ARANUI FAREWELL PARTY! Goodbye Tahiti, Marquesas and beautiful Polynesia!

You want to talk about epic trips? This was one of them … cruising around for 10 days aboard the crazy Aranui 5 through some of the most remote, beautiful, idyllic islands of French Polynesia was an adventure and a treat. And this party the last night aboard was the bomb. A feast unlike any I’ve seen before, with dancing, partying and just all around good times with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. So glad I got to have this one of a kind experience with such special, lovely people. Thank you Aranui and of course, thank you Get Lost Magazine for giving me experiences that I could never have wished for in my wildest dreams. So grateful.

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All aboard the Aranui 5: Papeete, Tahiti to the Marquesas Islands.

This was a trip for the books … Get Lost Magazine sent me to Tahiti to cruise with the legendary Aranui to the remote Polynesian Marquesas islands. What’s so special about the Aranui is that it’s half cargo ship, half luxury liner, the only boat of its kind. That’s how they are able to bring tourist to these absolutely remote islands that are simply not touristed by anyone else. You get to see Polynesian life as it happens naturally, which is a rare and special treat.

Make no mistake, as a passenger you are pampered and treated to some of the best cruising in the world. 5 star accomodations, amazing cuisine, shopping, entertainment, you name it. It’s a very special trip, and just watching this video makes me smile thinking of all the fantastic friends I made that quickly became family to me.

If you’re interested, check out a few of the other videos I’ve done that highlight the ship, and the different island destinations we hit up. It was in a word… magical.

 

 

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Ua Pou: The world’s only Tahitian Chocolate.

Ua Pou in the Marquesas islands of Polynesia is a fascinating place. Home of traditional Hula Kahiko, the most amazing abundance of tropical fruits, and the world’s only chocolate grown in Polynesia, this emerald island is not to be missed.

The small town sits above a green bay with white sandy beaches where you can kayak or take the sun. In the town center is a community garden, where locals will bring their arts and crafts, and lots of fruit for you to try, which is amazing. Don’t miss out on visiting the little general store to pick up some amazing local honeys and wares.

One of the most unique elements of the island is a man named Manfred Drexler (badass) who was born in East Germany and escaped to Tahiti 35 years ago. A chocolatier by trade, he pioneered the planting of cocoa on the island, and now produces the only chocolate in all of Polynesia. In a region of the world where vanilla is king, Manfred looked the other way, and brought the good dark brown stuff to this island paradise. It’s a unique chocolate, silky smooth, with rich umami and toasted flavors, and definitely a unique gift to bring home.

Of course a trip to Ua Pou would not be complete without experiencing traditional Hula Kahiko dance performed on a sacred heiau, which is beautiful, haunting, and exciting to watch. The men are ferocious, and the women graceful, and together they bring the spirit of Polynesia to life. Thanks Aranui for bringing us to paradise.

 

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Hiva Oa: Paul Gauguin & Jacques Brel knew what was good.

The Marquesas island of Hiva Oa, home of French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, greeted us with a misty, rainbow and lively music from beautifully tattooed locals, that welcomed us to explore this island paradise.

We boarded rickety wooden busses driven by guitar wielding drivers who carted us up the mountain to the Calvary Cemetery, to visit the graves of the two most famous residents here, Gauguin and Brel, where devoted fans from every corner of the world paid their respects with messages of love and respect etched on stones.

Next we dove into the world of Gauguin visiting his museum where an impressive collection of his work, and work of local artist in the style of Gauguin is presented, along with his workshop home, the Maison du Jouir, which walking though gives you an amazing understanding of this genius artists life.

Finally, walking back to the ship I stopped off at a darling little restaurant Chez Georges et Tahu, where we had an absolutely fabulous meal along the seaside. Highly recommended. Before we knew it we were back on our floating palace the Aranui 5 and Hiva Oa said goodbye with yet another beautiful rainbow. Hope to see you again soon, beautiful island in the Polynesian sea.

 

Bora Bora: Paradise on earth.

Bora Bora might be the most perfect island on the planet, with crystal clear blue lagoons, amazing scuba and snorkeling, and some of the most amazing beaches in the world.

I was fortunate enough to explore this island paradise with Aranui cruises this year, and got to experience first hand what island life is like. Music, cookouts, swimming, and a lot of petanque is pretty much guaranteed on the menu.

Scuba diving here is also a delicious treat, where you can easily swim with giant rays or black tip reef sharks, and of course the entire painter’s palette of colorful tropical fish.

Stay tuned for this ten part series as I travel through Tahiti and the Marquesas islands aboard the very cool Aranui 5.


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