ALREADY rated as the world’s most romantic destination, tropical Tahiti is fast becoming a favourite on cruise ship itineraries
Her raw beauty captivated artist Paul Gauguin and writer Robert Louis Stevenson, and became the inspiration for author James Michener’s mythical Bali Hai in his Tales of the South Pacific.
Indeed, the islands are awash with swaying palms, rampant bougainvillea, sweetly fragrant jasmine, and French allure. The five-star resorts boast over-the-water villas, and the warm sparkling waters beyond hide some of the world’s finest snorkel and dive sites.
Tahiti Tourisme Australia’s Robert Thompson says it is no surprise that Tahiti has emerged as the next cruise hot spot. He adds, “There are more than 100 islands to explore and the year-round tropical climate makes it an ideal cruise destination.”
From May next year Windstar Cruises (windstarcruises.com) will offer 28 seven-day Tahitian itineraries, while Oceania Cruises (oceaniacruises.com), Silversea (silversea.com), Regent Seven Seas (wiltrans.com.au) and Royal Caribbean (royalcaribbean.com.au) will also be cruising there.
Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess has a 16-day New Zealand and South Pacific cruise from Sydney to Tahiti on February 25 that calls to Bora Bora, Papeete and Moorea. This will be followed by three 10-day round trips from Papeete to Tahiti and French Polynesia on March 12, 22, and April 1, princess.com
On a cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas recently australiancruisingnews.com found the shore tours gave a real taste of the islands, exploring Bora Bora’s blue lagoon, Papeete’s picturesque harbour, and an opportunity to discover black pearls on Huahine, and taste tropical wine on Rangiroa. There was also time to snorkel in the Pacific’s vast coral gardens and see the rich marine life, royalcaribbean.com.au