The Aranui is the only ship to sail the 2,200-mile roundtrip from Papeete to six inhabited Marquesas Islands, making it a lifeline to the outside world for their people.
“We are proud to have transported more than 2,400 passengers per annum on around 16 departures each year, as well as delivering everything from cement to brake pads, bulldozers to boats — and even a plane — to the islands,” said Jules Wong, president of Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime, which operates the Aranui 3.
The Aranui made its inaugural trip on March 1, 2003. The cargo carrier-cum-passenger ship boasts 86 air-conditioned cabins as well as the capacity to carry more than 2,000 tons of freight.
Passengers have access to lounges, a swimming pool, a gym and a program of lectures on Marquesan history, culture and art.
Prices for 2013 start at 3,756 euros per person sharing a standard twin-bedded outside cabin with private facilities. The fares include all meals with wine, all land-based sightseeing excursions and taxes. However, during 2013, four departures are offered at a 10 percent discount — Feb. 23, April 6, June 8 and, for seniors aged 60 and over, Aug. 31, bringing the starting price down to 3,344 euros. Flights to and from Papeete are not included.
Journese expanded its Europe collection with offerings in Paris and London, and added new products in Italy. The expansion totals 19 luxury properties and an assortment of activities to the Journese portfolio.
To promote the new offerings, Journese is providing a $300 air credit on select bookings to Europe made by Feb. 28 for travel throughout 2013. For bookings made by March 31, travel agents will receive 500 bonus TRIP points toward their own vacation and an entry in monthly drawings for iPads. The top producer during that period will win a vacation for two in Paris, including roundtrip air.
Journese customized packages include four- and five-star properties, first class air, private transfers and private experiences. Journese guests receive complimentary breakfast in all Europe hotel accommodations. The expanded Europe collection includes six new properties in London, four new properties in Paris, and nine new properties in Italy, including properties at the Amalfi Coast and in Florence, Rome, St. Margherita and Venice.
Journese is the luxury brand of Pleasant Holidays, offering four- and five-star vacations to Australia, the Caribbean, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, England, Fiji, France, the Hawaiian Islands, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Tahiti and the United States.
Journese is offering a future travel credit up to $250 with select bookings from Jan. 7 to March 31 for travel at more than 50 resorts worldwide.
Journese has expanded its offerings with more than 40 new resorts, villas and private residences in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, French Polynesia, Mexico and the US.
The company is launching London and Paris and an enhanced Italy collection in January.
Journese is also expanding its offerings of upscale excursions, events, resort enhancements and activities in all its destinations.
It has released brochures for the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico and South Pacific, with the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Europe soon to follow. Experiences range from zip-lining, snorkeling and private excursions to upscale spa treatments, golf and dinner cruises.
Journese’s 2013-14 Mexico Experiences brochure showcases the company’s commissionable excursions, events, VIP treatment and other hand-selected activities across Mexico.
“While we offer experiences in all our destinations, the brochure gives a sampling of the most sought-after opportunities, enabling travelers and their advisors to pre-plan their trip so they don’t waste vacation time planning in destination.” said Journese Vice President and Managing Director Kimberly Daley.
“Mexico is an activity-rich destination — especially our core resort areas of Riviera Maya, Cancun and Los Cabos. Our selection of cultural and adventure experiences are handpicked for the discerning Journese traveler.”
The Mexico Experiences booklet will be included with travelers’ Mexico documents and is available for download, along with The Hawaiian Islands Experiences and South Pacific Experiences brochures.
Journese’s 2013-14 South Pacific Experiences brochure presents the company’s offerings for Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand. The South Pacific Experiences booklet will be included with travelers’ South Pacific documents and is also available for download.
Journese released its first experiences brochure, The Hawaiian Islands Experiences, in July 2012, and will publish specific experience booklets from each of its other destinations across the globe.
All offerings are hand-selected by experts to keep in line with the Journese brand promise of providing the full journey experience.
Designed for a family of four, with two adults and two children under 11, the package includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui, meet-and-greet upon arrival, all airport/hotel transfers, inter-island ferry, three nights at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa, and five nights at the InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa. Children fly for free, stay for free in their parents’ room and eat and drink for free from a special kids menu. There is a maximum of one child per fare-paying adult.
Champion freediver Herbert Nitsch will be on board the Paul Gauguin’s Jan. 12 “Cook Islands & Society Islands” voyage, the Jan. 23 “Society Islands & Tuamotus” sailing and the Feb. 2 cruise to the Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands. Hailed as the “Deepest Man on Earth,” Nitsch has set 32 world records in freediving.
Oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau joins several sailings aboard the Paul Gauguin in 2013.
He will sail on the Feb. 2 cruise, the June 26 cruise to the “Society Islands & Tuamotus,” the Sept. 21 “Australs & Society Islands” and Nov. 2 to the Cook Islands and Society Islands.
In addition to presenting lectures and videos of his work, he will accompany several dives from the ship.
