Western Samoa sits majestically in the Pacific ocean about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is an independent nation with an independent and proud people who value family, integrity and nature. Samoa is truly one of the most beautiful and unique places we have visited and Polynesian Xplorer Tours is the perfect way to explore the wonders of Samoa.
Polynesian Xplorer was created by husband and wife team, Francois and Zita-Sefo Martel. Francois, a Canadian forester and conservationist, and Zita a Samoan national, met at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Their love for the country and people of Polynesia led to the creation of Polynesian Xplorer and the desire "to provide an opportunity for visitors to gain an authentic experience of this special place."
Zita is not only the Managing Director of Polynesian Xplorer but she is also an Honorary Consul of France! She is very passionate about her home and her heritage. “We have so much to offer in Western Samoa. We have a unique culture, heritage, connection to nature, and community relationship.” Zita joined us for lunch at one of the scenic stops on our tour. Her adventurous spirit was contagious as she shared her passion for Samoa and her adventures as a trophy-winning longboat captain!
Zita is also a High Chief in her village. Her village of Amaile is in the Aleipata district on the east side of Upolu. Zita was proud to show us her malu - the tattoo received by women in samoan society from master tattoist. This experience is an important rite of passage for leaders in Samoa.
Fa’ atupu, a talking chief in a local tribe, was our tour guide. His knowledge of Samoa and Samoan culture was immense. He shared this in-depth and educational knowledge in a very friendly, conversational manner. At one point, he ran up a coconut tree effortlessly, tossed coconuts and fronds to us and then wove a basket from the fronds in minutes! He also demonstrated how to start a fire using only local materials and how to open a coconut and drink coconut milk. His easy-going manner, laughter and ever-present smile made for a very pleasant day.
Polynesian Xplorer Tours "are designed for small groups that let our guests get in touch with the real Samoa and get to know its people and experience the values that underpin Samoa’s easy style of living." We learned that there is still a very strong tribal / familial culture in local communities. Head chiefs and talking chiefs oversee almost all local matters and decisions. As we drove around the island, we witnessed several village councils where the head chiefs and talking chiefs gathered in open-air pavilions to decide important community matters. It was an enlightening experience.
Polynesian Xplorer offers a range of half-day, one day and multi-day tours for individuals, groups, cruise passengers, event & meeting participants, and incentive groups that will share "in-depth cultural knowledge, a passion for conservation and wildlife protection, a respect for our traditions, love of local food and sheer zest for life mean that we can help our guests experience the real Samoa – off the beaten track and truly enjoy life as it was always supposed to be – fun, healthy, magical, and uplifting."
Samoa is truly one of the most beautiful and unique places we have visited and Polynesian Xplorer Tours is the perfect way to explore the wonders of Samoa. We highly recommend Polynesian Xplorer tours. www.polynesianxplorer.com
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We were the guests of Polynesian Xplorer in 2011. Gay Travelers Magazine
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