Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cruising the Cook Islands

When the Cook Islands began to form in the South Pacific about 65 million years ago, the island now known as Rarotonga was a large and very active volcano. Time has transformed the island into an idyllic tropical retreat, but you can still see the intensity of the volcano in Rarotonga’s dramatically jagged central peaks. Now, they are covered with deep green jungle instead of lava flows.

Ringed with narrow, sandy beaches, Rarotonga is surrounded by a blue lagoon and a coral reef, making it a wonderful destination for swimming, snorkeling and diving. It’s a hiker’s paradise, too: there are no snakes, wild animals or poisonous insects (though there are a few mosquitoes) to interfere with your enjoyment of the trails.

So, what can you look forward to on the 26 square miles of Rarotonga?

Muri Beach is considered to be the island’s most beautiful, and is a favorite of visiting water lovers. The underwater life just off the beach is spectacular, too: take a tour of Muri Lagoon on a glass-bottomed boat to see the colorful fish and coral. Many visitors love to snorkel here, in part because the sea life is quite accustomed to human companionship and won’t scurry away.

You can also explore the valleys and villages of the island’s interior. Climb aboard a sturdy off-road vehicle to enjoy the scenery and visit communities where you can learn about the daily lives, customs and traditions of Cook Islanders. Along the way, you might spot a rare Rarotonga flycatcher, a bird found only in the Cook Islands.

At Muri and other locations around the island, browse through the shops selling black pearls (actually, they are available in a variety of colors). There are loose pearls to look through, as well as designed jewelry pieces; take your time and select a treasure to take home. Items created by local woodcarvers are popular souvenirs, too, as are the Cook Islands’ unusual and highly collectable banknotes, coins and stamps.

Rarotonga is a day’s sail away from the islands of French Polynesia; a sea day before and another after your Rarotonga visit can make a nice break from island-hopping. However, the water around Rarotonga can be a bit choppy, so have some remedies ready if you’re prone to motion sickness.

For more information about Rarotonga and South Pacific cruise itineraries that can take you there, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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