Tag Archives: Postcards from…

On the island of Samoa, Jeff explored the gorgeous landscapes.
On the island of Samoa, Jeff explored the gorgeous landscapes.

These past three months the blog has been following Jeff, President’s Club member, “World Adventure” blogger and Holland America Blog contributor, as he cruises around the Far East on Amsterdam’s 2014 Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage. That voyage concluded Dec. 8 at San Diego, but the journey is not over for Jeff! Following a 14-day Panama Canal cruise and a 14-day southern Caribbean cruise, he begins a journey around the world on the ship’s 114-day Grand World Adventure.

Since we last read about Jeff’s epic adventures, he’s been all over the South Pacific and around Hawaii. Come along as Jeff concludes the 2014 Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage.

THE SOUTH PACIFIC

First the ship called at the gorgeous islands of New Caledonia, Iles des Pins, Fiji and Samoa in the South Pacific. Known for their lush landscapes and vivid scenery, Jeff captured the personality of each island through his photos.

Noumea, New Caledonia
At Noumea, New Caledonia, Jeff headed to the local markets, walked through the town and made way to Parc Forestier, a botanical garden containing both flora and fauna. Jeff noted that he had never seen so many peacocks in his life and called it a “magnificent day!”

NoumeaCollage

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Iles des Pins
Next was a call at Iles des Pins, which Jeff called:

“One of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific.”

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IlesCollage

Latouka, Fiji
Although Jeff has been to Latouka, Fiji, several times, this visit was the first time he really spent time exploring the city of Lautoka.

FijiCollage

Suva, Fiji
The ship also called at Suva, Fiji. Jeff said:

Once again, the Fijian people proved themselves to be extraordinarily friendly.

SuvaCollage

Apia, Samoa
At Apia, Samoa, Jeff toured the island and made several stops, including Falefa Falls, Fuipisa Falls, Sopo’aga Falls, the Togitogiga Waterfall, the Sinalei resort, Lupesina Treesort where rooms are built up in trees, the Papapapai-tai Water Falls, Robert Louis Stevenson’s house at Vailima and more!

Samoa

SamoaCollage

THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

On the final leg of the 2014 Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage Amsterdam made its way around the Hawaiian Islands with calls at Maui, Hilo and Honolulu.

Hilo
At Hilo, despite the gloomy weather Jeff took a helicopter ride and captured some beautiful photos. He then went to Akaka Falls, taking in the scenic views along the way on the four-mile Pepe’ekeo Scenic drive, and he hiked down the Donkey Trail.

Hlei

HiloCollage

Honolulu
At Honolulu, Jeff set out in a rental car and headed to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Park and much more!

HonoluluCollage

Kauai
The ship had an overnight call at Honolulu, so on the second day Jeff flew to Kauai for the day to explore the island.

Kauai

KauaiCollage

Lahaina, Maui
The final call in Hawaii was at Lahaina, Maui. Jeff and friends got a rental car and headed north toward Nakalele Point and the blowholes. They then drove through the Kahakuloa Village and went to Ioa Needle State Park before heading back north to Lahaina.

The day was filled with natural wonders and beauty. It was an amazing four days that we experienced in the Hawaiian Islands … So Beautiful! — Jeff

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After five days at sea, the ship concluded the voyage at San Diego.

The morning was kind of sad, seeing my friends off and coming to the realization that our wonderful Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage was indeed over. I decided to go out for the day and get a bit of exercise and take a bunch of photos. The perfect place was the San Diego Zoo! I took a taxi there and was one of the first people through the gates. It was a beautiful day and the San Diego Zoo never disappoints.

It was fun hiking around the zoo seeing all the animals and taking a photo here and there. When I was done, I walked back to the ship through Balboa Park down Prado to the water. Once aboard the ship everything was different, new friends and crew onboard and it seemed almost like I was on a new ship. It is nice to see old friends again but I do miss those that went home but … Some will be back in 28 days! At sailaway there was a beautiful sunset. Nice way to start a new voyage. — Jeff

A gorgeous sunset was the perfect way to begin a new voyage, said Jeff.

A gorgeous sunset was the perfect way to begin a new voyage, said Jeff.

Now it’s on to the holiday sailings and then the Grand World Voyage. Stay tuned to the Holland America Blog as we continue to follow Jeff on his adventures around the world in 2015.

And if you’re looking to explore the Far East on a spectacular voyage, the 91-day Passage to the Far East cruise on ms Rotterdam departing Jan. 7, 2016, is the ideal way to see the whole region!

The Great Wall of China is on the bucket list of many travelers. Jeff visited there from Beijing.
The Great Wall of China is on the bucket list of many travelers. Jeff visited there from Beijing.

Each year, Holland America Line carefully crafts Grand Voyages that offer extended journeys to some of the most incredible places in the world. The longer itineraries allow for in-depth explorations and immersive experiences that very few cruise lines offer.

Holland America Line has been sailing Grand Voyages for years, and no other cruise line offers as many or as exceptional options. In 2015, guests can choose from several Grand Voyages, including the 114-day Grand World Voyage, 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage and the 55-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage, not to mention other extended cruises like the 90-day Passage to the Far East sailing and the 45-day Far East and North Pacific Crossing.

