The heart and soul of the South Pacific, Tahiti is the largest in a chain of islands that make up French Polynesia. The name can either refer to the main island or the entire destination. Commonly referred to as The Islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia is a collection of 118 islands and atolls scattered across an impressive nautical surface area the size of Western Europe. Still, these tiny islands—many of which remain uninhabited—make up a total landmass of only 1,600 square miles.
Moorea, French Polynesia
Graced with an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons, and palm-fringed beaches, Moorea boasts an awesome beauty that is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples, said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia.
Fakarava, French Polynesia
Fakarava is Mother Nature's ultimate sanctuary. Pure, pristine and dreamlike, the ecosystem of this gorgeous island is home to extremely rare birds, plants and crustaceans. Quaint villages, old coral churches and welcoming people are intertwined with a spectacular lagoon creating a paradise like none other in the world.
Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia
Visit the entrancing Vaipo Waterfalls and Cascade Tevaipo, which is one of the world's tallest falls at over 1,100 feet. Wander the black sand beaches, marvel at the giant tiki at Piki Vehini, or get adventurous on an all-terrain vehicle excursion around the craggy island. Explore the Taipival valley, one of the richest archeological sites in the Marquesas Islands, made famous by the American writer and former sailor, Herman Melville, who deserted his ship and hid in this valley.
Rangiroa, French Polynesia
Stunning, beautiful, this South Pacific atoll is a "natural aquarium," its lagoon filled with colorful undersea life. Visit the pearl farms, dive with manta rays, explore the atoll's unique winery or just choose a calming respite on a pink sand beach.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Michener called Bora Bora “the most beautiful island in the world.” Dominated by towering Mount Otemanu and surrounded by a lagoon protected by low-lying coral reefs, this is indeed a spectacular destination. You’ll have two days to discover this quintessential Pacific paradise. Perhaps you’ll explore its exquisite lagoon on a snorkeling tour or underwater walk, enjoy a bird’s-eye view on a helicopter tour, or thrill to a sunset tour by jet boat.
Raiatea, French Polynesia
You'll notice the rich scent of vanilla the moment you step off the ship onto this stunning island, with its vanilla plantations scattered throughout. Visit one or two, visit a pearl farm, snorkel the clear waters of the surrounding reef, or take a kayak trip along the Faaroa River. Known in legends as Hawaiki
, "the homeland," many cultures believe that this is where the great Polynesian migration began, from which large double-hulled sailing canoes set out to colonize Hawaii and New Zealand.