A cruise is an excellent way to discover The Islands of Tahiti and enjoy the magnificent scenery. Here are some suggestions of things you should try to do during your cruise vacation.
Visit a motu
A motu is a small islet usually on the coral reef. You’ll spot them from the deck, or through the porthole of your cabin, as you sail into the lagoons. Take an excursion to visit some of them. The waters are clear and warm and the white sandy beaches are idyllic. If you take a full day excursion, you’ll be served a picnic lunch at the water’s edge. Pure bliss!
Buy local produce and products
Before you leave Tahiti, and on all the islands you visit, try to buy some local produce and products. Local craftsmanship is of a very high quality and usually of some cultural significance. Pearls, hand-made baskets, seashell necklaces, colorful pareos, sculptures…You can find beautiful souvenirs of your visit on most islands. And don’t hesitate to visit the markets and roadside stands, where you can buy fresh local produce straight from the farmer.
Take care of the environment
The Islands of Tahiti has a magnificent environment, and it is up to each and every one of us to help keep it that way. Check on the environmental policy of the cruise company before making your reservation. And when you do visit the islands, dispose of your litter properly, use an eco-friendly sun cream and be respectful of the natural surroundings, especially the coral if you go diving.
Cruise with a local company
There are several local cruise companies in French Polynesia. The Paul Gauguin, Windstar, Aranui, Ocean Cruises and Variety Cruises all offer cruises in The Islands of Tahiti, mostly with departures in Papeete. The advantage of cruising with A local company, is that it has a better knowledge of the destination and the activities available for its passengers.
Get a tattoo
If you cruise with the Aranui, you can get a tattoo on board! A Marquesan tattoo artist is avaialble to give you a permanent souvenir of your visit to The Islands of Tahiti. If you do decide to get one, make an appointment during the last days, so that you can enjoy the sun and the sea on the rest of the cruise.
Learn Tahitian dance or the ‘ukulele
Take advantage of the activities on board your cruise ship to immerse yourself in Tahitian culture. On the Paul Gauguin, you can take learn how to dance like a vahine, or like a tane for the men, or take lessons in playing the ‘ukulele, which will certainly impress the folks back home.
Wear the traditional pāreu
The pareo, or pāreu in Tahitian, is the traditional garment worn by vahine in The Islands of Tahiti. A soft, cotton or silk cloth with colorful designs, that can be worn as a dress, a skirt, a shawl and even as a man’s skirt. Ask any vahine and she’ll be pleased to show you how to tie and wear your pareo.
Attend a conference
Certain cruise ships like the Aranui and Paul Gauguin organize conferences for passengers to learn more about the culture and traditions of French Polynesia. Guest speakers are invited to provide an insight into the art, history, legends and tales that make each island unique.