Tahiti & French Polynesia
"Very memorable...personal on board service was spectacular"
Join us in Tahiti and French Polynesia, with seven nights aboard the Five-Star Plus m.s. Paul Gauguin, for an unmatched small ship experience amid the islands, atolls and motus of Tahiti, Huahine, Taha’a, Bora Bora, and Moorea. A host of complimentary features aboard ship are available for the makings of a relaxing and top-notch experience. These include: all onboard gratuities; select complimentary wine, spirits and nonalcoholic beverages replenished in your stateroom or suite and served throughout the cruise; complimentary water sports; and complimentary personal butler service in suites and the highest-category staterooms. For intellectual enrichment, an onboard naturalist will present discussions and demonstrations about the islands’ history and cultural heritage. This program also includes two nights in the deluxe InterContinental Resort Tahiti in enchanting Papeete, Tahiti, with an excursion to the Paul Gauguin Museum. Post-Program Options in a deluxe seaside resort on Moorea or Bora Bora are offered.
Activity Level: Easy
Price From: $6,295
Includes air from Los Angeles and cruise; per person, based on double occupancy.
Itinerary and price are tentative and subject to change.
To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!
Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at email@example.com or 617-627-5323.
Day 1: Depart the U.S.
Day 2: Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands
Today we arrive in bustling, cosmopolitan Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia and the gateway to the treasures of the South Pacific. We will check into the five-star InterContinental Resort Tahiti and attend a private reception together.
Day 3: Papeete
Located on a natural harbor cooled by trade winds, Papeete enjoys one of the finest natural settings in the South Pacific. Set against a backdrop of verdant, forest-clad peaks, its tropical ambiance is complemented by the charm and diversity of its inhabitants, a vibrant blend of native Tahitian, French and Chinese. During our excursion along Tahiti’s west coast, we will visit the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to pearls, to see Tahiti’s finest cultured gems. We will then tour the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, which showcases significant archaeological finds, the island’s geology, and its flora and fauna. This afternoon, we transfer to the m.s. Paul Gauguin.
Day 4: Huahine
Soaring peaks, lush rain forests, dazzling white beaches and ancient shrines distinguish this untouched paradise formed of two islands—Huahine-nui and Huahine-iti—separated by a deep blue bay and ringed by a coral atoll. We arrive in the idyllic port of Fare, nestled between the sea and a woodland of towering mape (chestnut) trees draped with sweet-scented vanilla vines. In the nearby settlement of Maeva, the ancient religious center of Huahine-nui, stand 10 marae (temples) built in the 16th century out of locally quarried stone and dedicated to Tane, Oro and other Polynesian deities. This evening we join the Captain for a special Welcome Reception.
Day 5: Taha’a (Motu Mahana)
Idyllically set across a blue lagoon to the north of Huahine, Taha’a is dominated by the profile of Mount Ohiri, named for Hiro, the Polynesian god of sailors and thieves. Today, two exotic enterprises provide the islanders’ livelihoods—the production of the world’s most flavorful vanilla beans and the farming of lustrous black pearls. We will spend the day on the private South Seas paradise Motu Mahana, where we can swim, snorkel or kayak, and enjoy a traditional Polynesian feast complemented by entertainment.
Day 6 and Day 7: Bora Bora
Described as “the most beautiful island in the world” by author James A. Michener, Bora Bora is the proverbial vision of a South Seas paradise. Its distinctive black basalt peak is cloaked in a lush tropical forest and silhouetted against turquoise lagoon waters, where a coral reef and an outlying fringe of motu teem with multicolored fish. Bora Bora was settled by adventurous Polynesian mariners in the 10th century A.D., and the islanders have preserved the ways of their forebears and still wear the traditional colorfully hand-dyed pareo or sarong. In Bora Bora’s forested interior, villagers cultivate breadfruit, coconuts and taro, and preserve the ancient ruins of stone marae, the legacy of ancestral Polynesian deities. Explore the treasures of this beautiful island at your own pace, choosing among optional excursions that feature cultural tours and natural wonders.
Day 8: Moorea
Moorea’s distinctive heart-shaped island coastline formed by a long-extinct volcano creates its scenic splendor—palm fringed beaches, turquoise lagoons and dramatic volcanic peaks. A former sanctuary for vanquished Tahitian warriors, this island lured the American novelist Herman Melville in 1842, inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein to write Bali Ha’i and James Michener to pen his unforgettable Tales of the South Pacific. Impressive temples in Moorea evoke its Polynesian heritage while European churches underscore its role as the center for 19th-century missionary activity in the Society Islands. Contemporary islanders continue the ways of their forefathers, farming pineapples and papayas and crafting fine works of art from seashells and indigenous wood. In Moorea’s village of Papetoai, a unique octagonal-shaped church is the oldest European structure in the South Seas still in use.
Day 9: Moorea/Papeete
Today we will enjoy another full day of independent pursuits on Moorea. This evening, our ship returns to Papeete, and we attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception.
Day 10: Papeete/U.S.
Today we disembark and depart for the U.S., or continue on the Moorea or Bora Bora Post-Program Options.
Day 11: Arrive in the U.S.
*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change