The First-Timer’s Guide to Tahiti Vacations

French Polynesia is heaven everywhere you look. A Tahiti cruise is the best way to experience longstanding cultural traditions and take in the amazing scenery: thatched-roof bungalows over blue lagoons to white-sand islets scattered across the ocean, ringed by coral reefs.

Tahiti vacations take a lot of planning, whether visiting by land or cruise. Make the most of your cruise to Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands with our helpful guide.

Getting Oriented in French Polynesia

Tahiti is one of many islands in French Polynesia, a territory of France that encompasses 118 islands and atolls in the South Pacific. They are categorized in five groups: the Marquesas, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Society Islands, Austral Islands and Gambier Islands.

Most first-timers to Tahiti explore the best-known Society Islands: Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Our cruise itineraries include these romantic isles along with more remote ports. Go ashore to serene Raiatea, the most sacred island and homeland of the ancient Polynesians. It is the only place where Tiare Apetahi, a rare white flower grows. Another stop on our cruises is Fakarava, Tuamotu, an atoll and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with seashell-pink beaches and world-renowned snorkeling.

What Languages are Spoken in French Polynesia

French and Tahitian are the official languages of the islands. English is spoken at hotels, restaurants and other high-tourist areas. Learning a few phrases in the official languages is encouraged as it will help you connect to the wonderful people who call the islands home.

Best Time to Visit Tahiti and Bora Bora

French Polynesia gets amazing weather all year—some islands enjoy a whopping 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Breezy trade winds and mild temps make Tahiti and French Polynesia an idyllic vacation destination. It can rain every day but rarely rains non-stop for days at a time.

Rainy, Dry and Shoulder Season

The rainy season in the South Pacific is from December to March. It is the best time to cruise Tahiti and Bora Bora if you want a good deal and to avoid thick crowds of sightseers. But it is the worst time for weather, as there’s an increased risk of rainy days.

The best time, weather wise is May to October, which is dry season. It is almost always clear skies and gentle breezes. The downside to the best weather is that the crowds thicken, and the prices rise. July and August are the most popular months to visit Tahiti and Bora Bora.

In April and November, the months between wet and dry season, the weather is drier, but there are still showers. Prices are lower, and it is not as crowded. Tahiti vacations during the shoulder season are the best.

What to Wear in Tahiti

Pack the proper attire to feel cool and comfortable on your Tahiti vacation. The islands are casual and laid-back. For women, cotton sarongs (called pareo), sundresses, shorts and sandals are the daily wear. Men don linen shorts and short-sleeved shirts. Aim for resort-casual, even in fine dining restaurants. Save the cocktail and formal wear for ship Gala Nights.

The tropical sun in Tahiti and Bora Bora is fierce. Wear sunscreen daily and slather it on periodically, even when there are clouds. Pack a wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses.

You’ll live in your swimwear in Tahiti, so bring more than one suit and coverups. Spray on bug repellent, especially when hiking to waterfalls.

We can’t wait to show you Tahiti.