Thursday, August 15, 2013




  

The brilliant colors of tropical fish and the exotic marine life living beneath the sea lead vacationer’s to embark on scuba diving adventures all around the world. Scuba diving is a unique excursion because you never see the same image twice. With every turn of your head and kick of your feet, you are given a new and exciting view. Each specie is very unique in their own way and as they gracefully swim past they leave you in awe trying to take in every detail. The curiosity of the sea will always call adventure seekers to explore beneath the ocean waters.


Scuba diving is offered in multiple destinations around the world, but where can you see the most interesting species and a bigger variety of marine life? Divezone.net has the top ten dive sites listed and gives details on each.
Their top rated dive site is a sunken ship wreck in Australia, SS Yongala Wreck. The ship rediscovered in 1958 uncovered an underwater world you have to see to believe. The amount of marine life that calls this ship wreck home is incredible. While diving at the SS Yongala Wreck in Australia, you can expect to see barracudas, Giant Trevallies Turtles, and sea snakes. Keep your eyes out for the bigger species as well and you just may spot a Bull Shark or a Tiger Shark.
The Sipadan Islands are known world-wide for the amazing visibility beneath the water and a top dive-site. Among the Sipadan Islands you will find a dive destination, Barracuda Point. Imagine thousands of barracudas passing by, tropical fish, sea turtles, and even sharks swimming all around you. This is a dive for the books, so don’t forget your underwater camera on this excursion!

Third on the list is a dive site, North Horn, for the adventure seeking, dare-devils. Located in Australia, you can dive with all the sharks found swimming along the Great Barrier Reef. Encountering so many different marine species and swimming with the sharks, it’s like swimming in an aquarium. Keep your eyes open and see how many different species of sharks you can spot during your dive. Look for the plentiful Gray Reef Sharks, Silvertip Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, and catch a feeding and your adrenaline will be pumping faster than ever!

Richelieu Rock dive site comes in near the top at number four. If you have a trip to Thailand planned, make time to go scuba diving in a place also described as “Whale Shark Magnet”. Here you may spot a whale shark, Manta Ray, Dogtooth Tunas, Giant Trevallies Turtles, Tiger Tail Sea Horses, Pipefishes, Harlequin Shrimp and more. The variety of the marine life lurking below the waters at Richelieu Rock is incredible. 

Wreck sites are often popular areas for scuba diving because many marine animals find and make homes inside the nooks of the ruins. A popular ship wreck is the USS Liberty Wreck in Bali. With an unbelievable story of how the ship found its final resting place, the vessel lies on a sand slope in nine to thirty meters of water. While lurking around the ship wreck, keep your eyes open and you can hope to see a Black Tip Shark, a Garden Eel, and the Surgeonfish. All with distinct markings and various colors, the marine life is a sight to see here at the USS Liberty Wreck.

Also found on divezone.net is sites 6-10 which include: Cod Hole near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia coming in at number six. At number seven, also located in Australia is the Australian Navy Pier. Crystal Bay can be found near Bali. Taking the number nine spot on the list is Batu Bolong Dive Site found in the Komodo Islands. Last but not least, wrapping the list up at number ten is Elephant Head Rock in the Similan Islands.






Friday, July 19, 2013

The Society Islands

Tahiti- Queen of the Pacific

Tahiti is the largest island in the Society Islands group, located just between Los Angeles, California and Sydney, Australia. Along your cruise through the French Polynesian Island group, you will stop at Papeete, the capital of the island where you can expect to see lush greenery covering the island creating a beautiful landscape. Tahiti offers a variety of activities and things to do on the island. Grab a set of clubs and take on a game of golf. Tahiti is home to one of the only places in the French Polynesian with a golf course. If you are wishing to take the scenic tour of Tahiti, perhaps a hike to discover hidden valleys and waterfalls is an activity you would enjoy. Explore the tallest mountain in the French Polynesian, Mount Orohena, or spend the day at the famous surf spot in Teahupoo. Tahiti is a wonderful place to visit and explore for everyone offering a variety of activities and adventures.


Feeding the Sacred Eels
Huahine- Garden of Eden
 Lush forests, untamed landscapes, and quaint village towns cover the island of Huahine. During your visit to the island, check out the harvests of vanilla, melons, and bananas, the island provides rich soil producing the right mixture to produce these crops. Few residents on the island of Huahine, but nonetheless, they still have the welcoming and hospitable spirit towards tourists the French Polynesian is known for. White sand beaches, and azure waters surround the island creating a beautiful picturesque destination ideal for tourists. 

