All Aboard for Tahiti

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 |
Just the name 'Tahiti' evokes an image of balmy tropical islands, white sand and clear water. It is all this and more- the name refers not only to the largest island in French Polynesia, but often also to the country made up of the 118 islands. Both Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia are some of the most beautiful in the Pacific, with rugged green mountains meeting crystal seas, palm trees fringing the spectacular beaches.

Papeete Port

Huahine Beach

Despite being somewhat isolated in the South Pacific between New Zealand and South America, Tahiti's popularity as a cruise port is rising. Discerning cruisers deem the extra time to reach the archipelago worth the wonderful views and experiences they offer, and cruise lines are taking notice! Tahiti has two specialist cruise lines which cruise out of Papeete. The small-ship luxury line Paul Gauguin Cruises offers specialised cruises, and their shallow-drafted ships can get up close and personal with the more obscure Tahiti destinations. The Aranui 3 is a freighter which serves a dual purpose by taking cargo and passengers around the small islands and villages surrounding Tahiti. These two lines can offer some very in-depth cruising, as well as a wealth of knowledge about the area, its natural and social history and the people.

Aranui 3

As well as the specialised Tahiti cruise lines, mainstream cruise lines are upping their Tahiti time as they set itineraries for the months to come. Princess has always maintained a presence in French Polynesia, but is increasing it in 2013 and 2014. The Ocean Princess has a number of 10-night Tahiti and South Pacific cruises planned, departing from Papeete. This allows passengers to experience and explore the island individually by land before or after the cruise. The Pacific Princess will also be seen in Tahiti in January and February of 2014.

Royal Caribbean is another of the major cruise lines which is planning some stops in French Polynesia, as part of their transpacific itineraries. The small luxury lines Silversea and Regent Seven Seas are also planning to join the line up in 2014 with several port stops in Tahiti.



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