A “Suite” Experience at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

The perfect place to read a book, sip a cocktail, or just do nothing at all - poolside at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort

My bed said it all. Using pieces carved from dried palm leaves, the housekeepers at Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort and Spa had meticulously spelled out “Ia ora na” across my king-size mattress. They added a dash of color with fresh flowers plucked from the garden and sweetened the offering with two bars of exfoliating soap … Read more

Tattooed from Head to Toe in the Marquesas Islands

Seaman aboard the Aranui 5 cruise ship is covered from head to toe in tattoos

The seaman was a shock at first. I’d stepped through the bulkhead door and into a dim interior passageway on board the Aranui 5 cruise ship. When my eyes finally adjusted from the brilliant sunshine outside, I found myself staring into the face of a sailor who was covered from head to foot with Polynesian … Read more

VIDEO: Delivering Freight in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia

The best way to see French Polynesia is a aboard the Aranui 5, a combination cruise ship and freighter

Perhaps the best way to see French Polynesia is to take a cruise on the Aranui 5, a combination cruise ship and freighter. The ship visits three of the island groups in the French territory and delivers freight to all six of the inhabited islands in the Marquesas Archipelago. In this video, I interview Tino, … Read more

The Kindness of a Stranger Makes Memories in the Marquesas Islands

Me, wearing the "umu hei" given to me by a local mama on Fatu Hiva

I sometimes wonder what makes a trip memorable. I’ve traveled around 97 countries and six territories and, honestly, there are times when I can’t remember what country I am in, much less which city. My memories of destinations are sometimes indistinct. I can see the houses, the streets, the people, and even recall specific situations, … Read more

Sailing Around French Polynesia with Aranui 5, a Combo Cruise Ship and Freighter

The Aranui 5, a combination passenger ship and freighter, offers a French Polynesia cruise around the Marquesa Islands in the South Pacific

One thing I know for sure. Not all cruises are created equal. I have long eschewed voyages on behemoth cruise ships that carry up to 6,000 passengers and offer on-board amenities like water slides, rock-climbing walls, and miniature golf. Likewise, I have no interest in glitzy ports where the focus is on shopping, or on … Read more