Luxury yacht charters French Polynesia
Fondly known as the Queen of The Pacific, this magical destination has much to offer to those considering luxury yacht charters in French Polynesia.
Made up of more than 100 islands and atolls spread over five archipelagos and spanning more than 4,000,000 square kilometres, French Polynesia is equivalent in size to Europe. And with so much area to be covered, there is truly something for everyone. French Polynesia’s picturesque landscape has inspired generations of novelists and artists, such as the celebrated French painter Paul Gauguin.
The turquoise cruising waters are abundant with marine life, whilst the landscapes on the volcanic islands are amongst the most spectacular in the world. Hike through lush rainforest to reach the dramatic peaks of the volcanic rock faces or dream the day away on the sun-kissed, palm-fringed beaches of this enchanting destination.
What kind of experiences are there to enjoy on a luxury yacht charter in French Polynesia?
With tropical islands of all shapes and sizes scattered across such a vast area, there are endless opportunities to explore remote bays and anchor off deserted beaches when you rent a yacht in French Polynesia.
Blessed with tropical waters that are 2 degrees warmer than the air temperature and teeming with a rich and varied marine life, this is the perfect destination for snorkelers and more experienced divers. French Polynesia is one of the last remaining destinations to boast untouched corals in multiple colours, home to a large number of species such as manta rays and barracudas. Meanwhile, in waters off shore you will find tiger sharks, giant turtles and dolphins.
For those looking for physical challenges on luxury yacht charters in French Polynesia, the islands’ interiors offer enormous possibilities for hiking in lush rainforests and on volcanic slopes. The landscape is dotted with vanilla plantations, sweet-smelling frangipani, Bougainvillea and coconut trees – with equally exotic birdlife to mesmerize and impress. There are more than 90 varieties of birds to be spotted amongst the beautiful flora of the islands.
However, it is not just the islands’ flora and fauna which is breathtakingly colourful. The people of this region are known to be one of the most friendly populations in the world, and any luxury yacht charters in Tahiti should include a visit to the quintessentially French Polynesian town of Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, where you can get to know the locals. Famous for its black pearls, the town oozes French charm with its plethora of excellent restaurants, bars and boutiques.
When is the best time to rent a yacht in French Polynesia?
Although temperatures in French Polynesia are wonderfully balmy all year round, the optimal season to rent a yacht in French Polynesia is between April and October, when the trade winds are blowing and there is less humidity. Temperatures generally average around 28ºC all year round, but between the months of November and March it can be very hot and humid, with less breeze.
Where can you visit on a yacht charter in French Polynesia?
Considering the large expanse of tropical waters and idyllic islands this destination comprises, the question you will be asking is where can’t you visit when you rent a yacht in French Polynesia.
It would be impossible to visit all the noteworthy destinations dotted across this enigmatic expanse of water, but here are some pointers for each of the five archipelagos which belong to the group of the Society Islands.
The nearest island to Tahiti, Moorea is a snorkeler’s paradise with an incredible display of marine life and the Moorea Dolphin Centre, the only natural refuge in the South Pacific where visitors can swim with dolphins.
Arguably one of the closest destinations to heaven on earth, Huahine remains one of the most remote and unspoilt islands in the South Pacific. A huge tropical jungle with exotic vegetation such as breadfruit trees and watermelon fields, the island offers endless opportunities to trek through dreamy forests, where you will stumble upon hidden sacred temples over 1000 years old.
Raiatea and Tahaa
Discover the ancestral heart of French Polynesia with its mountainous peaks and beautiful waterfalls which punctuate the thick rainforests. Here you will find thick swathes of river, where the indigenous population set sail on canoes to Hawaii and then on to New Zealand. The island is blessed with some stunning beaches on which to totally relax and unwind.
A visit to the vanilla-infused sister island of Raiatea, Tahaa, is also highly recommended on luxury yacht charter in French Polynesia. Only accessible by boat, the island is dotted with vanilla plantations and is picture-perfect. Pay a trip to one of the island’s pearl farms, where some of the world’s most beautiful and rare pearls have been cultivated in oyster beds just off the coast. The island is also very popular with divers, who come to explore the marine life darting in and out of the coral reefs which lie off the shore.
Bora Bora, perhaps the most well-known of the Society Islands islands, should not be missed off any luxury yacht charter itinerary in the South Pacific, so breathtakingly beautiful are its turquoise lagoons fringed by white sandy beaches. Here you can swim with turtles, sharks and rays by day, feasting on exquisite French cuisine by night at the famous Bora Bora Yacht Club.
On this tiny island there are hardly any cars, just mile upon mile of golden beaches which are almost deserted. Look out for the odd seafront cafe, serving delicious specialities to diners with their toes in the sand.
What are the major yachting ports in French Polynesia?
Tahiti and the South Pacific remain one of the most remote cruising grounds in the world, sheltered from a mass tourism market and the infrastructure which goes with it. However, in recent years the region has seen a number of luxury marinas spring up to cater for the yacht charter industry such as Tahiti’s Marina Taina, the main Pacific Hub, as well as Papeete Port, also in Tahiti. Papeete Port is currently the only marina in Tahiti which can accommodate yachts of more than 65 metres.
Meanwhile, on Bora Bora, the Mai Kai Marina offers excellent services to those who rent a yacht in French Polynesia or further afield.
However, most luxury yachts visiting the islands of this part of the world are more than happy to drop anchor in the endless remote bays and coves to fully appreciate the enchanting French Polynesia experience.