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Straddling a narrow isthmus created by 60 different volcanoes, New Zealand’s former capital boasts scenic beauty, historical interest and a cosmopolitan collection of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and gardens. Rangitoto, Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano, sits in majestic splendor just offshore. Mt. Eden and One Tree Hill, once home to Maori earthworks, overlook the city. One of New Zealand’s fine wine districts lies to the north of Auckland.
Auckland served as New Zealand’s capital from 1841 until 1865, when the seat of government moved to Wellington.
The Bay of Islands offers more than broad vistas of sea and sky, more than beaches, boating, and fabulous water sports. The Bay is the birthplace of modern New Zealand. Here the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, establishing British rule and granting the native inhabitants equal status. Rich in legend and mystery, the Bay of Islands has age-old ties to the Maori and to whalers, missionaries and New Zealand’s early settlers.
The Bay of Islands has lured explorers for countless centuries. The Maori say that Kupe, the great Polynesian adventurer, came here in the 10th century. Captain Cook anchored offshore in 1769, followed by assorted brigands, traders, colonists and missionaries.
Note: Bay of Islands is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.
The International Date Line is an imaginary line extending from the North Pole to the South Pole through the Pacific Ocean. It serves as the 180th meridian of longitude, and is used to designate the beginning of each calendar day.
As you know, each adjacent time zone on the map has an hour time difference. However, at the International Date Line, +12 hours and -12 hours meet, bringing about a 24-hour time change. So while a person standing just to the west of the line may be celebrating Christmas Eve at 6 pm, someone just to the east will already be sitting down to Christmas dinner on December 25th.
Therefore, when your ship crosses this line heading west, a day is added, and while crossing in an easterly direction, a day is subtracted.
Crossing the International Date Line has long been a rite of passage for sailors, who often must participate in a line-crossing ceremony to become part of the sacred “Order of the Golden Dragon”, an honorary naval fraternity.
Pago Pago Bay is one of the most dramatic harbors in the South Pacific, a region known for dramatic landscapes. Eons ago, the massive seaward wall of a volcano collapsed and the sea poured in. Today, dramatic mountain peaks encircle the deep harbor.
The capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago is more village than city. The town is dominated by looming Mt. Pioa, whose summit draws moisture-bearing clouds, earning it the nickname of “The Rainmaker.” Indeed, Pago Pago draws more than its fair share of rain – the island of Tutuila is a vision of deep, verdant green.
Pronounced “Pango Pango,” this island paradise awaits exploration.
Majestic mountains sculpted by ancient volcanoes, a shimmering lagoon and a barrier reef dotted with tiny motu, or islets – welcome to Bora Bora, perhaps the most stunning island in the South Pacific. Only 4,600 people live a seemingly idyllic lifestyle in the main villages of Vaitape, Anau and Faanui. No wonder those generations of travelers – including novelist James Michener – regarded Bora Bora as an earthly paradise.
Connected to its sister islands by water and by air – the landing strip sits atop Motu Mute, one of the reef’s islets – Bora Bora remains relatively unspoiled by the modern world.
Papeete, on Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia, a group of islands in the South Pacific. Beside the port, busy Place Vai’ete fills with roulottes, or food carts, in the evenings. Nearby, the large Marché de Papeete market sells local produce, fish and handicrafts. The Robert Wan Pearl Museum focuses on the local pearl industry and sells jewelry.
Home to nearly half a million people, Honolulu is Hawaii’s state capital and only major city. The city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu offer a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are two of the city’s enduring symbols. Pearl Harbor, site of the USS Arizona Memorial and the “Punchbowl,” are haunting reminders of the tragic events of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor forced America into World War II. Honolulu is also home to the historic Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s last royals. Beyond the city lie tropical rain forests, the Pali Lookout and the North Shore known for its surfing beaches.
Lahaina is the largest census-designated place in West Maui, Maui County, Hawaii, United States and includes the Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a resident population of 11,704.
Cable cars, the Golden Gate rising from the fog – welcome to San Francisco, arguably the most romantic and cosmopolitan city in the United States. San Francisco has it all: a colorful history, superb restaurants, sophisticated museums, world-class shopping, and that elusive air of romance and abandon that’s part of the tang of the city.
Victoria exudes old-world charm and fragrant, colorful flowers are everywhere. Founded in 1843 by James Douglas of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the city was first known as Fort Victoria. By 1848, Vancouver Island was a British colony and Victoria was its capital.
In 1858, Victoria was a tent city and the base for some 25,000 prospectors on their way to the Frasier River gold fields. When Vancouver Island was incorporated with mainland British Columbia in 1868, Victoria became the capital of the entire province.
Although it’s a port city, Victoria is not as industrially oriented as Vancouver. The harbors, especially Inner Harbour, are dotted with pleasure craft, ferries and floatplanes. The city is renowned for its beautiful gardens, charming houses and very British feel.
Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.
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