Do you’ve desires of Tahiti?
It’s a far-off paradise with heat waters, light breezes, year-round sunshine, and exquisite and welcoming individuals. So in fact you do!
Nicely, while you lastly resolve to make these desires come true and plan a visit to this magical area of the world, you wish to be sure to do it proper.
I used to be invited to sail with Windstar Cruises on its small motor yacht Star Breeze. We spent per week in Tahiti visiting islands for adventures at gorgeous seashores and in blue waters. Alongside the way in which, we realized concerning the tradition and historical past of this fascinating place.
This cruise line is celebrating 35 years of providing immersive journey in French Polynesia on its small ships, and I discovered plenty of nice issues to like a couple of cruise to Tahiti with Windstar.
All of it begins with the unbelievable islands you go to.
After crusing away through the night time from Papeete, the capital metropolis and residential port for cruise ships in Tahiti, we awakened in what seemed to be a Gauguin portray.
Moorea — with its craggy volcanic mountains and comfortable inviting seashores — was our first vacation spot, and Star Breeze anchored in beautiful Cook dinner’s Bay for the day, with Mount Rotui majestically overlooking the ship.
Windstar’s shore tour program in Tahiti is filled with adventures and distinctive cultural experiences. At every island all through the week, cruisers had been confronted with an abundance of decisions, like snorkel safaris, 4×4 Jeep off-road excursions, exploring the waters on wave runners, stingray or dolphin encounters, and seashore cookouts.
We opted for a whale-watching outing in Moorea. This was a day tour, so we had a morning to take pleasure in Star Breeze and play on the ship’s marina. We jumped in for a swim, then tried out kayaking, paddle boarding, leaping on the trampoline, and lazing on floating mats.
We set out for our whale safari after lunch on the ship’s Veranda buffet restaurant. Dr. Michael Poole, who has been residing on Moorea and learning whale exercise for greater than three a long time, was our information, and he introduced us proper out to a spot the place we watched a mom humpback and calf swimming and leaping for about an hour. Whales breed on this a part of the world, then migrate to feed in Antarctica.
We realized a lot throughout our 3-hour journey out towards the coral reef on the fringe of the lagoon and had such a wow-worthy time watching these nice animals up shut.
2. Bora Bora
Star Breeze spent two days in Bora Bora, once more anchored in a surprising lagoon.
We discovered ourselves waking up every morning, wanting on the environment, and stating, “Oh, simply one other day in paradise.”
That’s the way it goes in Tahiti, the place each spot, whereas particular in its personal approach, is indescribably lovely.
At Bora Bora, which is situated northwest of Tahiti and recognized for its sandy little islets stuffed with coconut bushes (referred to as lotuses), we went off the ship to town of Vaitape for an “Aqua Safari.” This was a enjoyable helmet dive that despatched us 12 ft beneath the floor, proper subsequent to a coral reef, to stroll on the sandy backside and work together with colourful reef fish and a curious sting ray.
For a helmet dive, guides place an 80-pound helmet over your head to relaxation in your shoulders and supply all of the oxygen wanted to breathe and calm down whilst you stroll beneath the ocean.
Windstar additionally affords excursions like glass-bottom boat excursions, jet excursions, snorkeling with stingrays, cultural, discovery excursions, and scuba diving introductions in Bora Bora.
On our second day, we loved a deluxe lagoon tour that was a pleasant small-group journey out to the sting of the reef on a velocity boat. We had a snorkel cease and swim break in clear blue waters, with recent fruit and rum punches served up whereas we splashed about. We additionally had been fortunate to see a pod of about three dozen dolphins frolicking by the boat on our approach again to shore.
Throughout the night, we had been ferried to a motu (a reef islet) for Windstar’s signature Vacation spot Discovery Occasion, which was a festive dinner on our personal personal island. Extra on this later.
3. Raiatea And Taha’a
Windstar visits these sister islands for 2 days of adventures.
Whereas at Uturoa, Raiatea, we took the possibility to go on an outrigger canoe voyage up the Faaroa River, the lone navigable river within the Society Islands. Assembly our information, Tihoti, on the cruise pier, our group set off to the small marina to hop in an outrigger for an exhilarating journey out to sea, cruising previous pearl farms and luxurious properties in a secluded bay earlier than we arrived on the mouth of the river.
Tihoti is an icon in Tahiti. He’s a famous historian, tour information, and tattoo artist, along with his personal physique stuffed with artwork items that inform the tales of his ancestry and his island nation. Throughout our tour up the serene river, we had been in a position to cease off to purchase bananas, coconut water, and vanilla beans from farmers who arrange little outlets on the banks of the waterway. Tihoti instructed us about how a lot he loves the pure fantastic thing about the islands — “We don’t have snow!” — and did a chant and performed a nostril flute to point out us how he connects along with his environment and pays homage to all that nature gives.
The subsequent day, at Taha’a, we went out for a drift snorkeling journey, with a ship taking us out to the sting of the reef. We walked out into the waters, slipped on our masks and flippers, and glided with the present over an attractive coral backyard. Then, the boat dropped us off at a motu to affix our fellow cruisers for a day on the seashore and a giant barbecue lunch. Colleen and I loved a little bit of kayaking across the postcard-perfect little island.
