29 Night Cruise sailing from Vancouver to Papeete aboard Pacific Princess.
There's a certain romance to sailing on a small ship like Pacific Princess which offers a refined elegance yet with many of the wonderful amenities found on larger ships. With a smaller group of guests on board, you'll enjoy the camaraderie among fellow guests who share your passion for travel and visit unique ports that only smaller ships have access to.
Highlights of this cruise:
It seems unlikely that a character named Gassy Jack Deighton would be responsible for one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. But that's history for you.
During the gold rush, Gassy Jack saw a chance to make money from the hordes of miners on their way to the Yukon. The saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gastown. From that ragtag group of shacks, modern Vancouver was born. The provincial government persuaded settlers to change the name of the town to Vancouver, after Captain George Vancouver, who sailed the region's waters in 1792.
Canada's third-largest city, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan place with a European feel and a personality all its own. It's a community with a rich ethnic mix - including the second-largest Chinatown in North America - and stunningly beautiful parks.
Welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii - a paradise of black-sand beaches, tropical rainforest and volcanic mountains. Mauna Loa, the largest mountain on the planet, soars above the bleak lava fields of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In the heart of the Big Island's lush rainforest lies the remote and stunning Wai'po Valley (Valley of the Kings). Hawaii's history matches its incomparable landscape - it is a saga of mighty Polynesian kings, sugar barons, war and treachery.
The landscape of the Big Island ranges from black-sand beaches to tropical rain forest to the alpine terrain of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. At 13,796 feet above sea level, the summit of Mauna Kea is the highest point in the entire Pacific basin.
Maui has always occupied a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians. The great warrior King Kamehameha, who united the islands under his rule, chose to make Lahaina his capital and Ka'anapali was once the favorite playground of Hawaiian royalty. And no wonder - Maui boasts stunning landscapes and superb beaches. Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano, rises 10,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Once hailed as The Valley of the Kings, Maui's Iao Valley is a tropical paradise dominated by the Needle, a volcanic monolith towering over the valley floor. Then there is Lahaina, once home to a royal court and a raucous port-of-call enjoyed by 19th-century Yankee whalers.
Haleakala means The House of the Sun. To the Hawaiians, it appeared that the sun both rose from and set in the depths of its massive crater. Today, the centerpiece of Haleakala National Park, it is one of Maui's major attractions.
Home to nearly half a million people, Honolulu is Hawaii's state capital and only major city. The city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu offer a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are two of the city's enduring symbols. Pearl Harbor, site of the USS Arizona Memorial and the Punchbowl, are haunting reminders of the tragic events of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor forced America into World War II. Honolulu is also home to the historic Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii's last royals. Beyond the city lie tropical rain forests, the Pali Lookout and the North Shore known for its surfing beaches.
A draw card to visitors of all ages, from all corners of the globe, Honolulu's appeal ranges from it's magnificent beaches, countless well-stocked shops, tempting restaurants and a multitude of historic, cultural and scenic attractions.
Majestic mountains sculpted by ancient volcanoes, a shimmering lagoon and a barrier reef dotted with tiny motu, or islets - welcome to Bora Bora, perhaps the most stunning island in the South Pacific. Only 4,600 people live a seemingly idyllic lifestyle in the main villages of Vaitape, Anau and Faanui. No wonder those generations of travelers - including novelist James Michener - regarded Bora Bora as an earthly paradise.
Connected to its sister islands by water and by air - the landing strip sits atop Motu Mute, one of the reef's islets - Bora Bora remains relatively unspoiled by the modern world.
Tahiti is not just an island - Tahiti has always been a state of mind. The bustling capital of Tahiti and her islands, Papeete is the chief port and trading center, as well as a provocative temptress luring people to her shores. Immortalized in the novel Mutiny on the Bounty, who could blame the men of HMS Bounty for abandoning their ship in favor of basking in paradise And what would Modern Art be without Tahiti's influence on Gauguin and Matisse Today the island is a charming blend of Polynesian joie de vivre and Gallic sophistication. But venture out from Papeete and you find a landscape of rugged mountains, lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and deserted beaches.
Contrasting with other French Polynesian ports, Papeete's coastline initially greets you with a vista of commercial activity that graciously gives way to both black and white-sand beaches, villages, resorts and historic landmarks.
One of Polynesia's best-kept secrets - Huahine, the Wild Island in the Society Islands - lies just over a hundred miles from Tahiti. The two islands of Huahine, Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti (Big Island and Little Island), are surrounded by a deep lagoon encircled by a coral necklace. Connected by a bridge, both islands boast white-sand beaches, vanilla plantations, friendly and easy-going islanders, and some of Polynesia's most significant cultural sites.
Rangiroa, meaning huge sky, is the largest atoll of Tahiti and her islands, and one of the four largest in the world. It has more than 240 motu (islets) separated by more than 100 hoa, small channels that make up its ring of coral, and in the center of the inside lagoon is the Paio Motu. Discover this long ribbon of islets located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and marvel at the incomparable brilliant colors of the lagoon.
Rangiroa features a palm-fringed coast and warm, blue tropical waters. The ship's tender will drop you off at the pier, affording you the opportunity to stroll the coastal road or do a bit of beachcombing. Rangiroa is famous for its surrounding coral reef and marine life. Be sure to spend at least part of the day enjoying the ocean in this very unique and rarely visited coral atoll.
Considered the second largest island in French Polynesia, Raiatea is situated approximately 120 miles northwest of Tahiti. For the Polynesian Maohi, ancestor of today's Tahitian, Raiatea was known as Sacred Havai'i and was the center of royalty, religion, culture and history. The principal village is Uturoa, with a population of over 10,000. This bustling port town features a colorful market and arts and crafts shops along the waterfront. Raiatea is currently undergoing a renaissance, with special attention being given to preserve the island's rich culture and heritage.
Raiatea's importance as both a religious and historical center for all of Polynesia is complemented by a wealth of archaelogical sites, tropical scenery and reef fringed lagoons.