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Following Captain Cook: The Cook Islands & Society Islands

Program Number: 19387RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/13/2013 - 3/28/2013;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Pacific Islands/Cook Islands/French Polynesia
Price starting at: $7,622.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 42; 14 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 14 Dinners    

Discover two Polynesian countries on this luxury cruise in the South Pacific. From the alluring islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Huahine to the atoll of Aitutaki and beauty of Rarotonga, compare and contrast island life and culture of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.




Activity Particulars

Walking 1-2 miles per day on field trips; some uneven terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Tahiti, 3 nights; aboard MS Paul Gauguin, 11 nights — Huahine, Aitutaki (Cook Islands), Rarotonga, Bora Bora (French Polynesia), Tahaa, Moorea, Tahiti.



Coordinated by Hawaii Pacific University.



Days 1-4:
Arrival Tahiti (French Polynesia) / embark MS Paul Gauguin:

Expert lectures and a visit to the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands give you a geographic and oceanographic explanation of the islands and an overview of its history. Explore the island, including interesting natural formations like Arahoho Blowhole and Faaurumai Waterfall.
Lodging: Comfortable beach hotel.



Day 5:
Huahine:

On an expert-led shore excursion find this island’s wealth of Polynesian archeological sites and learn about its agriculture at its melon fields and a coconut plantation.



Days 6-7:
At Sea / Aitutaki (Cook Islands):

Arrive in the Cook Islands and explore Aitutaki’s large, beautiful lagoon, sailing among palm-clad islets and snorkeling at a marine reserve.



Day 8:
Rarotonga:

Go ashore at Avarua, capital of the Cook Islands, to learn about this small country’s government and commerce. Journey along the ancient road to Avatiu Valley and meet local Cook Islands Maori.



Days 9-11:
At Sea / Bora Bora (French Polynesia):

Experience this idyllic island for two days, taking advantage of the opportunity to snorkel in its spectacular lagoon, learning about its role as an American military supply base in World War II and picnicking on a motu (reef islet).



Day 12:
Tahaa:

Visit a vanilla farm and a private family pearl farm to see pearl cultivation firsthand. Spend the afternoon on the isolated islet of Motu Mahana and enjoy a barbecue lunch.



Days 13-14:
Moorea:

Embark on a small boat for a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their natural habitat. Visit University of California’s South Pacific Research Station.



Days 15-16:
Tahiti / disembark / overnight flight to the U.S.A.




MS Paul Gauguin

The Paul Gauguin was designed specifically to sail the shallow seas of Tahiti and French Polynesia, visiting small ports that larger ships can't reach and effortlessly blending into the environment. Spacious suites and staterooms, an onboard water sports marina, a choice of three open-seating dining venues and a spa are among its attributes.


Meals and Lodgings
   Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel
  Tahiti, French Polynesia 3 nights
   MS Paul Gauguin
  Tahiti, French Polynesia
Huahine, French Polynesia
At Sea, French Polynesia
Aitutaki, Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Cook Islands
At Sea, French Polynesia
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Tahaa, French Polynesia
Moorea, French Polynesia
11 nights
 Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated just 15 km south of Faa International Airport, Le Méridien Tahiti overlooks beautiful white sand beaches, calming blue waves, and majestic mountains. Located along a lagoon, the resort has an exceptional view of the island of Moorea and offers 138 garden and lagoon view rooms and 12- over water bungalows. Rooms offer vivid colors with Polynesian flair. Additionally, there’s a vibrant international arts scene occuring at Le Méridien Tahiti. L’Atelier, its onsite art space, features contemporary artists from across French Polynesia and the world. Unlike most galleries, L’Atelier draws creative guests with exhibitions as well as with artists themselves. Its loft is an inviting setting for lectures, art workshops, and openings where guests will find fresh opportunities to peruse contemporary art. Guests are free to observe artists at work and/or enroll in an art class with the visiting artist (a fee applies).
  Contact info: P.O. Box 380595
97718 Tamanu, Tahiti,   French Polynesia
phone: +011- (689) 470707
web: www.lemeridientahiti.com
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, direct dial phone, safe, satellite television, WIFI (for a fee), minibar, refrigerator, and coffee-make. Bathrooms feature a separate bathtub and walk-in shower and hair dryer. Terraces are available in all rooms.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a (2) restaurants- La Plantation offering a mix of Polynesiand and international flavors buffet-style or ala carte, and the gourmet restaurant Le Carre, located right by the lagoon. Live music and cocktails are available at the Astroblabe bar and casual drinks can be found at the Pool Bar. Le Meridien Tahiti also provides complimentary use of its sandy bottom swimming pool (largest in the South Pacific), kayaks and outrigger canoes, aqua gym classes, tennis courts, beach volleyball court, and ping pong. Meeting rooms and business facilities are also available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: See "Addtl Nights Comments" A special group rate will be honored 7 days prior and 10 days after the “main program dates”, based on space availability. Participants will pay directly to the hotel for these accommodations and need a credit card for the guarantee. To book, contact Le Méridien Hotel Reservations Department Contact : Nathalie Merehau Tél : 47 07 29 -Fax : 47 07 28 E-mail : rez@lemeridien-tahiti.pf Participants must reference Road Scholar to receive special rates
  Check in time: 1:00 PM

