June 14, 2023

S/Y DIANA: 10 day yacht charter itinerary in French Polynesia

This is a suggested nine-ten day itinerary that commences in Papeete (PPT) and finishes in Bora Bora (BOB). It is possible to achieve a similar itinerary in seven days however we recommend ten. You need the extra couple of days to do this amazing destination justice!

Day 1 | Papeete

Arrive by International flight to Papeete (PPT). Your Captain will greet you at the airport with a garland of frangipani flowers – a Polynesian tradition to welcome (Maeva) visitors. It is a pleasant 10-minute transfer by luxury van to Catamaran Diana berthed in Marina Taina. Your crew will settle you in with some welcome drinks and a late breakfast (should you wish). 

Explore the shopping in downtown Papeete with an afternoon visit to the area around the Paofai Botanical Gardens. Watch the boats come and go down at the waterfront and enjoy a traditionally late afternoon lunch at one of the many restaurants. Visit the Robert Wan Pearl Museum for informative displays on how the local black pearls are grown and harvested. Return to Diana in the evening for cocktails and dinner onboard the yacht at the marina, with stunning sunset views of the Island of Moorea.

Day 2 | Moorea

Coffee and croissants will be served on board as we navigate the calm reef passage to Papeete Pass this morning. Once outside and in open waters, we will set sail for Moorea, and you can experience Diana sailing in all her glory. The total distance to run is 19 miles, so it should take us around 2 hours to get into the iconic anchorage of Cook’s Bay. This sheltered spot is perfect for snorkelling and walks ashore with lunch and watersports around the yacht. Return to the yacht for cocktails and dinner on board, or visit the Tiki Village - the local Cultural Centre, for some Tahitian fire-dancing and a show. We can end the evening with a trip ashore for a promenade around the beautiful shoreline of Cook’s Bay.

Witnessing a Tahitian dance is an unforgettable experience

Day 3 | Mooera

Reset your watch to island time with a morning swim off the back of Diana in Cook’s Bay, and then have a relaxed breakfast before exploring Moorea. You can swim with sharks and rays at the nearby Lagoonarium; you can take the tender for a ride into the heart of nearby Opunohu Bay, a fiord like an inlet that some say is even more spectacular than Cook’s Bay. 

For the adventurous, we can arrange a hike up to the Belvedere Lookout, which offers impressive views over both these bays from a spot high up in the lush rainforest. This evening we will pull up anchor just before sunset and head out of the Pass at Cook’s Bay for an overnight sail to the “Garden of Eden” Island of Huahine. This trip is 85 miles and will take us around 12 hours, sailing slowly to time our arrival for the morning.

Sailing yacht DIANA for charter in French Polynesia

Day 4  | Huahine 

Enter the pass at the island of Huahine early this morning and sail inside the clear lagoon, past alluring emerald bays to the remote and magically peaceful Avea Bay for a sheltered anchorage. This is a perfect spot to test out the sea kayaks or exercise on the Standup Pedal Boards (they can be paddled as well!) For a less strenuous way of exploring the lagoon, I suggest trying one of our F5 Cayago Seabobs. Very James Bond… Your crew can set up for a picnic lunch on the pristine beach, and of course, wine and cocktails are on call as you live this dream at your schedule, shedding the cares of the outside world and relaxing into proper Polynesian cruising mode—dinner on board at anchor watching the sunset

Paddle boarding through the lagoon

Day 5  | Huahine 

Exploring the inland areas of Huahine is highly recommended, and a rental car can be arranged to take you from the main township of Fare for a half-day island tour with some panoramic views down into the lagoon. You can visit the market in Fare itself and on your route you can visit historical marae (temples) and see ancient fish traps. Of course, no visit to Huahine would be complete without stopping to feed the sacred blue-eyed eels.

Your crew will have moved Diana to anchor off Fare, and you will have lunch on board before departing through the Northern Pass for the 25 miles run across to Raiatea. This should be a pleasant late afternoon sail, with the opportunity to test out the fishing gear and hopefully catch a fresh Mahi-Mahi for dinner. Anchor for the night in Raiatea, the spiritual capital of the ancient Polynesian World. Lay back in a bean bag on Diana’s foredeck and take in the wonders of the night sky. The Polynesian voyagers of centuries ago used these very same stars to navigate huge distances with astonishing accuracy!

Day 6  | Raiatea

This morning you will have the opportunity to visit Polynesia’s most sacred site, the ruins of the temple complex at Marae Taputapuatea. This is a magical spot, and it is well worth spending some time to visit correctly and experience the palpable sense of history at this majestic site. We can have lunch underway this afternoon as we motor sail inside the shelter of the lagoon to our night anchorage off Haamene Bay on the island of Tahaa. Late afternoon we can visit the Turtle Conservation Centre at the entrance to the bay. You will learn about the work they do to rehabilitate turtles that have been caught in nets. You may even witness a turtle being released into the wild if you are lucky. I did this on my last visit, and I will never forget it!

 Day 7  | Tahaa and Raiatea

We will continue our visit of sites around the lagoon of Tahaa and Raiatea with the opportunity to visit a Vanilla Farm and also a Pearl Farm, where you can see the pearls being cultured. There is also fantastic hiking on Raiatea on the Mount Temehani peninsula - the only place in the world where you can see the Tiare Apetahi – (Tahiti’s National Flower) growing. There is the township of Uturoa to visit, and you can hike up Mount Tapioi for great views of the lagoon. There is quickly enough for two extra days in the itinerary here, but I will plan for one at this point. An excellent option, should you decide to take the extra day, would be the circumnavigation of the island of Tahaa. The anchorages inside the lagoon to the North of this island are absolutely stunning and very remote…

In French Polynesia pearl cultivation developed as of the 80’s

Day 8  | Bora Bora

Breakfast at anchor and a morning swim in the lagoon before heading across to that most famous and romantic of islands - Bora Bora. We would set sail in the morning. It is a 30-mile sail, which should take us around 3-4 hours. We should arrive in time for lunch, anchoring in the great waters of the Bora Bora Lagoon. Visit the beautiful white sand beach at Matira this afternoon and snorkel in one of the passes. If you are lucky, you will see moray eels, turtles, many fish, and even sharks that you can enjoy feeding.

A visit to Bloody Mary’s Restaurant and Bar tonight for cocktails and dinner is a must-do. They have a massive list of celebrity visitors on their wall and some fascinating décor. No shoes required! The floor is sand.

 Day 9 | Bora Bora

We can visit the township of Vaitape this morning for an early coffee and pain au chocolat. There are some exciting souvenir stalls and black pearl shops. In the afternoon, we can move the yacht through some very narrow and shallow passages to the Eastern side of the lagoon, which affords spectacular views of Mount Otemanu. If any guests wish to have the ultimate adventure, we can arrange for a guide to hike with you to the top of this iconic spot for some breathtaking views. We will have dinner on board tonight as we bring the cruise to an end.

Sunset in Bora Bora

Day 10 | Papeete 

Your Captain will transfer you to the Motu airstrip for the short 50-minute flight back out to Papeete, where you can connect with your international flights. The views of the island of Bora Bora and the multi-coloured waters of the lagoon when taking off are just remarkable, as are the views over the twin islands of Tahaa and Raiatea. It’s a fitting farewell to a trip of a lifetime as the flight will retrace the cruise that Diana has taken you on through the Society Islands. The Polynesian tradition presents a departing guest with a necklace made from tiny seashells. These represent the memories you and your family take with you and signify that you will hopefully return to these unique islands one day...

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