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Wednesday, March 26 - PAPEETE, TAHITI

Papeete is the center of the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti - an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. A wonderful lagoon of crisp, clear water begs to be snorkeled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax and settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life in this Polynesian paradise.



Fakarava is oblong shaped and has an almost continuous string of reef and motu stretching for 40 km (25 mi) on its eastern edge. It's the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls, located 450 km (280 mi) northeast of Tahiti, and 120 km (75 mi) southeast of Rangiroa. It's renowned for the drift diving in its two passes - Garuae (also spelled Ngarue) in the north near the main town of Rotoava (and the airport) and Tamakohua Pass, 48 km (30 mi) across the lagoon in the south. The tiny village of Tetamanu, situated by the southern pass, was once the capital of the Tuamotus and housed the first church built in the archipelago in 1874. In 2006 the entire atoll was deemed a UNESCO biosphere reserve; to preserve the lagoon no overwater bungalows have been built. Fakarava was "discovered" by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Von Bellingshausen in 1820; some 20 years later missionaries arrived, in the guise of fanatical Catholic priest Honore Laval, and began building churches.

1 Included Shore Excursion

Favkavara Island Self Exploration (Activity Level - Moderate)


Friday, March 28 - DAY AT SEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and catch up with what you've meant to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, catching up on your reading, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring the shore-side.

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The largest of the southern islands, Hiva Oa, the master pillar or final post of the 'Great House' - which represents the Marquesan archipelago in the local mythology - has always been the rival of Nuku Hiva. The island is shaped like a seahorse and has a mountain range running southwest to northeast whose main peaks, Mt. Temetiu and Mt. Feani form a real wall around Atuona. Atuona, a peaceful little port at the head of the Taaoa Bay, also known as Traitors Bay, has emerged from obscurity due to having had the privilege of being at least the resting place of Paul Gauguin and the singer Jacques Brel. The tombs of these famous personalities are on the side of the Calvary cemetery looking out across the bay and are places of great pilgrimage. In the village, the Gauguin Museum displays items related to the painter's stay there at the beginning of the century and has copies of his works.

1 Included Shore Excursion

Mave Mai Traditional Welcome (Activity Level - Minimal)

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A classic golden arc of sugary sand at South Friar's Bay, Carambola is home to the island's most luxurious beach clubs and restaurants. Umbrellas, loungers, and optional water sports abound for those so inclined. Otherwise, St. Kitts has other attractions, including several lovingly preserved plantation great houses, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brimstone Hill Fortress, and a scenic narrow gauge sugarcane railway.

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This snug harbor at the West End of Tortola is the classic Caribbean yacht haven, tucked between the high ground of West End on one side and Frenchman's Cay on the other. It was a notorious den for pirates in the past, who used the high ground to watch for naval ships or potential victims. Check on the progress at Pusser's Landing, the multi-service home of the famous wood-distilled rum and the Painkiller cocktail, which is good even if you're not in pain. You'll find plenty of friendly places to grab a bite, sip a coffee, or enjoy a drink while taking in the sights and sharing stories.

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Tuesday, December 17 - DAY AT SEA


The Iles des Saintes, a tiny cluster of islets off the southern coast of Guadeloupe, is what the doctor ordered if he ordered an unspoiled Caribbean experience. No franchise duty-free, no big hotels, no casinos. It is what much of the Caribbean used to be like. Stroll around the little town of Bourg de Saintes. Shop for authentic French cosmetics from the sidewalk vendors. Grab a seat and a beer and revel in the weather and the pace of the past.

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Thursday, December 19 - FORT-DE-FRANCE, MARTINIQUE

Fort-de-France, Martinique's capital, with its narrow streets and iron grill-worked balconies, brings to mind New Orleans or Nice. This distinctly French island is a full-fledged department of France, with members in parliament and the senate. Naturally, everyone speaks French, as well as a rapid-fire Creole. The island features a varied landscape, from quiet beaches to lush rainforests to the imposing Mont Pelee. Not surprisingly, the shopping in Fort-de-France has a decidedly Gallic flair. Bienvenue to this bit of France in the Caribbean.

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Friday, December 20 - SAINT GEORGES, GRENADA

The island of Grenada rises from the Caribbean in steep, green, volcanic mountains. Sheer cliffs and sandy beaches alternate as you proceed along the coast, and the rainforest interior boasts crater lakes, natural springs, and waterfalls. St. George's, Grenada's capital, has long enjoyed the reputation of being the most picturesque harbor in the Caribbean. Founded by the French in 1732, the town retains many elements of its Gaelic heritage, particularly in the architecture along Market Square and the Esplanade. Since wooden structures were outlawed long ago because of repeated fires, many buildings were constructed out of the brick brought over as ballast in trading ships of old. Quaint buildings line the waterfront, tiny pastel houses stand between lush jungle and sandy beach, and multicolor-roofed bungalows climb up the hillsides. The island's fame is derived from the spices it produces and exports all over the world.


Saturday, December 21 - BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS

Witness the ancient Baobab trees in Queen's Park - the Caribbean's biggest - standing as silent sentinels to the island's vibrant past. Take time to unwind on a peaceful beach, delve into the history of a plantation, encounter majestic sea turtles, and even indulge in a tasting at one of the island's famed rum distilleries.

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