Early morning arrival in Bora Bora, possibly the most photographed place on earth. Our ship sails into Bora Bora lagoon with Mount Otemanu rising proudly at the center. Over the following two days, we will have a variety of optional activities to choose from, such as: a) A Bora Bora Cultural Tour by 4x4; b) An excursion to snorkel with sting rays and sharks and open-air Lagoon Aquarium exploration; c) The Bora Bora tour by "Le Truck" and more. Overnight at anchor.
We continue our Bora Bora activities. After lunch we cruise the Bora Bora lagoon and sail to nearby Taha'a, a true botanical paradise. The fertile island is covered with banana, watermelon and coconut groves. The island also acts as a vast natural greenhouse for the treasured Tahitian vanilla orchid. Our optional half-day excursion will allow us to explore the beautiful interior of the island by 4x4 vehicle. Taste the local fruit and admire breathtaking views of the magnificent turquoise waters of Ha'amene Bay. This excursion also includes a visit to a pearl farm and a traditional vanilla plantation. In the afternoon, we will have plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling from a “motu”, or atoll. Overnight at anchor.
In the morning we sail across the lagoon and reach nearby Raiatea, which translates to “faraway heaven” and “sky with soft light”. Originally known as Havai’i, Raiatea is considered the homeland of the ancient Polynesians. Our morning optional excursion will introduce you to the highlights of Raiatea. Meet your guide for an informative & intimate tour by minibus. Enjoy a panoramic drive through the main town of Uturoa -- the cultural and administrative center of Raiatea. Shortly after leaving town, you will see Mount Temehani -- endemic home to the Tiare Apetahi. Our highlight stop is at the main ancient Marae (open-air temple) of Taputapuatea, recently became a UNESCO protected site – your guide will cover the origins & history of this famous land mark. Here, we will learn about its Polynesian origins and historical relevance. Optional afternoon tour includes an exploration by kayak of the Faaroa River, French Polynesia's only navigable river, with an expert guide leading the way through Raiatea's verdant interior. Overnight at anchor.
Morning sailing to Huahine. Huahine, once home to Tahitian royalty, is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture. The two islands maintain the largest concentration of ancient marae (temples) in French Polynesia, some of which are believed to date back to around 700 AD. Huahine is a colossal tropical jungle burgeoning with coconut plantations, vanilla orchids, banana groves, breadfruit trees and watermelon fields. Our optional full-day tour takes us by 4x4 vehicle around the island to visit the small villages of Fare and Maeva, an archaeological site, and a vanilla plantation. There will also be an opportunity to see and feed the sacred blue-eyed eels of Faie Bay. Evening sailing to Makatea, overnight at sea.
The island of Makatea is like no other found in French Polynesia. It is not a coral atoll but rather a raised island of coral. The limestone cliffs tower over the coast and the island’s interior shows significant vegetation, complete with a few species of endemic birds and a peculiar expanse of limestone holes. Today, this sleepy but spectacular island is home to three species of threatened endemic birds: the beautiful Makatea fruit dove, the impressive imperial pigeon, and the comely appearing singer extraordinaire, the reed warbler. Our half-day optional tour will take us across this unique island to a magnificent beach with rockpools to explore before we visit an incredible grotto. Swimming deeper inside the grotto, this underwater cave system will slowly open out to reveal a spectacular watery cathedral, full of weird and wonderful stalagmites and stalactites. Late afternoon departure to Rangiroa. Overnight at sea.
Morning arrival in Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and one of the largest in the world. One of the best destinations for scuba diving, Rangiroa is composed of 240 islets, more than 110 miles, encompassing a deep lagoon. Our full-day ptional excursion will take us to the Blue Lagoon, a natural pool formed by islets and reefs within the central lagoon. At only 16 feet deep, the Blue Lagoon is an ideal location for swimming, snorkelling, and observing the vast assortment of marine life. Enjoy a traditional Polynesian picnic before returning to the ship. Overnight at anchor.
Early morning sailing and arrival at Tikehau also called the Pink Sand Island. This small atoll consists of countless tiny white and pink sand islets engulfed in coconut groves and hidden alcoves. In Tikehau, which actually means "peaceful landing," you will find nothing but absolute serenity on her calm and graceful shores. The lagoon, formed by an almost unbroken ring of continuous coral, resembles an immense natural swimming pool. This underwater aquarium is teeming with marine life. According to the legendary marine researcher Jacques Cousteau, it has a higher concentration of fish than any other lagoon in French Polynesia. Our optional walking tour will take us to one of the family-owned fish farm where they trap different species of fish in a maze of underwater fencing. Much of their catch is then shipped to Papeete and sold at the local markets. We will visit Tuherahera at the southern side where most locals live, leaving the remainder of the atoll virtually untouched. In fact, the northeastern quarter is mostly uninhabited. Naturally adorned with colorful flowers such as hibiscus and bougainvillea, Tuherahera is one of the most attractive villages in the Tuamotu Atolls. Afternoon sailing to Tetiaroa.
A haven for birds, sea turtles and all kinds of marine life, Tetiaroa is treasured among Tahitians who know it as a sacred place. So sacred, that at one time the coconut-dotted white sand beaches and crystalline lagoon of this uninhabited atoll was an exclusive getaway for Tahitian royalty. It’s not surprising that actor Marlon Brando fell under its spell during the filming of “Mutiny on the Bounty” in 1960 and later went on to become its owner. Under his direction a luxury eco-resort was designed and it operates in 100% sustainable manner. We will spend the morning in this charming island, exploring the lagoon and snorkelling in its crystal clear waters. Enjoy an optional guided walking tour to the islet of Tahuna Iti, the Birds’ Island. The islet shelters one of the largest colony of birds in Tahiti and is a national reserve for seabirds, frigates, sterns, phaetons (straw tails), brown gannets and other petrels. Afternoon sailing and evening arrival at Moorea.
Moorea is believed to be the inspiration for the mythical Bali Hai from James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. Eight gargantuan mountain peaks rise from its magnificent lagoon, creating a distinctive silhouette visible from the western coast of Tahiti. Morning and afternoon optional half day excursions; a) a Snorkelling and ray tour; b) a Nature & Culture Tour taking you to admire magnificent views in the interior of the island. Tonight we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner. Overnight at anchor.
Early morning sailing to Tahiti. Morning arrival in Papeete. Disembarkation at 9:00 am after breakfast.
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