Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Cruise to Tahiti and French Polynesia

French Polynesia in the South Pacific is renowned for its turquoise seas, white beaches, stunning volcanic islands, fragrant tropical flowers and its warm, friendly welcome.

Rising out of a vast ocean, the five archipelagos comprising 118 islands richly deserve their reputation as the sparkling gems of the South Pacific. Even their names suggest their exotic flavour - Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa, Bora Bora.

  • The beautiful Society Islands
  • Island paradise in the South Pacific
  • Paul Gauguin in Cook's Bay, Moorea

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020

  • Fiji and the South Pacific

    7 Nights - Port Denarau and Back

    Reef Endeavour Reef Endeavour

    A unique 7-night cruise around beautiful Fiji and the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands on board superb small ship Reef Endeavour with snorkelling and diving oppportunities 2019 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec 2020 - Jan, Feb, Mar Save 20% on selected 2019/2020 departures!

    Sacred Island Cruise Only
    From £1250pp
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  • Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands

    12 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Aranui 5 Aranui 5

    Unique round-trip voyages from Tahiti to the far-flung Marquesas islands of the South Pacific aboard Aranui 5, visiting some of the region's most beautiful and difficult to reach destinations 2019 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov 2020 - Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec Save 10% on Feb 2020 departures!

    Tahiti Cruise Only
    From £2079pp
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  • Tahiti and the Society Islands

    7 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Paul Gauguin Paul Gauguin

    All-inclusive luxury cruise around beautiful French Polynesia and Society Islands from Tahiti on board award-winning small ship, Paul Gauguin. Includes flight package between LA and Papeete 2019 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct, Dec 2020 - Jan, Feb, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec Complimentary Flight Package between LA and Papeete PLUS exclusive £50pp discount!

    Bora Bora with Paul Gauguin Cruise Only
    From £2909pp
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  • Treasures of Polynesia

    9 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Le Boreal Le Boreal

    Discover a paradise on Earth on this 9-night luxury cruise to the turquoise waters and colourful coral reefs of beautiful French Polynesia on board stylish megayacht Le Boreal 2019 - Oct Save up to 15% PLUS exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    Moorea Cruise Only
    From £3975pp
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  • Society Islands and Tuamotus

    10 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Paul Gauguin Paul Gauguin

    All-inclusive luxury cruise around the beautiful South Pacific to the paradise of Tahiti and the Society Islands and the remote atoll isles of Tuamotus. Includes flight package between LA and Papeete 2019 - Jul, Aug, Oct, Nov 2020 - Jan, Jun, Jul, Oct Complimentary Flight Package between LA and Papeete PLUS exclusive £50pp discount!

    Tahiti Cruise Only
    From £4280pp
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  • Cook Islands and Society Islands

    11 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Paul Gauguin Paul Gauguin

    All-inclusive luxury cruise from Tahiti aboard MS Paul Gauguin to the idyllic French Polynesian paradise of the Cook and Society Islands. Includes flight package between LA and Papeete 2019 - Jun, Aug, Nov 2020 - Jan, Mar, Jul, Oct Complimentary Flight Package between LA and Papeete PLUS exclusive £50pp discount!

    Tahiti Cruise Only
    From £4502pp
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  • Ancient Cultures of Papua New Guinea

    11 Nights - Honiara to Cairns

    Le Laperouse Le Laperouse

    Explore the heart of remote regions on this luxury expedition cruise to discover the wild beauty of the volcanic Solomon Islands and the mysterious cultures of Papua New Guinea, with Zodiac trips allowing close encounters with local tribes 2019 - May Exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    Trobriand Islands Cruise Only
    From £5113pp
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  • Society Islands to the Marquesas and Tuamotus

    14 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Paul Gauguin Paul Gauguin

    All-inclusive luxury cruise holiday from Tahiti and Society Islands to the remote atolls of Tuamotus and the exotic Marquesas, and discover a natural paradise of deep turquoise lagoons, coral reefs and jungle-covered peaks. Includes flight package between LA and Papeete 2019 - Apr, Nov 2020 - Aug Complimentary Flight Package between LA and Papeete PLUS exclusive £50pp discount!

