Polynesian paradise: 7 days exploring the Society Islands on board Hemisphere

Arrive in Tahiti

Captain Gavin Bladen, of 44.2 metre sailing catamaran Hemisphere, available for charter with Burgess, reveals how to explore this paradisiacal archipelago in French Polynesia...

Day One

Fly in and join Hemisphere in Tahiti and then sail to the jagged volcanic landscape of Mo’orea. If you are visiting between July and November this will be your first opportunity to spot humpback whales. Enjoy a welcome lunch on board, then grab your snorkel and feed the stingrays in Mo’orea’s aquamarine lagoon.

Picture courtesy of Burgess/Hemisphere

Explore dormant volcanoes

Wake up to views of Mo’orea’s steep peaks and start the day with an adventure – quad biking around the dormant volcanoes, which are peppered with lush vegetation and flowers and are home to pineapple plantations. In the afternoon relax on board or try scuba diving with one of the two PADI instructors. Hemisphere will depart overnight for Huahine, so you can enjoy a scenic cruise under the stars.

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Fish for marlin

Early risers can go fishing at first light for the chance to catch marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo or tuna. Afterwards, have breakfast on board while approaching Huahine before a fun-filled morning of watersports. The crew will set up a picnic lunch on the pristine beach followed by an afternoon of games. As the sun sets, enjoy happy hour and dinner on board sampling the catch of the day.

Picture courtesy of Burgess/Hemisphere

Surf on the reef

Hemisphere will weigh anchor in the morning and cruise to Raiatea, which was the centre of Polynesian society, and from which they sailed to discover Hawaii and New Zealand. Drop anchor and admire the island’s lush 3,300ft peak and spend the afternoon testing your surfing skills on the constant supply of waves created by the reef that surrounds the island.

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Visit a vanilla farm

Time for a day of pampering. Hemisphere will make the short cruise to the neighbouring island of Taha’a where a masseuse will step on board to give treatments. Once you are feeling suitably relaxed take an afternoon stroll to the island’s vanilla farm and collect some fresh pods for the evening’s dessert.

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Swim with sharks in Bora Bora

The most famous of French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands, Bora Bora lives up to everyone’s expectations. Dive or snorkel to explore the reef and swim with blacktip reef and lemon sharks. During dinner, Tahitian dancers in traditional dress will come on board – the dances tell ancient stories passed down through generations.

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Scuba dive with manta rays

Wake up and head for a final dive at a manta ray cleaning station, where the gentle giants are scrubbed by small crustaceans. Then hire jet skis to explore the lagoon before a final lunch on board. Depart from Bora Bora airport to Tahiti for international flights or, if a week in paradise is not enough for you, extend the trip for another week in the Tuamotus Archipelago.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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