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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M/S Paul Gauguin offers Luxury and Adventure with their SCUBA Dive Program

September 11, 2011

The Paul Gauguin was built with adventure in mind. There is an amazing Watersports Marina off the back of the ship where all of the watersports equipment is launched. From this marina you will easily be able to access the ocean and come face to face with a colorful parade of marine life, from magnificent parrot fish and clownfish to stately sea turtles. You will be able to hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or embark on a Zodiac for optional diving adventures. Your first dive into crystal-clear waters will spoil you for anything else under the sun-or the seven seas. Also the ship’s small footprint enables it to navigate hidden lagoons that larger ships would never dare to enter.

While cruising the French Polynesia take advantage of the crystal clear water teaming with sealife and learn how to SCUBA Dive! The Paul Gauguin is the only luxury ship in the South Seas to offer PADI certification onboard for novice divers as well as classes at all levels, from snorkeling to advanced scuba diving techniques, supervised by their own staff of PADI dive masters. For the convenience of their guests, all necessary equipment, including an air compressor to refill scuba tanks, is onboard.

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

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Wedding Guide: New Marriage Laws in Tahiti!

September 10, 2011

The islands of French Polynesia are incredibly romantic - the perfect destination for a wedding. Let the Travel Gal and the Paul Gauguin assist you in planning your fantasy destination wedding.  The Gauguin would make a perfect venue for a weeklong reception with friends and family!

A new law just recently passed makes it possible for American and Canadian nationals to now get married in Tahiti! Below are some frequently asked questions about the requirements for a legal Polynesian wedding. For more information and a free destination wedding guide, please contact us at 800 644-6659.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for a Tahitian wedding?
A: Couples must meet these requirements to be legally married in French Polynesia:

Both spouses must be at least 18 years old.
Neither spouse can be currently married.
Spouses must be of the opposite sex.
The couple cannot be related by direct lineage.
The couple cannot be French nationals or residents of France.
The bride and the groom must each choose a witness who must be 18 years of age or older. (If the couple does not have a witness of their own choosing, the mayor’s office can provide one).

Q: Can I get married aboard the ship during my cruise?
A: No. Paul Gauguin Cruises provides wedding receptions but not a legal marriage ceremony. Instead, you and your spouse-to-be, along with your guests and witnesses, must go to city hall in the commune in which you wish to be married and have the mayor (or an appointed representative) perform the ceremony. See below for details and required documentation.

Q: Are any documents required in advance of the ceremony?
A: Yes, the couple must obtain and complete the following documents (available through the Tahiti Tourisme website):
The “Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia” application
A letter signed and dated by both future spouses, addressed to the mayor of the commune chosen for the marriage ceremony
A copy of both spouses’ passports (required for proof of identity)
A certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates, authenticated with an “Apostille” translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate (approved translators can be found on the consulate’s website)
Note: The birth certificates must have been issued less than 6 months prior to the date of the marriage.
A “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” (”Certificat de Celibat”) signed by a lawyer, translated into French, and legalized by the French Consulate (approved lawyers can be found on the consulate’s website)

Proof of residency for both of the future spouses (a utility bill or any bill noting names and physical address will suffice)
Note: A photocopy of the bills is acceptable for both spouses.

Q: Is it possible to have a prenuptial agreement?
A: Yes, prenuptial agreements are optional. If such an agreement is desired, it must be translated into French and authenticated by the French Consulate.

Q: What do I do with all these documents once I gather them?
A: Once the required documentation is gathered, it must be sent to the mayor’s office of the commune in which the couple is getting married. The mayor’s office will then contact the bride and groom to advise them of the approved date and time of the wedding.

Q: What is the timing for sending in the required documentation?
A: Documents must be received at least 45 days prior to the ceremony.

Q: What does a Polynesian wedding ceremony consist of?
A: On the day of the ceremony, the couple, together with their guests and witnesses, go to city hall (Mairie). The mayor (or an appointed representative from the mayor’s office) will perform the ceremony, in the presence of at least two witnesses and in the language chosen by the wedding couple. After the ceremony, the mayor will give the couple a Marriage Certificate. This certificate will be dated and signed by the mayor’s office of the commune in which the marriage takes place. A “romantic ceremony” can be held afterward, if the couple so desires.

Q: Can Paul Gauguin Cruises help me with organizing the wedding?
A: We can help you with your reception and an “exchange of vows” ceremony, but you are responsible for the logistics of your legal wedding. We suggest that you make the necessary arrangements far in advance and that you make plans to spend extra time ashore.

For more wedding information or renewal of vows and other special occasions, contact the Travel Gal

at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net

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Enjoy Exclusive Virtuoso Savings Aboard the Paul Gauguin

June 11, 2010

Paul GauguinFeel the exotic embrace of the islands aboard the Paul Gauguin - Calming winds. Lush landscapes. Exotic ports. The South Pacific is a rare gem indeed. And when you sail to her magnificent islands with Paul Gauguin Cruises, you’ll do so in complete luxury. From French cuisine and inspired performances to our local connections, you’re sure to feel the exotic influence linger in your soul.

Tahiti & the Society Islands
7 Nights • Departs July 24, 31; August 7; September 25; October 23, 2010
Papeete • Raiatea • Taha’a • Bora Bora overnight • Moorea overnight

VIRTUOSO EXCLUSIVE
July 24, 31 & August 7 sailings - $250 shipboard credit per person
September 25 & October 23 sailings - $100 shipboard credit per person

Virtuoso Oceanview fares from $3,145 per person
Includes 2-for-1 airfare from Los Angeles!