    Fakarava, Tuamotus Cruise Only
    From £5613pp
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  • Mysteries of Melanesia

    11 Nights - Noumea to Honiara

    Le Laperouse Le Laperouse

    Discover the traditional villages, tropical beaches and active volcanoes of Vanuatu and the surrounding islands on this 11-night luxury expedition cruise through the Pacific Ocean 2019 - Apr Exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    New Caledonia Cruise Only
    From £5617pp
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  • Christmas in a Polynesian Paradise

    11 Nights - Papeete and Back

    Seven Seas Navigator Seven Seas Navigator

    Explore the wonders of the South Pacific including Bora Bora and Moorea on this spectacular Christmas cruise around the islands of French Polynesia. Including return flights from the UK, a choice of shore excursions and unlimited beverages. 2019 - Dec Special offer prices!

    Barrier Reef surrounding Tahiti Island Fly Cruise Package
    From £6509pp
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About Tahiti Cruises

Whether you wish to dive, snorkel or simply swim in the turquoise lagoons, explore the colourful ribbons of reef in a glass-bottomed boat, or just find your own paradise beach beneath the jagged mountains, our cruise holidays provide the perfect way to discover these jewels in comfort and style.

The Society Islands are usually the starting point for cruises around French Polynesia, with Tahiti a focal point, along with its lively capital of Papeete. With fabulous restaurants, spas and superb markets, Papeete is a stimulating introduction to the area. Here you’ll also find the unique multicoloured ‘black’ pearls.

Intrepid seafarers settled here centuries before Europeans such as Captain James Cook and William Bligh of HMS Bounty made landfall. The people are renown for their beauty, artistry and warmth of welcome. Their fascinating tattoos, which itself is a Tahitian word, reflect some of the beauty they found all around them.

Bora Bora, the ‘romantic island’, offers Mount Otenamu, the island’s dramatic peak that offers a stunning backdrop to crystal clear lagoons teeming with brightly coloured fish amongst the coral. Moorea is a delight to the senses, with cascading waterfalls, scented hibiscus gardens, simple pastel villages and dazzling birds of paradise.

A wonderland for divers, Rangiroa is the second largest atoll in the world. A narrow circle of land comprising 250 islets and sandbars surround a fabulous lagoon. 800 species of fish have been recorded around these rich waters, including colourful clown fish, angelfish and giant manta rays, as well as sharks, sea turtles and dolphins.

The Marquesas have remained virtually untouched for hundreds of years, creating a fascinating culture that captivated such artists as painter Paul Gauguin whose final resting place is on the island of Hiva Oa. The ‘Mystic Island’ of Nuka Hiva contains a compelling mix of ancient religious sites and the natural beauty of fertile valleys and plummeting waterfalls.

With so much to explore and enjoy, our carefully chosen selection of quality cruises cannot fail to leave a lasting impression on you.

Outrigger, Bora Bora Desert island paradise Bora Bora

Tahiti Highlights

Bora Bora (French Polynesia)

Two towering peaks of sheer black rock dominate the centre of the lovely island of Bora Bora, and make an impressive backdrop to blue waters and gold-sand beaches. Apart from relaxation, favourite activities include shopping for Tahitian black pearls in the main town of Vaitape, enjoying a drink at the Bloody Mary bar or perhaps sampling traditional food from Les Roulettes, rolling food trucks used by locals.

Bora Bora

French Polynesia (French Polynesia)

Polynesia is a roughly triangular area comprised of over 1000 islands in the Pacific, and includes New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Christmas and Easter Islands, Pitcairn, Tonga, Hawaii, and the Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands. The indigenous Polynesian inhabitants of these islands share the language, culture and beliefs of pre-colonial times.


The first sight of Cook Bay is entrancing, and the island itself is no less lovely; encircled by a lagoon with white and black sand beaches and a spectacular interior of jagged peaks. Scenes from the classic film, "South Pacific" were filmed here. A popular pastime is to take a small boat to an offshore islet for a picnic, or for sightseeing, there is an octagonal church in Papetoai which is the South Pacific's oldest European building.

