Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paul Gauguin Cruises: Voyages to the Soul of the South Seas

The intimate, luxury ship was created to explore the irresistible islands of French Polynesia

m/s Paul Gauguin
Have your ever pictured your honeymoon sailing around the the islands of French Polynesia? Scattered like emeralds across the turquoise waters of the South Pacific, the islands and atolls of French Polynesia are unmatched in their allure. Here await sun-kissed beaches, lush rain forests, and barrier reefs teeming with Technicolor sea life, as well as intriguing cultures immortalized by novelist James Michener, songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein, and artist Paul Gauguin. The m/s Paul Gauguin takes its name from the French painter who spent the last years of his life in Tahiti. The intimate 332-guest vessel was specifically designed to cruise the South Pacific and sails these storied isles year-round, navigating shallow waters as nimbly as a yacht.
The ship's informal ambience reflects the relaxed nature of the region. A much-loved troupe known as the Gauguines - Tahitians who serve as staff, entertainers and storytellers - add a uniquely South Pacific touch to life on board. Best of all, The Gauguin offers an all-inclusive experience, with airfare from Los Angeles, gratuities, 24-hour room service, bottled water, soft drinks, and select wines and spirits all included in the cruise fare.

m/s Paul Gaugion Stateroom
All suites and staterooms feature ocean views, and nearly 70 percent have private balconies. Guests who book category B suites or higher receive in-suite bar service, an iPod® music system, and the service of a butler who can unpack your bags, make appointments for you at the spa, or arrange a private car or lunch reservation in port.

A crew-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.5 ensures the highest level of personal attention. The maitre d' will remember your favorite table, and your stateroom stewardess will fill your fruit basket with the ripe fruits you prefer.

The exclusive treatment continues ashore. Guests enjoy a day on the cruise line's private isle, Motu Mahana, complete with snorkeling, full bar service, and a barbecue with Polynesian entertainment. The ship also features a retractable watersports marina from which you can kayak or windsurf. Or set out in the Zodiac for an optional diving excursion; The Gauguin is the only luxury ship in French Polynesia to offer PADI certification onboard.

In 2012, Paris Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, Chef PropriƩtaire of the world-renowned, two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius will continue to create signature dishes and menus to be featured aboard ship. The three dining venues range from elegant traditional to casual al fresco, and all offer open seating.

Nightly entertainment in Le Grand Salon draws upon the traditions of the South Pacific. Listen to the a cappella harmonies of himene - formal Tahitian choral songs - or watch a riveting performance of the otea, a complex line dance accompanied by drums. Singers croon as couples take a spin on the dance floor in La Palette, the observation lounge at the top of the ship, while a casino and piano bar round out the options for evening diversions.

m/s Paul Gauguin
Voyages of seven to 14 nights are available aboard The Gauguin in 2012 and encompass the Society Islands of Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, and the private island of Motu Mahana, as well as select islands in the Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, and Marquesas archipelagos.

The m/s Paul Gauguin has repeatedly won awards for being the Top Rated for Romance in categories for "Best for Couples," 'Top Romantic Ship," "Best Small Ship," and "Best South Pacific Itineraries."
Romance at its finest
Why not consider your first trip as husband and wife on this magnificient ship? Romantic days snorkling, sailing, exploring the South Pacific and Romantic nights dancing on the deck under the stars. Imagine how perfect life would seem!
Contact one of our South Pacific Specialists for more information and on you and your future spouse can plan your luxury honeymoon with m/s Paul Gauguin!  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Love and romance St. Lucia Style!

St. Lucia….From the moment you arrive till the moment you depart, you will experience every level of romance you would expect on your honeymoon or for your destination wedding. With natural landscapes of gorgeous beaches, miles of unspoiled rainforest, the majestic Piton Mountains and natural waterfalls, St. Lucia promises to make your wedding and/or honeymoon one of the most memorable trips of your life.

