The French Polynesian Islands, located 15 to 18 degrees south of the equator, fall within the tropical zone and thus enjoy warm weather year round. Tahiti is an ideal place to sail as winds are calm and rainfall moderate.
Tahiti, called “lle d’ Amour”, is the largest island in the Society Islands.
Lying halfway between Australia and California in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Tahiti boasts white sand beaches dotted with palm trees lazily dipping their fronds in the clear turquoise waters.
The Islands of Tahiti are a spectacular selection of ex-volcanic islands and Atolls strewn lazily across the grand South Pacific Ocean. The best cruising grounds are the Windward and Leeward islands of the Society Islands with names like Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea and Moorea.
The period between April to October is considered as “dry”season, and that between November to March, the “wet” season.
In the capital, Papeete, there are many local artifacts as well as Polynesian black pearls and French fashions to choose from.
From Tahiti visit the nearby island of Moorea. This island has often been linked to James Michener’s mythical island of Bali Hai. Diving spots are numerous: A 4-wheel drive Safari is recommended to the Belvedere “Look Out”, the ancient Marae (Tahitian temples), the plantation of Opuhi and the waterfall of Afareiatu.
Tetiaroa, 35nm from Moorea and locally known as Marlon Brando island, is historically a resort for the Tahitian chiefs of the Pomare royal family.
Huahine is the first of the Leeward island group, an area that offers excellent cruising. Huahine is very rural and is made up of two mountainous islands.
Great for learning local culture, the past of the Tahitian people, and feed the eels in a natural fresh water stream! The bay between Huahine’s two islands (Nui and Iti) is the deepest of them all.
Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti connected by a narrow isthmus. There are several motus (small islands) and good anchorages with excellent diving.
Raiatea and Tahaa lie within the same hour glass-shaped coral reef. Both islands have a lush, fertile appearance. Raiatea, the second largest island in French Polynesia, is known as Sacred Havai’i. It was the center or royalty, religion and culture. Visit pearl farms and the sea museum with a foundation for the protection of turtles.
Tahaa: Enjoy the local flora and agriculture with their origins and tranditional uses. The first vanilla plants were introduced in Polynesia in 1848 by Admiral Hamelin. No less than 70% produced in Polynesia (a total of about 25 tons) comes from Tahaa.
Bora Bora is at the center of the multi-colored lagoon surrounded by offshore Motu islets inside a protective necklace of coral. The diving here is excellent and there are several world-class resorts available for land stays. Enjoy a stunning sunset over a cocktail at Hotel Bora Bora and explore the island’s many good restaurants. A trip to French Polynesia is one that will remain with you forever. The people and scenery are spectacular.
Morning arrival at the BORA BORA airport, transfer from airport by water taxi. Day of relaxation and discovery of the most beautiful lagoon in the world. BORA BORA is home of many fine world class resorts and has many fine boutiques and shops. Tahitian South Sea Pearls are of course, indigenous to the area.
Water sports is on everyone’s agenda as we visit the “Lagoonarium” to swim with rays, turtles and reef fish. Here you can organize a snorkeling party. You can visit the Le Meridien Hotel on the backside of Bora Bora and also arrange for sightseeing and shopping in the village of VAITAPE.
Today we cast-off for a sail to TAHAA (approx. 3-4 hours). We will make a scenic passage inside TAHAA’S lagoon. The afternoon will be reserved for leisure activities and water sports. Your hostess will serve cocktails and pupus as you enjoy the tropical sunset.
A 4-wheel drive excursion with a Naturalist around the unspoiled island of TAHAA will leave you with a personal in depth knowledge of cultural and natural history. Your tour will include visit to a vanilla plantation where you will be able to witness the hand pollination process. Tonight you will dine at a local island restaurant with traditional Polynesian music and Tahitian dancing.
A short sail inside the lagoon will take us to RAIATEA where you will visit of the village UTUROA. There is lots of flora and fauna on Raiatea and many are used for medicinal purposes. There is a pearl farm where you will learn how pearls are seeded and later cultivated. You can also purchase pearls here if you wish. A short passage inside the lagoon will take us to a sunset anchorage off a remote and pristine motu (small island).
Sail to HUAHINE (approx. 3-4 hours). Join an outing to the village of FARE. Later, you will have lunch at anchor. After lunch you can either relax with your book or have a snorkel or participate in water sports in the southern part of the lagoon. Your farewell dinner will be served by your friendly hostess and cook and it is a good time to reflect back on all your experiences over the past week.
Breakfast onboard. Say good-bye to your friendly crew and transfer by van to the airport.