Tahiti & the Pearls of French Polynesia
from $3655
Duration: 8 Days
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.
  • 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 speedboat ride down Faaroa River in Raiatea.
  • Visit an ancient marae (temple) at Taputapuatea, which was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 1 Location: Papeete, Tahiti
Ia Orana, welcome to Tahiti! This afternoon, you’ll make your way to your floating home for the next eight days – the Panorama II, which is docked in Papeete Port. Meet your fellow travellers, crew and local leaders between 2:30pm and 4:00pm and after a welcome briefing and safety drill you’ll set sail for Bora Bora. On this trip, all meals are included on the boat, so you will enjoy dinner at sea before rocking to sleep with the gentle waves.
Day 2 Location: Bora Bora
Arrive in Bora Bora first thing this morning. After enjoying breakfast with a view of Bora Bora lagoon and the famous Mount Otemanu in the backdrop, you’ll have a choice of a number of optional activities to fill both today and tomorrow. These include a cultural tour with a local guide in a 4x4, a snorkeling trip where you can keep an eye out for the sharks and sting rays or an open-air Lagoon Aquarium. There may be a more optional activities available on your trip, so have a chat to your leader about the different options. Tonight, you will spend the night anchored n Bora Bora Lagoon.
Day 3 Location: Bora Bora - Huahine
This morning you will have a chance to take part in the cultural tour in a 4x4 if you didn’t get the chance to do it yesterday. Then, after lunch on board the boat you will cruise out of Bora Bora towards Huahine. You may want to while away the afternoon on board making use of the sun beds on the top deck, chatting to your fellow travellers or curling up with a book in the lounge. You’ll arrive in Huahine late in the evening and spend the night anchored inside the lagoon.
Day 4 Location: Huahine
Today you will be exploring the two main islands of Huahine, a jungle paradise filled with tropical plantations including coconuts, vanilla orchids, banana groves, breadfruit trees and watermelon fields. Aside from blossoming with nature, Huahine is also known for its cultural significance – it was once home to Tahitian royalty and has many ancient temples known as marae in French Polynesian culture. Some of these date back as far as 700 AD! Today you will have the choice of two optional tours; a half day or a full day tour. On the half day tour, you’ll be driven around in 4x4 vehicles to visit the small villages of Fare, which is an archaeological site and Maeva, a vanilla plantation. If you choose this option, you will return to the boat for lunch. The full day excursion includes a boat excursion to visit a local pearl farm, complete with a picnic lunch and snorkeling. If neither of these day tours appeal, you can spend the day at your leisure – either relaxing on the boat or exploring the area around the lagoon. Tonight, after dinner on board you will spend the night anchored in the lagoon.
Day 5 Location: Huahine – Taha'a
This morning you’ll leave Huahine early and set sail for the island of Taha'a, which shares a magnificent lagoon with neighbouring Raiatea Island. This lush island is extremely fertile and is covered with banana, watermelon, vanilla orchid and coconut groves. Today you’ll have the chance to explore the beautiful island by 4x4 vehicle in an optional tour. You’ll visit a pearl farm and a traditional vanilla plantation. It’s also the perfect opportunity to try some of the local fruits that are grown in the region and take in some of the incredible views of Ha'amene Bay. The afternoon is free for swimming and snorkeling on the “motu”, or reef islet, or exploring the area around the reef on your own. Tonight, will be spent anchored in the lagoon.
Day 6 Location: Raiatea
First thing this morning you’ll sail across the lagoon to reach Raiatea, which is considered the homeland of the ancient Polynesians. While it was previously known as Havai’i, Raiatea translates to “faraway heaven” and “sky with soft light”. Today you’ll have the chance to take part in an optional speedboat ride down Faaroa River with an expert local guide leading the way. You’ll end up at the ancient marae (temple) at Taputapuatea, which was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll have the chance to learn about Taputapuatea’s history, before enjoying a picnic lunch of local fare. Later that afternoon there will be time to relax on the boat before sailing to Mo'orea overnight.
Day 7 Location: Mo'orea
You’ll reach Mo'orea first thing in the morning, which is easily spotted thanks to the eight huge mountain peaks that rise from its lagoon. This place is thought to have inspired the mythical Bali Hai from James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. Today the optional activity is a nature safari tour in a 4x4. You’ll be exploring the inner crater of the island’s volcano, visiting a pineapple plantation and an agricultural school, as well as seeing the incredible landscapes of the island. Everyone will meet back on the ship later in the day and enjoy a farewell dinner together, before spending a night anchored in the lagoon.
Day 8 Location: Papeete, Tahiti
This morning you’ll set sail early for Tahiti, arriving in Papeete by 9am. From here, you will say farewell to your fellow travellers and the crew before disembarking the Panorama II.
Dates
Prices
Availability
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
3655NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
5925NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
7585NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
4635NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
4160NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
5295NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
4830NZD
available
Departure Date:
10DEC2020
Return Date:
17DEC2020
6165NZD
available
Departure Date:
08JAN2021
Return Date:
15JAN2021
3655NZD
available
Departure Date:
08JAN2021
Return Date:
15JAN2021
5925NZD
available
Last modified (date)

26 Jan 2020

Trip title

Tahiti & the Pearls of French Polynesia

Trip code

PMPT

Validity

Validity: 10 Dec 2020 to 05 Apr 2021

Introduction

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.

Style

Peregrine

Themes

Adventure Cruising

Transport

Small Cruise Ship

Physical Rating

2

Physical preparation

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.

Joining point

Papeete

Papeete

FRENCH POLYNESIA

Finish point

Papeete

Papeete

FRENCH POLYNESIA

Important information

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises. SHORE EXCURSIONS On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary. Please note there is a a minimum of 12 customers required for all shore excursions to go ahead. BOOKING CONDITIONS Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure. If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid. If a booking is cancelled between 89 and 31 days before departure - the cancellation fee is 50% of the total booking cost, or the deposit, whichever is greater. if a booking is cancelled 30 days or less prior to departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage. Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a voyage. 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.

Group leader

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).

Safety

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.

Communications

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. Internet connections in Cuba are very unreliable.

Visas

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking 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.

Why we love it

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 speedboat ride down Faaroa River in Raiatea.

Visit an ancient marae (temple) at Taputapuatea, which was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Is this trip right for you

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.

Health

GENERAL HEALTH All Peregrine travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Peregrine Adventures reserves 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 and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. 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.

Food and dietary requirements

We are able to cater for most special dietary requirements. Please advise any special dietary needs at least 4 weeks in advance of travel.

Money matters

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 Peregrine 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. Please 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 the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

What to take

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

Climate and seasonal

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.

Feedback

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. https://bookings.peregrineadventures.com/bookings/en_AU/feedback/

Emergency contact

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Variety Cruises: +30 6973440610

Responsible travel

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.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Accommodation notes

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 satellite television, 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

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.

Your fellow travellers

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.

Itinerary disclaimer

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.

Accommodation

Small Cruise Ship 7 nights

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