Hawaii and French Polynesia (Honolulu - Papeete)
16 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – HONOLULU, HAWAII
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Located on the island of Oahu, capital of Hawaii, Honolulu, offers its visitors a different image of the American dream: young women wrapped in sarongs, colourful cocktails and coconut trees. Here, the sun is divine, the waves a surfers’ dream, and its volcano, Diamond Head, are all features that will win your heart. The view from Diamond Head is simply incredible. But Honolulu is also about art museums, cycling tracks, the famous Waikiki beach and a tourist district with festive night-time animation. As for amateurs of history, the Iolani and Ali-iolani Hale palaces provide insight into the singular destiny of this State.
Day 2 – HILO, HAWAII
The little coastal town of Hilo welcomes you in the midst of the Pacific Ocean. With its 47,000 inhabitants, it is more populated than the island of Hawaii itself. Marked by tsunamis, it houses a strange museum, the museum of the Tsunamis of the Pacific, which is an emotional experience. The traditional market is one of the most famous, and an opportunity to taste delicious local specialities. In the surrounding areas, an enchanting natural landscape unrolls its gifts of caves, waterfalls and paradisiacal creeks. Higher up, in the heart of the island, there are several observatories open to visitors on the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
Days 3-5 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 6 – CROSSING THE EQUATOR LINE
Crossing the equator is a baptism, a maritime tradition that PONANT perpetuates with humour. The Captain and officers of your ship will choose some neophyte passengers and crew members, who will be submitted to the good-natured “trials’ of the passing of the line. As we change hemispheres, you will attend a ceremony organised in a fun and festive atmosphere: with white togas, Neptune’s trident and fancy dress on the agenda. An unforgettable moment of conviviality between passengers and crew, under the aegis of Neptune, God of the Seas!
Day 7 – AT SEA
Day 8 – TAIOHAE, NUKA HIVA ISLAND
Taiohae Bay welcomes you in a sumptuous setting. Your ship will drop anchor a few kilometres from the black sandy beaches, nestled between majestic valleys. You will find yourself in the middle of the main village on the island of Nuku Hiva. You can follow the footpaths on foot or in an all-terrain vehicle. From the top of the hill of Mount Muake, a breathtaking panorama allows you to clearly identify the rocky islands that emerge on either side of the bay. Further on, the site of Piki Vehine shows its tikis, sacred statues used for religious practices. In addition, do not miss the Notre Dame des Marquises cathedral. Its distinguishing feature is that is was built using stone taken from the six Marquesa Islands.
Day 9 – HATIHEU, NUKA HIVA ISLAND AND SAILING IN ANAHO BAY, NUKU HIVA ISLAND
Entering Hatiheu Bay, you will quickly make out the statue of the Virgin, which, standing more than 300 metres high, overlooks this beautiful little village. Located on the north of Nuku Hiva Island, this locality is dominated by impressive basalt pitons. In the past, the fear of tsunamis and attacks from other clans led the tribes to settle in the interior of the valleys. As a consequence, many archaeological sites remain preserved and make for interesting excursions. You will find many of the ceremonial plazas, called tohua, notably those of Kamuihei and Hikokua where you will be able to observe several reconstructed traditional houses.
Day 10 – ATUONA, MARQUESAS ISLANDS AND HAPATONI, TAHUATA ISLAND
You’ll immediately understand why this remote and unusual chain of islands bathing in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean inspired Jacques Brel’s final album. During your cruise, we will stop at Hiva Oa, considered to be the “garden of the Marquesas Islands.” A special kind of power and charm emanate from its craggy skyline and black sand beaches. You’ll want to explore its lush, green valleys, home to impressive archaeological sites and a wide array of plants and wildlife. Visit the small village of Atuona, considered to be the island’s capital, and discover the tombs of Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel, as well as two small museums dedicated to their life and work.
Located on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, the village of Hapatoni will open its doors to you. A road built in old stones will lead you from the seashore to the village cathedral. You will also find a craft centre presenting various sculptures and engravings in bone or wood. Marquesan art is, in fact, recognised all over French Polynesia. Further on, vegetation takes over, inviting you to walk among its beautiful green valleys. Here, the population will give you a proper welcome, with traditional singing and dancing. A moment of conviviality you’ll remember!
Day 11 – OMOA, FATU HIVA ISLAND AND HANAVAVE (BAY OF VIRGINS), FATU HIVA ISLAND
Your ship will take you to the discreet peaceful fishing village of Omoa, far from all civilisation and nestling in a magnificent bay. In the valley, you will be able to spot some tohua, former sacred sites, including those of Pouau and Tonoeve, as well as the many burial caves lost in the island’s abundant tropical forest. The inhabitants here are specialised in the manufacture of tapa, a bark cloth obtained through the technique of beating layers of wood; they also make perfumed monoï oil and sculpt coconuts and other precious woods.
