutique.

Meals

All meals are included in the price of carriage. Meals are served in the Aranui’s dining room in an informal setting. Depending on the number of passengers, there will be on or two seatings. There is buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner menus will vary depending on what fresh ingredients are available. Complimentary wine is provided at both lunch and dinner.

For shore excursions, we will provide either a picnic lunch or a delicious meal at a local restaurant.

Please let us know at the time of booking, or no later than three weeks in advance of the sailing date if you need a special, medically prescribed diet.

Clothing

Recommended clothing, luggage and sundries.

Shore Visits and Excursions

Information about excursions and activities available on your voyage.

Weather

The weather in the area is generally divided between the dry season, from March to October, and the wet season, from September to February. You can expect some rain even in the dry season, so we recommend you bring a poncho or other raingear for shore excursions. Temperatures during both seasons will average in the 80’s during the day, and 60’s-70’s in the evening. Temperatures are given in Fahrenheit.

To experience the South Pacific in a more authentic & intimate way,

Contact the Travelgal at Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net or 800 644-6659

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