Going on a cruise can be one of the most fulfilling vacations. Not only are you getting away from your regular routine, but you’re exploring new places, experiencing new cultures, tasting new foods, experiencing unfamiliar cocktails, meeting new people – the list goes on. So, for your next cruise, consider traveling to Tahiti.
The largest island of French Polynesia, Tahiti boasts natural sites like lagoons and waterfalls. Tahiti is also home to black-sand beaches and two extinct volcanoes. After your cruise, consider staying in one of Tahiti’s overwater bungalows before returning stateside (or wherever home is).
Read on for our list of the three best cruises to Tahiti, and let’s get you on a ship as soon as possible.
Paul Gauguin Cruises – M.S. Paul Gauguin
The Vibe: Posh but not pretentious, this 332-passenger ship is for those who want to go off the beaten path without sacrificing luxury.
Don’t-miss Excursion: Tool around the ocean deep on a high-tech aquabike. The underwater scooter is outfitted with dive tanks to explore shallow depths. Get close to brilliantly hued fish and coral (no mask or fins required).
Onboard Must: At La Palette lounge, on the stern of Deck 8, the back walls open to the night air, allowing guests to dance under the stars to live music. It’s known as one of the ship’s most romantic spots.
Standout Cabin: Book the owner’s suite, and toss in a complimentary cocktail party for eight, arranged by a butler. You’ll also enjoy a welcome champagne, daily fruit and canapés each afternoon.
Rates: From $4,295 per person for a seven-night cruise that’ll stop at four ports before returning to starting location, Papeete. Airfare from Los Angeles is included in the price.
Aranui – Aranui 5
The Vibe: Expect friendly service on this passenger-freighter vessel, which takes 254 guests on Tahiti cruises to more remote Marquesas Islands.
Don’t-miss Excursion: On the island of Hiva Oa, trek to a collection of tikis said to rival those of Easter Island. Each statue is believed to have its own personality.
Onboard Must: Because this is a working ship, passengers can mingle with the crew in the bars. It’s not uncommon for ukulele-playing and singing to become the backdrop for happy hours, nightcaps and stargazing.
Standout Cabin: Equal in size to three normal staterooms, the presidential suite on the sky deck is for splurges. On the other spectrum, Class C’s dormitory-style accommodations might not be for everyone, but it’s a less-expensive sell for a single friend.
Rates: Staterooms go from $4,678 per person for a 14-day sail, or you can opt for the Class C rooms for around $2,781.
Royal Caribbean – Radiance of the Seas
The Vibe: Perfect for folks looking for big-ship amenities and who also want to experience Sydney, Australia and New Zealand as part of their Tahiti cruise.
Don’t-miss Excursion: A four-wheel-drive safari on Papeete grants access to the island’s scenic highlights, from forests of bromeliads to waterfalls. Bring your suit to go swimming in a local river while birds serenade you.
Onboard Must: You can still perfect your pool game at sea, thanks to self-leveling tables in the Bombay Billiard Room on Deck 6. For a quieter escape, steal away to the pool at the adults-only solarium.
Standout Cabin: Guests in the one-bedroom royal suite with a balcony needn’t have taken lessons to enjoy the baby grand piano, as it plays itself. Other perks include concierge service, a whirlpool tub, a living room with a sofa bed and a dining room that seats four.
Rates: Rates start at $1,688 per person for an 18-night transpacific sail.