The islands of Polynesia are a gorgeous collection of volcanic islands and atolls strewn lazily across the grand Pacific Ocean. The island of Tahiti proper is the largest of the 118 islands and atolls that comprise French Polynesia. Papeete, the modern capital of Tahiti and her islands. It contains government offices, hospitals, banks, and many other services dedicated to serving the islands, as well as guests who come to these islands for a life-enriching experience. Embark the Paul Gauguin here this afternoon and have time to settle into your cabin before dinner onboard later in the evening. The ship sets sail tonight.
Known as “The Garden Island,” Huahine’s lush rainforests and dramatic terrain surround sacred sites and legendary landmarks that are among the best-preserved archeological sites in French Polynesia. If Huahine’s expansive lagoon is calling your name, enjoy a SCUBA diving excursion or picnic on the beach.
Immediately recognizable by Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean, this half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or “firstborn,” because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea.
A bucket list destination for many, stunning Bora Bora welcomes you to explore lush peaks, white-sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and romantic lagoons. Experience the natural beauty of the island with an optional snorkeling excursion, sunset jetboat ride, or a helicopter tour that flies you over Bora Bora’s iconic Mount Otemanu. You can also spend time at a private beach which offers volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding.
Rangiroa is the largest island in the Tuamotu Archipelago, which is made up of 78 coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles. Experience the simple, quiet, and peaceful life on these islands by participating in the daily activities of the Paumotu people.
Known in the days before modern navigation as the “Dangerous Archipelago” for its shallow passages, the Tuamotus islands are a diver’s paradise. Call first on Fakarava, whose diverse ecosystem has earned it the designation of a UNESCO-Classified Nature Reserve. There are two massive passes on the island where experienced divers can descend up to 130 feet into a world of cauliflower coral, gray sharks, and fish schooling by the thousands. Or stay on land and explore the island’s charming villages, ancient temples, and 19th-century coral church.
Spend the day enjoying The Gauguin’s Polynesian ambience: casual, leisurely, and graceful. Perhaps take in a lecture by a special guest, and then reflect on your day over classic French cuisine at L’Etoile.
Embark on your choice of exciting shore excursions today, or spend your whole day relaxing on Motu Mahana, a private islet. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, or simply lounge on the beach with a chilled beverage from the floating bar. Les Gauguines provides musical entertainment and demonstrates traditional Polynesian crafts. A delicious barbecue lunch is provided.
With its abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons, and palm-fringed beaches, Moorea features a magnificent beauty that is unsurpassed. White-sand beaches lapped by the translucent shimmering lagoon water and shaded by palm, coconut, and ironwood groves stretch for miles. During your visit, take an optional air-conditioned coach ride around the island to admire the stunning views. Shop for local handicrafts, embark on an optional dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist, and sample the local pineapples, said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia.
Perhaps try an optional SCUBA diving excursion among the sea turtles and staggering amount of fish species that call Moorea’s waters home. Or simply relax and revel in the island’s natural splendor. Late this afternoon, the ship casts off for Tahiti’s capital, where you enjoy a final overnight.
Day 11: Disembark in Papeete
Tahiti’s capital city of Papeete welcomes you back with emerald hillsides, sapphire waters, and warm breezes. If you’re not ready for your South Pacific vacation to end, spend a few days here experiencing resorts, spas, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!