West Nautical18A Osborne RoadJesmondNewcastle upon TyneNE2 2ADUnited Kingdom
Welcome to French Polynesia! Get ready to explore black sand beaches, exotic waterfalls, magical lagoons and more, in between some of the world's best dive sites, teaming with tropical marine life and coral reefs.
Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. Shaped like a figure-8, it’s divid-ed into Tahiti Nui (the larger, western section) and Tahiti Iti (the eastern penin-sula). With black-sand beaches, lagoons, waterfalls and 2 extinct volcanoes, it’s a popular destination.
Fly in to Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti to meet the yacht, docked at Mari-na Taina. Spend some time walking along nearby Papeete city centre and get into the mood of the local market, the Retro bar or the little Chinese shops.
Today will also be spent in Tahiti as there is so much to explore. Take a guided tour of the island to get an overview of all it has to offer. Walk around the blacksand beaches of Matavai Bay at Venus Point and the Arahoho blowhole.
Visit the Wan Pearl Museum and adjoining shop to learn about this superb gem of the ocean and pick up some of the stunning locally-made jewellery. The traditional colour of the Tahitian pearl is a dark green, called “poerava”.
Discover the ancient Polynesian temples of the west coast, wander tree-lined paths past ponds and waterfalls at the botanical Vaipahi Garden, visit the Taharaa lookout known as One Tree Hill.
If time permits visit the popular La plage du Maui in the south, and explore the small but interesting Island Museum for a great introduction to the islands. During your tour you can also try the local specialties at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Recommended dive sites: White Valley
Arrive for breakfast at the beautiful island of Mo’orea. Here you can spend the morning diving, snorkelling and enjoying other water sports in the popular lagoon where you can spot dolphins, rays, and black-tipped reef sharks.
In the afternoon, take a guided excursion of the island, taking in the quaint villages and beaches along the waterfront, the abundant pineapple plantations at the centre. Take a trip to the popular island juice and liqueur distillery, or visit the Mo’orea tropical garden where you can sample an array of homemade organic jams and delicious ice creams while taking in fantastic views of the lagoon.
Mo’orea Green Pearl Golf Course also offers a beautiful setting for a round of golf. In the evening, enjoy a private beachfront dinner on Motu Tiahura with local dance performers and fire dancers. Stay overnight at anchor in Cook’s Bay or Opunohu Bay.
Spend another day on the beautiful island of Mo’orea, enjoying further dives and water activities in the morning, with the option of another land excursion with an english-speaking guide in the afternoon.
Visit the local craft markets in Cook’s Bay, which are only open when a cruise ship is near by, or take in more breath-taking views from one of the other island view points. The lagoon and ocean surrounding Mo’orea is warm and clear, making it one of the best places in the world to swim with and observe humpback whales in the mating and nursery areas.
French Polynesia declared itself a Marine Mammal Sanctuary in 2002 offering protection to all of the 16 species of Whales and Dolphins found here.
Recommended dive sites: Vaiarae Pass, Opunohu Canyons, Tiki
Huahine is often named by visitors as their favourite island because of its close resemblance to the image of paradise may visitors have about
Polynesia. Anchor off the main town of Fare, near some of the best dive sites the island offers. Activities on the island include touring archaeological sites such as the ancient Marae ruins, viewing traditional fish traps and demonstration pearl farms, encountering sacred blue eye eels, and viewing the famous pottery of Peter and Manutea Owen.
Tours on traditional outrigger canoes are also a great way to explore the island, offering snorkelling through natural aquariums and vibrant coral gardens and a visit to the pearl farm as well as a traditional picnic lunch of the island’s traditional dish, poisson cru, complete with live traditional music.
These local canoes can also be rented for the day for racing and to enjoy exploring the beautiful coastline. Finish off the day with sunset cocktails and a view in the beautiful Bourayne bay.
Recommended dive sites: Avapeihi (Fitii) Pass, Araara Pass
Spend the morning exploring Raiatea , which is rich with cultural and historical significance. Believed to be the original birthplace of Polynesia, this legendary island is a secret garden of ancient myths and hidden temples.
Many cultures believe that this is where the great Polynesian migration began, from which large double-hulled sailing canoes set out to colonise Hawaii and New Zealand.
Popular activitiy options are hiking, jeep safari, discovering the Apetahi endangered flowers (which cannot be found anywhere else in the world), visiting Anapa pearl farm, and visiting the largest outdoor Marae (temple) in French Polynesia, Marae Taputapuatea.
You will spend today once more exploring Raiatea, discovering its spectacular dive sites and river. Raiatea is the only island in Tahiti with a
navigable river. The Faaroa River curls through its lush rainforest, providing a great way to explore the island via powered outrigger canoe, kayak or motorboat.
Raiatea and Taha’a are home to some of the diving highlights of the Society Island group. Most recommended dive sites in the area are closer to the island of Taha’a, but Teavapiti Pass and and the famous wreck of the 100 year old 3-masted ship Nordby will be situated close to the anchorage near the main town of Uturoa.
Recommended dive sites: Teavapiti Pass, The Nordby
Travel to the nearby island of Taha’a, with its soft mountains and bright sand beaches. There are several beautiful anchorages to choose from and the lagoon is wide enough to circumnavigate the island, by tender at least, within its confines.
Taha’a’s fertile valleys and sloping hillsides are covered with banana, watermelon and coconut groves, and the island grows nearly 80% of all vanilla produced in French Polynesia. It is recommend to visit one of the many plantations to purchase vanilla beans or extract so you can take a taste of Taha’a home with you.
A string of sandy Motu in the north of the island offer stunning views of nearby Bora Bora in a more isolated and laid-back surrounding. However, the main activity recommended here is the diving, with Taha’a sharing its expansive lagoon and surrounding coral reef with sister island Raiatea.
The lagoon holds a variety of dive landscapes including sea mounts, caverns, and drop-offs, and offers a great varitey of sea life including grey sharks, barracudas, trevallies, tuna, Napolean wrass, as well as the usual fine cast of reef fish and pelagics.
Finish the day with drinks or dinner at the stunning and award-winning hotel, Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, on motu Ilot Tautau.
Recommended dive sites: Roses, Mounts of Ceran, Tiva Pass, Octopus Hole
Undoubtedly the most celebrated island in the South Pacific, Bora Bora is French Polynesia’s leading lady. There are a multitude of activities available on the island. In the morning, enjoy some popular lagoon excursions including snorkelling, diving, fishing, paddle boarding, kitesurfing, jet skiing, and of course, shark and ray feeding at Leopard Rays Trench - one of the most beautiful diving sites in Bora Bora, with crystal clear waters and giant Manta Rays, reef sharks, and hundreds of dazzling tropical fish species gliding across the white sandy bottom.
Spend the afternoon exploring the main village of Vaitape and shopping at the local boutiques before a dinner reservation at one of Bora Bora’s restaurants such as Mai Kai Bora Bora or the legendary Bloody Mary’s.
If the village doesn’t interest you, you can also ex-plore Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu on a guided hike or Jeep Safari tour. Helicopter tours are also available for some breathtaking views of the island.
Learn about the military artefacts left behind by US troops after WWII and discover volcanic rock formations from the island’s ancient caldera.
Observe the production of coconut oil and tie-dye sarongs by local artisans at a crafts workshop, and sample tropical fruits at a small plantation.
Recommended dive sites: Leopard Rays Trench, Anau, Tapu, Toopua, Muri Muri, Haapiti