Bora Bora- The Romantic Island
Known as the honeymooner’s paradise, couples all over the world travel to see the unbelievable sights the island of Bora Bora has to offer. White sand beaches, beautiful crystal blue waters, towering palm trees, and blossoming hibiscus covering the slopes and valleys are a few sights you can expect to see as you cruise up to the island. Upon arrival to the beautiful, romantic island of Bora Bora, take a look off the side of the ship for the huge Manta Rays, vibrant tropical fish, and coral gardens decorating the ocean floor below.








Taha’a- The Vanilla Island
You will know when you have arrived to the island of Taha’a by the sweet aroma of vanilla lingering in the air.

 Moorea- The Magical Island
Cruise over to the magical island of Moorea and as you arrive, look towards the sky to see the charming birds of paradise and the exquisite mountain ridges. Explore the island to discover the pastel painted houses that are surrounded by gardens of hibiscus flowers. And before departing the island, make sure to find one of the many waterfalls flowing gently down the fern covered cliffs!

Raiatea- The Sacred Island
Known as the sacred island because of the rich cultural and historical significance. The island is home for many rare and indigenous flowers and plant species, host of the largest outdoor temple in the Polynesia called the Taputapuatea Marae, and traces of the historical past of Raiatea still exist. This is the island adventurous travelers will love! See the inner jungle on a 4-wheel drive adventure, hike to Mount Temehani to see the sacred flower whose only existence is on this island, or wind through the rainforest on the Faaroa River by boat, canoe, or kayak. If you enjoy the life under the waves, snorkel or scuba by the reef between Raiatea and Taha’a. Here is where you will find multiple marine species, caverns, drop-offs, and famous ship wrecks. This is the perfect island to experience unforgettable adventures. At the end of the day, you can retreat back to the ship to enjoy a gourmet meal and relax in luxury as you cruise toward your next destination.




 (www.tahiti.com)















Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Islands Visited on the Paul Gauguin Cruise Ship

Tuamotus
The island of Tuamotus is known around the world for their unique diving encounters. Scuba divers from all around the world flock to this island to experience the unpredictable adventure of swimming with the unknown. Tuamotus is a very remote island, near a calm lagoon, surrounded by extremely deep ocean waters, steep drop-offs and cliffs. Calm waters in the lagoon help with the clarity of the water leaving divers the ability to see 20-30 meters deep. Known for the unique and diverse diving experience the island offers, you will encounter a diverse array of fish species. Things to look forward to when diving include:

  • Largest schools of fish anywhere on the planet
  • Black tipped sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks, and gray reef sharks
  • Barracuda
  • Tuna
  • Red Snapper
  • Napoleon Fish
  • Surgeon Fish
  • Huge Moray Eels
  • Sting Rays
  • Sea Turtles
  • Brightly colored and smaller tropical fish species
  • Whalesharks

Rangiroa, Tuamotus: The Endless Lagoon
Off the coast of Rangiroa, you can expect to swim with one of the most favored marine species, the dolphin. Another beloved to see is the Manta Ray. Manta Rays are the largest rays in the world, and feed on plankton, which is why you typically see them hanging out in the lagoon at Rangiroa. Seeing the beloved marine animals in the wild in their natural habitats is always a trilling experience for everyone.

Fakarava, Tuamotus: The Island of Dreams

Fakarava, is an untouched world where nesting birds and marine life live in perfect harmony with the land and water. The rich ecosystem is home to rare birds, plants, and crustaceans offering explorers unbelievable opportunities for sight-seeing. The environment of the island is very pure and designated by UNESCO  Biosphere Reserve for the preservation of rare species.

(www.tahiti-tourisme.com)


Monday, July 15, 2013

Paul Gauguin Cruises


The story of Paul Gauguin Cruises began in the South Pacific. But it does not end there. Today, the distinctive island spirit of the South Seas is also charting a course for the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. Each of the Paul Gauguin ships was built to maneuver from open ocean to intimate ports as nimbly as a yacht, bringing you closer to your destination than any larger vessel can.

