Tahiti is a dream destination for many travelers around the world. With its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and lush tropical forests, it’s easy to see why. One of the best ways to experience Tahiti is through a cruise, which allows visitors to explore multiple islands in French Polynesia. The cruise season in Tahiti typically runs from May to October, when the weather is dry and sunny. In this article, we will explore the highlights of a Tahiti cruise season and provide tips for planning the perfect trip.
Tahiti has a tropical climate with two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. The wet season lasts from November to April and is characterized by heavy rain and high humidity. The dry season, from May to October, is the best time to visit Tahiti. During this period, the weather is sunny and warm, with low humidity and little rainfall. The seas are also calm, making it easier to explore the islands on a cruise.
The dry season in Tahiti is often referred to as the “high season” or “peak season,” as it’s when most tourists visit the islands. The months of July and August, in particular, are the busiest times to visit, as many travelers take advantage of their summer holidays to explore Tahiti. If you plan to visit during this time, be sure to book your flights, accommodations, and tours well in advance, as they can fill up quickly.
Despite the high number of tourists, the dry season in Tahiti has a lot to offer. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. The seas are calm, making it easier to explore the islands on a cruise or sailboat. The visibility for scuba diving is also excellent, with clear waters teeming with marine life.
One thing to keep in mind during the dry season is that it can get hot and humid, especially in the afternoons. Be sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing, hats, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. It’s also a good idea to bring a light rain jacket, as occasional showers can occur, particularly in the evening.
If you’re looking to save money or avoid the crowds, consider visiting Tahiti during the shoulder season, which is from April to June and September to November. During this time, the weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer tourists, allowing you to enjoy the islands’ natural beauty at a more leisurely pace.
The Top Destinations in French Polynesia
A Tahiti cruise typically includes stops at several islands in French Polynesia. The most popular destinations include Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, and Tahaa.
Bora Bora is arguably the most famous island in French Polynesia, known for its crystal-clear lagoon and overwater bungalows. The island is a top spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and beach relaxation. Visitors can also hike to the top of Mount Otemanu for breathtaking views of the lagoon and surrounding islands.
Moorea is a short ferry ride from Tahiti and is a beautiful island with dramatic peaks, waterfalls, and secluded beaches. The island is less developed than Bora Bora, making it a quieter and more laid-back destination. Visitors can hike to the top of Mount Rotui, swim with sharks and rays in the lagoon, or relax on the white sandy beaches.
Huahine is a lesser-known island in French Polynesia but is perfect for nature lovers, with its lush forests, coral gardens, and ancient archaeological sites. Visitors can explore the island on foot, by bike, or by boat, taking in the stunning scenery and wildlife. The island is also known for its vanilla plantations, which produce some of the world’s finest vanilla beans.
Raiatea is the second-largest island in French Polynesia and is known for its rich history and culture, as well as its stunning scenery. Visitors can explore the ancient Marae Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or hike to the top of Mount Temehani for panoramic views of the island. The island is also a popular spot for sailing and yachting, with its calm waters and excellent anchorages.
Tahaa is a small island located just a short boat ride from Raiatea. It’s known as the “Vanilla Island” and is home to several vanilla plantations that offer tours and tastings. The island also has some of the best snorkeling spots in French Polynesia, with colorful coral gardens and a variety of marine life.
Each island in French Polynesia has its unique charm and attractions, making a Tahiti cruise an excellent way to explore the region. Whether you want to relax on white sandy beaches, explore lush forests, or learn about the local culture, there’s something for everyone in French Polynesia.
Choosing the Right Tahiti Cruise
There are several cruise lines that offer Tahiti cruises, including Paul Gauguin Cruises, Windstar Cruises, and Ponant. When choosing a Tahiti cruise, there are several factors to consider, such as the length of the itinerary, the size of the ship, and the level of luxury.
Paul Gauguin Cruises is the most well-known cruise line in Tahiti, offering year-round cruises to the islands. The line operates one ship, the MS Paul Gauguin, which is specifically designed for the region. The ship is small enough to visit smaller islands, with just 332 guests and a crew of 217. The ship offers a luxurious experience, with spacious staterooms, a spa, and multiple dining options.
