Raiatea, Tahiti, Marquesas, Tuamotus
Who has never drifted off into a dream when hearing the names of Tahiti or Bora Bora...?
Diaphanous lagoons, multi-coloured fish, a seabed in the hues of the rainbow, fruit and flowers in abundance, a friendly and lively population, songs accompanied by the strumming of yukeleles, all this is an invitation to escape to these islands at the other end of the world.
French Polynesia consists of 118 islands situated in the middle of the Pacific, between 10 and 25 degrees south, 6500 kms from California and 5400 kms from Australia.
The Tahiti Yacht Charter base at Raiatea, 2 km from the airport,
is convenient for the heart of the Leeward Islands. A landing stage is also available
at the Quai des Yachts in Papeete.
Lying 180 miles from Tahiti, the jewel-like Tuamotu islands are the ideal spot for deep sea diving.
The beauty of the lagoons will delight water sport fans and navigators inspired by a Robinson Crusoe spirit.
A base at Tikehau has facilities for bareboat charters, for exploring some magnificent atolls, such as those of Rangiroa.
However, navigation is more difficult in these waters and demands a high level of experience.
With this in mind, our friends at Tahiti Yacht Charter have suggested two itineraries from their base at Raiatea («link : map in a new window)
Tahiti and the Society Islands
Yacht Charter’s main base is situated in the gentle lagoon of the
island of Raiatea, one of the Leeward Islands within the Society
Archipelago, named as such by that redoubtable navigator, Captain James
Cook back in 1769.
It’s the sailing capital of French Polynesia
on account its favored location, just a 40-minute flight from Tahiti’s
international airport and, more importantly, with four of the main
islands within 5 hours of relatively easy sailing.
They are all
volcanic high islands with majestic mountain peaks and luxuriant
vegetation. Their reefs protect the sheltered crystalline waters of
lagoons that teem with fish. The reef line itself is broken by strings
of small islands called motu with white sand beaches and coconut palms
swaying in the tropical breezes. At first glance they are similar but
in fact they are bathed in their own individual atmospheres.
the Sacred is a place of magic and mystery. Taha’a, its smaller sister
island, sits in the same lagoon and is dubbed the Vanilla Island for
the number and quality of its plantations. Bora-Bora, known worldwide
as the Pearl of the Pacific, is justly famous for its jagged summits
and lagoon. Huahine remains wild and secret, authentic and proud, and
relatively untouched by the modern world.
You can get a good
taste of these very special islands in a 1 or 2 week cruise, depending
on your pace. Click on Itineraries for some suggestions.
our base is at Raiatea, we can arrange for your yacht to be waiting at
the port of Papeete on the main island of Tahiti where your
international flight will arrive. Sailing time from there to the
Leeward Islands is some 24 hours and night watches are obligatory.
you are looking for isolation, imagine a group of some 20 mountainous
volcanic islands against whose steep cliffs waves crash that have
rolled for 4000 miles! The Marquesas lie between 800 and 900 miles or 7
to 10 days’ sailing from Raiatea. Even the planes from Tahiti take 31/2
hours and the Marquesas are far enough away to warrant a 30-minute time
zone change. This isolation has helped them retain the wild charm that
has attracted not only sailors but such notable artists as painter Paul
Gauguin and singer Jacques Brel, both of whom lie in the graveyard at
Atuona on Hiva Oa.
It’s another captivating face of Polynesia
where you will find spectacular scenery though no coral reef (therefore
no lagoons), innumerable little bays and creeks and luxuriant
vegetation. Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva are the most visited islands where
you can moor and go ashore to meet the very friendly locals and
experience a vibrant culture.
It was in these islands that the
art of tattooing reached its most intricate form and where some of the
best wood carvers still live.
Owing to their distance and local conditions, our charters in the Marquesas require one of our experienced skippers aboard.
you sail NE from Raiatea you will come to another archipelago, the
Tuamotu, a series of low coral atolls with their own atmosphere and way
of life. Here the stresses and strains of modern life are easily left
behind and you can play at being a latter day Robinson Crusoe. The
atolls enclose crystal clear lagoons in whose waters much of local
pearl farming is located. With the abundance of their colorful fish
life, they are renowned for their snorkeling and diving.
is the largest of the atolls with a lagoon so vast that the whole
island of Tahiti could be dropped into its immensity. Its best-known
places are the beach beside the Blue Lagoon, Tiputa Point for its
panoramic views and Reef Island for unusual fossilized corals.
Rangiroa is a one hour flight from Papeete and we recommend a charter of 7 to 12 days within the Tuamotu. Apart
from Rangiroa, we recommend the atolls of Tikehau and of Fakarava, so
special it has been named “World Heritage” by UNESCO.
waters of the Tuamotu, for your own safety and that of your yacht
(concerning provisioning, coral and other navigational hazards),
one of our professional skippers is mandatory on board.
©Tahiti Yacht Charter