Tahiti

Trip Highlights

Join us for a uniquely designed nine-night voyage to the paradisal islands and motus of French Polynesia. Sail for seven nights aboard the Five-Star, 74-stateroom Wind Spirit and enjoy unmatched small-ship sailing amidst the emerald green peaks, chalk-white atolls and beryl-blue lagoons of the Society Islands. Explore the South Pacific’s unique history, culture and topography on Tahiti, Mo’orea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Ra’iatea and Huahine. Snorkel or swim with stingrays, lagoon sharks and exotic fish, and enjoy cultural enrichments, including visits to ancient marae, a vanilla plantation and a black pearl farm. This exceptional itinerary also includes two nights (air schedules permitting) in the Five-Star InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa in enchanting Pape’ete, all onboard gratuities, complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise, complimentary watersports and an exclusive excursion on each island. Post-Program Option in a deluxe seaside resort on Mo’orea is offered. 

 

  •  Included Air round trip to Pape’ete, Tahiti.
  • Uniquely designed nine-night land/cruise program featuring Tahiti and the natural beauty of the spectacularly lush Society Islands—a South Pacific paradise.
  • An unforgettable Five-Star sailing experience aboard the Wind Spirit in its home waters.
  • Intimate, four-masted motor yacht—only 148 guests.
  • 100% ocean-view accommodations.
  •  Award-winning cuisine and demonstrations through Windstar Cruises’ exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are served throughout the cruise.
  • All shipboard gratuities are included.
  • One or two nights (depending on air schedules) in the InterContinental Tahiti Resort.
  • Specially arranged excursion included on each island and optional excursion offerings.
  • Extraordinary visibility and color during optional snorkeling or scuba diving in turquoise lagoons.
  • Legendary islands that inspired Paul Gauguin, Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson and
  • James Michener.
  •  Exceptional value for a Five-Star South Pacific program.

 

Post-Program Option – InterContinental Mo’orea

Extend your sojourn in French Polynesia with two nights in a Five-Star seaside resort in Mo’orea. Enjoy magnificent, expansive ocean views from your deluxe beachfront or overwater bungalow (choose from two categories). Observe the abundant, colorful marine life on a reef excursion, dine in one of the island’s gourmet restaurants for the exotic fusion of flavors of fresh local seafood prepared with French Polynesian flair, or enjoy the resort’s wide array of watersports and stunning white-sand beach. This option includes breakfast daily and ferry round trip Tahiti and Mo’orea.

 

The Post-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

 

Shared departure: This departure is shared with other universities.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Gateway City/Pape’ete, Tahiti

Depart for the lively Pape’ete, the cosmopolitan capital of French Polynesia, located on a natural harbor cooled by trade winds and set against a backdrop of verdant, forest-clad peaks. This breathtaking gateway to the South Pacific is complemented by the cultures of its people, a vibrant blend of Tahitian, French and Chinese.

Upon arrival, check into the ideally located, Five‑Star InterContinental Pape’ete; enjoy time at leisure and attend the welcome reception on Wednesday. 

Meals: Breakfast, Reception

Day 2 – Pape’ete/Embark Wind Spirit

Tour Tahiti’s scenic West Coast and visit the fern veiled Mara’a Grotto with its freshwater pools and small caves. Walk through the sacred ’Ārahurahu site—French Polynesia’s only fully restored marae—and the beautifully landscaped Spring Garden of Vaipahi, which showcases 75 plant species, including precious māpē (Tahitian chestnut).

Embark the Wind Spirit and attend the captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 3 – Pape’ete

The heart-shaped island of Mo’orea captivated Captain James Cook and Herman Melville and inspired James Michener’s unforgettable Tales of the South Pacific. Enjoy a drive through a spectacular landscape of ancient volcanic peaks and stop at Belvedere Point for an unforgettable view of the impressive Mount Rotu’i and the sparkling waters of Cook and ’Opunohu Bays.

Impressive temples evoke Mo’orea’s French Polynesian heritage, while European churches underscore its role as a center for 19th-century missionary activity.

