the JoC Tahitian t-shirt Tour 2018

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"Let's go on a cruise and visit Bora Bora!"

"Wait... what?"

I think that's how this one started out. Can't be 100% sure, but I am certain Bora Bora was planted in my mind at some stage, most likely from an old work colleague who visited the place way back when.

As regular Holland America Line (HAL) cruisers, we had a quick look to see what they had to offer and found a neat 14 day cruise around French Polynesia starting and ending at Papeete, Tahiti, aboard the ms Maasdam, a sister ship to the ms Zaandam which we cruised on back in 2017 for the JoC South American Odyssey.

Like previous cruises, we spent a bit of time exploring before our cruise departed, staying in Papeete at a place called Hotel Sarah Nui, which sounded like a reasonable place to stay, considering the price (accommodation can be expensive here) and the proximity to the port for departure/return. Never managed to read a review that said the roosters would start roostering at three thirty in the A.M. and the local population would be heading to work on their 2-stroke motorised noise makers an hour and a half later. Hindsight is a wonderful thing... so take note of the above if you are considering heading that way in the future. Here is my TripAdvisor review of our stay.

On the days we weren't walking around the main streets of Papeete checking out the t-shirts, we managed to squeeze in a couple of tours with Tracey from Unique Tahiti. We went on a half day East Coast Tour and followed that up with a full day West Coast Tour. Highly recommended.

Can't go any further without mentioning the Papeete Roulottes, or food trucks. Found down near where the cruise ships dock. You are spoilt for choice and quantity with up to a dozen of these mobile restaurants setting up on most nights from around 6pm.

Much like our South American Odyssey, which had quite a strong historical (and more recent) theme with the Beagle and it's voyages, this tour also had a bit of sea going history included as well, with thanks to LT Cook, the folks on board the HMS Bounty and not forgetting the original seafarers who migrated from Taiwan and settled in what is now Polynesia before heading off to discover where Fush n' Chups come from.

So, where exactly did we get to on this 14 day cruise? In a nutshell.... here. Up on the top right of that map is a place called Hiva Oa which we did visit, however the sea conditions were not the best for ship to shore transfers so we missed out on that one. Mind you the photo from Hiva Oa link does not exactly show you the conditions at that time. Also of note, some old house painter named Gauguin is buried there.

This is the where and when of it all (not forgetting the International Date Line, so these dates are the dates we experienced at that time and date... will let you figure out the date it was where you were at that time - head exploded yet?)... :

28_29 Oct 2018 - in port Papeete
30 Oct 2018 - at sea
31 Oct 2018 - Atuona, Hiva Oa
1 Nov 2018 - Taiohae, Nuku Hiva
2 Nov 2018 - at sea
3 Nov 2018 - Avatoru, Rangiroa
4 Nov 2018 - Maroe Bay, Huahine Iti
5 Nov 2018 - Vaitape, Bora Bora
6 Nov 2018 - at sea
7 Nov 2018 - Avatiu, Rarotonga
8 Nov 2018 - at sea
9 Nov 2018 - Uturoa, Raiatea
10 Nov 2018 - Bahia d' Opunoha, Moorea

Remember, more photos can be viewed via the links on the left of this page.

*Errors of grammer/spelling are of my doing. Facts were correct at the time of creating this page.

Happy Cruising

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