Cruise Specialists hosts Steve and Wendy Bodenheimer are taking us along on another amazing journey. We hope this series shows you what you can expect on a Holland America Grand Voyage. Here are previous peeks: Grand voyage send off, what to expect at sea.
The approach to Nuku Hiva, one of the primary islands in the Marquesas group, is spectacular. Dramatic peaks give the impression of an uninhabited wilderness. Lush valleys look untouched. Beautiful flowers seem to grow wild everywhere. Up close, it’s a little more developed, but not much. We anchor in Taiohae Bay and are tendered into the small town that spreads out along the shoreline.
Costumed residents play a welcome song on their drums and we are all offered a flower greeting. There is a Visitor Center, several cafes, and a craft center set up for our shopping pleasure. Intricate wood carvings are the specialty here.
We noticed something new – a huge tiki sculpture, built on a small hill right next to the pier. A short walk up takes us to this massive construction, with a great view over the bay. It’s the largest contemporary sculpture in the South Pacific, 40 feet high on a base. The information plaque tells us it took 6 men 6 months to build it in 2016. From our vantage point, we could see a town park and beach we had not spotted before, where several people from the ship were taking a dip in the clear blue water.
Special Day At Sea
A day at sea followed with the usual long list of activities. Added to the schedule was a talk we presented for our Cruise Specialists Guests on Geocaching. We had about 50 people attend!
We spent about an hour and a half giving them the what, where, how, and why of our favorite activity. We have a bunch who want to go with us to see how it’s done, so we’re organizing several field trips for later in the Voyage.
A group of our Guests were also interested in what caches might be near their home. So Steve is going to print a geocaching map of their neighborhood to give to them.
Our last stop in French Polynesia was in Bora Bora, where we hosted a tour for our Cruise Specialists Guests. It was an island discovery by open air truck.
These vehicles were without windows but did have 4-across seats with removable cushions. They were surprisingly comfortable. We drove completely around the island, with stops for photos at the scenic bays, the very popular Matira Beach, and the famous Bloody Mary’s Restaurant and Bar.
Our guide told us about houses owned by Marlon Brando and Dino DeLaurentis, and pointed out the hotel where Nicole Kidman spent her honeymoon (she wasn’t sure which husband she was with). We watched land crabs eating hibiscus blooms that we threw their way.
And we visited a local business where they make pareos, the hand dyed cloths that women use as beach wraps or skirts. We watched the process and helped make several of the colorful cloths. Of course this was also a shopping opportunity, which many of our Guests took advantage of.
Bora Bora is probably the most famous and popular of the French Polynesian destinations. We’re told that staying at one of those luxurious resorts with the thatched roof huts out over the water is a memorable (and extraordinarily expensive) experience. And the diving, snorkeling and swimming are supposed to be amazing.
Start planning for your own 2020 World Cruise >>
(That’s right most 2019 sailings are already sold out!!)