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Zegrahm & Eco Expeditions
CONTACT: Carmin Arnot
TEL: 800-628-8747 or 206-285-4000
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SEATTLE, Wash.—Providing small groups of travelers with personalized cultural interactions that few others experience is a distinctive hallmark of Zegrahm Expeditions.
In 2009, Zegrahm joins forces with like-minded Seacology, a non-profit environmental organization devoted to preserving island biodiversity and traditional communities, to create a unique cultural cruise experience in Polynesia.
Zegrahm cruise itineraries are designed to include islands that often have little contact with the outside world. The intent is to give seasoned travelers the opportunity to visit remote communities that seldom benefit from tourism, the funds normally going to more popular tourist destinations. These efforts have been part of the Zegrahm Expeditions’ philosophy since its founding 19 years ago, and by partnering with Seacology in Polynesia, travelers are invited to participate in a rare, time-honored ceremony in fabled Cook’s Bay on Moorea Island.
The ceremony is in honor of a new cultural center, funded by Seacology and focused on preserving traditional Polynesian cultural practices. The construction of the Atitia Center will take the shape of a fare (pronounced far-A), a traditional Polynesia house. The opening ceremony, truly a special event, includes a Tahitian feast, authentic songs and dances, and the presentation of tapa cloth gifts
Prior to the ceremony on Moorea, travelers will have been immersed in the warm hospitality and time-honored traditions of the Polynesians. On the low lying Tuamotu Islands, we are welcomed by the Paumotu people with flower leis, music and warrior demonstrations. In the exquisite Marquesas Islands, dancing and drumming ceremonies are performed in their ancient marae (ceremonial sites) among mysterious stone tiki figures in lush, old-growth surroundings.
Zegrahm’s accompanying leader and lecture team—many internationally renowned in their field—offer insightful introductions to both favorite and far-flung island destinations and their traditional cultures. Onboard lectures enhance the encounters with local islanders ashore, and recaps at the end of each day lend a multi-dimensional component to the experience. . The executive director of Seacology, Duane Silverstein, will travel on the Pearls of Polynesia voyage, adding further depth to the lecture team and hosting travelers at the opening ceremony on Moorea.
The 15-day Pearls of Polynesia cruise, October 18 – November 1, 2009, begins in Tahiti and sails to tiny and ancient Tuamotu atolls where undersea coral gardens and turquoise waters offer superb exploration opportunities. The Marquesas, often hailed as “the most beautiful islands in the world,” give photographers, birders, and hikers a chance to discover a volcanic world of lush and verdant forests, the graves of both Gauguin and French singer Jacques Brel. Bora Bora with its sapphire lagoon and Moorea complete this stunning itinerary.
Prices start from $9,980 per person, double occupancy. The trip price includes: Deluxe accommodations, all excursions including scuba diving, all meals and gratuities. More information and a brochure is available at www.zeco.com.
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Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions Inc., founded in 1990, is a leading adventure travel company specializing in small-ship cruises, tours, and safaris to remote and intriguing destinations around the world. Lead by expert guides and lecturers, Zegrahm itineraries are carefully crafted and all-inclusive, feature deluxe accommodations, and operate in all seven continents. For more information, please access www.zeco.com.
Founded in 1993, Berkeley, California-based Seacology is the world’s premier nonprofit, nongovernmental organization whose sole and unique purpose is to preserve the environments and cultures of islands around the world. Seacology creates win-win situations where local island environments are protected and islanders receive some tangible benefit for doing so. www.seacology.org.