Bora Bora is what started it all.
Linda and I like to travel. We discovered that about one another shortly after we met. Trouble was, neither of us had traveled very much. Sure, we had taken Linda’s girls to Ocean City during the summers, and the four of us even went to Hawaii. But that was as exotic as it had ever been.
Things were about to change in 1986. Linda and I decided to take our very first cruise to celebrate her milestone birthday (I’ll let you do the math). After a lot of research, we decided on the Liberte, a 715-passenger, 23,500-ton ship belonging to now-defunct American Hawaii Cruises. We contacted a Frederick travel agency to help with the arrangements, since we recognized even then the importance of the personal service and expertise a good travel agent could provide us. This ship did a very exotic itinerary – after flying to Tahiti, we would sail to several of the Society Islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific – Tahiti, Rangiroa, Huahine, Raiatea/Tahaa, Bora Bora, and Moorea.
The image below is my favorite personal scenery photograph ever. I took it while riding with Linda in an outrigger canoe around Bora Bora’s lagoon. The highest point of the island, Mount Otemanu, is visible in the distance. Bora Bora is truly the most beautiful island in the world.
We were hooked on cruising! In fact, since Linda had always wanted to own her own business, her love of cruising lured her toward the travel business. Within 30 months of this trip, Linda and I would purchase Antietam Travel Service, a nearly five-year-old travel agency, incorporate the business, and continue beginning April 3, 1989, as Antietam Travel Service, Inc.
Interesting trivia related to this trip: What entertainer taped a television show on the Liberte late in 1986 for a 1987 TV special? Leave your guess in the Comments section – answer and details next time.
Linda and I have cruised more than 50 times since 1986 and two of those cruises were return trips to Bora Bora. Bora Bora is what started it all!