Your luxury experience begins the moment you step foot on board, where you’ll be enveloped in an atmosphere that is at once luxurious and relaxed. Each and every element of the newly renovated ships – from the simple, yet elegant d├ęcor of the public areas to your spacious, ocean view accommodations – has been artfully crafted to complement the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Guests aboard the cruises often speak of the outstanding hospitality and exquisite attention to detail. With one of the highest at sea crew-to-guest ratio, the dedicated crew is committed to ensuring that every guest experience aboard The Gauguin and The Moana is nothing short of first class.
Special Occasions: Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, wedding, honeymoon, birthday, or family reunion, we can arrange any of a variety of gatherings to suit your style from a cocktail party to a festive dinner or private celebration.

Master Ship Paul Gauguin
·         332 Guest Suites with a crew to guest ratio of 1:1.5
·         Lounge & Disco
·         Zodiak for optional dive excursions
·         Pool

Master Vessel Moana
·         90 Guest Suites with a crew to guest ratio of 1:1.5
·         Pool
·         Hot Tub



All Inclusive: Enjoy many accommodations and amenities all included in your fare aboard the Paul Gauguin and Moana. Spacious, ocean view accommodations. All shipboard meals, in your choice of venues. 24-hour room service. Beverages, including select wines and spirits, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages served throughout the ship. Shipboard entertainment. Gratuities. Luxurious onboard spa. Fitness center. Piano and Pool Bars. 

Exclusive Private Retreats: Relax in the shade of a palm tree, unwind to the songs of the Gauguines, indulge in a motu massage, or float the day away in the aquamarine lagoon. When refreshments are a necessity, enjoy a cocktail from the floating bar. In Bora Bora, guests aboard The Gauguin have access to Paul Gauguin exclusive, private beach on a motu off the coast of the island. There’s nothing better than relaxing on the white-sand motu and admiring Bora Bora’s postcard-perfect scenery from across the crystal-clear turquoise lagoon.

Life Beneath the Waves: Polynesia’s translucent, turquoise lagoons are begging to be explored. The Paul Gauguin master ship provides complimentary snorkeling equipment to all guests on every departure. You are also invited to board a Zodiac for an optional scuba adventure. Scuba excursions are designed for all levels of experience, and the luxury ship in the French Polynesian islands to offer onboard refresher courses, as well as PADI certification for novices.
Continue following our blog to learn about the different locations Paul Gauguin cruises takes guests to explore.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Explorers, navigators, adventure seekers… We have found an extravagant new destination for you! Anyone looking to explore and experience the natural environment and cultural surroundings of South America is sure to love one, many, or all of the adventures Explora offers. 

Atacama: The Desert - Alive
Take in the striking views around you as you experience luxury, tranquility, and relaxation while staying at the Hotel de Larache. You will need your rest to be able to explore everything Atacama has to offer. With high and vibrant volcanoes, salt flats, lagoons and ravines perfect for exploration, tourists coming to discover Atacama can take in the sights by horseback, bicycle, or foot. Explora accommodates everyone offering the perfect adventure … providing explorations that are gentle and last only a couple hours to the more physically demanding which last a full day. 

Patagonia: The Most Southern Tip of the World
Located in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park, the Hotel Salto Chico, affords you with the most bizarre scenery as you relax and let the landforms and wildlife encompass you. A stay at one of the least populated areas of the world creates an experience unlike any other. You are surrounded by the natural environment gazing at mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers like you have never witnessed before. If you are trying to get away from the “hustle and bustle” of everyday life, Patagonia is the unspoiled location to find tranquility perfect for clearing the mind and understanding the natural beauty of our earth. 

Rapa Nui – In the Middle of the Pacific

Not your typical island vacation, the Pacific island of Rapa Nui is approximately five hours by plane from the coast of Chile or the island of Tahiti. Home to various marine wildlife, plant species and a rich cultural environment, the island is overflowing with diversity! Come and experience the unique island as you discover the various forms of originality expressed through cuisine, sports, dance, music, ceremonies, craft work, and the native language. Afterwards, dive in to the deluxe accommodations provided for those on the explora tour of Rapa Nui. The resort Posada de Mike Rapu offers a serene setting to unwind and relax from an eventful day of exploration.


Monday, July 1, 2013

British Virgin Islands


British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands remains an undeveloped haven of natural treasures. No high-rise hotels, casinos, or large crowds, the quaint British Virgin Islands, nestled between the deep Atlantic and the glittering Caribbean Sea, are able to give every visitor the perfect island get-a-way experience! This is the place to come, unwind and relax with the blue waters below and the sun shining above you are sure to forget all your worries! Offering multiple stunning islands, the destination lures adventurers, romantics and escapists with verdant hillsides, pristine beaches, Technicolor tides, colorful aquarium of diverse sea life and extensive coral reefs and the renowned wrecks they've claimed.

