The challenge of writing about the islands of the South Pacific is coming
up with enough different ways to say “paradise.” Bora Bora is a lush, green
paradise surrounded by unfathomably blue waters, and it’s little wonder why so
many people dream of visiting this spectacular destination. Marina’s guests are currently enjoying
their second day on the island following an overnight stay.

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Marina staff member Jessica Domm shared some photographs from a recent shore
excursion, Bora Bora Off-Road Adventure,
during which she accompanied guests on a thrilling journey to explore places
only accessible via vehicles equipped for off-road travel.

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Guests enjoyed a drive through the small town of Vaitape on the shore of
Pofai Bay with stops along the way to learn about the local flora of Bora Bora.

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The tour then ascended Pahonu Hill, offering spectacular views of Bora
Bora’s natural harbor and Matira Beach. As Blogger-at-Large for Oceania Cruises,
I’ve made fairly liberal use of the word “breathtaking,” but in this case the vibrant
colors of the Bora Bora lagoon literally take your breath away. Because of the
pristine clarity of the water and the varying depths of the lagoon, nearly
every shade of blue you can imagine is represented here in its utter
perfection. Some blues compete with the cerulean sky; others seem to be the
fluid incarnation of a lapis lazuli or a turquoise gemstone. It’s difficult to
stop snapping photos in a desperate attempt to capture the splendor, but if you
visit Bora Bora, be sure to allow yourself some time to simply gaze at the
spectacular scenery and savor the opportunity to be embraced by such wondrous
natural beauty.

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Some of the evidence of human history on Bora Bora stands in stark contrast
to the island’s natural wonders. During World War II, Bora Bora was a US
military supply base with 7,000 military personnel, and seven massive cannons
were set up around the island to protect it from potential military attack. Guests
on the excursion visited several of the cannons that are still standing in their
original locations.

Guests also enjoyed a visit to a local pearl farm. Here they learned about
the art of pearl farming and why the world’s best black pearls come from the
atolls and lagoons of French Polynesia.

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One of the last stops was Antena viewpoint, which offered more stunning
views of the sparkling waters, the outer reef that protects the island, and the
smaller coral islands known as motus that dot the lagoon.

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If you haven’t taken a trip to paradise yet, 2013 and
2014 offer several opportunities to sail the South Pacific with Oceania Cruises:
Pacific Paradise, December 28, 2013; South Pacific Isles, January 15, January
25 and March 26, 2014; Pacific Isles
& Coral Seas
, February 4, 2013; Marvels
Of The South Pacific,
March 11, 2014; Tahitian
Pearls,
April 5, 2014; Islands &
Incas,
April 19, 2014. While you probably won’t
want to miss the opportunity to swim in the crystalline waters of Bora Bora,
you also might consider a trip into the hills to take in some uniquely scenic views
of the seascape, while also experiencing some of the culture and history of
this gorgeous island.

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