Fourteen Day Adventure on a Five-Star Radisson Ship
Visit Fantasy, South Sea Islands Rarely Seen by Man
View an Extremely Rare and Beautiful Total Solar Eclipse
Cruise French Polynesia. Explore shallow coral reefs by assisted snorkel or scuba dive experts. Also, for your pleasure, we have added an entire schedule of enrichment activities. These lectures, workshops and hands-on activities range from underwater photography workshops to polishing your own meteorite plus other astronomy activities! (Some of these activities are listed belowalso see speaker page.) And see a total eclipse of the Sun. The total eclipse will be shallow, which means we will see a spectacle of dancing Baily's beads skittering around the edge of the Moon as totality begins and ends. The smaller relative size of the Moon also means we will see more of the Sun's beautiful ruby-red prominences peeking from all around the Moon. See Cruise Route Map to see the path our ship will take, a journey of over 6,000 km or nearly 4,000 mi.
Most Meals Included
(Meals provided shown by B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
DAY 1: APR 2, 2005 (SAT). PAPEETE, TAHITI BOARD MS GAUGUIN.
Our cruise departs and
returns to Papeete, the modern and bustling capital of Tahiti and her
volcanic islands atolls strewn across the vast South Pacific Ocean. Here,
from Mahina ("Point Venus"), about 10 km east of Papeete on
the north coast, Capt. James Cook successfully observed the 1769 transit
of Venus. Today, settle in to your well-appointed cabin on the Ms Paul
Gauguin, complete with rich hardwood furnishings and an in-suite stocked
bar. You are just one of just 320 guests on the most elegant vessel based
year-round in Tahiti. Enjoy ultimate luxury privacy, no crowds,
no endless announcements and no long lines. All staterooms have sweeping
ocean views. On your first night in La Veranda restaurant, your luscious
compote is composed so artfully that it rivals a painting by Gauguin himself.
DAY 2: APR 3, 2005 (SUN). SAILING THE SOUTH SEAS
Today is an ideal day to explore the ship's features between Astronomical Tours workshops and activities. Explore the Fare "Tahiti House" museum gallery of unique art and artifacts which convey the fascinating history and culture of the islands of Polynesia. The collection includes paintings, prints, statues and documents relating to Tahiti's pre-European past, including several woodcut prints and an original bronze by Gauguin himself. TODAY'S ASTRONOMICAL TOURS' ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: HANDS-ON UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: APR 4, 2005 (MON). AT SEA ON THE MS PAUL GAUGUIN.
By now, you will have come to know the special staff called "Le Gauguines". These young Tahitian ladies job is to bring the culture of their homeland onto the ship during the entire cruise. This includes serenading passengers in dining rooms in traditional dress, putting on several performances featuring Polynesian songs, dances and customs. TODAY'S ASTRONOMICAL TOURS' ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: GETTING TO KNOW METEORITES! Today, Dr. Michael D. Reynolds will teach you all about meteorites. You will learn what is so special about these rocks from space and how to recognize them. You will learn how to polish your own piece of North African Meteorite which is yours to bring home. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: APR 5, 2005 (TUE). AT SEA ON THE MS PAUL GAUGUIN.
Your Polynesian experience continues at a comfortable and gracious pace. Today, Les Gauguines share time making local jewelry, pareo tying, applying Polynesian makeup, storytelling and Polynesian dance lessons. TODAY'S ASTRONOMICAL TOURS' ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: MAKING A SAFE SOLAR FILTER. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: APR 6, 2005 (WED). PITCAIRN ISLAND.
We visit Pitcairn Island, both notorious and elusive. Pitcairn Island (5 sq km or 2 sq mi) has a volcanic origin and is the main island of a group including uninhabited Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno that form a dependency of the United Kingdom. Pitcairn is characterized by steep basaltic cliffs rising abruptly from the sea and fertile soil but no streams. Adamstown, its only village, lies on the northern coast, near Bounty Bay.
Mutineers of the HMS Bounty and a group of Polynesian men and women occupied this island in 1790. Visit the direct descendants of the infamous Bounty, whose island solitude is so isolated that they still speak Old English. Population abt. 50. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: APR 7, 2005 (THU). DEPART PITCAIRN ISLAND.
After leaving Pitcairn Island we sail in a northerly direction over 500 km to our eclipse viewing area in the Central South Pacific. (See Day #7.) (B,L,D)
DAY 7: APR 8, 2005 (FRI). AT SEA TOTAL ECLIPSE CENTER LINE.
Arrival with ample time prior to first contact, the Paul Gauguin is fitted with state of the art satellite weather communication. The Sun will just barely be eclipsed for approximately 35 seconds of totality, offering an abundance of ruby red prominences and bright Baily's Beads. Safe filters to view the partial phases of the eclipse will be provided. See our Eclipse Page for more details about this eclipse.
