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Trip Report Setting Sail for the South Pacific

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Since there is little information about cruising the South Pacific, I'd like to add what I can. My husband and I just completed a 3-week cruise on Holland America from Los Angeles to Sydney. We can't say enough good things about Holland -- excellent cruise in all respects. We had plenty of "at sea" days but never ran out of fun things to do. Our ship, the Volendam, was small enough to feel homey, and the level of customer service was outstanding. Here is a recap of what we did in each of the ports:

Hilo, Hawaii -- We rented a car and had originally planned to see Volcanoes National Park but it was closed because of the government shutdown. Had a great time visiting Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, and Onomea Lookout. We rented the car from Enterprise's downtown office (not at the airport), and it could not have been easier.

Honolulu, Hawaii -- Toured Chinatown on our own and then took an afternoon tour with Enoa Tours (www.enoa.com). We did the East Oahu Circle Tour which included views of
Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head, plus the very scenic Pali Lookout. It was a good tour providing a decent overview of the area.

Pago Pago, American Samoa -- It seemed like everyone on the island was offering tours at the pier. We picked one and had a fun time that included snorkeling at the beautiful $2 Beach.

Suva, Fiji -- This was one of our favorite port days. We took the excellent Jewels of Fiji Tour with Discover Fiji (www.discoverfijitours.com) which included a boat ride, a swim under a waterfall, bamboo rafting, and a traditional lunch in the village. Fabulous way to experience Fijian culture!

Port Vila, Vanuatu -- Once again, the port was teeming with taxi cab drivers (some quite aggressive). We spent the day on our own in Port Vila. (We had originally scheduled a snorkeling trip but had to cancel since we both had head colds.)

Easo on the island of Lifou, New Caledonia -- Another top favorite port! The beauty of Easo is that there is basically nothing here other than the incredible beaches. Highly recommend the snorkeling at Baie de Jinek (a short walk from the pier) -- the variety of colorful fish right off the beach was simply awesome.

Noumea, New Caledonia -- Many tour operators were selling their tours at the port. We took an orientation tour of the city and the surrounding area which was a good way to get our bearings. Then, we wandered the city on our own; we particularly enjoyed the city museum.

Overall, this was a terrific cruise taking us to places we would never have seen otherwise. One of the many advantages was the fact that instead of the jet lag you experience when flying, we got an extra hour of sleep every couple nights! A totally relaxing way to travel across the Pacific.

For more details (and pictures) here is the link to our blog:
http://supsictravelsouthpacific.blogspot.com/

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