8 days exploring French Polynesia on a luxury yacht


Sculpted by sky-piercing, moss-green peaks and lined with vivid turquoise lagoons, there are endless reasons to discover the French Polynesia on a superyacht.

Consisting of 118 idyllic islands, French Polynesia stretches over an expanse of more then 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. Here is a guide on how to spend eight days discovering Tahiti and beyond on a luxury yacht.

Day one: Tahiti

Begin your cruise in the waterfall-laden, beautiful black sand beaches that give Tahiti a distinctly Polynesian buzz. While exploring the lively backstreets and the waterfront of the capital Pape’ete is a must, it’s the outdoor action and cultural offerings that capture visitors.

See and do: From July to October whale-watching is a popular and unique attraction. Also in July there is the country’s most spectacular festival, the dance-heavy Heiva which fills the air with the sound of drums. For a slower pace visit Tahiti Iti – a peninsula on the southeast of Tahiti. So far it is only known to surfers and is one of the hidden gems of French Polynesia.

Dine: At Blue Banana a hip lagoon side restaurant or dine on-board

Overnight: At anchor.

This itinerary is suggested by  Burgess who manage sailing yacht  Mondango 3 for charter, she is available in the French Polynesia this summer.

Picture courtesy of Cristina Muraca/Shutterstock.com


Continue to explore Tahiti’s depths from expeditions to coral reefs, tuna fish breeding grounds and some of the best shipwreck dives. Softer safaris include sea kayaking, sunset swims and paddle boarding around the Punaauia Lagoon. The truly indulgent can read Herman Melville’s Tahiti tales in the Jacuzzi, or spot pods of dolphins from the yachts crow’s nest.

See and do: Take a trip to the Vaima Pool where locals come from all over to bathe in the icy but exceptionally clear waters that are thought to have healing properties. Further along the island are the Vaipahi Spring Gardens which have a magnificent natural waterfall. Here you will also find a small network of hiking trails that lead to further waterfalls and forests.

Dine: Le Lotus is the perfect venue for a romantic candlelit meal to admire the sunset.

Overnight: At anchor

Picture courtesy of Norinori303/Shutterstock.com

Tahiti to Mo’orea

(24nm, 2 hours)

Filled with Polynesian history and lore, Mo’orea is one of the most fascinating and completely relaxing places you could dream of vacationing. Frolic with rays and sharks, snorkel or dive through schools of fish in translucent waters, and savour the brilliant sunsets.

Sea and do: Visit Cook’s Bay or the less developed Opunohu Bay which feels wonderfully fresh and isolated. For a truly breath-taking view climb the ‘Magical Mountain’, at a height of 209 metres where the sight over the northern part of the island and the lagoon is mesmerising.

Dine: Indulge at Le K one of Mo’orea’s most prestigious venues or Coco Beach with its casual atmosphere on Motu Tiahura.

Overnight: Cruise overnight to Huahin

Picture courtesy of Mffoto/Shutterstock.com

Mo’orea to Huahine

(75nm, 6.5 hours)

Huahine is arguably, the most picturesque island in all of French Polynesia. Also known as “The Garden Island” due to its abundance of lush green tropical foliage and wild jungle-like scenery. Huahine itself is actually two islands known as Huahine-Nui and Huahine-Iti. There are many things that make Huahine special, but perhaps the most treasured are its solitude and quiet.

See and do: Head to La Petite Ferme equestrian centre to see the island from horseback. The two-hour ride along the beach, through coconut plantations and around the shore of Lake Fauna Nui, is truly enchanting. Then spend the afternoon diving, swimming and exploring the beautiful marine life.

Dine: For fresh seafood go to the New Te Marara which is a lively restaurant and a favourite local watering hole.

Overnight: At anchor

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Huahine to Taha’a

(34nm, 2.5 hours)

Tahaa also know as the “Vanilla Island” has retained the seduction of old-time Polynesia. The island is one giant coloured and fragrant garden of which vanilla, the precious orchid, is the ruling princess. Taha’a’s vast lagoon is dotted with many motu, sandy islets on which to play Robinson Crusoe between snorkelling trips.

See and do: Take a vanilla tour run by Alain Plantier who runs fantastic ethnobotanical-orientated trips lasting three hours.

Dine: Tahaa Maitai on Haamene Bay has fantastic views and a menu to match. Alternatively dine on-board.

Picture courtesy of Tan Art/Shutterstock.com

Taha’a to Raiatea

(14nm, 1 hour)

Raiatea is the second largest island in French Polynesia. Tahitians believe Raiatea to be the sacred birthplace of their gods and their religious and cultural beginnings. In fact, one of the most important and well-preserved religious sites in all of Polynesia is here. It is actually from Raiatea that the first Polynesians set out for Hawaii and New Zealand, entire tribes sailing off to colonise new shores.

See and do: Enjoy a kayak tour through Lagoon Adventure who will take you to the faraway motu, but also up the jungle-clad Faaroa river.

Dine: One of the most glamorous dinner spots in Raiatea is the Opoa Beach Hotel, which boasts a menu which changes daily

Overnight: At anchor

Picture courtesy of Blue Orange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Raiatea to Bora Bora

(25nm, 2 hours)

Bora Bora is possibly the single most famous island in the world. Romantics from around the globe have laid claim to this icon, where the castle-like Mount Otemanu pierces the sky. Lush tropical slopes and valleys blossom with hibiscus, while palm-covered motu circle the illuminated lagoon. Pora Pora - the ancient name, meaning “first born,” came from legends describing this as the first island to rise when Taaroa, the supreme god, fished it out of the waters after the mythical creation of Havai’i, now known as Raiatea.

See and do: Aqua Safari provides the unique experience of walking underwater wearing a divers helmet and weight belt. Pumps on the boat above feed air to you during the 30-minute ‘walk on the wet side’. A number of tours are also provided by Viator which allow you to see the natural beauty and culture of Bora Bora.

Dine: The popular Maikai Bora Bora Marina and Yacht club offers superb Polynesian cuisine with a twist.

Overnight: At anchor.

PIcture courtesy of Blue Orange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Bora Bora

Spend a final morning in the breath-taking Bora Bora having a last minute swim and enjoying a farewell brunch on-board before your disembarkation.

See and do: Soak in the last few rays of sun before being escorted by your crew back to the airport.

Picture courtesy of Blue Orange Studio/Shutterstock.com

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