Now that I’ve experienced a Tahiti cruise, I can’t imagine exploring the region any other way. Of course, it’s not just Tahiti you’ll discover while sailing through the most photogenic location in the world - all the gems of French Polynesia are within easy reach.
While “overwater bungalow” may be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re planning your escape to Tahiti, a cruise holiday should be considered for these eight very good reasons.
1. Wake up on the water
Worried about missing the ocean immersion of an overwater bungalow? Imagine waking up on the water, eating breakfast with uninterrupted views of tropical islands and enjoying every moment of your day accompanied by the most private, heavenly water views available.
2. Water sports
There’s no need to tear yourself from the comfort of your accommodation to get active in the water. Wind Spirit is a luxury yacht and offered toys like jet skis, stand up paddleboards and water skis for our enjoyment. There was little to no booking hassle, the dock is right there, and we could choose to be as active or as lazy as we wanted on the spur of the moment.
3. Easy island hopping
Every day of our cruise brought us to a different island, a fantastic way to get an overview of the islands that doesn’t involving losing half a day every time you want to move around. You don’t have to think about it, you just sit back and let the scenery of French Polynesia drift by.
All the islands have that iconic tropical beauty, but each has its own character. Moorea was really green and lush, and the water was a beautiful green, almost emerald. Bora Bora had less foliage and the ocean was an incredible transparent aqua blue.
4. Sunset views to die for
There’s no need to research which bar to head to for the best sunset views.
Every afternoon we enjoyed sunset canapés and cocktails on the back deck. The bartender got to know all of our favourite drinks, including my personal favourite cocktail; a little red number that was bursting with fruit and tropical vibes.
5. Exclusive excursions
Water sports and island hopping are excursions you can enjoy from a base on land, but there are some excursions that you can access only by ship.
On the second last day of our cruise we had an experience that was only possible because of the small draft of the Wind Spirit. We sailed into a sound - a section of water that was as tranquil as a lake but surrounded by mountains. The water was like glass that reflected the surrounding mountains, and the yacht slowly rotated for about 30 minutes so you could enjoy nature’s beauty at every angle.
It was one of those magic moments you have when you’re travelling that really make you go wow. Sitting back with a drink, listening to moving opera music, surrounded on all sides by the glory of nature... it was one of the moments that all travellers live for.
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6. Visit a private island
This was another excursion that we enjoyed without the need to book or fit it into our itinerary. We sailed up to the dazzling sands of a totally uninhabited island and prepared for a day of bliss.
The Wind Star staff set up a day club on the beach, including a bar and BBQ. All that was left for us to do was snorkel the reef, eat our delicious Polynesian feast and live out every daydream we’d ever had of being stranded on a deserted island.
7. The Wind Spirit
The Wind Spirit is totally unique - completely different from cruise ships I’ve experience in the past. It’s a small vessel that holds only 120 passengers. It’s a true blue sailing yacht - depending on the weather during the cruise, you are being propelled by the power of the wind alone, which adds a whole new element to the cruise.
It’s a small, luxe ship that offers a library, a choice of restaurants, a stunning pool, day spa and a casino - as if you need any distraction from paradise!
8. All inclusive
French Polynesia can be a really expensive destination, so it was wonderful not to have to consider the price of every part our holiday.
We chose an all-inclusive package that ensured a totally seamless holiday. We didn’t have to choose where we wanted to eat each night or figure out how to get there. There was no need to book extra activities and compare the price of suppliers. We didn’t have to think about – well, we didn’t have to think about anything. Wind Star have a reputation for helping you discover a destination’s finest highlights, and that was certainly my experience.