Located within the central Southern Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is part of the Society Islands archipelago. Because of this, a Tahiti cruise provides the perfect way to explore the region.
Tahiti is the cultural, economic, and political centre of French Polynesia and accounts for over 68% of French Polynesia's total population. Strewn across calenders and postcards worldwide, Tahiti is often the fuel for people's holiday dreams. Over the years, the island has built a reputation as an idyllic paradise, a haven for holiday makers.
Although many things these days are exaggerated, Tahiti being a paradise is not. The island is truly beautiful, an oasis of tropical palm trees, white-sand beaches, and crystal clear waters.
It's sheer beauty and location mean that Tahiti cruises are very popular these days as they allow you to explore not only Tahiti, but the surrounding islands such as Bora Bora and Huahine. Cruises are also one of the cheaper ways of visiting these expensive islands.
Not only is the landscape breathtaking, but the people who inhabit the islands are some of the friendlies in the world. It's hard not to be happy when you live in paradise, and the locals make everyone feel incredibly welcoming. The history of the island also fascinates many of the cruise passengers and learning the history through local stories is one of the best things you can do in Tahiti.
Below we have written a detailed guide on what to expect during your Tahiti cruise. Please use our quicklinks if you know what section you wish to read.
Due to its location, Tahiti is blessed with a year-round tropical climate, making it ideal for cruising.
When it comes to temperature, there is little variation through the year. Temperatures generally range between 70°F and 90°F (20°C and 32°C), with occasional hotter or cooler spells.
However, despite the temperature, Tahiti has a wet and dry season which does need to be taken into consideration.
The wet season tends to be warmer and runs from Late November through to early March. During this period short rain showers are common and often occur once or twice a day. Although temperatures during this period are often over 85°F, it rarely feels too hot thanks to the cool trade winds that hit the island.
The dry season is the cooler season and runs from March to November. This is the more popular time as the sun shines more frequently and there are far fewer showers. The most popular months tend to be around July, August, and September. However, this is often a more expensive time to visit because of this.
There are a number of cruise ship options to consider when deciding on your perfect Glacier Bay cruise. From enormous cruise liners, to small motor yachts, each type has its pros and cons as discussed below.
Charter yachts are becoming popular options in Tahiti as they allow you to explore the island at your own pace.
Although expensive, you'll have greater control over itinerary, activities and shore landings.
Although your surrounding will be luxurious, the catamarans are not big and you won't get the same amount of space or facilities as you would on a larger boat.
Expedition ships are one of the best ways of exploring Tahiti and the surrounding islands, thanks to their dedicated guides and experts onboard.
You'll get daily lectures, daily zodiac excursions and make as many shore landings as possible during your cruise.
You'll also get good space and excellent viewing opportunities. You won't get the pools and cinemas though.
Probably the most popular option, many of the major cruise lines offer Tahiti itineraries.
These ships have befit of space and facilities. You'll get restaurant options, cinemas, pools, casinos and much more onboard!
These are also the cheapest options thanks to their size. However, the downside is you won't get as much time shore and you'll have to learn to queue the you do!
Because the weather is so gorgeous, cruise passengers love seeing the sites and doing active adventures. The varied landscape and warm waters also make Tahiti a joy to explore and there is plenty to do for all ages.
Below are some of the most popular highlights for Tahiti cruise passengers.
Most expedition ships will have kayaking excursions around Tahiti. For those on a larger cruise, don't panic, there are plenty of companies on Tahiti offering kayaking excursions. These fun excursions allow you to explore the areas where ships cannot reach. You can also explore the lagoons and jungles of the island.
The waters around Tahiti are some of the clearest, warmest and most diverse on the planet. Diving trips are offered by a number of local companies, but you will need to be a certified diver. If you're not, then sign unto one of the course and become certified! Some expedition cruises offer dive excursions, but you will need to have 25 registered dives previously.
4x4 Jeep Safaris are super popular in Tahiti thanks to the lovely valleys, thick rainforest and fun dirt roads. You can choose from several hours to full day trips and the highlights include the coastal road and the large volcanic crater that you drive into! You'll also drive deep into the island`s interior where there are beautiful waterfalls.
Papeete is the capital of Tahiti and where most of the large cruise liners make port. Depending on how long you have a shore, you can take in the local shops, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, walk along the lovely waterfront or take a cool segway tour of the town! Papeete is also the place to book other excursions like kayaking and jeep safaris.
Thanks to its diverse history, Tahiti is home to a number of excellent museums. The Le Musee de Tahiti (Museum of Tahiti) is the main one and offers excellent historical artefacts and exhibitions. For pearl lovers there is the Robert Wan Pearl Museum and for art lovers, the Paul Gauguin Museum.
The lovely landscape and varies scenery makes hiking around Tahiti an absolute pleasure. Hike into a large volcanic crater, make your way along the lush coast or head inwards to explore the rainforest and valleys filled with vibrant colours, flowing waterfalls and diverse flora.
Choosing the perfect cruise can sometimes be difficult, especially when there are so many options. However, unlike other parts of the South America like the Galapagos, there aren't actually loads of itineraries to choose from.
Below we have given an overview of each itinerary option available. Essentially these can be split into several categories; French Polynesia and longer itineraries that included other regions.
For people wanting to visit Tahiti only, there is very few options, if none. Most Tahiti cruises also include a number of other French Polynesia islands such as Bora Bora, Huahine, and Tahaa.
These cruise tend to last from 7 - 13 nights, depending on how many island you visit. Prices start around $7,000 and can upwards of $20,000 depending on your cabin choice and itinerary.
The standard 7 night cruise itinerary begins in Papeete and generally visits Bora Bora, Rangiroa Atoll, Kiribati, and Moorea. However, there are some variations on this including itineraries that skip Kiribati, and instead visit the Tuamotus Islands.
Longer itineraries within French Polynesia will visit all of the above, whilst also visiting Fatu Hiva Island, Tahaa, Nuku Hiva, and the Marquesas Islands. These itineraries tend to be 13/14 days in length and cost a little more. They are a great option though if you have the time.
Some expedition cruises also cruise from Tahiti to Easter Island. These itineraries visit Oeno Island, Ducie Island, Pitcairn Islands, and Henderson Island before reaching Easter Island. These itineraries really get you off the map, visiting some of the most remote islands on the planet.
Many of the large cruise line operators such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Paul Gauguin, and Crystal, offer longer itineraries that visit French Polynesia.
These longer itineraries generally depart from either Los Angeles, New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Sydney, or Auckland.
These itineraries are often repositioning cruises and the departure port will be in a different country from the finishing port. They can take anywhere between 20 and 50 days with the most common itineraries being around 35 days. These itineraries start at around $1,500 for the shortest option and can go upwards of $10,000 for the longer ones.
Longer itineraries from America typically visit Hawaii, Micronesia and Melanesia before finishing in Tahiti. However, some itineraries finish in Australia and go via South America. The trick is to work out what islands you want to visit other than Tahiti and choose from there.
There is also the option to visit Tahiti as part of a world cruise. These iterates are now quite common and take over 100 days! You'll get several days in or near Tahiti as you make your way around the world.
As stated above, the climate of Tahiti is blessed with excellent year-round temperatures and climate. However, there are still some items and clothing you'll need to consider prior to cruising.
Because the weather is often humid, lightweight breathable clothing is key. You'll also want protective gear from the sun and some good swimming suits! For more information, please see our detailed packing list.
Because you'll be sailing in a remote region, you'll want an excellent insurance policy that will cover you for all your needs should the worst happen. For a detailed page on cruise insurance, click here.
Below is a short video by Niedblod demonstrating the beauty of a Tahiti cruise.