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An Oscar-worthy Cruise

By BijalTuesday 31st January 2017

Film: Moana
Oscar Nomination: Animated Feature
Location: Polynesian Islands

Nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ in this year’s Oscar Awards, ‘Moana’ is the story of a Disney heroine, who sets off on an adventure in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania. She meets and befriends the demi-god, Maui, who is a hero of Māori descent. The film is made up of Tongan, Samoan, Fijian and Hawaiian cultures, and we’re going to highlight some of the islands we visit that the film is based on, as well as some of our exciting excursions.

Oceania and South Pacific Destinations

1

Aqua lagoons, barrier reefs and jaw-dropping scenery form the South Pacific. Here, you’ll find that your surroundings are nothing short of idyllic. From submerging yourself in pearly waters and going on a snorkelling adventure, to taking a sight-seeing tour on horseback, our South Pacific destinations make for the perfect summer getaway.

Tahiti

Shaped like a number eight, Tahiti is an island that has inspired a number of writers, one of the most important being Herman Melville, author of classic ‘Moby Dick’. With everything from vibrant markets, to bustling bright blue waterfronts and lush green plantation, the island welcomes you with open arms and evokes visions of paradise. Make sure that you indulge in the authentic cuisine, enjoying mouth-watering fruit and visiting local cafes.

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

Leave your woes at home when you visit the sleepy Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Enjoy strolls along the sea-front, recline on pure white beaches and let the island take over your senses! Enjoy meals of fresh lobster and fish, or sit back and see if you can spot sea turtles, manta rays and dolphins. It’s as if you’re on holiday on a film set!

Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii

Here you’ll get to visit the world’s largest volcano, Haleakalā, from its highest point. Thousands of years ago, Hawaiians used to call it the ‘House of the Sun’, and, in Hawaiian folklore, the crater in the middle of the volcano was home to the demi-god’s grandmother. She helped him to capture the sun, which enabled him to slow down its journey across the sky. The island is perfect for surfers and adventurers alike, with rushing waterfalls and tropical forest surroundings being just a couple of its tranquil attributes.

Māori Culture and New Zealand Excursions

shutterstock_111120587 The Māori tribe are the indigenous people of New Zealand, arriving between 1250 and 1300 CE. They came to inhabit the island around 1000 years ago from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaki, and their language and traditions are an important aspect of New Zealand’s heritage. We offer a visit to Omaka Marae, the centre of a Māori community and the tribal meeting grounds, where you will be warmly greeted when you take part in a traditional pōwhiri, or welcoming ceremony. A host will challenge guests by laying down a token to see if they have come in peace to the village. This is usually a small token, such as a branch, or leaf, which guests should pick up from the floor whilst maintaining eye contact with the host, in order to prove their courage and proceed. Here you will be able to immerse yourself in the Māori culture, learning all about the village’s history and required etiquette. Keep an eye out for the carvings that are scattered around – every design has a different story or meaning.

FILM FACT: Maui carried a magical fish hook that helped raise the islands of the South Pacific from the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for this in ‘Moana’!

Film: Manchester by the sea
Location: Massachusetts
Oscar Nomination: Best picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay

Starring Casey Affleck, brother of Ben Affleck, Manchester-by-the-sea is a drama Oscar-nominated film that is set in the state of Massachusetts, USA. Casey Affleck, the film’s main Actor, was born in Massachusetts. Luckily, we take a stop in the state, so you can get a hint of what it’s like to play a part in ‘Manchester by the sea’.

Boston, Massachusetts

2 Take a trip to Boston and take an hour long guided-tour of the home of baseball champions Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Stadium. You’ll be instantly immersed in baseball culture, sitting atop of The Green Monster, a 37’2” high wall that was built in 1912 in order to prevent onlookers watching games for free. If you’re lucky, you may bump into the team’s mascot, a green, furry monster called Wally! If you’re feeling like a bit of a culture vulture, then follow the Freedom Trail to discover Boston’s crucial role in American history, or head out on a historic pub crawl. You’ll also get the chance to visit the 34 island and peninsulas of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. There you’ll find lighthouses, a fort from the Civil War-era, and picturesque hiking trails thriving with wildlife.

FILM FACT: Kenneth Lonergan, the director of Manchester-by-the-sea, also wrote the film!

Choose which film you think will be an Oscar winner and plan your next getaway! Will you be travelling to America to live the American dream, or would you prefer to give island life a try in the South Pacific?

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