 MS Paul Gauguin
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Most luxurious ship to sail in Tahiti on a year-round basis with a capacity of only 332 guests onboard. Designed specifically to sail the shallow seas of the South Pacific, visiting small ports that larger ships cannot reach Crew to guest ratio of 1 to 1.5 All oceanview accommodations, nearly 70% with balconies Space to guest ratio of nearly 58 to 1, one of the highest of any ship serving the North American market “Highest-Ranked Small Luxury Cruise Ship” -Condé Nast Traveler, Readers’ Poll (2008)
  Ship Information: Overall Length: 513 feet (156.5 meters) Beam (width): 71 feet (21.6 meters) Draft: 16.9 feet (5.15 meters) Passengers: 332 Officers: Crew: 217 International Passenger Decks: 7 Shipyard: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint Nazaire, France Gross Tonnage: 19,200 Cruising Speed: 18 knots Ship's Registry: Bahamas Propulsion System: Diesel Electric
  Contact info: 11100 Main Street, Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98004 USA
phone: 800-848-6172
web: www.pgcruises.com
  Room amenities: All oceanview staterooms feature temperature control, queen-size bed (a limited number can have twin-bed configuration) bathroom with full –size bathtub and shower, bathrobes, slippers, hair dryer, TV, CD/DVD player, personal safe, and a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, bottled water and beer. Luxurious bathrobes and cotton slippersare also provided in each bathroom as well as luxury beauty products that include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and bath gel. Complimentary in-room movie channels and movies available. The standard electrical voltage aboard ship is 220 volts. In the bathrooms, you will find a 110-volt AC outlet to accommodate most U.S. standard shavers. There are both 220-volt and 110-volt AC outlets in the suite/stateroom beside the dressing table mirror. For safety reasons, travel irons are not permitted onboard. Guests can make telephone calls directly from their suite or stateroom. Fax messages are received and sent through the reception desk. There are nine computers and a printer. Internet and Wireless access is available. Paul Gauguin Cruises has an advanced cellular network installed onboard allowing guests to place and receive calls using their personal mobile phones when the ship is in international waters. In order to take advantage of this service guests’ mobile phone must be able to roam internationally and their provider must have a roaming agreement with Maritime Communications Partner AS (MCP). A list of roaming partners can be found online at www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/roa_xwmc.shtml. Not all prepaid phones are supported. BlackBerry’s and other mobile data services may continue to receive messages while roaming on the ship’s network. For questions about services or about pricing and billing, guests should contact their mobile phone provider’s customer service department prior to sailing. There are no charges from Paul Gauguin Cruises for this service.
  Facility amenities: Two elegant restaurants and one pool-side grill, all with open-seating dining. Complimentary in-room dining and Complimentary 24-hour room service. A choice of 3 dining options: 1) L'Etoile - international a la carte menu 2) La Veranda - indoor/outdoor breakfast and lunch as well as reservations-only French bistro for dinner. 3) Le Grill - casual al fresco poolside dining, serving breakfast, lunch and South Pacific-inspired cuisine for dinner. Complimentary beverages including fine wines and premium spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, coffee and tea served throughout the ship. Well-being and vegetarian selections and special dietetic menus upon request WiFi hotspots are available throughout the ship. Yes, there is an Internet café with terminals or guests can bring their own laptop. Time plans for purchase: 250 minutes for $62.50, 100 minutes for $35, .55 per minutes pay as you go. All rates subject to availability Onboard laundry and valet services, including pressing and dry cleaning, are available with charge and may be arranged through your stewardess for same-day service. Prices range from a Tshirt @ $2.00 to a ladies dress @ $8.50 The Medical Center is designed to provide medical care for temporary illnesses and accidents. The ship’s licensed and registered doctor and nurse are on 24-hour call for professional and emergency services, which are available at customary charges Onboard fitness center includes a lap pull-down, seated rowing machine, ellipticals, treadmills, a stair climber, recumbent bicycle, upright bicycle, and free weights with bench Onboard state-of-the-art retractable Watersports Marina for complimentary kayaking, windsurfing and waterskiing, optional PADI dive program and certification Luxurious Spa and Salon with a wide array of services. Steamroom, Massage, aromatherapy, thalassotherapy are also available. La Boutique Gift shop Outdoor swimming pool and pool bar Reading Gallery & DVD Library
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Afternoon flight to Papeete, Tahiti and late evening arrival. Orientation after breakfast at 10:30 am the following morning at Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel. You will be staying at Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Arrival in Los Angeles after overnight flight from Papeete, Tahiti. There will be a Farewell Dinner at Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel, Papeete, Tahiti before heading to the airport the evening before. You will be staying at MS Paul Gauguin the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Paul Gauguins' Guest Registration Form is required. A photocopy of your passport picture/information pages must be sent to the Program Provider.
  Parking availability:
Free; however, there is limited time to rent a car prior to embarking the vessel.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Tahiti does not have a train system; there is a bus system in Tahiti but generally is used to go around the island and does not accommodate luggage easily. For more information, please check out www.tahititourisme.com
To Start of Program
  Location:  Tahiti
  Nearest city or town:  Papeete
  Nearest airport:  Tahiti Faaa International Airport
  Transportation to site: Tahiti does not have a train system; there is a bus system in Tahiti but generally is used to go around the island and does not accommodate luggage easily. Taxi cabs are readily available outside Tahiti airport. For more information, please visit www.tahititourisme.com
  From End of Program
  Location:  Arrive Los Angeles
  Transportation from site: Although the last night of the program is spent aboard the MS Paul Gauguin, the entire group will transfer from the ship to Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel where day rooms will be available. The concierge at Le Meridien Tahiti can assist with arranging transportation to the airport from the hotel.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Flight to Tahiti/Arrive Papeete/Hotel Check In
(Wednesday, March 13)
   
