As the first hub for Superyachts in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti offer endless cruising grounds around their 118 islands.
With 1% of land versus 99% of ocean spread over a territory as wide as the continental United States or Western Europe, both sophistication and adventure await in one of the safest places on Earth where ocean conservation has been a governmental priority for over ten years.
Cruise beautiful lagoons through the natural deep passes of the various islands, discover the friendly local people and their love for their amazing Polynesian culture, dive and snorkel world class pristine spots, enjoy the finest dining with a touch of French and Tahitian cuisine in a high end resort, indulge yourself with a local spa treatment, shop for your preferred Tahitian cultured pearls and love the barefoot luxury of a private picnic on a desert white sandy beach… The Islands of Tahiti have it all and will evoke even more unique emotions never experienced before.
Feel like you are a pioneer while enjoying all the comfort you would expect while cruising on a superyacht.
Local Superyacht experts will assist throughout the process of logistics and planning of your cruise whether you are chartering or sailing privately.
The Islands of Tahiti welcome an average of 50 superyachts every year. In 2016, just to name a few S/Y Vertigo, S/Y Seahawk, S/Y Destination, M/Y Askary, Fleet M/Y Vantage and AdVantage, M/Y La Dea 2, S/Y Bella Regazza, M/Y Seawolf, M/Y Suri, M/Y Senses, M/Y Dragonfly… and a few other returning yachts will sail around French Polynesia.
The ships’ main port of entry is the island of Tahiti. It is possible to arrange clearance in some of the islands of the other archipelagos (upon prior request and subject to the acceptance of Immigration and Customs).
On arrival, yachts are imported duty free for a period of 36 months. Duty free fuel is available with the assistance of a yacht agent. Spare parts for yachts in transit can be imported duty free.
EU citizens are allowed in French Polynesia without time restriction. Tourist visas allow stays of a maximum of 3 months.
Non-EU citizens needing to stay over a period of 3 months must obtain a long stay visa from the French Embassy or Consulate of their country of origin before their entry in French Polynesia. Non-EU citizens must hold a bond letter from a registered agent or an outbound air ticket to board any plane bound for Tahiti.
A visa of 15 days maximum can be obtained on arrival by sea for exceptional reasons.
Tahiti Tourisme reminds travelers that vaccination against yellow fever is obligatory for anyone who has stayed in a endemic country and wishing to visit The Islands of Tahiti.
Yellow fever is a viral disease found in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas. It principally affects humans and monkeys, and is transmitted via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. Since the beginning of 2017, these reports are consistent with the increased yellow fever activity observed in the southern areas of Bahia State, bordering Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais States, and in the areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo States, all sharing the same ecosystem – tropical and sub-tropical moist broad leaves forest. Occasionally travellers who visit yellow fever endemic countries may bring the disease to countries free from yellow fever. In order to prevent such importation of the disease, under the International Health Regulations, vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for any person over 9 months who has stayed in an endemic country and wishes to visit The Islands of Tahiti. Visitors may be asked for proof of vaccination upon arrival in Tahiti and should be able to provide such documentation to be granted entry.
Vaccinations are also required for travellers from countries where there are risks .
Also remember that importation of live animals is prohibited (birds…) but transit of dogs, cats or rabbits can be allowed after declaration and proper quarantine procedures. Animal products (meat, skins…) must not be landed ashore.
-List of countries, territories and areas – Vaccination requirements and recommandations for international travellers, including yellow fever and malaria here
-List of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination here
-For more information see the World Health Organization website
Chartering is legal in French Polynesia. The vessel must have a value over €838.000 and apply charter rates over €1,675 per day. The yacht must count at least 3 professional full-time crew members and be allowed to charter under their flag regulation.
There is no registration fee and it is granted for six months, renewable. Processing time is between 5 to 6 weeks. The charter tax applied is 5% on the gross charter fees. The local yacht agents usually submit the application prior to the vessel’s arrival.
The following refit infrastructures are available:
All are located in Papeete, the capital city, on the main island of Tahiti.
There are ongoing development projects with the Port Authority to increase the refit capacity for superyachts in the future.
