Travel Tips for French Polynesia and the South Pacific
I'm beginning to plan a trip to French Polynesia for our 30th anniversary. Should we just stick to Bora Bora or island hop, and if so, how many other islands? I've also had friends say good things about the Paul Gauguin cruise line. Staying in a hut over the water is a must; it's on my wife's bucket list. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dave, the answers to your questions depend on how much time and money you have. Tahiti and Society Islands cruises on the m/s Paul Gauguin are a week long and call at Huahine, Taha'a (well, an island adjacent to it called Motu Mahana), Bora Bora, and Moorea. If you've got 10 nights you could do a cruise the first week, then top it off with three nights in an overwater bungalow on Bora Bora or Moorea, which would give your wife the "hut over the water" experience and also allow you to dig deeper into the local culture, and meet more of the local people, than you can on the cruise. Or you could do your three-night grand finale in the Tuamotu Islands, a chain of white-sand atolls (rings of coral). If money is no object, you might even consider wowing your wife with a splurge at The Brando, a virtually undiscovered private-island hideaway, with a pristine ecosystem all to itself, that will be opening in July on Marlon Brando's personal island sanctuary 30 miles off Tahiti.
My strong suggestion is that you reach out to French Polynesia travel specialist Kleon Howe. He knows the islands in the region like the palm of his hand, gets first dibs on the rooms with the best views, and can pull other strings for you based on his insider connections developed over many years. Here's just one example of how his expertise can transform a trip to Bora Bora.
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