 Afternoon: US afternoon flights for Tahiti, French Polynesia A snack or meal is typically included on board flight; however subject to change dependent on airline changes.
 Evening: Arrive Papeete, Tahiti. Transfer to hotel and check in.
   
Accommodations: Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel

Day 2: Introductions & Orientation/Intro to French Polynesia/Museum of Tahiti and her Islands
(Thursday, March 14)

Note: Some walking on level ground.



   
 Breakfast: International Buffet Breakfast - Restaurant La Plantation, ground level.
 Morning: Introductions and Orientation to French Polynesia Class: Introduction to French Polynesia
 Lunch: Restaurant La Plantation
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Visit to the Musee de Tahiti et des Iles (Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands) for a fascinating exhibit of all that makes up French Polynesia - the geographic and oceanographic explanation of the islands, life in the sea and on land, progressive stages of its history, pre-European artifacts, a collection of memorabilia of political, cultural and social leaders. Social Hour prior to dinner.
 Dinner: Restaurant La Plantation
 Evening: Free Evening
   
Accommodations: Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Circle Tahiti Field Trip/Tahitian Dance
(Friday, March 15)
   
 Breakfast: International Buffet Breakfast - Restaurant La Plantation
 Morning: Board an air-conditioned bus for a field trip circling Tahiti Nui. Depart Papeete and pass through many districts and villages. Notice how each area’s mayor tries to out do the others with enormous town halls. Passing Faaa Airport, notice that land for its runways was reclaimed from the lagoon. It was not until 1961 that modern jets were able to land here. Stop at the ancient Arahurahu marae which has been restored to its former grandeur. Next visit the Maraa Grotto, a beautiful garden and cave area, and continue on past the golf course which was once a huge cotton plantation worked by coolie labor from China. It was planted to fulfill the shortage of cotton in Europe caused by the American Civil War. A short distance further on, visit the Vaipahi Garden with its beautiful waterfall before stopping at restaurant Musee Gauguin for a buffet lunch. After lunch, drive a short distance to the Gauguin Museum located in Mataiea Village where Gauguin lived. While not many originals of Gauguin’s work are in the museum, it is fascinating and details his life and his work.
 Lunch: Buffet lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue on and pass through beautiful Papeari Village and along the inlet (Phaeton Bay) which has a number of fish traps; then cross the Isthmus of Taravao, pass the base where the military have been located since 1844. The ships of Antoine de Bougainville, anchored near the two small offshore islands in Hitiaa in 1786. At Mahaena, Tahitians fought an armed rebellion for three years against the annexation of Tahiti by France. Next stops will include Arahoho Blowhole, Fa`aurumai Waterfall, and Point Venus and Matavai Bay. Captains Wallis, Cook and Bligh anchored in the Matavai Bay area. Located here is a memorial to the arrival of the first Christian missionaries in 1797 and a lighthouse constructed in 1868, despite its 1867 date. Continue on to Pirae and pass One Tree Hill called Taharaa today.
 Dinner: Polynesian Dinner - Restaurant La Plantation
 Evening: Performance: Tahitian Dance
   
Accommodations: Le Meridien Tahiti Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Free Morning/Papeete Open Market/Board Ship/Board Ship/Sail for Huahine
(Saturday, March 16)

Note: Some walking on level ground during field trip and excursion; stairs to board the ship



   