Moorea (French Polynesia)


Noumea is the pretty capital of New Caledonia. This relaxed and sophisticated city is enhanced by the magnificent Tjibaou Cultural Centre, 10 wooden structures designed by Renzo Piano to imitate the shell-like form of traditional Caledonian huts. The Waterfront Market serves breakfasts, and there are many chic French boutiques and restaurants in the city. La Petit Train is a novel way to tour the city which includes a gothic cathedral and the restored colonial-style Bernheim Library.

Nuku Alofa

Situated on the north coast of Tongatapu Island, Nuku'alofa is the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga, the last Polynesian monarchy. It is not geared towards tourism and has a neglected air. The chief attractions are excellent snorkelling and diving, the busy Talamahu Saturday market and the Royal Palace, which is not open to the public. The downtown women's co-operative at Langafonua sells handicrafts at reasonable prices.


Tahitis capital is a mixture of laid-back Tahitian charm and French sophistication. From the top of Tahara Hill there is a good view of Matavai Bay where William Blighs HMS Bounty anchored in 1789. A lighthouse now stands on Point Venus where Captain Cook and his scientists first observed the Transit of Venus in 1769. The Gauguin Museum chronicles the French artists life in Polynesia and exhibits two of his sketches and a sculpture.


The Tuamotus atoll of Rangiroa is a superb diving destination, with a lagoon full of rays, reef fish and dolphin. It is accessed through a fast-moving ocean pass, and beyond the reef there are tuna, schools of sharks and eagle rays and the fossilized coral formations of L'ile Aux Recifs. Ashore, the sights include coral churches and the villages of Avatoru and Tiputa and black pearl farms.


Suva is the capital of Fiji and perhaps the most sophisticated city in the South Pacific. It has numerous shopping areas, including Cumming Street and large malls along the canalside. For an insight into the cannibal era, the Fiji Museum has some interesting exhibits and in the downtown, a network of narrow passageways weaves between old colonial buildings. Parts of Suva were built on re-claimed mangrove swamp, and the nearest beaches are 25km to the north.

Customer Reviews

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 We arrived in Tahiti at 6am after a one day stopover at LAX's Hilton Hotel and an overnight flight. PG cruises had aranged a day room at the Intercontinental Hotel. Boarded the cruise ship at 4pm check in easy and quick with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Had time for a quick afternoon tea, tour of the ship and unpacked before our first dinner at L'Etoile restaurant which is open only for dinner every day. We ate here 8 times out of 11 and every meal was really good and accompanied by very nice wines. We ate at Le Veranda on the other 3 nights. This is a French restaurant which has a set meal of 5 courses and a la carte with 3 choices for each course. You can 'mix and match' between the menus but the menu is only changed once during the cruise. The food here is exceptional and the wines too.

Breakfast and lunch are served at several places and is usually buffet style again of very high standard. In addition at breakfast you may choose a la carte. Tea is usually served at Le Grill. The sandwiches and cakes are superb.

There are several bars throughout the ship open at different times of the day all serving every drink under the sunand as with the meals all included in the price of the cruise. Apparently you can buy wines and spirits of very high quality but we never felt the need.

Service throughout the ship is second to none, nothing is too much trouble, in fact the crew go out of their way to be helpful and are really cheerful with it.  We had a lot of fun with them.

The entertainment was really good as well. Each evening in the Grand Salon there is a show with the resident cruise director, the group Santa Rosa, and the singers and dancers called Les Gauguins, a Tahitian group who were excellent and who organised daytime activities too. Other guest artists appeared as well at times. The best show in my opinion was the Crew's show. There was also entertainment each night at la Palette dancing to the resident group and a disco later. There was first class entertainment in the Piano Bar with John who played piano and sang an amazing variety of music and who also did a name that tune type quiz during the day.

We did several trips. The first to a hot

el in Huahine where we enjoyed amazing scenery and   a fabulous beach. At our next stop Raratonga we took the local bus to another fabulous beach. We were not able to land at Aitutaki because the sea was too rough and at our next stop Bora Bora we took the ship's tender to their own Motu which again had a fabulous beach and also excellent snorkelling. Unfortunately the weather was not good and we couldn't go again. The next stop was Taha'a and here we were treated to an included excursion to PG's own private Motu Mahana. Again a fabulous beach a BBQ and entertainment. Our last stop was Moorea what a lovely surprise, probably the best views of the whole holiday. On the first day we did a trip to see sting rays and sharks. The best snorkelling we have ever done. A small boat took us to a sandbank where you could just about stand up. They fed the rays and sharks to attract them but there were also lots of other very colourful fish. You could touch the rays and they didn't seem to mind, the sharks tended to avoid you. The largest was about 5 feet long. We were then taken to a motu for a BBQ. Again a fabulous beach with rays swimming right up to you. Our last trip was to the Intercontinental hotel for a last dip in the sea and a lovely swimming pool.

