On April 23, Air Tahiti Nui hosted a wedding at 30,000 feet. Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant were en route from Paris to Tahiti via Los Angeles when they walked down the aircraft aisle, the bride led by an Air Tahiti Nui attendant, all the rest of the passengers watching intently. Near the first row of Economy, an ATN purser recited the ceremony in English and French before presenting the couple with tiare flowers to put behind their ears, in true Tahiti fashion.
The couple received a certificate of ‘the first air marriage’ from Air Tahiti Nui, then were invited into Business Class for Champagne and sugared almonds. The couple landed in Tahiti soon thereafter to start their Tahiti honeymoon.
The Moorings is now offering new all-inclusive crewed yacht charters in the Tuamotu Islands in Tahiti from April to August. The Tuamotu Archipelago is home to over 80 atolls across a 2,485-mile barrier, including Rangiroa. Guests on yacht charters can scuba dive, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, ride horses, fish and visit Tahitian black pearl farms and the wine fields of Rangiroa. The Moorings 4600 yachts offer accommodations for up to six passengers in three staterooms with en-suite bath.
Windstar Cruises has opened reservations on its Tahiti program that begins May 2, 2014, on the 148-passenger Wind Spirit. The seven-day voyages sail from Papeete to Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine and Bora Bora. The “Dreams of Tahiti” cruises will sail through to Nov. 7, 2014, with fares priced from $2,799 per person.
The cruises will feature traditional Tahitian dancers and regional dishes served outdoors during an on-deck barbecue (one per cruise). Windstar also will run an onboard scuba program. The Wind Spirit has a watersports platform, which offers paddle boards, kayaks, Hobie Cats, wind surfing, snorkeling equipment and more.
First Two Episodes of Season 22 showcase Bora Bora and Celebrate Island Culture
Viewers Can Book New ‘Bora Bora, Ready, Set, Go!’ Five-Night Package
LOS ANGELES, FEB. 18, 2013 —The dream destination of Tahiti played host to the first two episodes of the 22nd season of CBS’ The Amazing Race. The first episode aired last night, February 17, 2013, and both episodes were filmed on the island of Bora Bora, a “bucket list” South Seas destination with what author James Michener called “the most beautiful lagoon in the world.” Tahiti Tourism, Air Tahiti Nui and Hilton French Polynesia were especially eager to participate in the project since this multi-Emmy winning show is known for creating contestant challenges that celebrate the culture and unique features of each country they visit.
The Amazing Race challenged the contestants to experience some of Tahiti’s top adventures including skydiving from above Bora Bora’s signature blue lagoon and its majestic Mt. Otemanu, sand castle building on a powdery white sand beach and assembling an outrigger canoe to race across the lagoon.
In Sunday night’s premier episode, The Amazing Race’s 11 teams raced to Los Angeles International Airport to catch Air Tahiti Nui’s Airbus A340-300 for the eight-hour nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti. Flight attendants greeted each passenger with a Tiare Tahiti gardenia, the first of many amenities that create Air Tahiti Nui’s ambiance of gracious Tahitian hospitality.
Bora Bora is only a 45 minute flight from the main island of Tahiti and arriving by air to Bora Bora is a unique experience, with the tropical airport located on its own motu (islet) and all hotel transfers done by boat or private yacht. Visitors travel across the famous lagoon surrounded by an 18-mile ring of little motus near the reef breaks, with the jagged, lush Mt. Otemanu rising up from the main island of Bora Bora in the center of it all.
The Amazing Race crew stayed at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, a luxurious all-suite resort with 120 thatched-roofed bungalows situated on the hillside, along the beach and over the water.
Not only is The Nui on a rare motu with a hill, but the resort’s location is also a memorable site in Tahitian lore. The mischievous Polynesian god Hiro is said to have thrown his spear from the top of the motu’s black lava hill, giving Mt. Otemanu its jagged profile. And, The Nui’s black lava hill rises above a sacred cove where ancient islanders gathered for stone fishing festivals. This island lore is celebrated in the original artwork displayed throughout the resort.
Travel2 has launched the Bora Bora, Ready, Set, Go! package featuring the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa and Air Tahiti Nui and offering round-trip air to Bora Bora, a five-night stay, meals and a couples massage for inclusive rate of $3599 per person.
