The South Pacific is one of the most exotic places in the world. Spread over a huge area are the most romantic islands and archipelagoes, with turquoise seas, white beaches, stunning coral reefs, and fabulous lagoons. The only way to experience this paradise is by going on a cruise to these waters and visit French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Island, Tonga, and Loyalty Islands among others.
Scattered over a vast 2.5 million square kilometers area in the South Pacific, French Polynesia is made up of several series of islands, atolls and five archipelagoes. French Polynesia is renowned for its turquoise seas, white beaches, stunning volcanic islands, fragrant tropical flowers and ist warm, friendly welcome.
The starting point for cruises around French Polynesia is usually Tahiti and its lively capital of Papeete. With fabulous restaurants, spas and superb markets, Papeete is a stimulating introduction to the area. Here you will also find the unique multicolored "black" pearls. The people of Tahiti are renowned for their beauty, artistry and warmth of welcome.
From Tahiti, cruises will visit some of the other islands in French Polynesia: Moorea, Rangiroa, Bora Bora and the Marquesas. Moorea is the main island in French Polynesia, it is located 17 km northwest of Tahiti, has an area of 134 sq. km. and a population of 12,000. The island is of volcanic origin and the now extinct Mont Tohiea rises 1,200 m from sea level. Moorea is surrounded by coral reefs and has two picturesque bays.
Rangiroa is located some 355 km northeast of Tahiti and is the third largest atoll in the world. The atoll consists of 415 islets and sandbars comprising a total land area of 170 sq. km. surrounded by a fabulous lagoon. 800 species of fish have been recorded around these rich waters. Only two of the islands are populated, and the total population is just around 2,500.
Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of Society Islands of French Polynesia. The island is located 230 kilometers northwest of Tahiti and is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mont Otemanu, the highest point is at 727 meters. Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its luxury resorts built on stilts over the lagoon.
The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia. It has one of the most remote locations in the world, lying about 1,371 kilometers northwest of Tahiti and about 4,800 kilometers away from the west coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass. When western explorers reached these islands in the sixteenth century it is estimated the total population was around 100,000, but because of diseases brought by the explorers the population was reduced to around 2,000 by the beginning of the 1900s. Today the population is around 9,000 and the islands are therefore still very sparsely populated.
Longer itineraries may also include other destinations in the South Pacific like: Samoa, Fiji, Cook Island, Tonga, and Loyalty Islands among others.
Cruises among the islands of the South Pacific, especially Polynesia, are offered year-round. However, some cruise lines only visit the region between September and April.