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Travel Diary: Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands

Tuesday February 12, 2019


Our first port in the South Pacific. There are about 2600 people on this entire island. It is truly a beautiful place, but it is not a place to which many people would want to return. I believe Oceania only offered one tour because there is really nothing much to see. There is one cathedral that is really very basic and not special. It is only a 15 minute walk from the pier.

The water is not deep enough for our ship to dock so everyone came ashore on Tender. These Tenders hold 100 people and it is very easy to get on and off. The proof of that statement is that I had no problem. There are more than a few ports where it is necessary to use Tenders. Initially, I was kind of apprehensive as my days in kayaks and other such vehicles are long gone. If truth be known, my days never began.

Checking restaurants on Trip Advisor, there was a restaurant names Yvonne’s that got rave reviews. I tried and others tried to make a reservation but the restaurant does not use email, and when we call, even translating into French, neither I nor Cathy, my assistant were confident we had made a reservation. I figured that this was a small island and I would walk over to the restaurant once I disembarked and hope I could get in.

As counter-intuitive as this may seem, we discovered that this restaurant was about an hour and a half and $200 taxi ride from where we came ashore. So much for Yvonne’s.

We spent the day walking around. Saw a cemetery where, presumably, Herman Melville is buried and end up in a resort that Trip Advisor said had a good restaurant in a hotel called Nuku Hiva Pearl Lodge. It was a good 45 minute walk but that beats a $200 hour and a half taxi ride so that is where we went. I fully understand “island time” but it took about an hour and 15 minutes to get any food. I tried the local beer which came right away and was okay, but it was long gone before any food arrived and I did not want to drink more than one beer.

The view from the restaurant is breathtaking but how long can one look at the scenery particularly when one is hungry? The food was okay or a little better than okay and the price $60 for fresh fish was more than reasonable. Perusing the drink menu, I concluded that this is a good place to have fancy drinks. Most passengers went back to the ship for lunch, but we prefer to eat off the ship if it is safe to do so and we have a recommendation.

The weather is beautiful, and, for the most part, the heat was not oppressive.

HOT TIPS: Although we, generally, like to eat lunch in a non- tourist place—eat where the locals eat, this is a port where I would plan to go back to the ship for lunch. It is always possible to go back ashore there additional things one wants to do. An alternative is to have a large breakfast, skip lunch altogether and have an early dinner.

Because there was so little to do, we rate our experience a C

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