Our Cruise Route Map shows the path of totality through the area where the MS Gauguin will cruise. (B,L,D)
CIRCUMSTANCES OF ECLIPSE AT INTERCEPT POINT
|| Central South Pacific Ocean|
about 2,310 km (1,435 mi) east-southeast of Papeete
and 535 km (330 mi) north-northeast of Pitcairn Island
(precise location subject to weather conditions)
|| Lat. 20°43.8' S, Long. 127°51.7' W|
| Beginning of Partial Phase
|| 18:30 UT ( 9:30 a.m. local time); Altitude Sun 49° |
| Time of Totality
|| 19:58 UT (10:58 a.m. local time); Altitude Sun 61°|
| Duration Totality
|| abt. 35.5 sec |
| End of Partial Phase
|| 21:30 UT (12:30 a.m. local time); Altitude Sun 58°|
| Probability Seeing Eclipse
|| 50% (Percentage Scattered Clouds 52%)|
|| (Mean Daytime Cloud Cover Map)|
(See Eclipse Page for further details including notes about the times given here.)
DAY 8: APR 9, 2005 (SAT). AT SEA ON THE MS PAUL GAUGUIN.
TODAY'S ASTRONOMICAL TOURS' ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVING WITH BINOCULARS - Another hands-on activity, Dr. Reynolds will familiarize you with the amazing and different treasures of the southern sky. He will be explaining how to put your binoculars to use for quality stargazing with results that will surprise you! (B,L,D)
DAY 9: APR 10, 2005 (SUN). AT SEA ON THE MS PAUL GAUGUIN SAILING TO MARQUESAS
Learn the crafts and dances of the Polynesian culture from the experts on board. Like the Polynesians, you may wish to simply follow what the day brings. You will be invited to complimentary Tahitian-Style events and social gatherings during the cruise. TODAY'S ASTRONOMICAL TOURS' ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: MAKING A SAFE SOLAR FILTER. (See our page on eye safety.) (B,L,D)
DAY 10: APR 11, 2005 (MON). ATUONA, HIVA OA.
Above the steady rumble of the Pacific surge, sharply sculpted mountains of Hiva Oa hide their summits in the mists of rain-filled clouds. The largest and most fertile island in the southern group of the Marquesas, Hiva Oa has deep valleys, lush plateaus and thickly wooded forests.
Walk in the footsteps of Paul Gauguin on Hiva Oa where he found his ultimate inspiration surrounded by the pristine natural and unaffected beauty of French Polynesia. His paintings and sculptures captured the raw beauty of the peaceful, natural wonder which shines within these islands and its people. (B,L,D)
DAY 11: APR 12, 2005 (TUE). TAIOHAE, NUKA HIVA.
Taiohae's spectacular bay is a giant volcanic amphitheater dominated by towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls. Taiohae Bay is where a 23-year-old sailor, Herman Melville and a buddy jumped a whaling ship in 1842. Hidden amidst the bamboo and vanilla vines are undiscovered archaeological treasures. The area is dotted with stone tiki gods and sacred ritual sites (me'ae) and immense stone platforms (paepae) where the Taipi built their houses. Enigmatic petroglyphs of birds, sacred turtles and fish are carved on huge boulders. (B,L,D)
DAY 12: APR 13, 2005 (WED). AT SEA ON THE MS PAUL GAUGUIN.
Celebrate the art of living aboard the Ms Paul Gauguin with its intimate size, subtle elegance and open, airy ambience. Every day at sea is packed with activities ... from deck games to entertainment. Indulge yourself in a relaxing massage. Exercise. Shop at onboard boutiques. Take a dip in the pool. The day is yours. Indulge! (B,L,D)
DAY 13: APRIL 14, 2005 (THU). FAKARAVA, TUAMOTU ARCHIPELAGO.
This remote island atoll is home to countless species of small, medium and large ocean fish. Manta rays, Dolphin and occasionally whales come into the lagoon for easy viewing for the advanced diver. Fakarava is also home to one of Tahiti's famous Black Pearl culture beds. Here, you can visit the beds and buy a fabulous piece of Tahiti to take home. (B,L,D)
DAY 14: APR 15, 2005 (FRI). MOOREA, TAHITI.
Visit the island most famous for relaxation and for its coral underwater diversity. This magical island inspired James Michener to write about mythical "Bali Hai." Rugged mountains rise dramatically from the ocean and stand guard over this lush island of white sandy beaches, pineapple plantations, cascading waterfalls and secluded coves. A trip through the lushly-forested inland to Le Belvedere lookout opens a breathtaking view of deep blue waters of Cook's and Opunohu bays. Moorea is one of the worlds best dive locations for experts and amateurs. Crystal-clear waters over miles and miles of coral reef provide access to hundreds of species of friendly and colorful fish. Moorea is also an excellent place to relax and take that time off that you have always promised yourself. (B,L,D)
DAY 15: APR 16, 2005 (SAT). PAPEETE, TAHITI.
An early morning arrival and good-byes to your friendly crew before you are transferred to your airline for your flight home. (B)
Itinerary Changes While every effort is made to adhere to the specifics mentioned
herein, changes may be required at times. Therefore, all prices, itineraries,
and other pertinent information are those in effect at the time this material
was prepared, and are subject to change without notice.
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