Each year, hundreds of sea faring folk leave the European continent by sea to brave 2 of the world’s most beautiful oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Most of them are moved by the beauty of the Polynesian water, the center of world traveling sailors. And like them, how would you like to discover French Polynesia by sail?
Welcome to the island of Raiatea, considered as the sailing mecca of French Polynesia. One of the principal leeward islands in the Society archipelago. It is on this island that most of the charter companies are based. Just before landing, you will not spot the multitude of masts that dot the harbor, comforting the fact that your sailing adventure starts here…in the turquoise water of the lagoon that Raiatea shares with its sister island, Tahaa.
Here, 120 nautical miles from Papeete, your Polynesian sailing adventure begins. Adventure…may sound like a big word, considering the exceptional sailing amenities offered by each cruising charter company. Almost exclusively catamaran vessels, they offer the promise of a more stable voyage in the comfort of a 4-star hotel.
Why opt for a catamaran voyage?
French Polynesia is marine territory composed of 122 islands scattered over a vast expanse the size of Europe. Here, its water and their whims rule. The trade winds as well as the magical lagoons separate each Leeward island, accessible by sailing vessel. Hence, the catamaran proves the best way to discover them.
For the aficionados that already are skilled in the rudiments of sailing and navigation, a charter voyage is the natural way to go. To all others, it will be a perfect introduction to the joys of navigation. Within the fleet, cabins and individual bathrooms have become the norm. Like the skipper-hostess duo, which allows you to completely relax in the safety of your trip.
Cruising the Leeward Islands at your own pace
Some companies offer a personalized sailing program at your own pace, allowing you to make stops at your leisure … Two to seven days, these private cruises allow you to discover Polynesia as you feel like it … Here are our tips for make your trip downwind …
Raietea, the sacred island
It is aptly named, Raiatea, the mystical! Even if the most part of the Polynesian charter fleet is based here, it remains little explored by most companies. Anchored in one of the beautiful bays in the southeast part of the island is unforgettable.
Huahine, the sauvage
People come to seek calm and peace. Steeped in a pristine and tranquil lagoon offering great snorkeling sites, Tahaa can also be discovered by land. From the village of Fare, you can sample a good cocktail by the water, sitting by the small Yacht Club on the island.
Tahaa, the vanilla island
Tahaa, picture postcard perfect…is a visitor’s idea of the deserted island in the South seas. The shallow draft of catamarans, allow you to explore every corner, the beautiful bays carved into the green hills of the island up to the small necklace of motus on the north coast, rich in marine and coral life. A must for those who particularly enjoy spending hours snorkeling!
Bora Bora, the island rediscovered
The Pearl of the Pacific is rightly famous for its hotels with their overwater bungalows in a lagoon with heavenly colors … one think one knows Bora Bora. Think again… A sailing trip will make you rediscover the island. The mantas of Anau in the secret coral gardens vibrant with color behind Motu Roa, is not the least of your surprises…
Trimmed to hoist the sails?