Gerald Bernhoft, our director Mariner Society, recently joined ms Amsterdam October 23 in Hong Kong during the ship’s 78-day South Pacific and Far East Voyage to host several special Mariner events. While onboard, he met up with Jeff Farschman, President’s Club member, “World Adventure” blogger and Holland America Blog contributor. A Grand Voyage can be the best cruise you ever take, and Jeff confirmed this with his thoughts:

“Gerald, this is one of the best Grand Voyages I have ever been on. Every tiny little detail has not gone unnoticed. We are all having a great time.” — Jeff Farschman

Coming from Jeff, who has sailed on 13 Holland America Line Grand Voyages, that is saying a lot! To see what makes a Grand Voyage so special, read on to see more photos from Jeff that capture his journey through beautiful images. Since we last heard from him, he’s visited South Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Komodo Island and now he’s exploring Australia. It’s true that images often speak louder than words. Enjoy!

In South Korea, the ship called at Jeju where Jeff went to Hallim Park and captured all of the flora and fauna.

Hallim Park at Jeju, South Korea.

Enjoying Hallim Park at Jeju, South Korea.

The ship then called at Incheon, the port for Seoul. On the first day Jeff went to the Naryangjin Fish Market and Jogye Temple before heading off to see other sites like the Insa-dong Street market, Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Blue House, South Korea’s version of the White House in the U.S. On day two he visited a Korean Folk Village in Suwon.

The next location was a biggie! We went to Gyeongbokgung Palace for the changing of the guard and a tour of the Palace. What a magnificent place! I just loved it… The changing of the guard was fantastic, full of tradition. It was a fabulous part of the day! — Jeff

The sites and sounds of Seoul, South Korea.

The sites and sounds of Seoul, South Korea.

China is one of the most popular countries to visit. From bustling cities to quaint villages, it’s the dream destination of a lifetime for many travelers. On Jeff’s journey, he visited Beijing, Quindgao, Shanghai and Hong Kong. This is just a very small selection of his more-than 100 photos, so be sure to visit his blog to see them all.

ChinaAlone

With four ports in China, three of them overnight calls, Jeff had a lot to see and do.

With four ports in China, three of them overnight calls, Jeff had a lot to see and do.

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Jeff had this to say about Hong Kong:

We had a wonderful sail into one of the world’s greatest ports this morning. It was … off to Lantau Island to visit the Tai O fishing village and the Po Lin Monastery and the big Buddha. We had a major highlight at the monastery when a huge number of Monks seem to gather while our backs were turned, just magnificent! After that we headed back to Kowloon, did some internet updates and went to the Temple Street Night Market. The evening was capped off with the Hong Kong laser light show. Great day!

Vietnam was a juxtaposition of images, from bustling Ho Chi Minh City to rural Phu My.

Vietnam.

Vietnam.

In Singapore, Jeff snapped 900 photos, Yes, 900! According to Jeff, he was the “first one off the ship and didn’t stop until 12-and-a-half hours later!”

Singapore.

Singapore.

When visiting Komodo Island, most guests go in search of the rare Komodo dragon. Jeff joined in on the adventure.

It was an extraordinarily hot day to go out and track down Komodo Dragons but that is exactly what we did. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a little bit of excitement during our trek — last time four dragons came after me. They must have lost their taste for my tender flesh. Anyway, we saw dragons so it was a successful day. It is always special when you can find a juvenile up in a tree where they spent their first three years so the adults don’t eat them. Great day capped off with an Indonesian Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.

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An evening in the Pinnacle Grill wrapped up the day at Komodo.

An evening in the Pinnacle Grill wrapped up the day at Komodo.

The ship then sailed along to Darwin and Port Douglas, Australia. Since Jeff has been to Darwin before, he chose to go to explore the Botanical Gardens this time.

Darwin_alone

DarwinCollage

In the evening, the ship held an “On Location” event that brings local culture, entertainment and experiences onboard. Guests enjoyed an Australian barbecue on deck accompanied by a didgeridoo musician.

"On Location" events bring the local flavor onboard.

“On Location” events bring the local flavor onboard.

“Wonderful evening!!! Now we have three days at sea as we make our way to Port Douglas, Australia. Loving this voyage…” — Jeff

After Darwin, the ship called at Port Douglas where Jeff and his tablemates headed to Mossman Gorge. They hiked down to the Mossman River on elevated walkways and across the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge. After their walk they met a guide and went on an Aboriginal Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk where they learned about the Aboriginal culture and how they lived off the land.

Mossman Gorge at Port Douglas.

Mossman Gorge at Port Douglas.

Next they headed to the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas where they saw a variety of native animals in a rainbow of colors.

Wild_alone

WildCollage

And now it’s on to Sydney for Amsterdam and Jeff. With an overnight call, he’s sure to take in all of the sights of the city. Stay tuned to the blog for an update on Jeff’s journey as he heads to the South Pacific after leaving Australia.

Which port on Jeff’s journey looks the most interesting to you? Tell us below!

Pinterest showcases pretty photos like this one from Hotel Director Marco van Belleghem.
Pinterest showcases pretty photos like this one from Hotel Director Marco van Belleghem.

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Holland America Line's Pinterest page is filled with beautiful photos.

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