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Home Cruises French Polynesia Silver Shadow 2025-03-13

French Polynesia - SS250313013 Silver Shadow departing 13 Mar 2025

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Silver Shadow
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
13 Mar 2025
Duration
13 Nights
From / To
Papeete / Papeete
Ports of call
Papeete - Fakarava - Atuona - Marquesas Islands - Rangiroa

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Itinerary

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Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 13/03/2025
Location Papeete
In
Out

Formed by two ancient volcanoes and joined at the isthmus of Taravao, Tahiti is the largest island of the Society Archipelago and the economic heart of French Polynesia. Ever since the famous French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin immortalized Tahitian maidens in vibrant colors on his canvasses, Tahiti has had a mysterious allure and still summons up all the romance of the South Pacific as a tropical paradise.
Rising in the center, Mount Orohena and Mount Aorai are the highest points; deep valleys radiate in all directions from these central peaks. Steep slopes drop abruptly from the high plateaus to coastal plains. The northeast coast is rugged and rocky without a barrier reef, and thus exposed to intense, pounding surf. Villages lie on a narrow strip between mountains and ocean. The south coast is broad and gentle with large gardens and coconut groves; a barrier reef shields it from the sea.

Date 14/03/2025
Location Fakarava
In
Out

Fakarava is oblong shaped and has an almost continuous string of reef and motu stretching for 40 km (25 mi) on its eastern edge. It’s the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls, located 450 km (280 mi) northeast of Tahiti, and 120 km (75 mi) southeast of Rangiroa. It’s renowned for the drift diving in its two passes—Garuae (also spelled Ngarue) in the north near the main town of Rotoava (and the airport) and Tamakohua Pass, 48 km (30 mi) across the lagoon in the south.

The tiny village of Tetamanu, situated by the southern pass, was once the capital of the Tuamotus and houses the first church built in the archipelago in 1874. In 2006 the entire atoll was deemed an UNESCO biosphere reserve; to preserve the lagoon no overwater bungalows have been built in it. Fakarava was “discovered” by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Von Bellingshausen in 1820; some 20 years later missionaries arrived, in the guise of fanatical Catholic priest Honore Laval, and began building churches.

Date 15/03/2025
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 16/03/2025
Location Atuona
In
Out

The largest of the southern islands, Hiva Oa, the master pillar or finial post of the ‘Great House’ – which represents the Marquesan archipelago in the local mythology – has always been the rival of Nuku Hiva. The island is shaped like a seahorse and has a mountain range running southwest to northeast whose main peaks, Mt. Temetiu and Mt. Feani form a real wall around Atuona.

Atuona, a peaceful little port at the head of the Taaoa Bay, also known as Traitors Bay, has emerged from obscurity due to having had the privilege of being the last resting place of Paul Gauguin and of the singer Jacques Brel. The tombs of these famous personalities are on the side of the Calvary cemetery looking out across the bay and are places of great pilgrimage. In the village, the Gauguin Museum displays items related to the painter’s stay there at the beginning of the century and has copies of his works.

Date 17/03/2025
Location Marquesas Islands
In
Out

Think of French Polynesia and you are automatically transported to the white sands of Tahiti, the blue seas of Bora Bora or, at the very least, the iconic statues of Easter Island. Now, imagine a place that is home to that majestic trinity, but has no crowds and is full of island authenticity that is rare in these global times. You have just imagined Nuku Hiva. The island is the second largest after Tahiti in the archipelago, but is yet to be discovered by tourism.

Date 18/03/2025
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 19/03/2025
Location Rangiroa
In
Out

Rangiroa, meaning ‘Vast Sky’ in Puamotu, is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and one of the largest in the world. Surrounded by two legendary bodies of water, Moana-tea (Peaceful Ocean) and Moana-uri (Wild Ocean), the atoll consists of about 250 islets and sandbars, with approximately 100 narrow passages in the fringing reef. The lagoon covers 618 square miles (1,600 square km), large enough that it has its own horizon.

Date 20/03/2025
Location Bora Bora
In
Out

If you have ever dreamt up your ideal island holiday, we suspect it goes something like this: Soapy blue seas? Check. Sparkling white beaches? Check. Thatched wooden huts, gently sloping palm trees and kaleidoscopic marine life? Check, check and check. And yet, even by ticking every box, first time viewing of Bora Bora still beggars belief. This tropical hideaway less than 12 m2 in the heart of the South Pacific has been toping travel wish lists for years.

