Welcome to the first in a series of articles featuring exotic or off the beaten path private yacht charter destinations. These articles will all feature one of the yachts cruising in the area along with suggeted itineraries and photos from the captain of the featured yacht.
Today we are heading to the Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean and the featured yacht is the Sailing Yacht Matelot with Captain Angus Fuller at the helm. The S/Y Matelot is a 2005 model 80′ Sailing Yacht with three guest cabins accommodating up to 6 guests and a crew of 4 to pamper you and show you the islands. Her rate* for six guests ranges from 29,500 Euros per week to 32,500 Euros per week – plus expenses and 12% Polynesian Tax.
According to Captain Fuller, the best months for cruising this area are May through September. May, June and July are less busy with lighter winds, and August and September enjoy the stongest trade winds enabling the yacht to reach cruising speeds of 20 – 25 knots. Regardless of the month you choose, one the great things about this area is that all the anchorages are inside lagoons so no rolly nights!
Check out the itinerary below and enjoy the beautiful photos in our slideshow.
10 Day Itinerary Society Islands
by Captain Angus Fuller aboard S/Y MATELOT
Join Matelot stern to in Marina Taina at the foot of Tahiti’s mountains, just 5mins from Tahiti International Airport. Depart for Moorea via the southern passage through the reef – Passe de Taapuna – sailing through this passage lets you know that you’ve truly arrived in the Pacific! Sail to Opunohu Bay (15nm). Night at anchor.
Spend the day at anchor in Opunohu Bay. Apart from relaxing onboard the yacht and using the water toys, the options of activities to do off the yacht are almost limitless – diving, feeding sting rays by hand, picnic lunch on a Motu, shopping for pearls in the local village, horse riding and land tours. There are also two excellent, but very different restaurants (Matiehani and La Villa des Sens) to enjoy dinner at. Finally there is an eco outdoor spa for those who are looking for further relaxation!
Enjoy an all day sail downwind to Huahine of 90nm. Enter the reef passage and anchor in Bai Haavia. It’s not unusual to have surfers on either side of the yacht as we go through the pass!
A day at anchor off Baia D’Avea in Huahine Iti. This island has probably the best beaches and prettiest lagoons in the Society Islands and is a wonderful, quiet location in which to relax (it would be possible to spend many days here). Go horse riding along the beach and even take the horses swimming! Have dinner in Restaurant Mauarii – a lovely setting on the beach.
Spend the morning at anchor or move north to visit the town of Fare. After lunch sail the 25nm to Tahaa. Have a refreshing swim on arrival, anchor in Baies Haamene or Faahe for the night.
Day at Tahaa. After breakfast, have a private tour of the Vanilla plantations. In the afternoon visit a pearl farm and snorkel on the pearls. Here there is also the opportunity to visit Le Taha’a Private Island and Spa – a Relais and Chateau hotel. In the evening enjoy a local Polynesia Dance Troupe ashore.
Sail the short distance inside the reef to Raitaa. There is the option of taking a hike inland to a waterfall or go on an island tour here and visit the Marea at Taputapuatea. This Marea is referred to as the “father” of all the sacred sights in French Polynesia, so for those who have an interest in history or archeology it would be well worth a visit.
After breakfast, sail the 26nm to Bora Bora. Enter the lagoon and continue to the southern end and anchor off the renowned Bloody Mary’s restaurant and bar. Have lunch ashore here. In the afternoon go snorkeling off the motus and reefs or take the tender on an exploration along the south side of the lagoon and reef. Night at anchor.
The activities available in Bora Bora are endless, but the following provides a taster of what can be done: Renting a private motu/ beach for the day, Diving, Hiking through the mountains and gardens, 4 x 4 excursions, Jet Ski tours of the island, Parasailing, enjoy the spa at the newly refurbished Pearl Beach Spa, visit the Pearl Market to purchase any pearls you missed earlier in the holiday!
After a morning onboard, sail to the northern end of the lagoon and depart via tender which will take you to the dock at the airport. Alternatively, if moving to a hotel for a few nights we can anchor the yacht off the hotel and take the guests in by tender (depths and weather permitting).
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* Rates, availability and location subject to change without notice.