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.
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!”
Iles des Pins
Next was a call at Iles des Pins, which Jeff called:
“One of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific.”
Although Jeff has been to Latouka, Fiji, several times, this visit was the first time he really spent time exploring the city of Lautoka.
The ship also called at Suva, Fiji. Jeff said:
Once again, the Fijian people proved themselves to be extraordinarily friendly.
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!
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.
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.
At Honolulu, Jeff set out in a rental car and headed to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Park and much more!
The ship had an overnight call at Honolulu, so on the second day Jeff flew to Kauai for the day to explore the island.
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
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
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!