Sail Away With Me Lindblad-National Geographic

Tahiti to the Marquesas French Polynesia Adventure
French Post-Impressionist Gauguin painted some of his most famous work here, Melville penned his first book, Typee, after an island visit, a highly romanticized account of his life among Polynesians. Gauguin spent his last days in the islands and died in 1903 at Hiva ‘Oa. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery, the main cemetery in Atuona, Hiva ‘Oa, French Polynesia. It is located on a hillside on the eastern edge of town, overlooking the anchorage on Atuona Bay. The cemetery is also the final resting place of Belgian singer and poet Jacques Brel. They both rest facing Taaoa’s Bay under the sweet fragrance of frangipani trees.

“Aha Oe Feii?” (“What? Are You Jealous?”). 1892 Gauguin

Lindblad-National Geographic Orion is a state-of-the-art expedition ship, designed to safely explore the remote regions of the planet. Orion carries 102 guests in 53 cabins, nine of them with balconies. She is equipped with a full complement of cool tools to explore the environment, including kayaks, Zodiacs, an ROV, and the capacity to accommodate scuba divers. Her size and nimbleness offer the perfect combination of safety and the ability to reach out-of-the-way islands and other places where large cruise ships cannot go.

Lindblad-National Geographic Orion

Barefoot casual luxury is the operating phrase on this 10-day cruise from Tahiti to remote islands. Revel in idyllic islands and the allure of the high seas. We will follow in the path of early Polynesian navigators on this epic voyage. From the aquamarine atolls of the Tuamotu Islands to the lush volcanic peaks of the mysterious Marquesas, visiting some of the most remote and compelling sites in the far reaches of French Polynesia.
Expedition Highlights
• Venture into the lush tropical forest and discover ancient Polynesian sacred sites on the verdant island of Hiva Oa.
• Snorkel or dive in the Tuamotus and see abundant fish and thriving coral reef ecosystems.
• Learn stand-up paddle boarding in gorgeous turquoise lagoons.
• Watch on deck as National Geographic Orion navigates into dramatic Hanavave Bay.

The Expedition Team includes, dive-masters, guest speakers, naturalists, expert photo instructors, naturalists, cultural specialists, in total 16 learned professionals to teach and inspire guests. One of the team members is Tua Pittman, a Cultural Specialist. Internationally acclaimed as a traditional master navigator, Tua has navigated canoes across the great oceans of our planet from the coastlines of Asia through to the shores of the Americas for more than 30 years, without the use of modern instruments. This Cook Islander, also of New Zealand Maori and Tahitian bloodlines, uses an ancient navigational system based upon careful observation of celestial bodies—sun, moon, and stars—as well as using ocean swells, flight patterns of birds, and other natural markers. I’m certain he can explain the midnight skies and point out the Southern Cross.

Lindblad-National Geographic Polynesia Expedition

In preparation, I’m re-reading Melville’s ‘Typee’, his tale of deserting Acushnet, a whaling ship in 1846 when landing at the Marquesas Islands. He believed he had found a South Sea paradise in the mysterious chain of islands, after he and his fellow seaman,Toby, abandoned ship and roamed the deep green valleys. Welcomed by the locals, he then began to suspect his new islander friends were cannibals and he might end up as the entrée in an upcoming feast. As a particularly witty friend advised: don’t accept an island dinner invitation as you may be dinner.

Infinite shades of azure. Secluded atolls.The sultry perfume of Tiare Tahiti (gardenia). To this day French Polynesia and the South Pacific conjure up the romantic notions brought back by the legendary European explorers who discovered it hundreds of years ago. Lindblad-National Geographic has been exploring the “Pearl of the Pacific” since the 1980s and this South Pacific cruise experience is key to helping you truly “get lost” in this tropical paradise.

Lindblad-National Geographic Orion

The Marquesas are so remote that some are untouched since the era of European explorers. A land of dewy and majestic 1,000-foot waterfalls cascade down volcanic cliffs and craggy peaks disappear into the brilliant white clouds hovering above the turquoise seas.

