French Polynesia / Society Islands – 10 Days Tahiti Itineraries Overview
Fragrant breezes over crystal clear lagoons, towering craggy mountain peaks reaching into the clouds, a rich indigenous culture, and teeming undersea reefs awaiting discovery are but a few elements that make a yacht charter in French Polynesia – one of the last untouched paradises on earth. Comprised of five archipelagos—the Society, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Austral and Gambier islands—French Polynesia covers a 2 million square mile area in the southern Pacific Ocean between Australia and South America.
Whether this is your first or 50th visit to French Polynesia, your charter aboard Calypso will be the experience of a lifetime. The 7-day South Pacific and 10-day South Pacific sample itineraries present charter highlights, while each individual charter is customized to ensure a memorable vacation experience.
10 Days Diving the South Pacific Tuamotu Archipelago – Overview
The Te Moana Nui, or “big ocean” has long played an important role in everyday Polynesian life, particularly in the more remote islands. Those passionate about diving and underwater exploration will appreciate all that Te Moana Nui has to offer in the Tuamotu Atolls. Ancient volcanoes formed these remote atolls, yielding spectacularly clear water that is warm, shallow and offers some of the most incredible and beautifully preserved snorkel and dive sites in the world.
Regardless of level or experience, the Tuamotu Atolls will delight every guest with countless opportunities for marine life discovery and exploration. Get ready to dive with dolphins, grey reef sharks, sea turtles and teeming schools of colorful fish; a charter in the Tuamotu Atolls has all the makings of a great adventure.
Fakarava North Pass
In 2009, Fakarava and its five neighboring atolls became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Untouched for years, these atolls are home to an incredible and diverse marine world. The diving here is thrilling: beautiful coral, sharks, Napoleon wrasses and large schools of fish. Fishing is strictly prohibited and some marine areas in the lagoon are protected.
Upon your arrival at the Fakarava airport, you will be met by the Calypso crew and transported to the yacht, anchored near the village at the North Pass—the largest of French Polynesia. Delight in the smiles on friendly faces of the locals, who take great pride in sharing their culture and lifestyle with visitors, having been isolated for so many centuries. After a warm welcome and a refreshing cocktail onboard, dip your toes in the beautiful water with a snorkeling trip and presentation of local marine wildlife. If you’re keen for a dive adventure right away, don’t miss Ali Baba’s hole at the bottom of the pass, where you can catch a unique perspective of the pelagic fish as they swim by overhead.
Days 2 – 3:
Fakarava South Pass
The next two days will be spent exploring one of the most beautiful places in French Polynesia. After a cruise through the exquisite lagoon from the North Pass, the day begins with a dive in the South Pass. This unspoiled area offers unrivaled snorkeling and diving in a smooth ocean current. Plenty of shallow areas make for exciting intro dives and snorkeling opportunities for younger guests. Here you can while away the hours among thousands of tropical fish and colorful coral, and even catch a glimpse of hundreds of grey reef sharks gathered in a canyon. During the full moon in the month of July, you can witness the rare site of thousands of groupers spawning. Various islets allow for lots of exploration; and the children will delight in a treasure hunt and picnic lunch on the beautiful pink sand islet. Motorized water toy activities are not allowed here, but a fishing trip in the ocean is possible—bring the day’s tuna or mahi-mahi catch back to the boat for the chef to prepare a fabulous lunch or dinner.
Return to the North Pass
After a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit on the aft deck, guests climb into the tender to spend the day exploring the many islets en route to the North Pass. The birdwatching here is spectacular and your crew will bring along a bird book to be able to quickly identify the many species.
After some snorkeling and a picnic lunch on an islet, the afternoon is spent with a visit to one of several family-owned pearl farms to discover how Tahitian black pearls are cultured and harvested.
Recount the day’s adventures back onboard the Calypso over a gourmet dinner on the upper deck. A movie under the stars on the sun deck punctuates an extremely satisfying day.
Coconut Crabs on Toau
The two passes south of this atoll beckon with spectacular diving where thrilling encounters are possible. After a morning spent swimming, diving or snorkeling, guests tender to one of the beautiful islets in the lagoon where a stunning Polynesian barbecue awaits.
At dusk, traps made of coconuts are set in special areas in hopes of catching and releasing the huge coconut crabs, which are endangered species.
Polynesian music and dancing around a bonfire with stories from the local families who live here will make for memories of a lifetime.
Apataki Shark Adventure
This coral atoll hosts the largest grey reef shark population in the Tuamotus. Spend the day snorkeling, diving and trying out Calypso’s many water toys.
The dive at the North Pass is incredible and completely unspoiled. This is also a great spot for surfing when the north swell is on.
Toast memories old and new over cocktails on the sun deck as the sun sets.
Days 7 – 9:
The remainder of your adventure is spent over three leisurely days in Rangiroa; one of the most spectacular areas for diving in the Tuamotus with plenty of on-land activities to enjoy as well.
On and under the water, Tiputa Pass is a must for snorkelers and divers—you might even encounter wild bottlenose dolphins while drifting inside the lagoon, along with incredible manta rays, hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, sailfish and eagle rays. Reef Island is home to an exquisite pink sand beach that borders the Blue Lagoon—a crystal clear lagoon inside the main lagoon.
Plan a spa treatment or dinner ashore. Dance the night away with a Polynesian party on a deserted islet before you bid adieu to the Calypso crew and plan your return visit.