This 9 day tour is aimed at exploring one of the world's most coveted tropical locations - French Polynesia, in the stunning South Pacific. This iconic archipelago is made up of one-hundred and eighteen islands, sixty seven of which are uninhabited, with Tahiti being the most populated. Given that there are so many different islands and atolls to choose from, we will focus our time in the water on the Tuamotus Archipelago which is arguably the best for a snorkeling specific tour such as this. It is made up of eighty islands and atolls and actually forms the largest chain of islands in the world. Needless to say, this provides the perfect setting for some incredible coral reef and shark snorkeling.
Like most of the reefs in French Polynesia, the Tuamotos are characterized by fringing hard coral reefs which gently slope away from the island, providing us with a seemingly endless shallow reef to explore. We can expect excellent visibility ranging from 25 - 35 meters on average and since French Polynesia has created one of the largest shark sanctuaries in the world, the area has become famous for it's healthy shark population. As we cruise over the stunning reefs you can expect to see lots of black and white tip reef sharks as well as grey reef sharks, along with plenty of stingrays such as Eagle, Blue Spotted and Manta. Outside of these larger pelagic creatures, there are lots of beautiful reef fish that school over the sloping reefs.
If you are at all hesitant about snorkeling with sharks, despite their shy nature, we expect to encounter many whilst in the water.
This tour involves drift snorkeling, sometimes in relatively fast moving water (always with boat support), and is only suitable for those with confidence and experience in similar drift snorkeling conditions.
Our French Polynesia Safari includes 2 nights on Tahiti with a full day tour of the island which is accompanied by a local guide and 7 nights on board Aqua Tiki II liveaboard.
It's one of our more exclusive snorkeling safaris as we only take six people (3 couples), plus a Snorkel Venture guide. Our first 2 nights we'll be based at Pearl Beach Resort on Tahiti Island, and then we'll take a short flight to Fakarava where we'll be based on the fully equipped Aqua Tiki. This large sailing catamaran will essentially be our floating resort and it's brilliant crew will escort us through this magical chain of islands. Each day we will have multiple snorkeling sessions at the archipelago's best snorkeling spots, all of which will be accompanied by not only the Snorkel Venture guide, but also by a local guide with intimate knowledge of these particular reefs.
Between snorkeling sessions there will of course be ample time to visit the different islands and their picturesque beaches. If you fancy just relaxing onboard there is plenty of space for that. There is a fully air-conditioned saloon with wrap around sofas, a spacious rear deck with plenty of plush seating, and then there's the much sought after bow 'trampolines', which are the large mesh areas that span the two hulls, and are a perfect place for sunbathing (similar to hammocks).
The tour begins in Tahiti, where we meet up at the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort. Upon arrival you can relax at this stunning ocean front resort, complete with huge swimming pool, beach access, onsite restaurant and pool-side bar. After a good night's rest we will have breakfast and depart on our locally-guided land tour. Tahiti is a beautiful island with waterfalls, tropical rainforest and beautiful viewing spots peppered around the island. We'll also have some time to learn more about the culture and history of the island.
In the evening we will relax and prepare to travel together to the airport for our group flight to Fakarava Island in the morning.
Our liveaboard adventure will begin on Fakarava Island where the Aqua Tiki II will be moored up just next to the small airport hanger. During this safari we'll be visiting 4 different regions of the Tuamotu Archipelago - Fakarava, Tetamanu, Kauehi and Toau.
Please note the itinerary below should be used as a guide, our route depends on the tide conditions.
After an orientation on board we'll enjoy some time around Fakarava Island with a beach visit and lagoon swimming before a sunset drink and presentation of the trip to come. The following day we'll travel south to Tetamanu for some 'pass snorkeling'. A pass is where water flows into and out of a lagoon and with it excellent chances of encountering large marine life. There are a number of passes to explore around Tetamanu and we're likely to encounter plenty of different species of shark as well as Napoleon Wrasse, Eagle Rays and schooling jacks.
We'll spend a 2nd day moored up close to the remote village of Tetamanu with more time snorkeling the reefs and setting foot on deserted islands, whilst allowing for some time for a lagoon swim in between on board relaxation.
From Tetamanu we'll enjoy some early morning sailing north east to Kauehi Island. Here's we'll explore shallow fringing reefs busy with colourful fish life such as angel and butterfly fish, various species of wrasse whilst big predators can also be seen in the water column. This is another good location for spotting sharks and perhaps a passing manta ray.
Our next stop will be Toau Atol for more fabulous reef snorkeling. This is also a great location to watch the sunset over the lagoon accompanied by a beach BBQ.
Passing back into the north of Fakarava we'll take some time to snorkel the famous 'North Pass' which at the right time can offer the 'wall of sharks' experience where hundreds of grey reef sharks school in the blue waters below. A truly magnificent way to end our time in the Tuomotus.
Upon disembarkation we fly together back to Tahiti. The tour ends upon return to Tahiti airport.
There are late night flights from Tahiti to Los Angeles or we can arrange hotel stays for those wanting to extend their trip.
Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort is located on Lafayette Beach in the famous Matavai Bay, and is surrounded by sparkling waters and offers outstanding on-site amenities. We will be staying in their Ocean View rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking the bay. The resort has big and beautiful pool, as well as a good restaurant and a bar. There is a full spa available for those who wish to be pampered and a fitness center for those who want to remain active. There is also a small on-site gift shop for souvenirs and locally produces crafts.
The Aquatiki II is a very comfortable sailing catamaran. It easily accommodates six guests, our tour leader and its three professional crew. Each of the private air-conditioned rooms is equipped with comfortable beds and private restrooms complete with hot water showers. You should note that the guest cabins are relatively compact - as is the nature of a catamaran. The community space is carefully laid out with it's wrap around sofas, large dining tables, and bar. These areas are also air conditioned, and there is wifi available as well as a stereo. All of our meals will be prepared for us by the amazing onboard chef, and of course the boat will be fully stocked with soft drinks and alcohol.
It is a good idea to keep in mind that this is a liveaboard trip, and while this boat is spacious and the twin hulls do keep it very stable, space is more limited than our resort style safaris and there will always be a bit of motion while on the ocean. If you have any sort of issues with claustrophobia or sea sickness please let us know, so that we can discuss suitability of the trip and how we've dealt with this in the past with guests.
US $ 5565 per person (Double Share)
VIP Cabin - US $ 200 per person surcharge
How to book your place?
Initial deposit: US$800 per person
12-months from departure: US$1000 per person interim deposit
6-months from departure: US$1500 per person interim deposit
Final balance: Due 12-weeks before departure
Papeete Airport in Tahiti has regular connections from Los Angeles with Air Tahiti. The journey is approximately 8hrs. For more information on travel get in touch.
To find out the latest availability on this tour click on the link below:
‘It was so nice, relaxing and rejuvenating to wake up everyday and think about nothing but snorkeling, laughing, eating great food, enjoying great company, and making new friends. Would absolutely consider another trip through Snorkel Venture – in fact, we’re already thinking about it! Lori, Feb. 2020
Enquiry for French Polynesia Safari
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