 Breakfast: International Buffet Breakfast - Restaurant La Plantation
 Morning: Free morning to relax and pack. Check out of hotel and depart for Papeete Open Market
 Lunch: Lunch at the Papeete Open Market
 Afternoon: Excursion: A walking tour of the Papeete Open Market to see the native fruits, vegetables and crafts of Tahiti. After field trip, depart for Port of Papeete. Board MS Paul Gauguin, Board, locate stateroom, get settled. Free time to explore the ship and pick up snorkel gear available at the Marina on Deck 3.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner- L'Etoile Restaurant: Deck 5, Aft Enjoy cuisine amid the classic furnishings and fluted shell lighting reminiscent of one of the refined dining establishments in Paris. Here delectable cuisine is artfully presented and guests receive the most diligent attention. L'Etoile is only open for dinner (7:00 - 9:30 pm). Y
 Evening: Cast off for our adventure as the Paul Gauguin departs Papeete for our first stop in the Society Islands -Huahine. Just over a hundred miles from Tahiti, Huahine is actually composed of two islands - Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti ("Big Huahine" and "Little Huahine") - and is surrounded by a deep lagoon encircled by a coral necklace. The most traditional and undeveloped island in French Polynesia, Huahine exudes a laid- back small-town atmosphere.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Huahine Archaelogical Sites/Sail for Aitutaki, Cook Islands
(Sunday, March 17)
   
 Breakfast: The ship provides a couple of dining venues for breakfast. (Room service is available as well) La Veranda: Deck 6, Aft This restaurant offers breakfast (7:30 -10:00 am), in a setting whose ambience might recall leisurely dining on a yacht club terrace on the Cote d'Azur. Le Grill: Deck 8, Mid Greet the sun with a buffet breakfast at Le Grill (7:00 - 9:30 am)
 Morning: Arrive in Huahine at approximately 8am Class: (Topic Instructor's Choice) Free time before lunch. The MS Gauguin daily offers a variety of cultural and educational classes and opportunities. A schedule, called the "Ia Orana" will be delivered daily to your stateroom and inform you of that day's activities.
 Lunch: Onboard ship at leisure. Lunch is offered daily at Le Grill and La Veranda.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Overview of Huahine’s archaeological sites, sacred areas, ancient fish traps and agriculture – exploration of modern and ancient agricultural products of Huahine from melon fields to coconut plantations. Ship sets sail for Aitutaki, Cook Islands at 5 pm.
 Dinner: La Veranda - This restaurant becomes a reservations-only French Bistro at dinner (7:00 - 9:00 pm).
 Evening: Optional Activity: Enjoy the nightly performance offered by the ship in the Le Grand Salon on Deck 5, forward. Watch spectacular performances, such as an electrifying Polynesian show featuring the arts of the islands in the main lounge. One night it might be the soaring acappella harmonies of himene songs. Another might feature a thrilling performance of otea - a complex line dance accompanied by drums telling the ancestral legends of the Polynesian people.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning Lectures/Free Afternoon
(Monday, March 18)
   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Classes: Topic Instructor's Choice
 Lunch: Onboard ship at leisure. Lunch is offered daily at Le Grill and La Veranda.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to relax and enjoy the ship's various amenities and activities. Check your daily "Ia Orana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own at your favorite venue.
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Snorkeling, Beach and Reef Exploration/Sail for Rarotonga
(Tuesday, March 19)

