People often underestimate the grandeur and scope of the South Pacific Seas. They don't realize New Zealand is as much a part of the South Pacific as Tahiti or Samoa. That the wilds of Papua New Guinea, the turquoise waters and big waves of Fiji, and the quaint villages and colonial history of the Cook Islands are all part of a romanticism associated with the South Pacific that all rings true almost immediately upon arrival.
For trips to Tahiti, Swain Tours (tel. 800/227-9246; www.swaintours.com) has an "Affordable Bora Bora" package available out of Los Angeles starting at $1,598 for six nights and eight days that includes round-trip airfare from the United States, airfare to and from Papeete to Bora Bora, all airport transfers in Tahiti, one night in Papeete and five nights on the quiet, exclusive, honeymoon getaway of Bora Bora. Daily breakfast is also included in the price. Air security fees and departure taxes are not. For add-ons or land-only trips, Swain Tours has five night excursions to Fiji ($490) and six night trips to Moorea ($875) available. Trips are also available to the remote Cook Islands, known for peaceful days and unspoiled islands, starting at six-nights to Rarotonga for $625.
For all-inclusive trips to Fiji, Pacific for Less (tel. 800/915-2776; www.pacific-for-less.com) is offering a Malolo Island Experience that includes round-trip airfare out of Los Angeles and all accommodations for six nights starting at $1,855. Accommodations are at a beachfront resort. The site is also offering five-nights at the Kia Ora Village on the Rangiroa Atoll for $2,099. Travel for this package is good from November 1 to December 20, 2006 and from January 10 to March 31, 2007. The package includes round-trip airfare in coach class, a traditional flower welcome upon arrival, all luggage handling, round-trip airfare to Rangiroa, five nights in a garden bungalow at the Kia Ora Village, and all taxes, including room and sales tax as well as a U.S. security tax of $260 per traveler. Tahitian natives swear Rangiroa, where the dolphins seem as friendly as the locals, is the crown jewel of its island group. A Cook Island Explorer with air out of Los Angeles is available starting at $1,388 for five nights. Air security taxes are also included in the price of this package.
Pleasant Holidays (tel. 800/742-9244; www.pleasantholidays.com) has a special deal to the Club Bali Hai on Moorea starting at $1,315 with round-trip airfare out of Los Angeles. Travel is good from November 1 to December 12, 2006 with departures on a daily basis. The seven night trip also includes all accommodations, transfers, one free pearl necklace and inter-island transportation. The hotel is located on the water overlooking Cook's Bay. All rooms are air-conditioned and there is a swimming pool. You can walk to local restaurants or rent a scooter and explore the small island by on your own. Seven nights to Fiji from Los Angeles with Pleasant Holidays start at $1,520 with accommodations at the First Landing Beach and Resort Villas. Travel is good for this seven night trip with accommodations in a deluxe garden bungalow from now until November 30, 2006 with departures good on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily breakfast is included in the price of your trip as is a free lobster dinner for two.
If you're headed to Australia or New Zealand on Air Tahiti Nui (tel. 877/824-4846; www.airtahitinui-usa.com), you can take advantage of a special Tahitian stopover package where you pay just $50 per night for hotels on Papeete and Moorea. Round-trip airfare to Sydney on Air Tahiti Nui costs $998 from Los Angeles and $1,198 from New York. If you book those fares, you're eligible for free stopovers in Auckland and Tahiti, making your Australia trip a three-country extravaganza. Even better, you can reserve a hotel room in Tahiti starting at just $50 per night for three-nights if you choose to stopover in Tahiti. Also, the airline recently announced special fall fares out of New York. If you book by September 26, 2006 and fly from September 18 to December 8, 2006, you can lock in fares of $444 each way from New York to Sydney and $394 to Auckland. The stopover in Tahiti with the hotel deal is available with both these fares.
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