The sailing capital of the world is a title the British Virgin Islands are glad to represent. Fair weather and constant winds make nautical travel between the numerous islands a breeze! Day trips to surrounding islands by ferry boats can add the right amount of adventure to any trip allowing you to explore the natural attractions.

While there is plenty on land to explore, beneath the sea offers a whole other world to discover. The secluded coves of the BVI provide outstanding underwater visibility and a wide variety of exotic dive sites. Among the many underwater secrets include countless reefs, towering coral pinnacles, underwater caves, canyons, and more than 100 dive sites. Whether you are a novice snorkeler or skilled scuba diver, the treasures beneath the sea will provide an extraordinary experience.

Breaking the world record with catches like the Atlantic Blue Marlin, the islands are known for outstanding fishing. Secret fishing holes tucked into shallow crevices to renowned deep water spots, the British Virgin Islands provides fishermen fruitful waters to catch the various species of fish swimming below!

Tortola:
  • Vibrant center of activity
  • Surfing in the northern Apple and Josiah's Bay
  • Sailing adventures in the south from Nanny Cay and Road Harbour
Virgin Gorda:
  • Mysterious large boulders scattered along the island
  • Savannah Bay, Mountain Point and Long Bay know for curving stretches of secluded beaches
  • The Baths is a natural wonder beyond belief
Jost Van Dyke:
  • Known for the New Year's Party, the Soggy Dollar Bar and the abundance of bars only steps away from the water
  • The beach is the main road on the island
  • One of the most popular day excursions in the BVI
Anegada:
  • Located north with 23 miles of untouched, uninterrupted beaches
  • Succulent lobster feasts
  • Offers a remote feel providing a dream-like location perfect for relaxation

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Primland




Open your eyes to the simple pleasure of a mountain getaway at this refined East Coast vacation resort. The staff at Primland will show you the subtleties of nature and reacquaint you with the restorative powers of silence. Your server will remember just how you take your drink, your children’s names and that you like a freshly baked cookie after lunch. You will sense the love your wilderness guide has for the mountain and all its creatures, and the depth of his expertise. You will always find a kind word, authentic humor and an open heart.


Primland’s founder, Didier Primat, wanted to create a place of immense beauty that offers his guests a return to simple human pleasures.  He developed Primland in an eco-conscious and thoughtful manner, as the ultimate retreat for world-class golf, refined dining and outdoor activities. Our love of the land is expressed in our extensive efforts to minimize our impact on nature, the freshness of our food, the many organic, sustainable ingredients we source locally or grow in our organic garden and the care with which we look after our guests.

Members of the A Way To Go Travel staff had the opportunity to experience first hand this beautiful, luxurious resort.  While only a little over an hour from Greensboro in Meadows of Dan VA, you feel that you are miles away.  We began our adventure riding ATV's over this 12,000 acre resort stopping from time to time to take in the beauty of the mountains.  After a 2 1/2 hour ride, we each took a "shot" at sporting clays.  We have a couple of good shots here at A Way To Go Travel! 

When we checked in at the Lodge, we were met with a very attentive staff that helped us with our luggage, parked our vehicle and showed us to our suites.  The suites at Primland are quite large as are the mountain rooms.  Showered and ready for our evening activities, we met downstairs in the beautiful open lobby for drinks.  Not wanting to miss a chance to be outdoors, we took a seat on the deck around the fire pit.  Dinner that evening was at Elements, the fine dining restaurant and yes, our server not only knew our names but remembered every little detail throughout the evening.  After dinner we went upstairs in the Observatory to view the stars.  In spite of the clouds, the astronomer was able to find a few stars for us to look at. 

The next morning we woke to a wonderful made to order breakfast at Elements then down to the spa for a massage.  The Spa at Primland offers an extensive menu of services each maintining a Native American influence.  Once we were fully relaxed, we were given the opportunity to tour the Fairway Cottages located on the golf course, the Mountain Homes, located amidst the beautiful trees and the Tree House Suite built on the side of the mountain wrapped around a tree.  Lunch that day was at Par 19...the pub.  The food was wonderful...right down to the pig candy (maple cured bacon with a kick), the homemade vinegar chips and the sweet tea!