Note: Snorkeling off boat in lagoon. Must be able to swim and to climb ladders to get on and off boat



   
 Arrive To: Ship arrives Aitutaki at 8 am. The original name of the island was Ararau 'Enua O Ru Ki Te Moana, meaning 'Ru in Search of Land over the Sea'. Later the name was changed to Aitutaki - a'i tutaki means 'to keep the fire going' - but the old name is still used in legends and chants. Aitutaki is most famous for its magnificent coral lagoon, a highlight of any visit to the Cook Islands, and one of the most memorable sights in the South Pacific.
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Full Day Excursion: Lagoon Cruise; snorkeling, beach and reef exploration; study natural history and marine life; towels will be provided; snorkeling gear available on boat - bring sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and a cover-up.
 Lunch: Beach barbecue lunch
 Afternoon: Continuation of Aitutaki Lagoon Excursion. Ship sets sail for Rarotonga at 6 pm.
 Dinner: L`Etoile Restaurant
 Evening: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon. Check your daily "Iorana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Overview of Rarotonga/Sail for Bora Bora
(Wednesday, March 20)
   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Full Day Field Trip: Historical and Cultural Introduction to the Cook Islands – Depart on a bus to circle the island to see the center of government & commerce on Rarotonga and various cultural sites; also an introduction and discussion of the island’s infrastructure, travel along Ara Metua (the ancient road) to Avatiu Valley.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Return from field trip mid-afternoon. Ship sets sail for Bora Bora at 5pm.
 Dinner: La Veranda
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon. Check your daily "Ia Orana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Morning Lectures/Free Afternoon
(Thursday, March 21)
   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Classes: Topic Instructor's Choice
 Lunch: Onboard ship at leisure. Lunch is offered daily at Le Grill and La Veranda.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to relax and enjoy the ship's various amenities and activities. Check your daily "Ia Orana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
 Dinner: Le' Etoile
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Lagoon Exploration/Bora Bora Excursion/Overnight in Bora Bora
(Friday, March 22)

Note: Snorkeling off boat in lagoon. Must be able to swim and to climb ladders to get on and off boat



   
 Arrive To: Arrive Bora Bora at approximately 8am: Surrounded by offshore motu islets inside a protective coral necklace, Bora Bora is in the center of a multi-colored lagoon world-famous for its beauty. Generations of travelers - including novelist James Michener - have regarded Bora Bora as an earthly paradise.
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Excursion: Motu and Lagoon Exploration - An opportunity to snorkel in Bora Bora's beautiful lagoon as well as to visit a scenic private motu (island).
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the private motu
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon to enjoy shipboard activities or venture on your own to Bora Bora for independent exploration. The Paul Gauguin will run tenders ashore to Vaitape, Bora Bora's main town and may also run them to a nearby motu where you can enjoy beach activities and snorkel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own aboard ship
 Evening: Optional Activity: You may wish to take tenders directly to the famous “Bloody Mary” Bar and Restaurant. This bar features sandy floors and is very popular with visitors.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Overview of Bora Bora/Free Time/Sail for Tahaa
(Saturday, March 23)

