Paul Gauguin Tahiti Cruise Part 2
The Tahiti cruise on MS Paul Gauguin takes in a number of exotic ports of call, as Ben Wolland from Cruiseabout Auckland recounts in part 2 of his blog.
Our first port of call was Raiatea, and my recommendation here is that the only way to really get a look around and enjoy Raiatea is to do it with a ship-shore excursion or a tour with one of the local providers. Onboard a local family troupe came on to sing and dance, and were truly charming.
Taha’a Island is known for its vanilla plantations as well as the Motu Mahana beach, which is definitely a snorkeler, kayaker, sunbather or general water baby’s playground. The beach is all white sand, circled by a reef with plentiful marine life and a personal favourite, the floating bar in which one of the ship's company wades out to keep the libations flowing.
On the island, a barbecue buffet lunch is served from 12noon to 2pm, together with all your favourite cocktails served to you in tropical coconuts. Reef shoes are recommended here as the water is full of sharp coral.
Our next port of call on the Paul Gauguin cruise was Bora Bora - definitely the island relaxation and romance was made for. Our group enjoyed a jet boating shore excursion here which made three stops at different points on the reef. First a deep water reef where the number of coloured fish was amazing; fans of finding Nemo can see all their friends here.
The second stop was to swim with the stingrays, which was amazing. Our group became hysterical at the touch of the rays; it was one of those moments you know you are going to remember forever as the laughter and terror mixed together for an unforgettable experience.
The final stop was a bonus stop as we could not get around the island as per the tour description because the prevailing wind on that side was too strong for our comfort and safety. On reflection it was a blessing because we were able to swim with sharks. I took point and dove in first; after initial panting and shock at their size (some over six feet long) I was taken by how beautiful and graceful they are. This tour was a true highlight of the cruise and something I would recommend for all.
The next day I left the cruise ship and took off in search of Bloody Mary's, a bar on the main island of Bora Bora famous for its Bloody Marys and the list of celebrities that have dined there. It is not a must see and one of those things you can say you have done.
Moorea is my favourite island. Our group decided to hire buggys and speed off to explore the island. We ventured up the top of Mt Belvedere where the vista takes your breath away, looking out over the lush green valleys to the deep blue ocean in the distance. The island has one ring road and is easily navigable. We stopped often for photo opportunities plus a bite to eat and swim in one of the many beaches.
By all accounts, everyone on board had an amazing cruise holiday. Paul Gauguin may not be one of the most well-known cruise lines, and is more of a luxury option than certain other cruise companies, but we had such a wonderful time I'd have no hesitation in recommending them for unforgettable Pacific cruises.
For more information on cruise holidays aboard Paul Gauguin Cruises please contact a Cruiseabout cruise specialist or call on 0800 22 11 00.