Windstar Cruises also offers Tahiti cruises, with two itineraries that include stops at Bora Bora, Tahaa, and Moorea. The line operates two ships, the Wind Spirit and the Windstar, both of which are smaller than the MS Paul Gauguin. The ships offer a more intimate experience, with just 148 to 310 guests, and a crew of 100 to 140. The ships are also equipped with water sports platforms, allowing guests to swim, snorkel, and kayak right from the ship.
Ponant is a French cruise line that offers several Tahiti cruises each year. The line operates a fleet of small luxury ships, with itineraries that include stops at Bora Bora, Tahaa, and Raiatea. The ships are designed to provide a more personalized experience, with just 92 to 184 guests and a crew of 110 to 140. The ships also offer a range of amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and multiple dining options.
When choosing a Tahiti cruise, consider your budget, travel style, and preferences. If you prefer a more intimate experience and are willing to pay a premium, a smaller ship like the Wind Spirit or Ponant might be a good option. If you want a more luxurious experience with a wider range of amenities, the MS Paul Gauguin might be a better fit.
Planning a Tahiti cruise requires some research and preparation, but with a little effort, you can ensure that your trip is smooth and enjoyable. Here are some tips for planning your Tahiti cruise:
Book early: Tahiti cruises can sell out quickly, especially during peak season. To ensure you get the itinerary and cabin you want, book your cruise as early as possible.
Consider your budget: Tahiti cruises can be expensive, but there are options to suit different budgets. Consider factors such as the size of the ship, the length of the itinerary, and the level of luxury you want.
Pack for the climate: Tahiti is a tropical destination, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing, swimsuits, and sunscreen. Also, don’t forget comfortable shoes for walking and exploring the islands.
Research excursions: Many Tahiti cruises offer shore excursions that allow you to explore the islands and experience local culture. Research the options available and book in advance to ensure availability.
Learn about local customs: French Polynesia has a unique culture, with customs and traditions that may be different from what you’re used to. Take the time to learn about local customs and respect them during your visit.
The Best Time to Go on a Tahiti Cruise
The best time to go on a Tahiti cruise depends on your preferences and budget. Tahiti has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity year-round. However, there are distinct seasons that can affect your trip.
The high season for Tahiti cruises is from June to August, when the weather is dry and sunny, and the seas are calm. This is also the busiest time of year, with larger crowds and higher prices.
The shoulder season, from April to May and September to November, can be a good time to go on a Tahiti cruise. The weather is still warm and sunny, and the crowds are smaller than in the high season. Prices may also be lower during this time.
The low season, from December to March, can be a good option for budget-conscious travelers. While the weather can be wet and humid, the islands are still beautiful, and prices are typically lower. Just keep in mind that some activities and excursions may not be available during this time.
A Tahiti cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful islands in the world. With crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and lush forests, French Polynesia is a paradise for travelers. When planning your Tahiti cruise, consider the itinerary, the cruise line, and the time of year, and don’t forget to pack for the tropical climate. With a little preparation, your Tahiti cruise can be an unforgettable adventure.
Our Top FAQ's
There are several cruise lines that offer Tahiti cruises, including Paul Gauguin Cruises, Windstar Cruises, and Princess Cruises. Each cruise line has its own itinerary and onboard amenities, so it’s important to research and compare before booking.
Tahiti cruises typically offer a range of activities, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Shore excursions may include hiking, visiting local villages, and exploring cultural sites. Some cruise lines also offer onboard entertainment and enrichment programs.
When packing for a Tahiti cruise, be sure to include light and breathable clothing, swimwear, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen. You may also want to bring insect repellent and a rain jacket, depending on the time of year.
The best time to go on a Tahiti cruise depends on your preferences and budget. The high season is from June to August, while the shoulder season is from April to May and September to November. The low season is from December to March, which may be a good option for budget-conscious travelers.