Altogether an exceptionally good holiday one which we'll never forget. 

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We arrived in Tahiti late Friday night and transferred to the truly spectacular Intercontinental Hotel at Papeete. With spacious, beautifully appointed bedrooms, private lagoon and two swimming pools (including swim-up bar, regionID = ), it made us feel that Paul Gauguin would have to be a very special ship to match up to this standard.

However, on arrival at the Paul Gauguin on Saturday afternoon, we were incredibly impressed by the stylish luxury of this superb ship. For this size of ship, most cruise lines would have crammed in around 900 passengers, but Paul Gauguin has a maximum capacity of just 332 guests, ensuring that public areas are never crowded and there is no queuing either on board ship, or to disembark. With 217 crew, service is attentive and personal but never intrusive.

Our cabin was a Category B stateroom with veranda, spacious and well-furnished with a very comfortable bed, seating area and balcony so we could watch the passing scenery in fabulous style. There is an excellent entertainment programme on board, with lectures on the local area, cookery demonstrations, not forgetting Les Guaguines - the Tahitian hostesses on board who entertain with singing and dancing from the local area, as well as show guests how to make shell necklaces, learn some key Tahitian phrases and give a valuable insight into the local area.

Dining is exceptional on Paul Gauguin, with the main restaurant L'Etoile serving an exceptional range of choices encompassing everything from traditional cuisine to options for the health-conscious. La Veranda offers a sophisticated French-accented menu, complete with sommelier's wine choices and superb service. Le Grill is a casual dining experience with an Asian-Pacific and Polynesian flavour. Reservations are required for La Veranda and Le Grill, but there is no cover charge as all dining on board is included in the all-inclusive cruise fare. L'Etoile is open dining, once again with no queuing or waiting for tables - a very relaxing experience.

The first port of call is Raiatea, the second largest Society Island, and there are a great range of shore excursions to help you make the most of your day here, from visiting a Black Pearl Station, to kayaking the Faaroa River and exploring the stunning coral gardens on a snorkelling expedition.

The next day was a real treat - a whole day on the private islet of Motu Mahana, where we were amazed by the clear water, superb snorkelling and stunning white sand beach. Lunch was a BBQ on the beach when a wide range of traditional barbeque food and local delicacies was served.

The next two days were spent at the Pearl of the Pacific - the beautiful island of Bora Bora. Instantly recognisable by its heart-shaped mountain, Otemanu, Bora Bora is a paradise island surrounded by a spectacular turquoise lagoon. We took a guided tour of the island, with an informative and interesting guide, and learnt more about the island's history, visiting a local producer of the ‘pareo' (Tahitian sarong). The second day was spent on the private beach at the Bora Bora Motu - another strip of perfect white sand and clear seas - excellent for relaxing in the sun, swimming and snorkelling. There are more excursions available on Bora Bora, including Waverunner island circumnavigations, off-road adventures, shark and sting ray watching, or even a helicopter flight, portID =

Moving onto Moorea, we spent the last two days of our cruise on the most beautiful island of all. Where Bora Bora is famous for its stunning lagoon, Moorea's attractions are the lush landscape, jagged peaks and deep blue ocean. Dolphin-watching is a firm favourite, with a pod of over 150 dolphins resident around the island, whilst enormous sting-rays and reef sharks can be spotted on some of the many exciting shore excursions.

Arriving back in Papeete on the final day, everyone was very sorry to be leaving French Polynesia - it truly is paradise on earth. Paul Gauguin is the perfect way of exploring this paradise, as the local knowledge and Polynesian flavour on board make you feel that you are a part of these stunning South Pacific islands, even whilst on board.

It may be a long way to go - but it really is worth it!