If you fancy getting away somewhere warm for the winter, then the French Polynesia is the perfect choice. While Bora Bora often gets all the limelight for being the epitome of paradise in the Society Islands, there are plenty of others in the chain which are just as worthy of your attention.
Each atoll in the Society Islands has its own individual character and the chain caters for a wide range of interests, whether you want to learn about local culture, snorkel, hike or taste local flavors. Explore this luscious part of the world with an all-inclusive by the cabin cruise, or plan your own itinerary with a bareboat charter from our base in Raiatea.
You might need longer than you think to fit in some of the region’s finest attractions, as this island group covers 1500 square miles. Here are some of our top experiences for cruising the Society Islands in the French Polynesia…
Immerse yourself in Bora Bora’s underwater world
Head to the Lagoonarium, Bora Bora, and swim alongside Napoleon fish, turtles, rays and lemon and tiger sharks. To swim with animals in their natural habitats, head south of the lagoon for stingray and black tip shark snorkeling and off the Sofitel resort for the Aquarium snorkeling spot, which is teeming with fish. The Coral Gardens on the northern tip of Bora Bora is also a great spot. To swim with manta rays, head for Fitiiu Point and don’t forget your underwater camera!
Learn about the black pearl in Raiatea
Tahiti is famous for its pearls, especially black pearls, and there are plenty of farms to visit where you can learn how they engineer certain colours, watch them being extracted from oysters and learn about quality and grades. Try mooring at the Anapa Pearl Farm, Raiatea, book a tour and join the pearl divers. Make sure you book in advance.
Explore the mountains on Moorea
If you are fairly fit and adventurous, book a four-wheel drive tour of the privately-owned Magic Mountain on Moorea. It’s a thrilling ride as you wind your way snaking up extremely steep paths, before a short hike up the mountain trail to the top. It’s hard work but the reward is more than worth it, as you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing view over Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay.
Taste the vanilla delights of Taha’a
Taha’a produces around 80% of the vanilla in the French Polynesia and it’s used by the finest restaurants in the world. You can’t escape the wafting sweet scent all over the island. Visit the plantations to see the growing, drying and preserving process and for tips on how to cook with vanilla pods and make your own extract. You might even pick up a cocktail recipe or two! Try the Vallee de la Vanille farm tour.
Learn about the Maupiti
The small island of Maupiti is said to be the oldest in the Society Islands chain and has artifacts dating back to 850AD. One of the most exciting finds is the turtle petroglyphs etched into rocks along the Haranaie Valley. They are hard to find, so head to Vai’ea and ask locals for some directions or take a tour. Make sure you sample the delicious traditional food on the island before setting sail.
Find out more
You can get a direct flight from the US to Tahiti’s international airport in Papeete. To reach our base, catch an internal flight between Papeete and Raiatea with Air Tahiti. We can arrange airport transfers. Contact us to find out more or call the team at 855.650.8902 or email [email protected].