- Snorkel with sting rays and sharks in beautiful Bora Bora.
- Take a tour of a local pearl farm on the lush island of Taha'a.
- Enjoy a canoe tour down Faaroa River in Raiatea.
- Visit an ancient marae (temple) at Taputapuatea, which was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
29 Nov 2023
Tahiti & the Pearls of French Polynesia
Validity: 02 Jun 2023 to 31 Dec 2023
It might sound like a cliché, but the crystal blue waters, colourful coral and lush green islands of French Polynesia are anything but boring. Snorkelers and swimmers will be in their element, with abundant marine life, stunning lagoons and pristine coral reefs just begging to be explored. On dry land, learning about the fascinating ancient culture of the French Polynesian people is an experience, with temples and archaeological sites abound. From your base on the Panaroma II, a comfortable small ship and an expert crew to show you the way, you’ll embrace the island life in no time.
Small Cruise Ship
No particular level of physical fitness is required for our adventure cruises, although you should have a good level of mobility and enjoy good health. We do ask that you read through the trip notes to ensure that this trip is right for you. Please keep in mind that there are a number of shore excursions offered on your voyage. Some are walking tours and may involve a reasonable amount of walking over varied terrain. We recommend you bring a good pair of walking shoes or boots, carry a water bottle and don’t forget the sunscreen and hat. Depending on the excursion, disembarking the ship may be by zodiac, tender or onto a dock. Very occasionally, it will be a beach landing where you may need to wade through shallow water a short distance to reach the shore. This will be highlighted in the trip notes. Snorkelling and fishing equipment is provided on board all of our vessels. To snorkel, we request that you consider your fitness level and your confidence in the water before taking part.
Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises. SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of AUD600, USD600, EUR450, NZD600, GBP300, CAD600, CHF450 or ZAR6,000 per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed. Full payment is required 60 days prior to departure. Please refer to our “Booking and Conditions” section on our website including the special conditions that apply to Adventure Cruising (Variety) trips for further information. SHORE EXCURSIONS On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The approximate price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary. Please note all activities are subject to availability and require minimum numbers of customers to operate. SINGLE TRAVELLERS It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate. FELLOW TRAVELLERS Your group will be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from Variety Cruises. HEALTH SCREENING Variety Cruises have implemented Health screening measures prior to embarkation and during the cruise for all guests and crew. This includes: Mandatory pre-boarding health reporting and screening questionnaire.
On your voyage, as well as the ship and hospitality crew, there will be between 1 and 3 local tour leaders (depending on the total number of passengers). These leaders will be with you on board the ship, and on all included shore activities. They will have good general knowledge of the areas you are passing through including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects, as well as being able to recommend great local eating venues for your on shore meals and what you might like to do with your free time (when you're not relaxing and enjoying the ship's facilities).
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Your cabin has a safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables whilst on board. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Wifi is available on all ships at EUR30 for 1 GB. The coverage can be very intermittent and unreliable. On shore in most countries, you should find fast, free wifi available in cafes or restaurants.
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here: www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements Most visitors to French Polynesia for tourism staying less than 90 days, won't need a visa. You must hold an onward ticket, have confirmed accommodation and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. Entry and exit conditions (such as visas, currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France. Contact the French Embassy or consulate for up to date information.
Snorkel with sting rays and sharks in beautiful Bora Bora.
Take a tour of a local pearl farm on the lush island of Taha'a.
Enjoy a canoe tour down Faaroa River in Raiatea.
Visit an ancient marae (temple) at Taputapuatea, which was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This trip is operated by our partners at Variety Cruises and is best suited to independent travellers who want flexibility from their itinerary. On Variety Cruises, all shore excursions are optional, so you don’t have to pay for an activity you’re not interested in. Trips operated by Variety begin at port, do not include tips and require solo travellers to pay a mandatory single supplement. This is a small ship Adventure Cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a motorised yacht with 30–50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but this cruise focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wi-Fi is available for a small charge. Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. There will be seasickness tablets on board and your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort. This trip is very much focused around marine activities so confidence in the water will allow you to make the most of the snorkelling opportunities. Flotation aids will be available on board as well as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. There are no lifts (elevators) on board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs (fitted with handrails) to access all the decks. French Polynesia is a tropical climate, so while the weather is normally quite warm in some parts of the year you might experience a heavy downpour of rain that lasts around 30 minutes or so. None of the activities on the trip are included, they are all optional extras.
GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local representative a traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements. COVID-19 The safety and well-being of our travellers, group leader or local representative, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. Intrepid has no specific vaccination, testing or vaccination requirements, however please be aware that some parts of the world still require COVID-19 vaccination or testing as part of their entry requirements and may have their own quarantine or isolation protocols. Please check for any additional requirements on your government's foreign travel advice website or here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/visa-health-requirements There is no doctor on board for this voyage. In case of an emergency, some crew members are trained to offer basic first aid. Medical care is available in all ports we visit and our voyages are mostly cruising around coastal waters meaning we are never far from a port. As we are mostly cruising in coastal waters, we should not regularly encounter rough waters. However, if you know you are prone to sea sickness, please ensure you bring with you appropriate medication. You must also bring with you any general medicines you may need such as pain relief along with any prescribed medications you take. A general first aid kit is also a good idea. If you are feeling unwell, please let a member of the crew know. Travelling on a boat means that everyone is sharing the same common areas and illness can spread very quickly to your fellow travellers.
We are able to cater for most special dietary requirements. Please advise any special dietary needs at least 4 weeks in advance of travel.
