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"Do not miss" scenic cruising locations--French Polynesia?

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While initially this may seem like a silly question, as I understand all of French Polynesia is "scenic" are there any places that I should make sure to be on deck/balcony because they are particularly scenic? I am a photograher and I really want to make sure I come home with a lot of wonderful photos to decorate my home. When we went to Alaska, this kind of information was really useful (i.e. be out on deck 2 hours before our Glacier Bay "arrival" as there are often whales--and there were!). So are there any "sail into/sail out of" that are really spectacular? Any place to be sure to see a sunset? Anyplace dolphins often hang out? We will be sailing Tahiti-Huahine-Ranigiroa-Raiatea- (maybe Fakarava)-Bora Bora-Moorea-Tahiti in January (so no whales). Thanks for any advice you could offer.

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The sail into Raiatea is AMAZING!!!. You do these huge 'S' bend turns around the shallow coral reefs between soaring mountains. We went past a pod of dolphins on the way in. Unfortunately I was on the top deck and didn't have my extra large zoom on. By the time I got it on, we had past them.

 

It takes about an hour to navigate your way into the dock so make sure you get up early and take advantage of the beautiful scenery :)

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You are over planning. You go to French Polynesia to relax

 

LoL...That's what all of the planning is for;)...While there is absolutely something to be said for allowing time to have spontaneity and flexibility with one's desired itinerary. Who wants to spend too much of their actual vacation time figuring out what to do in each port of call?

 

I for one personally couldn't have been more pleased to have done all of the research ahead of time -- As my wife and I's trip to FP went as smooth and was as relaxing as I could have ever had expectations for.

 

Also for certain people...Some of the excitement that may accompany a vacation is the preparation and anticipation of it -- Especially if it may only be a once in a lifetime location.

 

As for honestly answering the OP...

 

Yes. It is a silly question. Most all of the departure/arrival locales will provide for some stunning scenery opportunities.

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Bora Bora views are my all time favorite for photo ops. Moorea is the second. ;)

 

That would be my choice as well.

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One of our best sunrises was Rangiroa. We were on a small boat at the time...will have to hunt it up! Rangiroa also has the pass- the one that you go through on the ship. When the current is strong and the waves good, you can often see dolphins playing in the waves.

If you have some sort of waterproof camera or housing...underwater pics are a definite must! One of the islands, cannot remember which one( our last cruise in Tahiti was 10 years ago!) has sharks that you can see while snorkeling. Jeff Farschman's Amazing Voyages blog has a few entries for French Polynesia...he takes great pics. If you hunt back through his last few round the world cruises you might find some ideas!

kristy

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Since this thread kind of morphed into a picture thread...I'll go ahead and add a few:

 

Arriving at Huahine in the morning may provide for a tranquil setting:

IMG_2280.jpg

IMG_2281.jpg

IMG_2284.jpg

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One reason I have been looking at the Pacific Island board again is that we are going to Fiji and Tonga in a month or so. We are also looking at one of the 11 day Paul Gauguin itineraries for next year! So I just went to Mr Farschman's blog and found his last Tahiti posts with some great underwater posts!

http://amazingvoyages.blogspot.com/2011/01/undersea-world-of-bora-bora.html

 

He was using an Olympus point and shoot of some sort that is waterproof.

kristy

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One reason I have been looking at the Pacific Island board again is that we are going to Fiji and Tonga in a month or so. We are also looking at one of the 11 day Paul Gauguin itineraries for next year! So I just went to Mr Farschman's blog and found his last Tahiti posts with some great underwater posts!

http://amazingvoyages.blogspot.com/2011/01/undersea-world-of-bora-bora.html

 

He was using an Olympus point and shoot of some sort that is waterproof.

kristy

 

 

those are simply fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

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thank you everyone for your comments and sharing your photos! that was exactly what I wanted.

And yes, I know I am overplanning but with 500+ days to go, what else to I have to do?? :D It's not that I would set an alarm or anything but if I happen to be up, and I know that there is a particularly scenic area, I can make sure to be in a good spot.

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If you want some great scenery - go on Patrick's excursion in Bora Bora - land and water tour - with lunch on a motu - it is so spectacular on his private island looking back at Bora Bora - as well if you go on a wave runner tour in Bora Bora you can get some great photos - it doesn't matter which side of the ship you are on - but being on a balcony is very cool as the channel openings into the lagoons of each island are very narrow -

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With the time difference I found myself waking up very early each morning - way before anyone else - and so you may find yourself in the same boat. :cool: As I didn't want to wake my husband, I took a walk each morning up on deck and got to see some wonderful sunrises. At a few ports the guest lecturer was on the upper deck at the front of the ship sharing historical information. I found the information he shared a great addition to the natural beauty.

 

Overall I would have to say we were amazed with each sail-away. Here are some of our favorites:

 

Rangiroa - there were dolphins in the pass as we sailed away (the tour we took stopped in the pass on our return and dolphins were jumping on both sides of our boat which was very exciting).

 

Bora Bora - the beauty of the water with the backdrop of the mountain was absolutely gorgeous.

 

Moorea - we thought these were the most stunning mountain views of our cruise.

 

We watched sail-away from our aft balcony and so while there could have been better places on the ship for photos, we thoroughly enjoyed the views from the back of the ship.

 

Have a great vacation.

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This is my favorite part of sailing into Rangiroa through the narrow channel.

2424466070046132864S500x500Q85.jpg

 

 

I'm with Toto on this one .... it is just gorgeous, and one of my favorite scenes!!!

 

IF your Captain happens to choose to do a sailby of the coral "up-island", Makatea, shortly after you depart Rangiroa, have your camera ready. It's so cool because it is one of a few worldwide, and one of the largest. Our Captain did on a cruise 3 years ago.

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JMHO but we can all sleep late on sea days! We would never miss sailing into any of the Hawaiian or South Pacific ports! Set an alarm if you need to!

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2424466070046132864S500x500Q85.jpg

 

 

 

I'm with Toto on this one .... it is just gorgeous, and one of my favorite scenes!!!

 

I just love that shot also. I didn't even realize how the sun was shinning on the water until I downloaded the pictures later on. Ahhhhhhh the memories of that beautiful morning. :)

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Looks like lots of sharks in the water witht he rays. No concern? What about the sea snakes I've been reading about. Can someone please enlighten me. I like to snorkel but have not had such large encounters.:o

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Plenty of photo opportunities in French Polynesia

 

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Barry

Edited by bazzaw

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What about the sea snakes I've been reading about. Can someone please enlighten me. I like to snorkel but have not had such large encounters.:o

 

I'd be interested to know about that too. :o

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Didn't see any sea snakes in Tahiti Nui, Moorea or Bora Bora. Did see one on the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia - and there are HEAPS on Amadee Island in Noumea.

 

Barry

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