You undoubtedly can get your fill of every kind of exercise on a Windstar cruise in Tahiti.
Professional Tip: Take a day nap. We had a pleasant lay down each afternoon and felt refreshed for the evenings. The times of sunshine and excursions can put on you out.
4. Vacation spot Discovery Occasion
Tahiti is certainly one of two locations on this planet the place Windstar encompasses a signature Vacation spot Discovery Occasion. It is a massive off-the-ship bash — a cultural immersion with a dinner and a present at an epic locale. (The opposite place Windstar holds that is at Ephesus in Turkey.)
Our get together befell on a distant motu whereas we had been visiting Bora Bora. Passengers arrive on a particular ferry boat and are greeted with leis and Tahitian music as they stroll ashore on their very own personal island. We loved some swimming and gazing on the sundown whereas wandering the sands and listening to the reside music carried out by a neighborhood group taking part in drums, a ukulele, and guitars.
After a luxurious dinner buffet that includes lobster, fish cooked in banana leaves, ceviche with coconut milk, and desserts equivalent to poe, candy potato cake, and rice pudding, the festivities actually gained vitality.
Our group of about 150 (plus Star Breeze crew) was transfixed by a present that included hula dancing, fireplace dancing, feats of power (males stripping a coconut with their tooth and naked arms), and fireplace consuming to shut out a unbelievable celebration of the Tahitian and Polynesian tradition.
5. Spa Time
Star Breeze is a small ship with massive spa vitality. Windstar has devoted a big area to its spectacular World Spa facility. The ship options a number of rooms the place you may obtain a variety of massages, in addition to a salon for hair and nail remedies and a giant thermal suite space with a sauna, ceramic loungers, leisure room, and expertise bathe. There may be additionally a pleasant locker space with a altering room and bathe.
Cruisers may even ebook a pair’s “Therapeutic massage Below the Stars” on an outer deck through the night. Colleen and I indulged and handled ourselves to a Swedish therapeutic massage out on the bow of the ship in a serene setting that was pure romantic bliss, full with a glass of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries afterward.
6. The Star Breeze
A Ship That Matches The Vacation spot
Star Breeze carries simply 312 individuals max — and on our cruise, the ship solely had 150 cruisers. It’s a motor yacht that blends in properly with the environment. Residents we spoke with talked about that they favored that it’s not a type of large cruise ships that overwhelm many locations with hundreds of individuals streaming ashore.
With the marina in the back of the ship, additionally it is completely geared up to leap proper into the waters and marvel on the surroundings as you swim or paddle round idyllic bays and lagoons.
Star Breeze options numerous out of doors area with pure teak decking. It truly is a yachting way of life onboard, with a duo of singers performing whereas cruisers collect on the Star Bar for sundown cocktails. Others like to make use of the pool and scorching tubs or bliss out on the loungers and comfortable couches obtainable all around the high of the ship.
We additionally liked the possibility to dine al fresco for nearly each meal on the ship’s Star Grill or Veranda eateries.
This system additionally brings on residents from the islands to offer talks and share tales about life in French Polynesia. We had an particularly enjoyable time one afternoon studying the best way to make leis and dancing with the Mamas and Papas group, who performed Tahitian music within the ship’s Compass Rose lounge.
Professional Tip: Deliver loads of sunscreen, hat and sun shades, and comfy beachwear so that you will be properly shielded from the plentiful sunshine.
7. Scrumptious Delicacies
Talking of the ship’s eating, Star Breeze supplied an general excellent culinary expertise, with objects supplied all through the day to swimsuit any style. The principle eating room is Amphora, which serves dinner in a fairly area with a extra formal gown code. The menu affords connoisseur creations utilizing regional substances, equivalent to marinated octopus with grapefruit and fennel or pan-roasted Pacific cod. You can too get classics like salmon, rooster, and steak dishes.
Veranda is the ship’s buffet eatery, open for breakfast and lunch with all kinds of scrumptious entrees, salads, and desserts. Made-to-order eggs are cooked completely at breakfast, and the cooks work at carving stations or serve up pasta or stir-fry creations as you watch.
At night time, the area turns into Candles, an exquisite steak restaurant the place passengers eat outdoors within the balmy breezes beneath moonlit skies.
Windstar has partnerships with famend cooks for 2 extra eating places on Star Breeze.
Star Grill by Steven Raichlen is the al fresco eatery on the high of the ship providing lunches and dinners from a menu that options rotisserie and smoked meats and greens. Throughout our Tahiti cruise, we loved bourbon-brined smoked turkey breast, rooster wings, beef brochette, and a wide range of fish dishes. You can too get a pleasant juicy burger or scorching canine right here.
The ship additionally affords Cuadro 44 by Michelin-star chef Anthony Sasso, who has created a Spanish tapas restaurant with a New York aptitude on Star Breeze. The menu options delights equivalent to grilled octopus and chorizo, paella croquettes, sea bream filets, pork stomach, and lamb chops, in addition to probably the most scrumptious churros with chocolate dipping sauce.
Star Breeze covers each base, with meals, leisure, cultural enrichment, and shore excursions so you may actually select the best way to take pleasure in your time in paradise.