Marina Taina can host 20 yachts of up to 60 meters. It is located 10 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from downtown Papeete.
Downtown Papeete has a dedicated area for superyachts.
Both places have a video surveillance system and security guards and provide the usual marina services.
No navigation permit is required in French Polynesia. Most islands of the same archipelago are within a few hours reach. Outside of Tahiti, anchorage is recommended in the sheltered bays in the lagoons or in the atolls’ lagoon.
Main provisioning is in Tahiti with excellent local or imported quality products. Provisioning can also be air freighted via the local domestic airline to most of the islands around French Polynesia.
For more details, please contact your local yacht agent.
Chartering is legal in French Polynesia. A tax of 5% is applied to the gross charter fees due before the end of the charter.
No tax applies to private yacht trips when the owners and their guests are onboard.
Nationalities allowed into French Polynesia without a visa:
All EC citizens, Albania (e-passport only), Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia (e-passport only), Brazil, British National (overseas), British Subjects with right of abode, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Macedonia (e-passport only), Malaysia, Marshall islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro (e-passport only), Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Mariana, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, St Christopher & Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia (e-passport only), Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay, USA, Vatican, Venezuela.
Citizens from Bahrain, Belarus, China, India, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates who already have a Schengen multiple entry visa valid for a minimum of six months and issued by a French consulate do not need an additional visa.
Schengen visas others than above are not valid in Tahiti.
All others must obtain a short-term visa at the nearest French Consulate / Embassy before arrival.
Faa’a International Airport is located on the main island of Tahiti. Daily international flights arrive and depart Tahiti. Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, LATAM, Air New Zealand, Air Calin, Hawaiian Airlines, French Bee and United Airlines offer regular flights. Private jets are welcome and a VIP lounge is available for these passengers upon arrival and departure.
Guests can either board the yacht in Tahiti or in one of the islands flying either the domestic airline (Air Tahiti) or a chartered plane depending on the itinerary.
Crossings from one island to the other is usually a short hop – not more than a few hours, except for crossings between one archipelago to another (for instance: Society Islands to the Tuamotu atolls is an average of 20 hours).
A trip can be planned basically anytime of the year with a likeliness of more showers between November and March and trade winds between April and October. December and January are becoming more and more popular in terms of charter requests as well as April – May and October.
The main island of Tahiti offers several high-end resorts for guests. When two archipelagos are on the cruising itinerary, guests often choose the option to fly (commercial or private) to the next destination in order to avoid longer crossings. These resorts are also the perfect solution for guests looking for an extra local experience after or before a charter.
All sorts of private land and water activities are available with dedicated and experienced professionals around the country’s various islands.
For information on yachts available for charter in The Islands of Tahiti, please contact your charter broker.
Day 1: Board the yacht in Tahiti or Moorea
Days 2: Moorea
Day 3: Huahine
Day 4/5: Taha’a – Raiatea
Day 6: Bora Bora
Day 7: Bora Bora – flight late afternoon to Tahiti
Day 1: Flight to Fakarava from Tahiti – board the yacht / Cruise to the South Pass of Fakarava
Day 2: South Pass Fakarava
Day 3: Travel back to North Pass Fakarava early morning – crossing to Toau Atoll
Day 4: Apataki
Day 5 – 6: Rangiroa
Day 7: Flight back to Tahiti
Day 1: Flight from Tahiti to Nuku Hiva – Board the yacht
Day 2: Nuku Hiva
Day 3: Ua Huka
Day 4: Hiva Oa
Day 5: Ua Pou
Day 6: Nuku Hiva
Day 7: Flight back to Tahiti
Any itinerary can combine one or several archipelagos depending on the time of the cruise. The time on the various islands in these sample itineraries is the minimum recommended time to enjoy each location. It is recommended to look at 10 – 12 days within a same group of islands to have a full experience. Itineraries can also be prepared for the Austral and Gambier Islands, which are even more off the beaten tracks.
WHAT ARE THE “MUST-DO’S” IN THE SOCIETY ISLANDS?
