Canoe Paddling Olympic Style in Tahiti!

November 9, 2012

The 21st Hawaiki Nui Va’a (or canoe paddle race) is currently underway - it is an intense, three-day outrigger canoe race from Huahine to Raiatea, Raiatea to Taha’a, and finally Taha’a to Bora Bora. To find out more about the history of the Hawaiki Nui Va’a click here,http://bit.ly/PHUNd4

Last year I was in Tahiti at this time - explored the islands and sought out a pathway for a great adventure - following the path of the race.  This is an international event, paddlers arrive from around the world.  If you’re interested you definitely need to plan a year in advance, I’m experiencing the adventure next year! Bring it on!

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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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The Queen Flower of French Polynesia

July 25, 2012

Tiare Tahiti flowerThe “Tiare Tahiti” is the queen of all flowers in the Tahitian islands. It is symbol of all things pure and exotic. This white flower from the Gardenia family graces the air with an intoxicating scent.

As you board Air Tahiti Nui, flight attendants will give you one of these delicate flowers  as a “welcome” to your Polynesian escape. Locals wear the flower behind their ear… A cute story tells that worn behind the left ear, your heart is taken. But worn behind the right ear, it means that your heart is available for love…your exotic South Pacific island adventure begins!

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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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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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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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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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Take Your Sweetie to Tahiti aboard the M/S Paul Gauguin

January 31, 2012

Bora bora beachThe premier luxury small ship in the South Pacific, m/s Paul Gauguin is celebrating Valentines day by offering an exclusive gift package for guests celebrating romance.

From January 30 through February 18, 2012, guests booking any seven-night sailing will receive a special gift package, including Leonidas chocolates, flower turndown service, and a $100 per person credit at the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, compliments of Paul Gauguin Cruises (a $230 value)*.

As with all 2012 sailings aboard The Gauguin, guests also receive 50% off standard cruise fares and FREE airfare from Los Angeles.

There is no place as tranquil and romantic as the picturesque islands of French Polynesia. Designed and decorated to sail the seas of the South Pacific, the cozy 332-passenger ship offers the perfect setting to celebrate love or commemorate a wedding, renewal of vows, anniversary-or simply each other.

Couples can take in the beauty of the South Pacific from the privacy of their suite or stateroom, sway to the sounds of a chanteuse at La Palette Lounge, explore paradise on island excursions, dine al fresco under a starry sky, and enjoy a Polynesian blessing ceremony.

With one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios at sea, The Gauguin is renowned for the extra touches and attention to detail that make every occasion special.

Paul Gauguin Cruises also offers a Gift Registry, where guests celebrating their honeymoon, anniversary, or other milestone event can choose a “wish list” of gifts, ranging from shore excursions to dining and spa options.

**One Valentine’s Day gift package per booking. New bookings on 7-night sailings only.

Please refer to promotion code: Valentine’s Package - call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more details.  Offer expires February 18, 2012. Call for details.

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