When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). The EURO is the standard currency on board. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are all accepted for settling your ship board account. An account will be opened for your cabin for purchases aboard ship. This will include bar, laundry, communication charges and any optional activities you take part in. It is wise to travel with sufficient cash (in local currency) to pay for incidentals on your last day such as shipboard items, airports taxes and taxis. For most of our voyages, all meals on board the ship are included as well as coffee, tea and mineral water. However, a handful of voyages are Half Board and some meals will need to be purchased ashore. Please ensure you have read the Essential Trip Information carefully and have budgeted for any meals not included. TIPPING The voyage fare does not include the customary, optional gratuity which is divided between the ships' crew and hospitality staff. If you are happy with the services received, we suggest EUR10-14 per person, per day is an appropriate amount. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. CURRENCY The unit of currency in French Polynesia is the cours de franc Pacifique (CFP; Pacific franc), referred to simply as ‘the franc’, and it’s pegged to the euro. The denominations are Bills: 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 Francs and Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Francs MONEY ATMs are found on main islands. International cards generally work only at Banque Socredo ATM’s. You’ll need a four-digit pin number. Som epost offices are also equipped with ATM’s. There are three major banks operating in French Polynesia: Banque de Tahiti, Banque de Polynésie and Banque Socredo. They change major foreign currencies, but a transaction fee applies – usually from 600 CFP to 950 CFP. The best currencies to bring are US dollars and euros. Credit cards are accepted at hotels and restaurants on main islands, but not at family pensions or on remote islands. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.
Please travel as lightly as possible so as not to restrict space in your cabin. Soft bags are more practical than hard suitcases. The dress code on board ship is casual. You may want to bring something slightly dressier for the Captain's dinner or a theme night but as a rule, neat casual will suffice. Swimming will be offered on most days so swimwear is essential. Below is a suggested general packing list. Daypack (a smaller back pack that you can take with you on shore excursions. As you will be accessing most landings via the zodiac, a waterproof day pack or stuff sack is a good idea to prevent your belongings getting wet. ) Comfortable clothing for warmer temperatures [shorts, t-shirts, light long sleeved tops and pants] A sweater or jacket for the cooler evenings or early mornings A light rain coat or poncho Comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions Sandals or thongs/flip flops/jandals Sunscreen [bio degradable and waterproof if available] and lip balm [to combat the effects of wind burn] Sunglasses Sunhat [that can be secured as it can get windy out on the water] Swimming costume Bio-degradable shampoo, conditioner and soap Pegs [so you can hang your swimming costume or towel out to dry] Insect repellent European adaptor/electrical plug for on the ship Camera Reef shoes for swimming from coral beaches
French Polynesia is a tropical climate, so while the weather is normally quite warm in some parts of the year you might experience a heavy downpour of rain that lasts around 30 minutes or so.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we and our partners are doing well and what could be done better. It allows us to suggest improvements for future travellers. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/
In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below: Variety Cruises: +30 6973440611
Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in . How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: * Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. * Consider offsetting your flights too. * Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. * Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. * Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. * Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. * Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. * Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. * Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.
We created our not-for-profit, the Intrepid Foundation because you – our travellers – told us you wanted to make an even greater impact in the communities you visit. The Foundation works by teaming up with partners around the world so that together we can deliver greater positive impact at scale. Partners are identified by our local staff who live and work in our destinations. They harness their powerful community connections to determine the issues that matter most and select local partners who can deliver real solutions. Since 2002, the Intrepid Foundation has raised more than 12.8 million dollars and supported more than 130 communities worldwide. Now, with almost 40 partners all over the world, your donations are helping to restore forests in Kenya, empower women in Honduras and promote elephant welfare in Laos, to name just a few. By simply being on this trip, Intrepid Travel will make a donation to the Intrepid Foundation on your behalf. If you choose to donate too, 100% of your donations will go directly to our partners on the ground – where they’re needed most. For more information about the Intrepid Foundation, please ask your group leader or local representative or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/
All cabins on the M/Y Panorama II are air-conditioned and have an ensuite with basic amenities such as a hairdryer. They also have a television (with preset movie channels), internal phone and a safe box. Wi-Fi is available for a small charge although the signal can be weak at times and sometimes unavailable depending on the location. There is a fully equipped laundry service. Cruise: Wifi is available on all ships at EUR15 for 200MB or EUR20 for 250MB. The coverage can be very intermittent and unreliable. On shore in most countries, you should find fast, free wifi available in cafes or restaurants.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects and covers all countries visited on your itinerary.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS Variety Cruises don't provide the option to share with a stranger on their voyages. Therefore single travellers will be charged the Single cabin price which includes a single occupancy surcharge. FELLOW TRAVELLERS Your group will be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from Variety Cruises.
Travelling by sea is a fantastic way to explore, but it brings some challenges when weather conditions are not ideal. The itinerary may be subject to change, based on winds and sea conditions which may render anchorage and landing at some stops difficult. We reserve the right to change the itinerary for the safety of passengers and the ship. Shore excursions are subject to shore and weather conditions and are based on a minimum participation. Each days' schedule will be posted by the cruise co-ordinator listing necessary information such as arrival/departure times, meal times, days activities and other information. This is given as a guideline and is subject to change. The optional activities noted in the itinerary require a minimum number of passengers wanting to take place. The mimnimum number can vary depending on the activity. They are also subject to changes due to site restorations, weather, heavy traffic or other conditions. Should sites or museums be closed on our visiting days, alternativ visits will be offered. The tours can be quite active and require good physical conditions. We recommendwearing comfortable shoes and taking sunscreen, a hat and water.
Small Cruise Ship 7 nights