There are a great combination of water and land activities with a crystal clear lagoon and lush high mountains. Do not miss a traditional picnic on an islet, shopping for your favorite black pearls, ATV or 4WD tours in the beautiful valleys of the islands, fine dining and Polynesian spa treatments, kayaking Raiatea’s only river at dusk, visiting the vanilla plantations in Tahaa, diving with manta rays in Bora Bora, encountering and maybe swimming with humpback whales around Moorea or Tahiti during the season…
WHAT ARE THE “MUST-DO’S” IN THE TUAMOTU?
This is the place to put your head under the water and witness some of the most beautiful underwater sceneries. Diving and snorkeling are world class offering some of the most spectacular spots on the planet. The atolls allow all water activities. Discover pink sand beaches in Fakarava, spend a day with the islanders in a remote village in Toau, visit a pearl farm and discover how they graft the oysters producing this ocean gem, dive and snorkel with wild dolphins in Rangiroa, encounter friendly sharks while diving, go on a wine tasting expedition in the only vineyard under this latitude, fish and enjoy being at the end of the world!
WHAT ARE THE “MUST-DO’S” IN THE MARQUESAS?
Take part in the Marquesans’ rich cultural heritage, tattoos, carvings and weaving, which they will share with you. Go on scenic hikes or 4WD safaris along cliffs, waterfalls and meet wild horses running free, discover where the French painter Paul Gauguin spent the last years of his life, share a traditional meal and learn the “bird’s dance”. Snorkel with hundreds of melon-head dolphins and dive with manta rays and hammerhead sharks. Manta rays are often seen at the back of the boat in the evening and it is just spectacular!
WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO VISIT FRENCH POLYNESIA?
Basically, anytime of the year. However, the likeliness of rain is higher between November and March (Austral Summer) and it is warmer.
WHEN ARE HUMPBACK WHALES AROUND THE WATERS OF FRENCH POLYNESIA?
When cruising on a yacht between July and October, the likeliness of encountering a whale is high. Given the usual yachts’ itineraries, they are best seen around Tahiti, the Tahiti Peninsula and Moorea but can be spotted in the other islands.
WHAT IS THE LIKELINESS OF A HURRICANE EVERY YEAR?
It is very low. French Polynesia has a record of an average of one hurricane very 10 years between November and March. Given the reliable weather forecasts, should a hurricane be on the way around the main islands visited, yachts have time cruise to the Marquesas and find shelter there. This group of islands is always outside of the potential depression zone.
WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE IN THE HIGH-END RESORTS?
It is very casual as all resorts are located on a beautiful beach. The dress code is more formal in the evening if you go to a fine dining restaurant but will remain casual if you sit at the bar or have dinner on the beach.
IS FRENCH POLYNESIA KID FRIENDLY?
Yes, it is. There is a lot for kids to do and explore on land, treasure hunts can be arranged in the Tuamotu atolls, for example, and they will enjoy being in shallow, warm water surrounded by hundreds of friendly colorful fish.
WHAT KIND OF PROVISIONING IS AVAILABLE FOR YACHTS?
Basically anything! Fresh food supplies and dairy produce are imported into French Polynesia from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and France. Crusty baguettes and croissants thanks to the French influence can be found anywhere in the main islands every morning. Any provisioning can be air freighted from Tahiti to any of the islands where Air Tahiti – the domestic airline – flies.
IS IT EASY TO GET A QUALITY SPA TREATMENT?
Yes, it is, especially around the Society Islands. All resorts have a spa area with a wide list of different treatments available and quality products from luxury cosmetic brands.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER ACTIVITIES WHEN CRUISING ON A SUPERYACHT?
Most land activities on a private basis (ATV, 4×4 inner island safari, picnic on a secluded islet), any water activities (diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, whale watching during the season, spearfishing, free diving, water skiing, paddle boarding, jet ski riding…) but also hosting a traditional dance group on the aft deck of the yacht.
IS IT EASY TO ARRANGE CHANGE-OVER GUESTS OTHER THAN IN TAHITI DURING A CRUISE?
Yes, it is as long as the island chosen hosts an airport. Usually, on commercial flights, departing guests often board the plane the new guests have just disembarked.