Charter a superyacht to explore French Polynesia, it’s pretty idyllic. The tranquil and relaxing island ambience of the collection of 118 islands, islets and atolls in the vast South Pacific is renowned as being one of the best places to experience an authentic ocean-oriented culture.
The people who populate this overseas collectivity of France are famously welcoming and friendly. Most tourists receive a flower lei on arrival before being whisked off to one of the amazing resorts dotted around the Society Islands.
Over 220,000 tourists made their way to French Polynesia in 2018 whilst 230,000 are expected to visit in 2023. French Polynesia was also recently listed as the fifth best island vacation destination by US News Travel.
After a 1.2 billion dollar blow to the island’s tourism industry from the pandemic, operators are now keen to get tourists back on their sands.
Take a look at our guide to the best places in French Polynesia to cruise by superyacht and remember the freedom you have to explore on a luxury yacht is unique. As the old Tahitian proverb goes, “The well-trodden path is not always the right path..
Islands in French Polynesia
Experiencing this breathtaking destination by superyacht is an unforgettable way to take a break and could be just what you need to shake off the stress. Discover some of the unmissable sights, sounds smells and tastes of the French Polynesia islands by water. Here’s our suggested itinerary for your unique island-hopping getaway.
Home to the nation’s capital of Pape’ete, the island of Tahiti is the first hub for superyachts in the South Pacific. Bustling markets, busy restaurants, beautiful resorts and luxe hotels are scattered around the island.
If you are looking for some local French Polynesian souvenirs of woven baskets, hand-made sarongs and rare black pearls, Tahiti is the best place to find something that you will treasure long after your adventure has ended.
Here you can experience some of the culture of French Polynesia, particularly performances by dancers involving a rainbow of different tones, fascinating music and traditional costumes made of shredded Purau bark.
Whether you want to spend your time on the water or exploring the beautiful islands of French Polynesia, Moorea is the perfect place to soak up the beautiful island scenery, get up close to exotic fish, or four-wheel drive past gorgeous waterfalls.
You can spend your day kayaking, catamaran sailing or water skiing in the sheltered waters surrounding the picturesque island. The dramatically beautiful scenery has given way to a vibrant local community of artists, artisans and crafts people offering a variety of cultural and artisanal hands-on workshops.
The waters surrounding the island are teeming with brightly coloured fish, curious, but harmless stingrays, and crystal clear bays and lagoons which make for amazing snorkelling.
Tahitian-grown vanilla has long been acknowledged by those in the cooking industry as the best quality vanilla bean in the world and the island of Taha’a is where the majority of Tahitian vanilla is grown.
Located close to Bora Bora, Taha’a is the perfect place to sample some of the food that is grown in the fertile, volcanic soil of French Polynesia, or caught in the waters surrounding the island.
At the Relais & Chateaux Taha’a Island Resort, you can sample some of French Polynesia’s most iconic dishes, such as Poisson Cru, a melt-in-your-mouth entrée made of raw fish and diced vegetables soaked in coconut milk and marinated with lime juice.
When you think of your perfect island escape, the famously beautiful atoll of Bora Bora is probably close to the top of the list. There are many adventurous ways to explore the island including helicopter rides and even submersible experiences.
It makes an excellent place to cruise by superyacht due to its pristine white sand beaches and lush green island flora, surrounded by crystal turquoise waters. It’s therefore not hard to see why celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have spent some romantic time together here.
If coming from Taha’a, you will need to cruise to the other side of the atoll to enter Bora Bora’s famously beautiful lagoon. Be sure to have your camera ready as dolphins often swim by and greet the yachts cruising into the picturesque turquoise waters.
The sheltered bays surrounding the island are the perfect place to leave your superyacht while the crew take you on a tender to a beach BBQ, or even break out a few jet skis and explore the remote beaches surrounding Bora Bora with someone special.
Rangiroa is located 350 kilometres North East of Tahiti. A collection of 240 pristine islets, it is teeming with sea life. Some of the best diving in French Polynesia makes it a must-see on any superyacht itinerary, especially if your yacht has scuba diving equipment.
Whales, rays, dolphins and sharks await those who are brave enough to go deeper, while snorkelling in the shallower parts of Rangiroa is also excellent, defined by captivating coral and brilliantly coloured, darting fish.
Discover Dominique Auroy’s Vin de Tahiti Vineyard, the only vineyard on Rangiroa and hailed as one of the most beautiful in the world. They mostly produce white blends but do produce a single variety of wines. The Reef Clos is made with Carignan red grapes and opens with notes of lime blossom and verbena, finished with a spicy hint of citrus.
Tahiti’s reputation for amazing scuba diving and snorkelling precedes it. Whether you love to get up close to colourful coral, and majestic whales or you simply have a yearning for the wonders of the ocean, there is no better way to experience the vast array of sea life that calls Tahiti home.
The Market Herald Fancy Nautica sat down with the owner and operator of Top Dive Tahiti at the Sydney International Boat Show and discussed some of the unforgettable diving experiences on offer in this exotic destination.
This article originally appeared on Fancy and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com