BORA BORA, Ready, Set, Go! 6 Days / 5 Nights from $3599*
· Round-trip international airfare from Los Angeles on award-winning Air Tahiti Nui
· 1 Night at Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti – Deluxe Ocean View Room
· 4 Nights at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa – Overwater Villa
· American Breakfast daily
· Dinner daily in Bora Bora
· Round-trip inter-island air transportation on Air Tahiti, Tahiti’s domestic airline
· A relaxing 50-minute Couple’s massage
· A romantic Motu Tapu Escape including a picnic lunch with wine
· Meet & Greet and flower lei upon arrival
· All transfers and baggage handling
· Airline and hotel taxes
Add-on fare from NYC: from $400pp + $14 taxes, round-trip. Only applicable in conjunction with TN fares on specific AA, DL or US flights. Subject to availability at time of booking. For terms and conditions and to book: http://www.airtahitinui-usa.com/amazing/
Tahiti is located halfway between California and Australia, on the same side of the International Date Line as North America and in the same time zone as Hawaii. To learn more about the Islands of Tahiti, visit www.tahititourisme.com
Catch another glorious glimpse of Bora Bora in the second episode of CBS’ The Amazing Race on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
About the Islands of Tahiti
Easier to travel than often imagined, Tahiti is eight hours by air from Los Angeles with daily nonstop flights. Tahiti is halfway between California and Australia, on the same side of the International Date Line as North America and in the same time zone as Hawaii. There are a total of 118 islands and atolls that comprise this beautiful South Pacific country. Tahiti’s varied landscape ranges from just-above sea level coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Tahiti is renowned for warm waters, white-sand beaches and stunning turquoise lagoons. Find the Islands of Tahiti on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TahitiTourismeNorthAmerica, Twitter @TahitiTourism and on Pinterest at Tahiti Tourisme North America. www.tahititourism.com
About Air Tahiti Nui:
Air Tahiti Nui links the South Pacific with four continents as the leading carrier to and from French Polynesia, with daily non-stop service to Tahiti from Los Angeles, and is one of only two airlines to offer a selection of non-stop flights connecting Los Angeles and Paris with Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui has been selected as one of the “World’s Best” international airlines by readers of Travel+Leisure in 2011, 2010 and 2008 and as Best Airline in the South Pacific, 2012 and 2011 by readers of Global Traveler. The airline has headquarters in Papeete and operates from Faa’a International Airport on the island of Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui was founded in 1996 and commenced flight operations in 1998. Air Tahiti Nui is an IATA member and satisfies the highest safety requirements with its IOSA certification. It code shares with a number of carriers including American Airlines, Air France, Air New Zealand, Japan Air Lines and Qantas. In April 2013, Air Tahiti will launch a cabin reconfiguration and enhancement of all its aircraft. About Air Tahiti Nui: www.airtahitinui-usa.com
About The Hilton Bora Bora Nui
Guests arrive at the only floating lobby in French Polynesia via private yacht from the quaint Bora Bora airport. Each room has an ocean view and all are suite-sized; some perched on a lush tropical hillside, others along a white sand beach and still others “floating” above the crystal blue lagoon, complete with windows in the floor and a lanai with steps going directly to the water. The 122-room resort weaves native materials like curly kahia wood, tapas cloth and mother of pearl throughout, beautifully intertwining island décor with the latest in modern conveniences. The resort also features a hilltop, indoor-outdoor “spa-with-a-jaw-dropping-view;” a 1,000-meter infinity pool that seemingly melts into the lagoon; a half-mile white sand beach with complimentary water toys; the Iriatai restaurant that pairs fine fusion cuisine with stunning horizon views; the Tamure Grill that offers casual, feet-in-the-sand dining. Exclusive features of the two, new Overwater Presidential Villas include an open air floor plan with modern island decor; deep, sleek bathtubs against full glass walls looking on the blue, blue lagoon; a plunge pool on the lower deck; a spiral staircase and a wellness/massage/sauna room upstairs along with a gazebo, hot tub and bar on the upstairs deck. Guests can also enjoy special excursions to the Nui’s very own, private, “deserted” island called Motu Tapu, which is the most photographed islet in the South Pacific. www.hilton.com/frenchpolynesia
Windstar Cruises is doubling the size of its fleet with the three 208-passenger Seabourn ships as part of a major expansion by parent company Xanterra Parks & Resorts. The Seabourn Pride will begin sailing for Windstar in May 2014 in the Mediterranean after a renovation. Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit will begin operating for Windstar in the Mediterranean in May 2015 after dry-dock renovations.
