Wednesday, 15 August 2012 8:41 AM
Two new holiday packages have launched, for travellers who want to celebrate the Vaka Eiva Festival in the Cook Islands this November.
Over 800 competitors take part in the unique water sports event every year, competing in classes from junior to senior level, in swimming, boating and canoeing.
Highlights include the final, and perhaps most famous, event - the Round Raro Relay, where participants paddle traditional canoes through the Muri Lagoon around the island of Rarotonga. The festival also celebrates the canoes that are used in the races, which are similar to those used in the great Maori migration to New Zealand and for fishing by islanders today.
Although entries for this year’s event have now closed, Vaka Eiva is as equally popular with spectators and Cook Island Tourism hope the festival packages will give tourists an insight into the sport and Polynesian culture.
Karla Eggleton, Sales and Marketing Director of Cook Island Tourism, said: “The annual international event of Vaka Eiva has come from small beginnings eight years ago, to become the largest international annual event in the Cook Islands.
"The competition has dual benefits; it is a great celebration of Cook Islanders culture and heritage as well as a wonderful tool to showcase everything that the islands have to offer to visiting tourists and competitors; from the cultural richness to the beautiful natural surroundings, the Cook Islands are not just a beach destination.”
The Vaka Eiva packages include 12 nights at the Little Polynesian Resort and Spa, with return international flights with Air New Zealand or 14 nights at Royal Takitumu Villas.
The Vaka Eiva Festival takes place annualy, from November 24th-30th.
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