Remember the soap commercial on TV in which a woman says to her husband, as they luxuriate on a private jet, that “Tahiti looks nice”.
He picks up the phone to the pilot and says, “Simon, Tahiti”. And we all dreamt of one day of going there.
Well, I finally made it – on 14-day Paul Gauguin cruise from Papeete to the Marquesas’ visiting Fakarava, Fatu Hiva, Hiva OA, Tahiti and Nuku Hiva and on to the Society Islands of Huahine, Bora Bora, Tahaá and Moorea before returning to Papeete
To set us in the Polynesian Paradise mood, we used the national airline, Air Tahiti Nui, who fly regularly from Auckland to Papeete in their new Dreamliner.
The Paul Gauguin cruise ship was big enough to be comfortable, yet small enough for close access to the islands.
While our luggage was delivered to our stateroom, our cabin attendant explained how all the things worked, including a state-of-the-art TV system which allowed us to order anything from coffee to a main meal, for room service.
There is a choice of dining on board, from La Veranda to Le Grill and the formal L’Etoile.
As menus are ever-changing, it is a culinary adventure.
At the stern, a fold-out marina gives access to various toys to enjoy the calm waters of the lagoons and safe bays.
Also on board are guest lecturers who explain the history, flora and fauna and sea-life of the region.
Shore excursions range from relaxing on a private island to water sports, scuba, lagoon boat trips and helicopter flights. Escorted hikes or sightseeing in buses and 4WDs are also available.
Michael Osborne sailed as a guest of Paul Gauguin Cruises pgcruises.com