These voyages are expected to go on sale in May. The expanded fleet will operate under the brand Global Windstar. In coming months, Windstar will reveal the new ship names, itineraries, onboard experiences and renovation details.
“Global Windstar will also allow us to service new regions of the world such as Asia and South America, in addition to the 50 countries we already sail to,” Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz wrote in a message to past passengers. “We will continue to focus on the unique destinations that larger ships cannot call on. The opportunities of Global Windstar are already evident with the recent announcement of Windstar’s return to Tahiti in May of 2014.
Tahiti has been one of the top destinations requested by our guests and travel partners.”
Birkholz said the expansion will give Windstar six vessels with fewer than 300 passengers each for a total of 1,230 berths. “Windstar is proud of its heritage in sailing and will continue to offer voyages on all three sailing yachts. What our guests continue to be enthusiastic about is our intimate, yacht style of cruising,” he said. “This style is the core of our brand experience and the new ships are a perfect fit to build on that foundation.”
Carnival Corp.-owned Seabourn said it will continue to operate its three 450-passenger vessels that entered service over the past few years, as well as build a fourth. “Our three newest vessels,
Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest have raised the bar for ultra-luxury cruising and we intend to add a fourth ship of similar design,” Seabourn president Richard Meadows said. “Seabourn is already in discussion with shipbuilders and an order is likely to be announced within the current fiscal year. The new ship will allow Seabourn to maintain much of its current guest capacity.”
The Windstar acquisition was announced by Xanterra as it also purchased VBT (Vermont) Bicycling and Walking Vacations and The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., adjoining the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park where Xanterra operates more than 900 rooms.
“These businesses build on our existing portfolio as well as expand our operations into adventure vacations throughout the world, further diversifying our leisure travel holdings,” said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra. “Xanterra Parks & Resorts has grown into a diversified hospitality company with offerings on the sea, rails and land. Xanterra has expanded its revenue base by more than 50 percent through targeted acquisitions in the last three years alone and will continue to look for new opportunities to build on our diverse leisure travel portfolio.”
Birkholz has said that Windstar was looking to expand now that it is on solid financial footing after its former owner went bankrupt and it was sold to Xanterra. “Windstar Cruises has experienced four straight years of revenue growth,” Todd said. “This expansion is the perfect way to build on the momentum following our recent fleet-wide renovation, providing us with the much needed capacity to match the accelerating demand for our intimate style of yacht.
Sailings in Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific include airfare from Los Angeles.
For example, seven-night “Tahiti & the Society Islands” cruises departing May 4 and May 11 are priced from $3,795 per person, down from $4,595. Fourteen-night “Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands” cruise departing May 18 is priced from $5,195, down from $6,445. Seven-night voyages between Athens and Istanbul departing May 25 and June 8 are priced from $2,845, down from $3,795 per person.
Three aircraft will be updated by June for the Los Angeles and Paris routes. The colors of the new seats and interiors will continue to reflect the beauty and charm of French Polynesia.
“With our new equipment, Air Tahiti Nui will share the same essential qualities and attributes of larger global brand airlines,” said Etienne Howan, chairman and CEO of Air Tahiti Nui.
“We take pride in combining this with our ‘boutique’ feel and exclusive Polynesian hospitality, to make our flights an authentic part of the travel experience to Tahiti.”
Replacing Air Tahiti Nui’s traditional three-class layout, the new configuration will feature two classes of service, including an expanded and enhanced Poerava Business Class and an upgraded Economy Class Moana.
The Poerava Business Class will increase its seat capacity from 24 to 32.
Based on the Sogerma “angled-lie-flat cocoon seat,” the new business class seats will provide more personal space, with a 60-inch seat pitch, while continuing to provide a two-by-two-by-two configuration, offering passengers a choice of window and aisle seating.
Economy Class Moana will feature new comfort-focused lightweight seats while retaining the popular two-four-two seating configuration. Designed and built in Italy, the new seats will feature a wider-than-normal 18-inch seat with an average 32-inch pitch.