Long considered the realm of honeymooners – spectacularly romantic sunsets are a speciality – Bora Bora is not just for wandering with your love. If the prismatic shades of blue of the world’s most beautiful lagoon do not fill you up, then perhaps underwater scooters and aqua Safaris will charge your batteries. If exploring Bora Bora’s lush hinterland is more your glass of tequila sunrise, then trips around the island (often stopping off at the celebrity haunt Bloody Mary Restaurant & Bar) are a must. Bora Bora’s peaceful ambience has not always been the case. The island was a US supply base, known as “Operation Bobcat” during WWII. During this time, Bora Bora was home to nine ships, 20,000 tons of equipment and nearly 7,000 men. Eight massive 7-inch naval cannons were installed around the island, all but one of which is still in place. Although little is known of the history of the island, it is known that Bora Bora was called Vava’u in ancient times. This supports belief that the island was colonised by Tongans prior to French annex in 1888.

Date 21/03/2025
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 22/03/2025
Location Aitutaki
In
Out

When Lonely Planet co-founder describes somewhere as “the world’s most beautiful island” you can be sure that you are in for a treat. Incredible Aitutaki, inspiring Aitutaki, unbelievable, idyllic and unimaginable, there are simply not enough superlatives to describe quite how amazing Aitutaki is. Brought to light in 1779 by Captain Bligh, the Mutiny on the Bounty meant that Aitutaki has something of a bloodthirsty history.

While Europeans missionaries eventually settled on the island in the 19th century (evidenced by the white, coral-encrusted walls of the many churches) the island’s Polynesian history dates to around 900AD. Traditional songs and dances from this period still exist (although Christian hymns, known as “imene metua” are also popular), and are performed by islanders with gusto and much pride. The island is part of the Cook Islands, one of the most secluded and romantic archipelagos in the world. With its powder white sand, warm turquoise waters and sense of casual luxury, it is easy to see why the island has earnt itself the moniker of honeymooner’s island. However, there is much more to Aitutaki than just fun in the sun. With a reef that completely encompasses a large turquoise lagoon, Aitutaki is considered one of the most spectacular diving and snorkelling destinations in the world. Added to the tropical excitement is that when entering the main village via Zodiac along a narrow channel – travellers will be greeted by a traditional and customary warrior challenge.

Date 23/03/2025
Location Rarotonga
In
Out

The Cook Islands are scattered like tiny jewels over a large stretch of sea between Tahiti and Samoa, lying virtually in the center of the Polynesian Triangle of the South Pacific. The first settlers arrived around the 8th century from the Society Islands, Samoa and the Marquesas, while the first Europeans made contact at the turn of the 16th century. In 1824, a Russian cartographer put the islands on the map, naming them after Captain Cook, who discovered five of the islands in the Southern Group in the 1770s.
The natural beauty of Rarotonga, the principal island of the Cook archipelago, is profound and overwhelming. Its forest-covered mountains, deep valleys, fertile slopes of red soil and sparkling aquamarine lagoons make it a likely Eden.

Date 24/03/2025
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 25/03/2025
Location Moorea
In
Out

Tahiti’s heart-shaped sister island Moorea is located only nine miles across the Sea of the Moon from Tahiti. While Bora Bora and Tahiti are the destinations most prominently advertised, it is Moorea, the Magical Island that is the best-kept secret of the trio of famous French Polynesian islands. In fact, Moorea has often been likened to James Michener’s mythological island of Bali Hai – and it is easy to see why. Picture perfect lagoons and gleaming white beaches are surrounded by jagged mountains and volcanic spires. Its six mountains include Mount Rotui. From its summit there are spectacular views of Opunohu Bay and the island.
Captain Samuel Wallis was the European discoverer of the Windward Island in 1767. After leaving Tahiti, he passed along the north coast of Moorea without landing. The first European visitors to the island include botanist Joseph Banks and some sailors sent ashore by Captain Cook in 1769. Captain Cook himself anchored in Opunohu Bay for one week in 1777, but never visited the bay that now bears his name.

Date 26/03/2025
Location Papeete
In
Out

Formed by two ancient volcanoes and joined at the isthmus of Taravao, Tahiti is the largest island of the Society Archipelago and the economic heart of French Polynesia. Ever since the famous French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin immortalized Tahitian maidens in vibrant colors on his canvasses, Tahiti has had a mysterious allure and still summons up all the romance of the South Pacific as a tropical paradise.
Rising in the center, Mount Orohena and Mount Aorai are the highest points; deep valleys radiate in all directions from these central peaks. Steep slopes drop abruptly from the high plateaus to coastal plains. The northeast coast is rugged and rocky without a barrier reef, and thus exposed to intense, pounding surf. Villages lie on a narrow strip between mountains and ocean. The south coast is broad and gentle with large gardens and coconut groves; a barrier reef shields it from the sea.

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Please call 01246 819 819 to book this cruise