Sample Charter Itinerary in the French Polynesia
Arrive on the island of Tahiti and join your yacht in the capital town of Papeete. Local dancers will perform a welcome dance for you as you sip a special cocktail mixed by your yacht crew to kick off your Polynesian charter. After lunch on board, head ashore to explore Papeete: soak in the flavours of the bustling market, visit the Robert Wan Pearl Museum & maybe treat yourself to a welcome present or go further afield taking a tour of the island. Visit Teahupo’o beach in Tahiti-ti, the southern part of the island, famous amongst surfers for it’s monster waves. In the evening relax on board with a delicious dinner prepared for you by the yacht’s chef or immerse yourself immediately into island life and join the locals eating street food from the caravans or roulottes which set up on the dock.
Enjoy fresh fruits as your yacht cruises to the nearby island of Moorea. This beautiful heart-shaped island formed when half of the volcano fell into the sea. Head ashore to hike to Belvedere Point through lush valleys and rainforest. Here you are in the perfect spot to capture perfect photos of Cook Bay and Opunoho Bay lying either side of Mount Rotui. Mount Mouaputa, with its slashed peak, is also perfectly posed for her Instagram moment! Continue along the Three Coconuts Pass to reach the volcanic caldera at the top of Mount Tohivea, the highest point of Moorea, for more photo opportunities green clad mountains and valleys sinking down to the turquoise lagoon. There are plenty of activities for water lovers. Visit the Lagoonarium, a protected environment where sharks, manta rays, turtles and a multitude of fish live in the wild. Paddleboard across the surface of the lagoon to explore the many beautiful beaches.
Wake up on Huahine, an island covered in luxuriant vegetation and brightly coloured flowers and which holds great significance in Polynesian culture with many ancient temples and archaeological sites. Spend the 3rd day of your trip on the bigger part of the island called Huahine Nui. Visit the village of Maeva, the former royal seat of the island, which has a concentration of marae and find out more of the fascinating history at the Fare Potee museum. See the nearby fish traps on Lake Fauna Nui – centuries-old structures still in use today. Feed the sacred blue-eyed eels that Polynesians believe to be the souls of their ancestors. Don’t leave without visiting the Gallery Umutatea, the home to the paintings by Melanie Hook Dupre who, following in the footsteps of Paul Gaugin, moved to Huahine back in 1999. The island is encircled by a lagoon of all shades of blue with many islets or motus, with perfect sandy beaches where the crew will set up lunch.
On the next day, continue your journey towards the smaller, wilder, quieter and southern part of the island called Huahine Iti. Start your day with a relaxing yoga session with our certified instructor. Later explore Maroe Bay located to the left of the bridge when crossing over from Huahine Nui. There are great views of the bay and the rock protrusion known as Hiro's phallus from Maroe. Admire the beautiful Marae Anini in Parea at the southern tip of Huahine at the edge of a sublime sand beach and take the opportunity to look more closely at the seabed and admire the turquoise waters.
You will smell the wonderful scent of vanilla as soon as you arrive in the flower-shaped island of Taha’a. Visit one of the vanilla plantations and see the abundance of Tahitian vanilla orchids that grow here. 80% of the vanilla in Polynesia is grown on Taha’a so it is no wonder the whole island is infused with it. Go hiking with a guide to discover the diverse flora & fauna or snorkel in the shallow coral garden between Motu Maharae and Motu Tautau amongst the schools of multicoloured tropical fish. Enjoy cocktails & dinner on board under the stars.
Raiatea, meaning “faraway heaven” & “sky with soft light” with Taputapuatea on the east coast is one of the most important cultural sites in Polynesia. The large marae complex was once considered the religious centre of Eastern Polynesia and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Priests & navigators from all over the Pacific would gather to share their knowledge of deep ocean navigation. Visit a pearl farm located inside the lagoon which harvests the black pearls from the Tahitian black lipped oyster. The rare, endemic flower Tiare Apetahi grows on Mount Temehani – well worth the hike if you spot one – then head to a sugar cane rum distillery. From Raiatea, one such island you can paddle to is Motu Miri Miri, which allows you to float over vibrant gardens of coral and see tropical fish while getting a workout. Rejoin your yacht for sunset cocktails followed by a sumptuous farewell dinner prepared by your yacht chef. Have a last evening stargazing in the night sky as your yacht embarks for the final cruise.
Cruise across to Bora Bora for a complete change of scene. Bora Bora is possibly one of the best known names and conjures up pictures of overwater villas, luxury restaurants and spas. This stunning island with all the shades of blue and green is considered one of the best diving trips in the world. You can dive with manta rays in Anau while you will dive with sharks on Tapu, or experience a high-visibility drift dive on Teavanui and or swim with humpback whales on Tupai. Find a motu – your own desert island – to take a picnic lunch & frolic in the lagoon or hike up Mount Otemanu and enjoy the beautiful panorama in front of you. Or, on the island which oozes romance, take a scenic flight over Bora Bora and the gorgeous heart shaped atoll with the romantic heritage - Tupai. Tupai is the island of “Pere”, the goddess of fire & passion. Dine ashore at the restaurant of your choice or take in the Polynesian dinner show at the Four Seasons for an evening of traditional fire-dance.
Bora Bora’s discreet little sister, Maupiti is one of the most ravishing islands in French Polynesia. There’s a shimmering lagoon with every hue from lapis lazuli to turquoise, a perfect ring of islets girdled with sand bars, palm trees leaning over the shore and large coral gardens. Although this little charmer is no longer a secret, it still remains a hideaway where visitors come to absorb the lazy lifestyle. There’s only one road and virtually no cars, just bikes; there are no showy resorts, just a smattering of family-run pensions where visitors can sample delicious local-style meals and genuinely interact with their hosts. And when you want to play, there's just the right amount of activities to keep you buzzing, from walking and lagoon excursions to diving and kayaking.
Cruise back towards Tahiti, where your fascinating trip will come to an end. On your way, stop by small secluded islands and atolls offering idyllic fishery. If you are a surfer, do not miss a chance to experience the raw energy and power of Teahupo’o’s world-famous wave. Not to mention that Tahiti is one of the best islands of the archipelago for kitesurfing. In the last evening of your trip, enjoy the dinner under the stars prepared from your fresh catches.