Wed, Nov 1: Depart on flights to Papeete, Tahiti. Arrive in the evening on the same day and overnight at a hotel.
Thu, Nov 2: Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia. After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Wind Spirit. Embark in the early evening. Legendary seductress of sailors and capital of French Polynesia, Tahiti is the sparkling jewel that lured many sailors who longed to stay in this tropical paradise. And while the city of Papeete is no longer the primitive village it once was, it retains its own set of charms, such as the views! From the harbor feast your eyes on Moorea, in the running for most beautiful island in the world. Don’t forget to return to the harbor for a view even more awesome at sunset. The downtown market, Le Marché, is the best place to purchase your hand-dyed pareaus (sarongs). And when your stomach starts to growl from looking at fresh island produce, head to the waterfront and Vai’ete Square to dine with the locals from food trucks known as “Les Roulottes.” (Meals: breakfast,Dinner)
Fri, Nov 3: Moorea. If you have watched the musical South Pacific, then the easiest way to describe Moorea is to tell you that it was probably the inspiration for James Michener’s Bali Hai in his book Tales of the South Pacific, the source of the musical’s story. It’s what most people dream of when they picture a gorgeous South Seas island — jagged green volcanic peaks, a shallow blue lagoon bedded by white sands, tiny motus (islets) offshore. The island’s 12,000 residents are keenly aware they have an image to uphold, so they buried all the unsightly power cables to give you seamless views of paradise. Miles of coconut-colored beaches and that postcard-perfect lagoon make this the place for watersports of all kinds. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, climb to the top of Magic Mountain or Belvedere Lookout for insanely gorgeous views. (B,L,D)
Sat, Nov 4: Taha’a & Raiatea. Flower-shaped Taha’a is ringed by almost 60 motus and a magnificent coral reef that invites discovery. Located just across the lagoon from Raiatea, this is one of the most traditional islands. Its few thousand residents live a tranquil life fishing, raising livestock and growing crops from the sought-after vanilla bean to watermelon and copra (dried coconut kernels from which coconut oil is extracted). You may be lucky enough to see the villagers stone fishing just like their ancestors once did. They wade into the lagoon slapping the water with stones tied to ropes, which drives the fish ashore. The island also produces some of the finest black pearls in the Pacific — a testament to the purity of the water. (B,L,D)
Sun, Nov 5: Raiatea. Raiatea, “The Sacred Island,” is located just across the lagoon from Taha’a and shares the same barrier reef. (Legend claims the two were a single island until a conger eel possessed by the spirit of a princess separated them.) It used to be the center of religion and culture in the Society Islands. Taputapuatea, on the southeast coast, was once the most important marae around, the place where kings from the neighboring islands would gather for important ceremonies. Uturoa, the main town, reminds some people of Papeete in its younger days with its quaint, low-rise buildings. Raiatea is also home to the only navigable river in the islands, the Fa’aroa. Explore Polynesian history or climb Mount Temehani in search of the rare tiare apetahi flower, which grows only here. (B,L,D)
Mon, Nov 6: Bora Bora. Half island, half atoll, Bora Bora has one of the most extraordinary lagoons in the world. The varying depths paint the water every shade of sapphire, topaz, and aquamarine, while the volcanic mass of Mount Otemanu stands guard in a uniform of jade and malachite. Add to this tropical fish whose names begin with clown, parrot, butterfly and peacock, it’s not surprising that the lagoon is famous for its snorkeling, or that artists break their brushes in frustration trying to capture it all. Bora Bora is surrounded by a number of tiny islets called motu – small, pristine, secluded paradises that offer privacy, beauty and relaxing ambiance. Spend the evening on one of these perfect Polynesian oases accompanied only by other Windstar guests. As has long been the tradition in Tahiti, you will be welcomed to the motu with a fragrant flower lei. Delight in a private Celebration Feast on the beach that promises to be extraordinary. The menu has been carefully selected by Windstar’s executive chef and is sure to please and tantalize your palate. When your meal is complete and the stars begin to shine, the highlight of this enchanted evening will begin. Fire dancing has long been deeply embedded in the Polynesian culture as a way to send messages to the gods. Fire dancing experts will be wearing traditional loincloths and will dazzle you with high-speed acrobatic moves, throwing flames so hot you’ll feel the warmth 10 feet away. (B,L,D)
Tue, Nov 7: Bora Bora. Enjoy another day in Bora Bora. (B,L,D)
Wed, Nov 8: Huahine. Agriculture, not tourism, is the focus on this friendly island where the name of one of the main towns, Maeva, means “welcome” in Tahitian. Huahine is actually two islands separated by sparkling Maroe Bay and joined by a bridge. Islanders on “The Garden Island” grow a cornucopia of tropical produce: cantaloupe, vanilla, banana, breadfruit, taro, papaya, watermelon, taro, coffee and coconut. There’s also wildly picturesque scenery and a pleasantly laid-back atmosphere that makes snorkeling and a picnic on the beach feel ambitious. Stop by the Maeva archaeological site and wander around the 150-odd marae (temple sites) and 400-year-old stone fish traps that are still in use. At Avamoa Pass, look for international surfing champs catching world-class waves. (B,L,D)
Thu, Nov 9: Papeete, Tahiti. Disembark in Papeete for one last day to create memories in paradise. You’ll have access to a hotel room for the day until your late night flight departure. (B)
Fri, Nov 10: Arrive home.
The Wind Spiritis a sleek, four-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks and a gross tonnage of 5,350, the Wind Spirit feels like your own private yacht. Wind Spirit features wide open, teak decks — quite unusual for small ships. With over 10,000 square feet of open deck space, guests will find hidden nooks for private moments giving them a feeling of being on their own private verandah. Highlights: staterooms with ocean views, queen beds, flat-screen TVs and Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods • two restaurants (both with open seating) • on-deck dining • in-stateroom dining • pool bar • fitness center • water-sports platform • spa • casino • entertainment lounge • library • pool and hot tub.