Blogs from French Polynesia, Oceania


Oceania » French Polynesia April 19th 2019

Today we arrived at Bora Bora, near the northwest end of the Tahitian Archipelago. You may know if from the famous World War II battles of Bora Bora. Or maybe you don’t because there never was such a battle. The Americans came to this island in 42 or 43 and took control as an anchor to protect the remainder of the island chain. They built an airfield and a boat harbor to bring in supplies and personnel. Then they built a road around the perimeter of the island. And they installed a water purification facility. And they built bunkers and huge cannons to protect all of it. None of these were ever used in the war but they have all remained and have served as the facilities which brought Bora Bora into the modern world. Our ... read more
David on Bora Bora
View of Cave on Bora Bora Mountain
Land Crabs fighting over breakfast

Oceania » French Polynesia April 18th 2019

Today we sailed from Tahiti and arrived at Moorea. What do we mean? We didn’t sail from Pateete until about 3:00 AM this morning. We have no idea how many people made a late night of it in Tahiti, but since it is such a short distance between destinations, the Star Princess stayed in port until long after we had gone to bed. This morning we got up at 6:30 and the ship arrived at the anchorage off Moorea at 7:30. Meanwhile we had gone up to the Horizon Court and had breakfast. We had to meet in the Crown Grill at 8:00 and a little later we boarded a tender (sometime called a cruise ship limousine) and were soon taken to shore. The sea was smooth so the ride was gentle, and we had no ... read more
View from Belvedere Lookout Point
Star Princess through the Palm Trees
Moorea Coastal View

Oceania » French Polynesia November 16th 2018

Ein Traum von Vanuatu über Neukaledonien und Rarotonga bis nach Tahiti und Bora Bora Endlich finde ich Ruhe und Zeit, um über einen der schönsten Teile meiner Reise zu berichten, der Südsee. Nein, die Südsee besteht nicht nur aus türkisblauem Wasser, weißem Sandstrand und Palmen im Wind, sondern ist weitaus vielfältiger. Und es kommt darauf an, für welche Insel man sich entscheidet. Nach längerer Recherche im Internet habe ich schließlich Mitsegelgelegenheiten in Vanuatu und Tahiti gefunden. Und zum ersten Mal reiste ich zu zweit, da mich Fabian für diesen Teil der Reise sowie in Neuseeland und Australien begleitete. Auch wenn sich die Planungen kurz vorher noch etwas verändert haben, bin ich Mitte November direkt von Malaysia erst nach Brisbane geflogen, um dann zu zweit weiter nach Vanuatu zu reisen. Halo Vanuatu... Vanuatu ist ein souveräner Inse ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia November 13th 2018

The vacation of your lifetime is about to happen – you’re finally visiting the exotic and whimsical French Polynesia and couldn’t be more excited about it. And since you want to make the most out of this bucket list experience, you’re on the hunt for the best tips out there on the must-see sites, the top adventures to opt for and the best souvenirs to remember your dream vacation by. From stunning pearl jewelry to the scent of the islands and from jungle adventures to ancient temples, here are the top three things to do and buy in French Polynesia. What to Do in French Polynesia: 1.Go Pearl Diving If you plan on visiting the French Polynesia, you are bound to encounter some of the most stunning pearls ever seen. And while you can definitely opt ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea November 13th 2018

Dateline: November 10, 11 and 12, 2018, Intercontinental Hotel, Moorea Dolphins, Turtles and Easy Days Bonjour…Well dinner at the hotel last night was wonderful. The food was very French and delicious. However, since this is an island and…since this is an upscale resort, everything is very pricy. Add to that portions that are too large for us to finish…we decided to take the advice of the newlyweds going for liquor at the airport, and walk 10 minutes to a tiny grocery store. It is hot and humid and an uphill walk to the store but t has everything we need for some lunches and dinners. The woman who runs the store speaks French and English. She is so gracious and helped us with our shopping. With a French baguette in hand and some salami, cheese, crackers ... read more
Dolphin Encounter
The lagoon
Turtle that was shot with a harpoon in the neck

Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti » Papeete November 10th 2018

Dateline: November 10, 2018, Jumping Ship: Papeete, Tahiti and on to Moorea (Society Islands) Jumping Ship We are jumping ship today. We will get off, spend a half day in Papeete and then head for our ferry and Moorea by 12:45. Since we are in French Polynesia, everyone of course, speaks French, We have a few words of French…oui, merci, un, deux, trois, thank you… we will do fine 😉. Our ship is docked right downtown so we wander into Papeete. Papeete is a bustling, busy city, on Saturday. It is the capitol of French Polynesia. The huge marketplace is wonderful with tons of fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, lots of clothing and pearl shops. When we got to the market Jean noticed a woman selling pearls that was just a table, not a shop, and she ... read more
Papeete- not my photo
Jean and Hiva buying Pearls
If the ice cream store had been open

Oceania » French Polynesia » Bora Bora November 9th 2018

Dateline: Bora Bora, November 9, 2018 Immigration, Bora Bora and making Pareos Since this is the first port in French Polynesia, we had to go through customs here in Bora Bora, even though we are not getting off the ship until tomorrow in Papeete, Tahiti. So, today started with a visit with Immigration and Customs for French Polynesia at 7:15 on Deck 7. The ship took our passports 4 days ago and we finally get them back. Another stamp…Bora Bora. Our island tour was leaving immediately, so we rushed from immigration to the Wheelhouse Bar to collect the “stickers” for our tour. Of course, once we got there it was the “hurry up and wait routine”. After about 20 minutes the captain came on and said that he was sorry for keeping us but…we have a ... read more
A bay in Bora Bora
Matilde Beach
Handmade Pareo

Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti » Papeete October 11th 2018

I spent 2-3 nights in Tahiti, mostly in transit between other places. The first day I was there was a Sunday, when everything is closed. There was also a huge cruise ship in the port, so the handful of open places were swarming with people. The second day I was there it rained the whole overall I'm not sure I can say I experienced much of what the island has to offer. Papeete did have some absolutely fantastic street art, which made it pretty interesting to walk around.... read more
Presidential Palace
Territorial Assembly
Territorial Assembly

Oceania » French Polynesia » Fakarava October 10th 2018

Fakarava was my last real stop in French Polynesia, and is my new all time favorite. A tiny atoll (although around one of the biggest lagoons in the world), and an UNESCO Biosphere reserve, Fakarava is probably best known as a diving destination famous for its "walls of sharks". This isn't an exaggeration, there are sharks everywhere. Most of the island's residents (I think approx 800?) live near the north pass, working to produce copra or as pearl farmers. This area was stunning, but my favorite was at the other end of the lagoon near the south pass. There's a mostly abandoned village called Tetamanu - it was originally built to be the center of the island and is made almost entirely out of coral, but today only a handful of families(e.g., 3-4) live there and ... read more
Pier at the dive center next door
Woke up to mostly clear skies, hurray!
More coral than I've seen anywhere in Polynesia

Oceania » French Polynesia » Rangiroa October 6th 2018

Tikehau is the first true atoll I've visited - and that an atoll exists at all still amazes me. Atolls all used to have volcanic islands in the center of them - corals form a reef around the volcano, with a lagoon between the reef and main island (this was the stage that each of the previous islands I've visited is at). For an atoll, after a realllllly long time, the volcano erodes and sinks into the ocean, but the reef remains. When this happens, the outside of the reef (hopefully) stays healthy. The inner edge of the reef gets less fresh water (or slightly less nutrient filled water?), and slowly dies off, creating limestone. Somehow...and I can't quite explain it...the limestone contributes to the color of the water inside the lagoon. Over time, the ocean ... read more
Flying into Tikehau
Arriving at Ninamu island

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