Contemporary islanders continue the traditions of their forefathers, farming pineapples and papayas and crafting fine art from seashells and indigenous wood. Learn more about the interplay between the culture and the ecosystem at the Richard B. Gump Pacific Research Station and Atitia Outreach Center. Later, on board the ship, hear an enriching lecture by naturalist Frank Murphy from the Gump Research Station. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure with snorkeling opportunities in Mo’orea’s turquoise lagoons. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Ra’iatea

In the pre-colonial era, Ra’iatea served as the political and spiritual heart of the Society Islands and was beloved by Captain Cook, who called here on each of his three voyages. It was the launchpad for the colonization of Hawai’i, the Marquesas and New Zealand, and according to local legend, the birthplace of ’Oro, god of war and fertility. Visit French Polynesia’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, the well‑preserved marae complex of Taputapuātea (offering from afar), comprised of a cultural landscape and a natural seascape, with the main set of marae—constructed of coral and black volcanic rock—representing where the living world intersects the ancestral world. Aboard a motor-powered outrigger canoe, cruise upstream along the serene Fa’aroa River, the only navigable river in French Polynesia, as it threads through a realm of māpē, pūrau (wild hibiscus), and ’ohe (bamboo).

Gather on deck for a barbecue dinner under the “ash‑blue sky alive with stars,” as Impressionist Henri Matisse described the Tahitian night. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Ra’iatea/Taha’a

Taha’a is dominated by the profile of Mount Ohiri, named for Hiro, Polynesian god of sailors and thieves. Continued harvesting of the world’s most flavorful vanilla beans and the region’s distinctive black pearl oysters provides the islanders’ livelihoods. Gain a deeper understanding of traditional French Polynesian agriculture as you tour the fragrant grounds of a vanilla plantation, followed by a visit to a farm where lustrous black pearls are meticulously cultivated underwater. Savor a specially arranged beach barbecue lunch on a private motu (islet), where you can also swim, snorkel or kayak. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 & 7 – Bora Bora

Bora Bora is the proverbial vision of paradise with black basalt peaks cloaked in a thick tropical forest and silhouetted against sparkling turquoise waters. Alongside glittering Fa’anui Bay, see the ceremonial site of the Fare Opu marae, adorned with petroglyphs of turtles, a sacred creature in French Polynesia, and look for nearly imperceptible bunkers constructed by American soldiers during World War II.

The islanders of Bora Bora wear the traditional and colorful hand‑dyed pareo. In the island’s forested interior, villagers cultivate breadfruit, coconuts, and taro (an endemic root vegetable); preserve the ancient ruins of stone marae; and show reverence for ancestral French Polynesian deities. Observe the art of dyeing pareo and enjoy a taste of the island’s local fruits.

From a lookout point, admire Bora Bora’s highest peak, Mount Otemanu, a natural beacon over the “Pearl of the Pacific”; then enjoy time at leisure to explore the island.

An optional excursion cruises the island’s iridescent lagoon to encounter graceful stringrays, black-tipped lagoon sharks, and a coral garden where parrotfish, butterfly fish, and triggerfish flourish. Dinner Monday night will be an authentic Polynesian feast on a private motu.

Meals: 2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 2 Dinner

Day 8 – Huahine

Idyllic Huahine consists of two islands—Huahine‑Nui (big) and Huahine-Iti (small)—separated by a deep blue bay and ringed by a coral atoll. Aboard an open‑air “Le Truck,” ride between the ocean and a woodland of towering māpē trees draped with sweet‑scented vanilla vines to the settlement of Maeva, the ancient religious center of Huahine‑Nui and the greatest concentration of archaeological sites in French Polynesia.

In Maeva, see over 10 marae—built in the 16th century of locally quarried stone—as well as former homes and fortification walls. Enjoy the breathtaking vista of gleaming Maro’e Bay and lofty Mount Turi en route to the picturesque village of Fare to see blue‑eyed river eels, considered sacred by locals.

After an afternoon at leisure, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 9 – Pape’ete, Tahiti/Disembark/Depart for Home

Disembark the ship and explore Tahiti’s East Coast with a visit to the former home of American author James Norman Hall, best known for Mutiny on the Bounty, and see Point Venus, named for the observatory Captain Cook established here in 1769. Day‑room accommodations are available in the InterContinental Pape’ete. Continue on to the Mo’orea Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 – Arrive Home

 

Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Tahiti

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

  • Jan. 26–Feb. 5, 2021
(10 days)
Starting price: $6,995
Deposit per person: $800
Asia & the Pacific
Gohagan & Co.
Type: Cruise, Ocean Cruise, Shared Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.