French Polynesia is made up of more than 100 islands, strung across the middle of the South Pacific. They are made up of several groups, the most famous being Tahiti in the Society Islands. It is the most populous island and is the seat of the capital of the territory, Papeete.
It's all very beautiful; water and sky of marvellous shades of blue, rugged mountains, gorgeous beaches and exotic locals. Of course, there are loads of places to stay, but for the most luxurious and romantic escape, it would be hard to go past a Haumana cruise!
Our cruise started an hour's flight from Papeete in Rangiroa, a string of coral encircling a jade and turquoise lagoon. It is one of the world's great dive destinations and from above, resembles a giant pearl necklace lying on the water's surface.
Rangiroa is the world's second largest atoll and over 450 species of fish have been documented in its lagoon. Schools of dolphin play in the early morning and late afternoon, and once inside the lagoon you can see multitudes of large sharks and manta rays in the crystal clear water.
Even at slack tide, watching the coral rocks pass a few metres under you can be a tense experience, but Haumana was designed for cruising in the shallow waters of French Polynesia.
The catamaran hosts a maximum of 36 passengers. Cabins are spacious; 15 square metres, with large windows and beautiful décor. Each is air conditioned, has a queen bed, bathroom, television, safe and has housekeeping service twice a day.
The spacious Upper Saloon is where afternoon and evening activities take place. Large windows make sure you don't miss anything outside. There is a large outside deck and a bar is always open. Guests enjoy a cocktail while being serenaded by ukuleles and taking in a crimson sunset.
The restaurant on the main terrace offers elegant dining. Seafood and Tahitian specialties have pride of place.
The spa and outdoor jacuzzi are available day and night and give 360 degree views as you relax, unwind and enjoy one of nature's most beautiful panoramas.
There are land and sea activities on the atolls of Rangiroa. You may explore coral gardens in a kayak, jet ski, picnic on a pink sand beach, go fly-fishing or simply relax aboard your floating palace.
Elegant Resorts and Villas has a six-night package including the Haumana cruise, most meals, internal flights and all transfers starting at $3695 per person twin share. You spend your first and last nights in Papeete, one night at a deluxe beach bungalow with jacuzzi and three nights cruising. All port and local taxes are included, and there is complimentary use of kayaks and nautical activities.
Air Tahiti Nui has flights to Papeete.
- Sydney, $1284
- Brisbane, $1426
- Melbourne, $1432
- Adelaide, $1617
- Perth, $1893
- Darwin, $1902
An hour's flight from Papeete.
For further information
Elegant Resorts & Villas
Level 10, 66 King Street
Ph: (02) 8270 4850
Air Tahiti Nui
1300 732 415
Ph: 1300 655 563
Elegant Resorts and Villas
Level 3/ 332 Kent Street – Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
PO Box Q186, Queen Victoria Building Sydney NSW 1230
Phone: (02) 8270 4857
Fax: (02) 9262 3399
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