Air Tahiti Nui expects to achieve a fuel savings through the installation of the new lightweight seats, reducing 3,700 kilos of weight per flight.
Air Tahiti Nui’s new cabins also will feature a new Inflight Entertainment System with on-demand touch-screen access to nearly 50 movies and television programs, as well as magazines, games and music.
The system also features a Tahiti focused TV channel, “Tiare TV,” inviting passengers to enjoy a taste of their upcoming vacation in Tahiti.
“A Taste of Luxury” allows guests who stay three consecutive nights to receive the fourth night complimentary along with daily breakfast.
Guests who stay five nights and pay four will be treated to the Resort’s signature honeymoon amenities, including champagne upon arrival, one traditional flowerbed turndown and a 50 minute couple’s massage at the new Spa Miri Miri by Clarins.
All guests will receive a guaranteed upgrade from an Overwater villa to a Superior Overwater villa or from a Superior Overwater villa to a Deluxe Overwater villa. To book reference promotion code W2TLU. Rates begin at 125,000 XPF and are available for new bookings for travel from now until May 31.
With “Vows in Bora Bora-A Dream Destination Wedding,” couples who book a wedding or a renewal of vows ceremony at the resort can receive a guaranteed upgrade to next category, guaranteed early check in and late check out, two loose Tahitian Black Pearls symbolizing the union of “Husband and Wife” in Polynesia.
The offer is valid for new bookings from now until May 31 and is combinable with all other offers and amenities.
The wedding renewal of vows ceremony must take place at the Resort during the guests’ stay in order to redeem the offer. Us booking code W2WED.
With “Couples Retreat,” couples can stay five nights and only pay four. Those that book a Deluxe Overwater or Pool Beach Villa receive a guaranteed upgrade, champagne and chocolate amenity on arrival, flowerbed and flower bath turndown and one 50 minute couples massage at Spa Miri Miri by Clarins. Use rate code CPL2 for new for travel between June 1 to Oct. 31. Rates begin at 190,000 XPF.
Windstar Cruises will return to the South Pacific in summer 2014 with the recently renovated 148-passenger Wind Spirit. The motor-sail ship will operate 28 seven-day voyages from Papeete, Tahiti, from May 2 to Nov. 7, 2014, when it will return to Panama and Costa Rica for the winter.
The last time Windstar sailed in Tahiti was 2002.
“Windstar’s return to Tahiti has always been the number one request from our guests and travel partners, even more than a decade later,” said Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz.
The week-long voyages will visit Moorea, Taha’a, Raiatea, Huahine and Bora Bora. Local entertainment, such as traditional Tahitian dancers, will come on board to perform during the cruises. Regional dishes will be incorporated into Windstar’s deck barbecue held under the sails one night per cruise.
The Tahiti cruises will go on sale to the public in mid-March 2013.
Air Tahiti Nui has re-launched the three-night free stopover in Tahiti. Travelers who book a flight to New Zealand or Australia on Air Tahiti Nui can stop in Tahiti for three nights, for free. Prices begin at $1,298 per person and include round-trip airfare, taxes and three complimentary nights in a choice of Tahiti hotels. Hotel upgrades also available.
Airline and hotel savings range from 30 to more than 65 percent. Tickets must be purchased and ticketed by Feb. 3. Though Air Tahiti Nui departs from Los Angeles, a new codeshare agreement is making it easier for travelers in 17 U.S. cities to take advantage of this deal.
Air Tahiti Nui guests can stay for free at Le Meridien Tahiti or Manava Suite Resort Tahiti but guests looking to enhance their three-night stopover in Tahiti are entitled to savings when choosing one of the four upgrade options: “Classic Tahiti Getaway,” at the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti, provides a deluxe ocean view room, automatic free upgrade to a waterfront premium suite or duplex at time of booking based on availability is priced from $50 per person for all three nights; “Tahiti Suite Deal,” at Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, is ideal for families with accommodations in a garden suite with up to two kids free is priced from $150 per person for all three nights; “Two-Island Special” includes one night on Tahiti at the Intercontinental Resort Tahiti and two nights on Moorea at the Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea in a Lanai room priced from $150 per person for all three nights; and the “Ultimate Tahiti Experience,” at Le Meridien Tahiti in an overwater bungalow, is priced from $250 per person for all three nights.
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