Just the name Tahiti conjures up images of water in hues of sapphire and some of the world’s most magnificent beaches, sparkling waterfalls and the unforgettable fragrance of tropical flowers wafting in the air. The mystical island’s natural beauty has attracted painters, writers and romantics for centuries and upon arrival, you will understand. Let your dreams of a tropical paradise come true as you reconnect with simpler times on a luxury Tahiti cruise.
Tahiti is the largest of 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia and is located in the Society Islands – an archipelago including the islands of Bora Bora, Raiatea, Taha’a, Huahine and Moorea. It’s composed of two volcanic ranges connected by the isthmus of Taravao with black sand beaches. Dubbed “Queen of the Pacific,” it is one of the most exotic and unspoiled places in the world, welcoming visitors with a balmy climate and romantic golden peach sunsets. It’s no wonder that French artist Paul Gauguin fell in love with Tahiti and immortalized it in his paintings.
Nature-lovers will find treasures at every turn and travelers come here from all over the world to snorkel and dive viewing a dazzling array of marine wildlife. Breathtaking and expansive coral reefs of purple, yellow, red, turquoise and neon green provide breathtaking sites along with the colorful fish. Tiger and gray sharks, giant turtles, manta rays, barracudas, dolphins and others also call this home. Graceful humpback whales may also make an appearance off the coast.
World-famous tropical flowers include bougainvillea, frangipani, porcelain roses, orchids, camellias and gardenias. Delightful fruit trees also add to the lovely aroma of this blissful destination. Feel the warmth of the people here as you’re welcomed with a traditional frangipani or orchid lei for a moment you will always remember.
Tahiti serves as gateway for cruisers traveling to the Society Islands and other destinations in the South Pacific. A luxury cruise is the perfect way to get acquainted with this beautiful part of the world. Onboard partake of exquisite cuisine, freely poured fine wines, show-stopping entertainment, sumptuous and beautiful accommodations, high-end spas, fitness centers, unobtrusive pampering and much more. An added bonus is that luxury cruising is often all-inclusive or almost completely. Traverse the unspoiled isles of the legendary South Pacific on a grand cruise ship with high-end amenities. Along the journey participate in many water activities such as windsurfing, waterskiing, canoeing, diving and snorkeling or see beautiful marine life from a glass-bottom boat.
Many of the luxury cruise lines feature Tahiti sailings such as Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises (the only line to offer them year-round), all-inclusive Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Tahiti to be featured on its World Cruise in 2017), Seabourn and Windstar Cruises. Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises also sail here.
Exploring this tropical paradise on a luxury cruise ship offers an easy and convenient way to see more of Tahiti and the islands on one vacation and in the epitome of comfort. Itineraries vary and may include such exotic ports as Papeete, Fakarava, Fatu Hiva, Atuone, Tahuata, Nuke Hiva, Huahine, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Moorea and others.
Culinary Tahiti Treats
Enhance your luxury cruise experience by savoring Tahitian cuisine. Authentic regional dishes are typically prepared by the chef to reflect the destination. There is always fresh seafood and options including mahi-mahi and bonito, are featured on all menus. Sample unique flavors at traditional feasts that are cooked in baskets woven from banana leaves over hot rocks in a large hole in the ground called a hima’a. Delight your taste buds with the national dish called “poisson cru” or “ia oata” made with raw red tuna marinated in coconut milk and lime juice. Additional regional favorites to try are grilled Wahoo fillet with mango salsa accompanied by exotic papaya and banana soufflé.
Popular drinks include “the beer of Tahiti” – the golden Hinano lager and the pale Tabu. Potent fruit-infused rums use local ginger, pineapple and coconut. Sip on a plethora of delicious tropical cocktails, such as the refreshing Ginger Margarita.
Sail to the delightful waterfront town of Papeete – with the scent of gardenias dancing in the air. French Polynesia’s capital is filled with the natural beauty of palm-fringed beaches, brilliant blue lagoons and coconut groves mixed with colonial and modern architecture. Filled with natural beauty, this area is also famous for its lush rainforests, waterfalls, archeological sites and endless watersports.
Gem-lovers will be enchanted at The Robert Wan Pearl Museum, (also called The Black Pearl Museum) the only one of its kind in the world. Stroll along the famous Boulevard Pomare, lined with sidewalk cafés and boutiques. Explore the bustling Le Marché marketplace where you can buy Tahitian goods, such as vanilla beans and colorful pareos – Polynesian sarongs. After sunset the popular Vai’ete Square comes to life. The dynamic atmosphere offers an insight into local life. Colorful food trucks called Les Roulottes serve various local fare, such as fresh fish, French crépes and decadent desserts.
Considered by many to be the world’s most romantic island, Bora Bora is a tropical paradise that dreams are made of. Silky stretches of white sand contrast with the rocky black peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia for an unforgettable site. Author James Michener called Bora Bora the world’s most beautiful island and visitors agree. Surrounded by the azure waters of its natural lagoon, it is home to a coral reef with colorful marine life, jungle-carpeted hills and sun-kissed beaches with sugary white sand. Crystalline waters offer the ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkeling. Highlighting any visit here is sunset gazing and watching for the “green flash” as the sun goes down. Another high point is a visit to The Bora Bora Lagoonarium, a natural aquarium. You can even snorkel on the premises and spot turtles, rays, sharks and many other species of ocean life.
Sun, sand, surf and serenity are waiting for you in charming Moorea, a heart-shaped atoll with beautiful emerald hills and shaded aquamarine lagoons. This magical isle boasts verdant volcanic peaks, miles of pineapple and vanilla plantations and shores of white sand beaches. Visit secluded coves, marvel at sparkling waterfalls and spend time at beautiful Opunohu Bay, dotted with yachts.
Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the island, it is believed that author James Michener’s mystical Bali Hai in his “Tales of the South Pacific,” was about Moorea. Movie buffs will want to see the coconut-strewn beach where Mutiny on the Bounty was filmed.
Experience all of this and so much more while feeling a part of the timeless beauty and untouched scenery of idyllic Tahiti the best way – on a luxury cruise. The romantic South Pacific is magical and will touch you forever.
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