by Kim Kavin
Tahiti and Bora Bora are on bucket lists the world over. These are destinations that most of us dream all our lives of visiting, and rightly so. I’ve been there, and believe me: they absolutely live up to the hype.
What’s interesting in terms of crewed yacht charter, though, is that while Tahiti and Bora Bora are great, the lesser-known islands of Moorea and Huahine are just as worthy of a visit. They are the islands that sit between Tahiti and Bora Bora, part of the archipelago known as the Society Islands in French Polynesia. If you are going all the way to Tahiti or Bora Bora anyway, don’t visit just the two most popular islands. For a truly top-notch yacht charter, plan an itinerary that includes all four.
Tahiti, in fact, while well known for its on-shore resorts, is actually the least picturesque when it comes to charter by yacht. Many captains pick up charter guests at Tahiti’s international airport and then cruise immediately over to Moorea, with its quieter harbors filled with stingrays and reef sharks, scuba diving and snorkeling, and on-shore adventures such as all-terrain vehicle rides through the plantations and waterfalls. The marine traffic on Moorea is far less than that of Tahiti, too, so the place feels more like what you see in the postcards: secluded and stunning.
Huahine, also, has spectacular white-sand beaches as well as adventures such as shark snorkeling and canoeing in traditional six-man, single-outriggers. Quite a few Tahitian pearl farms are on Huahine as well, with better quality and lower prices than you will find on the main islands. (You’ll still need a fat wallet though; these are, after all, sought-after Tahitian pearls.)
Last on a one-way itinerary from Tahiti is Bora Bora, which has some seriously high-end resorts as well as phenomenal snorkeling in its lagoon. The giant manta rays are amazingly huge, as are a number of the coral heads, which look like undersea forests. And the lagoon itself is the same ice blue as you see in the Bahamas, only stretching on farther for an even more beautiful impact.
If you choose this one-way itinerary, then you can catch a short hopper flight from Bora Bora back to the international airport on Tahiti. The flights are coordinated to make it easy for clients to return to Europe or the United States, with relatively short connection times.
The one challenge with crewed charter in this area is that precious few international-caliber yachts visit each season. It’s often different yachts each year, too, so check with a charter broker to help you determine your options at any given time.
Read more about Tahiti
Big Fish photo courtesy Neil Rabinowitz