Extreme artist Jean Francois Detaille will be aboard the Paul Gauguin’s Feb. 2 sailing.
Detaille is a classically trained fine artist with a flair for performance art combining stand-up comedy, speed painting and audience participation.
He will deliver one-man shows during the voyage.
Diane Moore, president of Paul Gauguin Cruises, will host a cocktail party and town hall meeting for guests on the Paul Gauguin’s Feb. 23 “Tahiti & the Society Islands” sailing. Richard Bailey, chairman of Paul Gauguin Cruises, will host the May 11 Rome-to-Venice voyage aboard the new Tere Moana. Moore and Bailey will be available for informal conversations throughout each cruise.
Daniel Baron, winemaker for Napa Valley’s Silver Oak Cellars, will join the Paul Gauguin’s March 9 sailing for a lecture and wine tasting, cocktail party, and more.
Dr. Chris Roelfsema, who studies coral reefs and teaches at The University of Queensland in Australia, will join the March 16 cruise. Joining Roelfsema will be Diana Kleine, a project manager for CoralWatch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and education about these vital yet delicate ecosystems.
Guy Buffet, an artist famous for his whimsical portraits of chefs, waiters and restaurant scenes, will join the May 18, June 1, June 8, Nov. 2, Nov. 13 and Nov. 23 cruises.
Astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, marine ecologist Cécile Gaspar and marine geologist Yves Lancelot will join the May 4 “Sky, Ocean & Volcanoes” voyage.
Jean-Pierre Vigato, chef propriétaire of the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Apicius in Paris, will join Tere Moana’s June 1 Istanbul roundtrip and will provide culinary demonstrations featuring his gastronomic techniques.
Whale and dolphin expert Michael Poole will be aboard the Sept. 21 special sailing to the Australs and Society Islands, where humpback whales teem in the waters off the island of Rurutu. Bailey also will join this cruise.
Miami, FL, November 2012 – In anticipation of another year of strong Antarctica cruise demand, Compagnie du Ponant has opened its 2013-2014 Antarctica booking window much earlier than it has in past years. An added advantage to the earlier booking opportunity is the Ponant Bonus Fare structure: The earlier the guest books, the more they can save … up to 30% off the regular fare. The round-trip sailings take in the majestic landscape of glaciers, icebergs and exotic wildlife as they travel from Ushuaia and through the famous Drake Passage to several ports on the “White Continent” – including Paradise Bay, Port Charcot, Deception Island and the Weddell Sea – and, on the longer itinerary, to several areas of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. The 11-day adventure, with seven departures, currently starts at $6,279 per person, double, while the 16-day option, with four sailings, starts at $11,141.
One of the 16-day sailings, departing at the end of the season, finishes in Uruguay and has a current Ponant Bonus starting fare of $7,266, a savings of 23% off the regular fare.
20,000 Adelie penguin couples in Brown Bluff, towering icebergs, the steep cliffs of Lemaire Channel, colonies of Chinstrap Penguins on Deception Island, and seals, orcas, whales, sea elephants await the guests who sign on to these “bucket list” trips.
The 11-day program spends five full days traversing the coast of Antarctica with multiple landings, while guests on the 16-day voyage add visits to the Falklands Islands and the incredibly scenic and penguin-laden South Georgia.
Compagnie du Ponant specializes in upscale yacht cruises that give guests the opportunity to explore legendary ports that other, larger ships simply can’t access, along the way providing a leisurely and educational on-board experience. The 466-foot sister yachts – L’Austral and Le Boréal – embody Compagnie du Ponant’s dual vision of luxury travel and environmental consciousness; aside from a multitude of amenities, both use electric propulsion systems, bio fuel, dynamic positioning and advanced waste water treatment.
Guests aboard the mega-yachts often have the feeling of sailing on their own private yacht as they explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Designed in a seamless blend of tradition and innovation, each ship boasts two restaurants, several spacious lounges, a theater, a games area, two open-air bars, a swimming pool, a library, a fitness area, a comprehensive spa, and a staff-to-guest ratio of greater than 1:2.
The 132 well-appointed staterooms, 124 with private balconies, have king-size or twin beds, a desk, minibar, dressing table, marble baths with showers, L’Occitane products and all the latest technology, including flat screen satellite TVs and Wi-Fi.
Compagnie du Ponant has also moved to a simpler and thoroughly transparent pricing structure for the North American market, which highlights all-inclusive fares.
All meals, open bar, stocked mini-bars in all staterooms and suites, a welcome-aboard cocktail party, 24-hour room service, all entertainment as indicated within the itinerary, gratuities, port charges, and even taxes and fees are now included in the pricing.
The only extras are guests’ personal expenses, air, transfers and optional excursions.
Specials programs offered include a new 5% discount on family-and-friends groups of five or more; a new 50% discount for guests ages 12 to 18 traveling with their families and sharing a stateroom with another teen or adult; a 10% discount on back-to-back cruises; increased savings on wedding and anniversary packages; single supplements from 15%; and discounts for referring other guests to Compagnie du Ponant.
