French Polynesia is a series of over 100 islands in the South Pacific which are divided into five groups called the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands. This region is rich in culture and tradition as well as beauty and tranquility. And the only way to take it all in is to cruise the region.
Cruises in French Polynesia can range from 7 days to 20 or more days depending on your desired destinations. In addition to selecting your destinations, you will also need to decide which type of ship you would most enjoy. Larger vessels belonging to Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean offer all of the amenities that you could dream of but are limited to accessing and docking in only larger ports. Smaller ships from Windstar, South Pacific, and Gauguin do not offer the extensive amenities and onboard entertainment but will have more access to smaller ports, smaller islands and a more intimate connection to the marine life and local culture.
As you would expect, there are numerous water activities offered in French Polynesia. Short excursions to snorkel are a great way to experience the sea life without the requirement of training, certification, and equipment needed to scuba dive. Most of the areas near the islands are relatively shallow and will allow snorkelers to seek a wide variety of fish very near the surface. For those with certification, this is one of the best dive locations in the world. The water is warm and the visibility is amazing. Other water activities include jet skiing, kite surfing, and fishing. For excursions on land, there are a huge number of four-wheel drive tours including Jeeps and other off-road vehicles such as ATV’s and side by sides. Additional tours include treks to waterfalls, a trip to Vaipahi Gardens, stargazing tours and exploration of the local towns via a Segway.
The attraction of French Polynesia is definitely the natural beauty. Not only is the water a crystal clear cerulean blue but the islands are equally as breathtaking with their rich lush green foliage adorned with striking pinks, yellows and oranges in the magnificent tropical flora. The region covers over 1,200 miles, making a cruise ship the best way to experience all that it has to offer. Prime travel for this region is November through April, which offers less rain and more comfortable temperatures. Book well in advance to secure a great rate and the cabin that best suits your needs to experience this tropical oasis.