National Geographic : 1968 Sep
Matson and the South Seas. The nicest cruise on the nicest ocean. No other cruise experience can give you the grace and charm of the South Seas. On this luxurious 42-day cruise you'll visit places you have always heard about, and places you never dreamed existed. Your ship will be the yachtlike SS Mariposa or SS Monterey, elegant and gracious, designed especially for cruising the South Pacific. Each is exclusively First Class, gyro-fin stabilized and completely air-conditioned. All staterooms have private bath, telephone and hi-fi music. And the fine food, tasteful appointments and attentive service all have a style that has come to be known as the Grand Manner of Matson. It is this Grand Manner that makes every day a delight as you cruise to these fabled South Seas ports: 1. BORA BORA. It's daybreak when the island's single jagged peak comes into view. As your ship draws near, you begin to see the lush foliage, reflecting the warmth of an early morning tropical sun. Passing through Teavanui Pass into the tranquil lagoon, you feel that you have entered a new and very different world-enchanting Polynesia. 2. TAHITI. The haunting beauty of the Tahitians inspired Gauguin to paint as he never had before. You, too, will feel the charm of these carefree people the moment you step ashore. The blend of Polynesian insouciance and French savoir faire creates a very special atmosphere on this beautiful island. Explore the shops, the cafes, and the beaches, then return in the evening to your own familiar stateroom. 3. RAROTONGA. Native singers and dancers come aboard from outriggers to entertain you with some of the finest singing and dancing in the Pacific. Listen to legends that date from the begin nings of Polynesian history, and shop from the floating marketplace alongside the ship. Then trade tales with your fellow passengers over a dinner of lobster curry, or perhaps breast of pheasant. 4. NEW ZEALAND. Explore the pictur esque city of Auckland. Take the trip to Rotorua where you'll be fascinated by the many examples of Maori architec ture. This unique style, developed long ago by New Zealand's early inhabitants, adds much to the charm of this pleasant country. While here, you'll have a chance to journey into the Waitomo caves along an underground river for a visit to the famous grotto, a vast cavern lit by millions of glowworms. 5. AUSTRALIA. The lifeguards who watch over Sydney's famous beaches typify the youthful vibrancy of this fascinating land. You'll quickly sense the zest and buoyancy of the remarkable Australians as you experience the many delights of cosmopolitan Sydney -from an afternoon walk in one of the many tree-lined parks to a night at the theater. And to top off your visit see the koalas, kangaroos and other exotic species at the world famous Sydney zoo. 6. NOUMEA. Mediterranean in appear ance, South Seas in atmosphere and Gallic in attitude, Noumea is the capital city of New Caledonia. Here you'll visit the world famous aquarium, where rare specimens of fluorescent coral are kept alive. This is the only aquarium in the world where this coral can be seen. And for the shopper, Noumea offers the opportunity to browse through delightfully French boutiques. 7. FIJI. The colorful Fiji Band will greet you as your ship enters this beautiful British Crown Colony. Suva, the capital city, reflects the blending of three cultures-Melanesian, Indian, and British-that makes Fiji unique. Not far from Suva, you'll discover lovely tropical beaches, lazy rivers, and blue lagoons, where you can hover above gardens of exquisite coral in a special glass-bottomed launch. 8. NIUAFO'OU. You'll watch from sunswept decks as natives in handmade canoes come to meet your ship, to exchange mail. The mail itself is sealed in 40-pound biscuit tins, which explains the atoll's legendary nickname "Tin Can Island." Be sure to send letters to your friends at home. Tongan stamps are a collector's prize. 9. PAGO PAGO. Here you'll see one of the world's most majestic harbors. It was once the crater of a great volcano whose seaward wall fell away many centuries ago. Look closely and you'll see Samoans in their outrigger canoes fishing for their dinner. You'll be captivated by the peaceful mood of this South Seas island. And, once ashore, you'll want to purchase some of the handcrafted wares at the many colorful shops. Pago Pago is known throughout the Pacific for the quality of its handicrafts. 10. HONOLULU. So far you've experi enced nine very different places on your cruise. You'll find your tenth port-of-call, Honolulu, at least equally unique. For Hawaii combines the charms of Polynesia with the luxuries of today. Sophisticated Honolulu offers some of the most elegant shops, restaurants and night spots in the world-all with a distinctively Polynesian flavor. And you can enjoy the spectacular scenery or relax under a balmy sun, caressed by Hawaii's famous tradewinds. On the peaceful voyage home, you'll share pleasant memories of this cruise adventure with shipboard friends . .. surrounded all the while by the luxuries of the Grand Manner of Matson. Isn't it time you let Matson show you the South Seas? Cruises depart every three weeks from San Francisco or Los Angeles. For more information see your travel agent or write Paul Thompson, Matson Cruise Consultant, 110 Mission Street, San Francisco 94105. SAFETY INFORMATION: SS Mariposa and SS Monterey, registered in the U.S ., meet International Safety Standards for new ships developed in 1960 and meet the 1966 Fire Safety Requirements.