Established in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant is a member of both La Charte Bleue d’Armateurs de France and IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators).
All of Compagnie du Ponant’s ships and cruise itineraries are designed to protect marine wildlife, coastal environments, and local flora and fauna.
Compagnie du Ponant’s North American sales office is located at 2 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2000, Miami, Florida 33131.
Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings on select 2013 voyages in Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific when booked between Nov. 23 and Dec. 8. Guests will save $800 to $4,350 per person off previously advertised rates. Those who book on Nov. 23 (Black Friday) or Nov. 24 will receive a bonus of $100 per-person shipboard credit.
As examples, the seven-night Tahiti and Society Islands cruise departing March 2 and March 9 is priced from $3,695 per person with the discount. An 11-night voyage departing Jan. 12 starts at $4,245 per person.
The 14-night voyage departing Feb. 2 is priced from $4,995 per person.
The programs join other resort features that educate guests on the biodiversity of French Polynesia, including the Turtle Sanctuary.
Le Méridien Bora Bora’s efforts will grow even further this winter with the launch of a new Ecological Center.
The resort recently entered into partnership with the local eco-farm BoraEcoFish to develop a hands-on educational experience focused on the importance of reefs. Guests can take a tour led by Marine Biologist Corentine Favre, and upon return craft a coral cutting — a.k.a., “frag” — to be grown in the resort’s coral nursery and employed in a reef restoration program.
Coral Discovery runs Tuesday to Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Information and reservations can be made at the resort’s Activities Desk.
The resort’s Lagoon Discovery program is led by Marine Biologist Eve Perrin and her assistant Hanalei Goold.
The program explores the resort’s inner lagoon, which features green sea turtles, mullet, clownfish, parrotfish and more.
Detailed discussion of the behavior and biology of various species takes place during the Lagoon Discovery daily from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Information and reservations can be made at the resort’s Activities Desk.
Le Méridien Bora Bora will be launching a new Ecological Center this winter built with recycled wood from their old pontoons. The center will serve as an interactive museum and house a rehabilitation center for endangered sea turtles, a kid’s “touch pool” filled with starfish and other marine life along with learning exhibitions. The resort already has a Turtle Observatory and Turtle Sanctuary where guests can feed and learn about these endangered species. The program is in alliance with the island’s Ministry and Delegation of the Environment to assure a vibrant future for green sea and hawksbill turtles, and is the only effort of its kind in French Polynesia.
Compagnie du Ponant has released a brochure detailing luxury yacht trips to Canada, Northern Europe and the Baltic, the Western Mediterranean, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Asia. The company’s three sister ships — Le Boréal, L’Austral and the soon-to-launch Le Soléal — feature 132 staterooms, while the more intimate three-masted Le Ponant yacht has 32 staterooms.
The highlight is the July debut of Le Soléal, whose name was created from two symbols, solel (“the sunshine”) and solal (“he who opens the way”). Each stateroom will feature a private balcony, DVD player, iPod docking station, Internet access and other amenities. The addition of Le Soléal lets Ponant explore new areas, such as August and September routes that feature Russia. Le Soléal will also take passengers on new cruises in Asia, during which they can explore Japan’s ancestral gardens, Vietnam’s imperial cities, and the urban centers of Singapore and Hong Kong.
The ship’s inaugural cruise travels from Venice to Barcelona and departs July 1. Compagnie du Ponant has also moved to a simpler pricing structure for the North American market that highlights all-inclusive fares. Now included in the pricing are all meals, open bar, stocked mini bars in all staterooms and suites, a welcome-aboard cocktail party, 24-hour room service, all entertainment as indicated within the itinerary, gratuities, port charges, and taxes and fees. Select itineraries also offer air-inclusive options.
Oceania Cruises this winter is expanding its Culinary Discovery Tours to the South Pacific on the Marina. Culinary Discovery Tours let guests explore local food markets, vineyards and farms in small groups, along with an expert chef from the Bon Appétit Culinary Center.
Participants then join the chef in the culinary center for a hands-on cooking lesson of the regional cuisine in one of 24 fully equipped work stations.
The new South Pacific Culinary Discovery Tours are offered in the Bay of Islands and Tauranga, New Zealand, on the 18-day “South Pacific Paradise” cruise.
Departing Papeete, Tahiti, on Feb. 7, the cruise calls on 11 ports throughout French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia before arriving in New Zealand.
“A Chef-Insider’s Food & Wine Feast” Culinary Discovery Tour in the Bay of Islands visits Kerikeri, a horticultural center and home to Ake Ake winery for a tasting with the head vintner and a meal created from locally grown foods.
The culinary tour in Tauranga, “Maori ‘Kai’ Cooking Demo and Kiwi Fruit,” explores a kiwi orchard followed by a trip to the lakes of Rotorua for a traditional Maori luncheon.
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