Grandiose, striking and powerful, the Marquesas are more rugged than their Polynesian sisters. Here, you will find neither lagoons nor reefs; the archipelago’s charm lies in its extraordinary wild beauty: waterfalls flowing down vertiginous peaks, jagged cliffs sinking into the indigo sea, and lush vegetation. When the ship stops on the island of Fatu Hiva, the inhabitants of what is considered to be one of the beautiful bays in the world, Hanavave Bay, will welcome you with ukulele music and traditional songs. Do not miss your chance to discover these exotic dances and customs as the trade winds gently blow through the palm trees, infusing the island with the scent of frangipane and Tahitian flowers.
Day 12 – AT SEA
Day 13 – RANGIROA LAGOON, TUAMOTU ISLANDS
A secluded atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Rangiroa is a narrow ring of coral surrounding a splendid lagoon. You can admire its transparent waters, rose-white beaches and famous “Blue Lagoon” seated in the middle of the large lagoon. Divers will be amazed by the richness and clarity of the sea beds: wasn’t it Commander Cousteau who described this atoll as one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world? Rangiroa is the high seat of Polynesian pearl culture, and also, surprisingly enough... wine-growing, thanks to an imported vineyard suitable for the climate.
Day 14 – MOTU CERAN, SOCIETY ISLANDS
Located off the island of Tahaa, in the Leeward Islands, Motu Ceran is a small desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This small surface of emerged land is a real paradise, the epitome of the desert island lost in the heart of the ocean. The islet is an ideal destination to enjoy the pleasures of the ocean, particularly diving. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll just need a simple snorkel to discover the treasures of the sea beds and to swim among multi-coloured fish. The décor of this little island, its coconut plantations and its beaches surrounded by a marvellous coral garden are a treat for the eyes.
Day 15 – COOK BAY, MOOREA ISLAND AND PAPEETE, TAHITI ISLAND
Lush, emerald vegetation contrasting with the limpid turquoise of the Ocean, charming wooden bungalows scattered along pristine beaches...The beauty of Moorea is sumptuous, unchanged since James Cook discovered the island in 1769. Edged with coral, this small island is renowned for its natural gardens of tropical flowers as well as for its pineapple plantations. Wander along the two bays that slice through the coral island, or head off to explore the Belvedere, which will offer you a breathtaking view over the majestic volcanic peaks of the island, such as Mount Rotui. Unless you would rather encounter the many Dolphins and Rays that swim gracefully in the lagoon. Total relaxation in the middle of a paradise lost, fragranced with Monoi.
Capital of French Polynesia, the city of Papeete is on the north-west coast of the island of Tahiti. You’ll find a relaxed atmosphere here,where urban buzz combines with the legendary laid-back Polynesian lifestyle. Culture is not lacking. You can enjoy sites narrating the history of the archipelago, including the colonial cathedral and the Maison de la reine Marau. The Vaipahi public gardens will win you over by their abundant plant-life. The large municipal market offers local specialities: fresh fruit, spices and all kinds of fish abound on their stalls.
Day 16 – PAPEETE, TAHITI ISLAND
Disembarkation at 07H00.
All This Included
From Honolulu to Papeete, the most beautiful islands in the Pacific are on the agenda during your 16-day PONANT cruise. You will sail aboard Le Boréal for an unforgettable journey to discover a wild and exotic world.
The Hawaiian Islands will delight you with their world-renowned idyllic beaches as well as their exuberant nature, a succession of rainforests, waterfalls and volcanic lands. From Hilo, you will visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dotted with white sandy beaches, French Polynesia will then reveal its many mysteries to you. Surrounded by superb lagoons of crystal-clear waters edged by exceptional coral reefs, the islands of Polynesia are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful in the world and home to an astonishing and rich wildlife including dolphins and whales.
Discover the unique charms of the Marquesas Islands, whose volcanic landscapes are home to splendid lagoons and secluded bays.
The next port of call in French Polynesia: Rangiroa, in the Tuamotus. This gigantic atoll with breathtaking underwater scenery is most known for the cultivation of its famous black pearls.
Before disembarking in Papeete, feast your eyes on the incomparable beauty of Cook’s Bay, the pineapple fields clinging to its hillsides, and its lush peaks that dominate the island of Moorea.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Boreal
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.