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Setting sail from Papeete
If you are in search of paradise, don't expect it to be easy to get there! It's a long old haul to get to Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. And once you are there, Papeete itself is by no means the most magical spot - you need to venture forth to see the other islands, and luxuriate in the turquoise lagoons, white sand beaches fringed with palm trees, rugged mountain peaks and coral reefs. Expensive and remote, these islands have maintained their uncommercial magic, with excellent hotels and a warm Polynesian welcome everywhere you go.
Don’t bother with local currency – all the local shops and markets will take US dollars. And take aqua shoes, impossible to walk in the sea otherwise.
French Polynesia: Huahine
Huahine is perhaps the most beautiful of the Society Islands, and one of the least developed too. The laid back ambience means it’s impossible not to relax here, whether you’re on one of the gorgeous beaches or taking a stroll around the friendly village of Fare.
French Polynesia: Rurutu
French Polynesia: Rapa
French Polynesia: Raivavae
Raivavae is one of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia’s southernmost island group. Surrounded by a dreamy lagoon scattered with sandy islets known as ‘motu’, this little piece of paradise is one of the most beautiful spots in the South Pacific, and is also home to numerous seabirds.
French Polynesia: Bora Bora
Bora Bora is the very definition of idyllic, a diminutive Polynesian island dominated by rainforest-clad volcanic peaks, overlooking an electric blue lagoon ringed by coral reefs. The beaches and over-water bungalows are particularly popular with honeymooners, and the clear waters of the lagoon are perfect for snorkelling.
French Polynesia: Mo'orea
Mo’orea is one of the real highlights of the South Pacific, a picture perfect landscape of jagged green mountains and dazzling cobalt bays. The warm waters of the lagoon are perfect for a host of watersports, while the lush island interior can be easily explored by scooter or bicycle.
Arriving in Papeete
The island of Raiatea – extraordinary scenery, like being in Jurassic Park.
Your home from home
The new expedition ships from Hapag-Lloyd, Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration & Hanseatic Spirit, represent the perfect marriage of experience and innovation in adventure cruising.
What we love
The perfect combination of technical expertise and thoughtful design makes these ships stand out as very special additions to the expedition fleet. We are particularly excited that Hanseatic Inspiration will be a totally bilingual ship, showing Hapag-Lloyd's commitment to the English-speaking markets.
230 Guests (199 for Antarctic cruises)
Luxury expedition means a fresh and airy décor, great food, service and facilities, alongside technical expertise and 30 years of experience in operating the very best expedition cruises.
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in French Polynesia
For the ultimate eco-hotel experience, go for the Brando! Eye wateringly expensive, but a bit special.
Explore the islands
If you are visiting Bora Bora tour the island by open bus - Le Truck.