Note: Must be able to climb aboard 4X4 vehicles



   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Field Trip: Overview of Bora Bora, including WWII American military history and relics. Bora Bora was a U.S. supply base during World War II; naval gun sites can still be seen. Don't forget your camera as you will witness amazing vistas overlooking this breathtaking lagoon.
 Lunch: Onboard ship at leisure. Lunch is offered daily at Le Grill and La Veranda
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Bora Bora or relax.
 Dinner: Le Grill - At night Le Grill is transformed into a cozy indoor/outdoor restaurant serving grilled specialties in a more casual atmosphere
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon. Check your daily "Ia Orana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available. Set sail for Tahaa at 11 pm.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Tahaa Field Trip/BBQ Beach Party/ Sail for Moorea
(Sunday, March 24)

Note: When taking a tender to Motu Mahana, it will be a wet landing, in which you will go down a ramp into knee-deep water and then wade ashore. Wear reef shoes or some other footwear that can get wet.



   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Arrive Tahaa at approximately 9am. Tahaa is the only island in the Society Islands that can be completely circled by a ship inside a lagoon. Taha`a also produces 80% of all the vanilla in French Polynesia. Disembark ship for field trip. Visit a private family pearl farm to see and learn about pearl cultivation, history & legends of the island. From there, journey to a vanilla farm to learn more about this important island industry. We'll view other highlights of Tahaa along the way as we explore this beautiful island.
 Lunch: Barbeque Beach Party on Motu Mahana. A "motu" refers to a reef islet formed by broken coral and sand surrounding an atoll.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to enjoy Motu Mahana, where the ship will be offering a barbeque lunch (weather permitting) and a Polynesian Show including music, dancing, and demonstrations. The ship will be running regular tenders to Motu Mahana, so feel free to catch any one when you're ready. The last tender back to the ship from Motu Mahana is approximately 4pm. Ship sets sail for Moorea approximately 5 pm.
 Dinner: Le' Etoile
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon. Check your daily "Ia Orana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Free Time/Dophin Field Trip/Overnight in Moorea
(Monday, March 25)

Note: Must be able to get on and off small boat.



   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Arrive Moorea at approximately 8am. Heart-shaped and incredibly beautiful, Moorea is 15 miles across Tahiti's "Sea of the Moon". Surrounded by white sand beaches, marae (ancient stone worship sites), and spectacular mountain vistas, it is twice as old as Tahiti. Moorea has two stunning, neighboring, fjord-like bays - Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay - which give the island its distinctive butterfly shape.
 Lunch: Onboard ship at leisure. Lunch is offered daily at Le Grill and La Veranda.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Dolphins of French Polynesia – A boat-based Field Trip around Moorea to observe dolphins, hopefully including schools of acrobatic "Spinner Dolphins", and to learn of their remarkable lives at sea. Tender back to ship. Set sail for Opunohu Bay, Moorea. Social Hour prior to dinner.
 Dinner: Polynesian Dinner - La Veranda
 Evening: Optional Activity: Tonight's Performance - Le Grand Salon. Check your daily "Iorana" for a list of this evening's performance as well as other activities available.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Overview of Moorea /Sail to Papeete, Tahiti
(Tuesday, March 26)

Note: Boarding busses, some walking.



   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: All Day Field Trip - visit to Belvedere Viewpoint with beautiful vistas of the island, stop at a well preserved and rebuilt historical Marae, view a farming valley inland of Cook's Bay the University of California Berkeley's Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station & the Atitia Cultural Centre, where we will have a delicious lunch featuring local dishes and tour the garden and grounds
 Lunch: Polynesian lunch at Cultural Centre
 Afternoon: Continuation of overview of Moorea field trip. Tender back to ship; sunset sail for Papeete, Tahiti.
 Dinner: Le' Etoile
 Evening: Arrive Papeete, Tahiti. Free Evening at pierside in Papeete Harbor or aboard ship. Pack and leave your luggage outside your door before you go to sleep so the crew can prepare to take it off the ship tomorrow morning. Make sure you have everything you need for tomorrow in an overnight-bag you'll keep with you.
   