Marquesas, Tuamotus & the Society Islands
14 Nights • Departs September 4 & December 4, 2010
Papeete • Fakarava • Hanavave • Atuona • Vaipaee • Tiaohae • Huahine • Bora Bora • Taha’a • Moorea

VIRTUOSO EXCLUSIVE

Enjoy a Virtuoso Voyager Club® shore event in Moorea, welcome reception and onboard host

Virtuoso Oceanview fares from $5,495 per person
Includes complimentary airfare from Los Angeles

Book by June 30, 2010 and enjoy up to a $250 per person shipboard credit on select sailings.

Plus, third person in stateroom sails FREE!

WHAT’S INCLUDED:
• Accommodations aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin
• All shipboard meals
• All shipboard amenities,?activities and entertainment
• All shipboard gratuities
• Complimentary wines, spirits and beverages
• Comprehensive guest?lecturers program
• A state-of-the-art, retractable watersports marina featuring complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking and snorkeling.

For more information & to reserve your stateroom

aboard the Paul Gauguin - call 800 644-6659

Your ‘See the South Pacific Specialist’ at Luxury Hideaways

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Cruising Aboard the Paul Gauguin - Tours & Excursions

December 5, 2009

There are quite a few adventures from which to choose while cruising the South Pacific islands aboard the Paul Gauguin. Here are some of my top favorite adventures:

Aito Off Road Safari - Travel in a four-wheel drive vehicle for a journey inside the volcanic crater that created Moorea.
Catamaran Sail with Snorkel - Explore Moorea’s beauty aboard a catamaran. Ride to Moorea’s northern coast, then on to Cook’s and Opunohu Bays. Upon reaching Opunohu Bay, the captain will drop anchor in the clear blue waters of a coral garden.
Dolphin Watching Expedition - Join Marine Biologist Dr. Michael Poole or his assistant for this eco-tour. With luck, you’ll see schools of spinner dolphins while listening to informative commentary about their remarkable society. Dolphins are found on 95% of the tours, but the engaging narrative and magnificence of Moorea’s coastline ensure a rewarding time. Guests visiting between July and early November may also view humpback whales in their annual mating and calfing rituals.
Coral Gardens Drift Snorkeling - After a short ride by motorboat, walk across an uninhabited motu off the coast, where your guide will lead you as the current carries you through the shallow lagoon on the way back to the boat. You will be delighted to find that this area abounds with a spectacular variety of tropical fish and amazing coral. This shore excursion is available from both Raiatea and Taha’a.
Exploration of Taha’a - You’ll drive via a safari off-road vehicle across one of Taha’a highest mountains. Visit a scenic viewpoint, learn the traditional use of local plants and trees, and learn the tamure, a Tahitian dance. Then tour a local vanilla plantation and a black pearl farm to learn how these treasures are cultured and harvested.
Golf in Paradise at the Moorea Green Pearl -Enjoy magnificent mountain and ocean views while playing this 18-hole championship course. The Nicklaus Design team created the course around the natural beauty of the island. Amateurs and professionals alike will find the Moorea Green Pearl Golf Course to be both challenging and inspirational.
In Paul Gauguin’s Footsteps - Take a walk in the footsteps of Paul Gauguin and explore the museum that bears his name during this scenic tour of Tahiti.
Raiatea Highlights Island Tour - Explore the interior of this picturesque island, climbing the hillside through untouched forests of bamboo, balsa and rosewood. Then pass pearl farms, local agriculture and conclude at the Botanical Garden with a guided nature walk.
Snorkel and Black Pearl Farm - Discover the Motu Pearl Farm, where you’ll learn all about the magnificent black pearl. Continue to a small motu for some snorkeling in the crystal clear lagoon of Taha’a and get acquainted with the myriad of tropical fish there. You’ll also find a small lagoonarium where you can swim with turtles, rays, and fish enclosed in different pools.
Tahiti - Off the Beaten Path - Explore a side of Tahiti not commonly seen by visitors during a scenic off-road journey through this idyllic island. Depart the pier with your guide in an off-road vehicle for the scenic drive through Tahiti’s pristine interior.

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Paul Gauguin now combines Fiji Islands, Cook Islands & Islands of Tahiti all within 2 weeks

September 1, 2009

Paul Gauguin South Pacific Cruise MapThe luxury small cruise ship Paul Gauguin has expanded South Pacific itineraries where it is now possible to cruise from the Fiji Islands, thru the Cook Islands and end in the islands of Tahiti all within 2 weeks!

There is no other ship offering the extensive menu of 38 extraordinary itineraries ranging from 7 to 15 nights, highlighting such exquisite destinations as Tahiti, the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand - spectacular cruises that cater to the tastes of discerning travelers seeking a legendary small ship experience.

Highlights of the 2010 sailing season include:
• Sixteen classic 7-night departures featuring Tahiti and Society Islands;
• Six 10-night and two 9-night voyages of Tuamotus and Society Islands;
• Five 11-night Cook Islands adventures;
• Four 14-night sailings featuring the Marquesas Islands;
• In-depth 13- and 15-night discoveries of Fiji, Tonga and the Cook and Society Islands;
• Two exclusive 14-night cruises featuring New Zealand, Tonga, the Cook and Society Islands;

Since the Paul Gauguin carries a maximum of 332 Guests onboard and is offering outstanding savings, including free airfare on some of the departures, these sailing are a sure bet to sell out. Call us at 800 644-6659 for more details.

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