Tahiti is many things and a standard island escape is not one of them. With bustling marine life, impressive volcanic peaks and those Instagram-worthy lagoons that put Tahiti on the map, there’s plenty to see during your time in port here.
Best Tahiti cruises
Make the best of your holiday with our top picks for Tahiti cruise lines, from white-gloved luxury to bang-for-your-buck value options.
Best for a breezy budget getaway: Norwegian
Norwegian makes a traditionally luxurious destination affordable for the rest of us. Score a great sale and you could pay as low as $550 per person. Couple that with all the bells and whistles that usually come with a mega-resort at sea and we think you’re in for a great value cruise. You’ll have your accommodation, dining, onboard daily activities, nightly entertainment and kids club all included in your fare.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Best for an overnight stay in Tahiti: Holland America
Not only can you find a round-trip journey from San Diego but you’ll also get the opportunity to spend two full days in Tahiti. Your time onboard will be filled with fun activities including game shows, digital workshops, cooking demonstrations, youth programming and a large variety of live music and performances in the theatre. Take some time to relax with mindful meditation, wellness lectures, poolside lounging or a massage in the spa.
If you expect nothing but the best, then look no further than Regent. Crowned Best All-Inclusive Luxury Cruise Line by TravelAge and Best Luxury Cabins by Cruise Critic along with a whole stack of big awards, your holiday is guaranteed to be a step above the other lines. Even better, you can expect every luxury to be included from the spacious suites to unlimited shore excursions and the premium wines and spirits to the specialty restaurants.
Offering multiple departures from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu, including a round-trip itinerary from Los Angeles, Princess makes it easy to explore Tahiti and French Polynesia. Expect a casual yet refined experience with engaging entertainment options including live music and dancing, theatrical productions, movies under the stars, deck parties plus a Discovery at Sea program for families.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Best for seniors: Celebrity
While cruising with Celebrity is fun for any age, senior cruisers will appreciate a fleet of ships that are accessible for travelers with limited mobility and those using a wheelchair. Whether you’re up for some cultural immersion, an active adventure or a foodie getaway, you’ll find it all onboard. The best part is you can expect modern luxury, varied dining options, elegantly designed public spaces and enriching activities with each sailing.
Get some alone time with your special someone on Paul Gauguin’s intimate small-ship. Most things are included in your cruise fare so you can sip cocktails in the piano bar, have dinner for two at the L'Etoile, the French restaurant with Polynesian touches, relax during a spa treatment and even indulge in a lazy breakfast in bed.
You’ll feel like a VIP with your own private yacht on Windstar’s suite of small-ships. The Wind Spirit, in particular, has space for just 148 passengers but is still roomy enough so you won’t ever feel too crowded. You’ll also be surprised by how much is packed into a ship of this size including a pool, large sun deck, spa, lounge, gym, library, two dining venues and a water sports platform.
Take a bite out of the best of South Pacific cuisine with a French flair. Ponant’s commitment to the French way of life translates to high-end dining made with fresh local produce. From fresh-baked bread to delectable desserts and fine cheeses to vintage wines, you’ll be spoilt for choice on board. Even better, a large selection of champagne, wine, beer and spirits are all included with your fare.
When choosing cruises for this list, we look at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around Tahiti.
We also consider onboard dining options, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weigh cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.
We also seek out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.
When is the best time to cruise to Tahiti?
Tahiti is a year-round destination but we recommend the months between June and September as the best time to visit. You’ll find the lowest chance of rain and days that are slightly cooler than average. This does fall during the high season, though, so here are some other factors to help with your planning.
Best weather. May to October is the dry season and the best time to visit to avoid rain and high humidity.
Rainy season. November to April has a greater frequency of tropical showers than the rest of the year and it is also the most humid period. To make sure your well-laid plans are not ruined by stormy weather, consider cruise travel insurance for your next trip.
Key festivals and events. The Ori Tahiti Festival, Heiva i Tahiti and Chinese New Year are all big events to look out for.
Looking to save some money? Aim for the shoulder months of May into June, and September into October when you can expect good weather without the crowds of peak season.
What are the must-do cruise excursions in Tahiti?
Get out on the water. Whether you’re up for some power via a jet ski tour, a dive into the local marine life with a snorkeling trip or prefer to stay dry while you peek at the underwater treasures with a glass-bottom boat tour, there’s an option for you.
Island tour. Combine your time on the island with a tour to learn about Tahiti’s unique history, visit some outlying sights and maybe a waterfall or two.
Visit a pearl farm. One of Tahiti’s most abundant saltwater offerings is its precious black pearl. See how they’re farmed and maybe pick up a souvenir or two in the form of lush jewelry.
Explore on your own. Rent an electric scooter, 4X4 truck or ATV and choose your own adventure as you explore the island.
Food tour. Step into the flip flops of a local and snack your way through the different cultures of Tahiti. Make sure you get a bite of some fresh seafood, juicy pineapples and poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish.
You won’t get much more remote than a trip to Tahiti where you can live out all your island fantasies before heading back to the modern conveniences of your ship. Get the best of both worlds with these top cruise deals.
Frequently asked questions
Sunscreen, bug spray and a swimsuit are all worthy additions to the suitcase. You’ll be cruising through some very remote destinations so pack anything you couldn’t live without including specific brands of toiletries or medication.
If you’re heading away from shore for more cultural-style activities, keep in mind that in remote villages, respect is shown by covering shoulders and knees. A sarong or scarf are good options in a pinch.
Los Angeles, San Diego and Honolulu are the most common ports in the US with a handful of cruises leaving from San Francisco. Longer itineraries of 30+ days also depart from New York and Miami. Within the South Pacific, departures are common from Noumea, New Caledonia and Lautoka, Fiji. You can consider combining your cruise with a trip to New Zealand or Australia with many departures also available from Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane.
Cruises with the likes of Norwegian and Princess can get as low as $45 per person per night. These lines usually charge extra for shore excursions, gratuities and alcoholic beverages so you’ll need to take these into account if you’re planning to go above the basic inclusions. If a luxury voyage is calling your name, sailing with a company like Regent is upwards of $550 per night.
Cristal Dyer is a travel writer at Finder. She has been writing about travel for over five years and has visited over 40 countries around the world. Cristal currently travels full-time, writing about her favourite cities and food finds, and she is always on the lookout for amazing flight deals to share.
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