Having received the "World's Leading Honeymoon Destination" award for 2002-2004, 2006-2009 and St. Lucia has once again received this award for 2010! This is because this island simply put, is one of the most romantic and beautiful islands you'll ever visit. St. Lucia is the sort of island that travelers to the Caribbean dream about--a small, lush tropical gem that is still relatively unknown. St. Lucia is only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, with a shape that is said to resemble either a mango or an avocado.

If you have considered doing a destination wedding, St. Lucia is the perfect location! With many resorts fitting everyone’s budgets, saying “I DO” on this beautiful island will be everything you ever dreamed of. With only a 24 hour residency requirement, all of the necessary original documents to obtain a Special Marriage License, you can be husband and wife before you know it. Choosing your wedding location might be a bit more difficult than getting your marriage license. There are so many unique and spectacular locations for you to exchange or renew your vows, the choices are endless. From saying your vows on the beach at sunset, using the iconic Piton Mountains as a stunning backdrop, or possibly standing in the middle of one of the beautiful botanical gardens on island, the whole experience will keep you wanting to come back year after year to celebrate your anniversaries and even renew your vows.

Depending on what kind of activities you are looking to do while on the island, St. Lucia offers something for everyone. Do you like to hike and rock climb? Well, the famous Pitons, offer some of the best hiking and climbing on the island. The Gros Piton, which is stands at 2,461 foot is a challenge for the experienced climber and will definitely be an amazing climb. Formed by a volcanic eruption some 30 million years ago, The Pitons jet out from the deep blue Caribbean Sea and offer some of the best scenery you could ever imagine. Hike up along the volcano and see the active lava bubble from just yards away. Sit and relax in the warm mineral waters and experience a warm mud bath, which is so therapeutic.

In addition to the Pitons, the island has striking golden-sand beaches, where you can enjoy many activities such as windsurfing, boating, diving and snorkeling. You might even be lucky enough to swim with the turtles, which migrate to the island, or possibly even see the dolphins jumping and having fun. Other favorite activities on the island are horseback riding on the beach, golf, zip lining or taking a canopy tour through the rain forest, walking through the gardens, visiting the many local shops and restaurants, and even experience some of the fun local night spots!

As you can see, the island of St. Lucia will offer you everything you possibly can want. Speak to our St. Lucia Specialist who will guide you through all of your honeymoon and/or destination wedding planning.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hawaiian Romance

All couples have their own honeymoon dream destinations. But ask each one of them to list their top three choices and we can be sure Hawaii will be on that list. That’s because Hawaii and her islands are so diverse, exciting, and breathtaking, they are best experienced together for the first time as husband and wife. Hawaii offers six romantic, beautiful islands. Each of the islands offers various desires all couples are looking for. You can spend the day sharing in adventures from watching the sunrise atop Haleakala in Maui to watching the sunset from the famous Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu. When the day is done, sip champagne while listening to the tide and watching the moon light the ocean. Then the next day, explore the many beaches and waterfalls, visit a winery, hike the magnificent mountains, snorkel with the fish, take a try at surfing or windsurfing. There are so many surprises Hawaii has to offer, you’ll find yourselves wanting to come back again and again. You’ll see why the special moments of your trip to Hawaii become even more memorable when they’re shared together.

When you arrive in Hawaii, one of the islands you might stop at first is Oahu, home to the famous Waikiki Beach, the USS Arizona, and the best surfing in the South Pacific. On Oahu, Hawaii’s beauty blends with the modern luxuries of today. Swim in the warm waters of world-famous Waikiki one moment, then enjoy the dramatic mountain views of the Nuuanu Pali Lookout another. Watch the surfers on the legendary North Shore by day; then dance the night away in exciting nightlife spots around Honolulu. Get a taste of local flavors in Kapahulu one night; then dine at a Five Diamond restaurant the next. With so much to see and do, you’re never far away from just what you’re looking for on Oahu. Visit the Heart of Hawaii and find the island paradise you’ve been searching for.

Next you definitely want to check out Maui! This island certainly stands apart from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. It offers adventure, romance, breathtaking scenery, snorkeling and some of the best beaches found anywhere in the islands. If you have only a week to spend in Hawaii, this is the place.