Paradise indeed, Epic Lindblad-National Geographic Journeys deliver comfort, beguiling scenery and deep knowledge on exhilarating authentic adventures. Linblad perfected escapades and the National Geographic alliance is the perfect collaboration of world-renowned scientists, naturalists, and researchers while sailing on a high comfort expedition ship.

I understand first bell is at 7.30 am, exploits are on the horizon every day, this isn’t a snooze escape!

Lindblad National Geographic nurse shark Polynesia Expedition

Paris Art – Oh My! Blockbuster Extended

UPDATE – Due to the incredible success of the exhibition “Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection”, which has already welcomed 600,000 visitors, the Fondation is pleased to announce the extension of the exhibition through 5 March 2017.

Long before I departed to Paris, I had read about the extraordinary exhibit at the Fondation Louis Vuitton…I’ve been known to visit New York just for an art exhibit, but Paris is a jaunt for art’s sake. In this case, I would highly recommend considering a visit to Paris for the riveting and impressive exhibit from Russian collector Sergi Shchukin.

The blockbuster exhibit “Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection” recently opened in the esteemed Frank Gehry designed Fondation Louis Vuitton…a double treat, an astonishing collection in a truly astonishing building.

The collection of 127 works of French masters – van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso and additional artists is a massive assembly of work that originally belonged to a Russian textile tycoon – Sergi Shchukin.img_6672

Shchukin collected mostly French Impressionist and Post Impressionist art, amassing his visionary collection in a brief 15-year period. His palatial palace in Moscow housed the paintings. During the Lenin days and the revolution, Shchukin fled to Paris in exile and his collection was dispersed.

There are several astonishing points in regard to this exhibition – one, the massive collection of Picasso’s, Gauguin’s, Monet’s and Cezanne’s is almost overwhelming – so many masterpieces assembled in one location and imagining the political feat of orchestrating the exhibit. The collection has resided in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Pushkin in Moscow. Travel bans were partly fueled by Shchukin heirs requesting for restitution of the paintings. Bernard Arnault, president of the Fondation Louis Vuitton was determined and personally funded the insurance and all expenses in bringing this treasure trove to Paris. Merci, Monsieur Arnault.

Portrait of Shchukin

Portrait of Shchukin

With our hotel team at La Reserve, we can offer skip the line passes – otherwise, purchase online and expect to stand outside for at least 15 minutes while patrons pass through security. The Museum itself is an entirely other art story if you haven’t visited the iconic building. Do include exploring the outdoor spaces as part of this visit.

I’ve never been so impressed with such a collection of art – the eleven Gauguin’s, alone are worth the visit! Clustered together as they were once exhibited in the Trubetskoy Palace, represent what was then thought of as risqué – the nudes and provocative poses were in questionable taste.

Matisse is represented in twenty-two works, the collector found Matisse during a difficult financial period, stood by him and seemed to have funded much of his major work.

Really, if you love art, escape to Paris!  This exhibit runs until February 20, 2017 and will leave you awestruck! We will help you with the Art of a Visit!

Henri Matisse - Nude. Black and Gold

Henri Matisse – Nude. Black and Gold

Matisse - The Goldfish

Henri Matisse – The Goldfish

Henri Matisse - Spanish Woman with Tambourine

Henri Matisse – Spanish Woman with Tambourine

Pablo Picasso - House in a Garden

Pablo Picasso – House in a Garden

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Paul Gauguin – Do Not Work. Tahitians in a Room

Claude Monet - Luncheon on the Grass

Claude Monet – Luncheon on the Grass

Paul Gauguin - What, Are You Jealous?

Paul Gauguin – What, Are You Jealous?

Morning Shchukin! From Monday 27 February to Sunday 5 March 2017
Morning Shchukin! Early birds, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. recharge your batteries while visiting the exhibition.