Accommodations: MS Paul Gauguin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Disembark Ship/Free Time/Wrap up Class/late evening flight to Los Angeles
(Wednesday, March 27)
   
 Breakfast: Onboard Ship at leisure - Choice of La Veranda, Le Grill or room service
 Morning: Disembark ship at 10am and depart for Le Meridien Tahiti. Arrive Le Meridien hotel- check into day rooms Free Time to enjoy the property and explore, relax, swim, or snorkel before lunch.
 Lunch: Restaurant La Plantation
 Afternoon: Class: Wrap up Session followed by social hour.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner - Restaurant La Plantation
 Evening: Late evening flight departure and arrive Los Angeles the following day
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Arrive Los Angeles
(Thursday, March 28)
   
 Arrive To: Flight arrives in Los Angeles in the morning.

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Tahiti Tahiti Tourism
Contact the Tahiti Tourism office for details on activities and events in Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands or Tuamotus. The US office is in Los Angeles, CA. Phone # 310-414-8484 or by email at info@tahiti-tourisme.com For additional information, visit www.tahiti-tourisme.com
  Huahine Tahiti Tourisme
For information on shopping, activities, museums, nightlife, events calendars and more, visit online at www.tahiti-tourisme.com or call 689/50-57-00. There is a US office at Tahiti Tourisme, 300 North Continental Blvd Ste 160, El Segundo, CA 90245 or you can request brochures by calling 310/414-8484 or by visiting www.gototahiti.com. Additional recommendations may be provided in participant packets or by Group Leader upon enrollment. For additional information, visit www.gototahiti.com
  Moorea Tahiti Tourisme
For information on shopping, activities, museums, nightlife, events calendars and more, visit online at www.tahiti-tourisme.com or call 689/50-57-00. There is a US office at Tahiti Tourisme, 300 North Continental Blvd Ste 160, El Segundo, CA 90245 or you can request brochures by calling 310/414-8484 or by visiting www.gototahiti.com. Additional recommendations may be provided in participant packets or by Group Leader upon enrollment. For additional information, visit www.gototahiti.com
  Rarotonga, Cook Islands Cook Islands Tourism Corporation
The official Cook Islands Tourism Corporation has information on sightseeing, shopping, nightlife entertainment and more. Visit their website at www.cook-islands.com and ask for their free magazine, Jasons What's On in the Cook Islands. The tourism office may also be reached at PO Box 14 Rarotonga, Cook Islands (tel. 682/29-435). There is a US office at 2250 E. Imperial Hwy, Ste 2000, El Segundo, CA 90245 or you may call 888/994-2665. Additional recommendations may be provided in participant packets or by Group Leader upon enrollment. For additional information, visit www.cook-islands.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Explorations of Captain James Cook in the Pacific as Told By Selections of His Own Journals, 1768-1779


Author: Capt. James Cook


The South Pacific: An Introduction


Author: Ron Crocombe


Description: An exceptional overview of the Pacific Islands today, focusing on the main trends in the past, present and possible futures of these diverse societies. Written by one of our program instructors



A Dream of Islands: Voyages of Self Discovery in the South Seas


Author: Daws, Gavan


Description: Well written chapters on various famous 19th century men who experienced French Polynesia and the Pacific such as Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Paul Gauguin.



Art of the Pacific


Author: D’Alleva, Anne


Description: Best short and most comprehensive account of the arts of the Pacific.



France and the South Pacific – A Contemporary History.


Author: Stephen Henningham


Description: After reviewing the French presence in the South Pacific until WWII, Henningham examines the recent history and politics of the three French Pacific territories before analyzing the often tense relations between France and the independent South Pacific countries.



Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life


Author: Melville, Herman


Description: A classic tale based on the encounters of Melville with Marquesans, first published in 1846.



Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia.


Author: Lal, Brij V., and Fortune, Kate


Description: A thorough and up-to-date reference work on just about every topic related to the Pacific islands, from geology to history and politics and from Papua New Guinea to Rapanui.



Gauguin by Himself


Author: Belinda Thomson


Description: This unique book is the first to give equal weight to Gaugin’s activities, both as an artist and a writer, providing rare insight into his intractable character and uncompromising ideals. Includes over 230 reproductions of the artist’s most powerful and decorative works of art, as well as rare letters to his wife and friends, including fellow painters Pisarro and Van Gough.



Island Boy: An Autobiography


Author: Tom Davis


Description: A readable introduction to modern Cook Islands through the story of its famous island son who was variously a navigator, doctor, NASA scientist, and Prime Minister of the Cooks. Hard to find.





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