For such a small island, Maui is packed with “leisurely adventures.” Its landscape is incredibly diverse. It is often known as the Valley Island because of the large valley that extends between two volcanoes, Haleakala and Iao. On the Western side of the island there are acres of rainforest with spectacular waterfalls. The other side of the island offers many resorts, shopping, nightlife and so much more. Offshore, the marine life is the best on earth. The island reef is home to hundreds of species and makes this a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Honeymooning December through April, definitely take a boat ride to see the humpback whales crowd the waters off the southern coast. There are so many beaches to explore. From the white sands in West Maui, to the Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu) to the black sand beaches of Pa’iloa Beach. On the North Shore, Ho’okipa Beach Park is perhaps one of the best places in the world to wind surf, body board or kite surf.

The road to Hana is considered one of the most spectacular drives in all of the Islands. A slow, winding road through a lush paradise, you can go on your own self-guided island tour, at your own pace in a rented car, but be careful, your renter’s insurance might not cover you if you take your car on this route. Our suggestion is to book a tour. The tour will take you to the Hana Ranch, the Seven Sacred Pools; you’ll see the beauty of Haleakala and then stop at the winery.

Once you have explored Maui, take a short flight to the most beautiful island of all, Kauai. This island is the oldest of the four major Hawaiian Islands at more than 6 million years old. Known as “The Garden Island”, the southern and western shores have long, white beaches. There are the majestic, sweeping valleys, such as the Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali Coast and then the famous Fern Grotto, where Elvis filmed “Blue Hawaii”

The most well-known site to visit in Kauai includes the Waimea Canyon and the breathtaking cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. Waimea Canyon, known as “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” stretches 10 miles from Captain James Cook’s famous landing site, in 1778, to Koke’e State Park. This canyon has been the site for a number of movies including Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In fact, more than two dozen Hollywood movies have been filmed on Kauai!

Hiking trails in the park offer unbelievable views of the canyon and lush “forest” environment. The canyon itself is also accessible for hiking, fishing and camping. Kauai’s Na Pali Coast cliffs are pure, rugged beauty, featuring deep, narrow valleys ending sharply at the sea. Waterfalls, swift-flowing streams, and extensive stone-walled terraces remain on the valley bottoms where ancient, native Hawaiians once lived. To see the entire beauty of this island, we highly suggest you do a helicopter ride. You will never experience anything like it in the world. With its hidden waterfalls and canyons, a helicopter ride is the only way to see the beauty Mother Nature has made!

The Big Island of Hawaii offers some of the best natural landscape than any of the other islands/ Home to the most active volcano in the world, Kilauea, you can actually watch the lava flow at Volcanoes National Park in Kilauea. Of course the lava flow depends on the mood of “Madame Pele” who is the Fire Goddess of Hawaii. The best way to see the island and Mother Nature at work is again in a helicopter. The helicopter will take you right up to the edge of the crater for optimum viewing.

Believe it or not, Kilauea is not the tallest volcano, but it is the most active. If you love to hike, then you should definitely visit Mauna Kea. It is the highest point on the island at 13,796 feet above sea level. And, it is higher than 30,000 feet when measured from its rise on the ocean floor–making it one of the tallest mountains in the world from base to summit. Both the neighboring Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea and have some of the clearest air in the world. As a result, more than two dozen of the world’s finest telescopes are located there.

And, for couples wanting a water experience, you can rent a kayak or go on a guided trip. Paddle atop the waves, skirting awesome cliffs and waterfalls, or snorkel and swim in a calm, protected cove — your choice. Perhaps you’ll see a few spinner dolphins as you paddle across Captain Cook monument. Never been in a submarine? Make this a dramatic first as a couple. Imagine exploring brilliant natural coral reefs, sunken ships, and even downed airplanes — all surrounded by sharks, eels, and exotic turtles. This is an experience you will never forget.

So now that we have given you a sense of what Hawaii and her beautiful islands have to offer, give us a call and let our Hawaii experts assist you with all of your planning. We can arrange all of your flights, hotel accommodations, tours, cruising, whatever you need, we’ll be happy to handle this for you.