The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Tahiti and French Polynesia Under Sail

Feb. 13 – Feb. 23, 2018


From dreamy white-sand beaches fringed by sweet-scented vanilla groves and gently swaying palms, to velvety emerald mountains towering over translucent lagoons that dazzle in every hue of electric blue.

Join us for a uniquely designed nine-night program in the tropical paradise of French Polynesia’s Society Islands. Sail for seven nights aboard the Five-Star M.S.Y. Wind Spirit, a small sailing ship carrying only 148 guests and rated the #1 Tahiti cruise by Condé Nast Traveler. Tour the idyllic island landscapes of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Visit a vanilla plantation and black pearl farm on Taha’a. Explore early Polynesian culture on Raiatea and Huahine. Join a marine biologist for dolphin-watching. Specially arranged lectures and discussions encompass the islands’ history and cultural heritage. This exceptional itinerary also includes two nights in the Five-Star Le Méridien Tahiti in enchanting Papeete. Post-Program Option in a deluxe seaside resort on Bora Bora is offered.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Included Air round trip Los Angeles/Papeete, Tahiti
  • Day room accommodations in Intercontinental Resort Tahiti on Day 10
  • Uniquely designed nine-night land/cruise featuring Tahiti and the natural beauty of the spectacular Society Islands—a South Pacific paradise
  • Small sailing ship—only 148 guests
  • Five-Star accommodations aboard the M.S.Y. Wind Star
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Onboard lecturer to provide educational discussions about Polynesian history, nature and culture
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise
  • All meals on board—breakfast, lunch and dinner—served open-seating style, allowing you to choose the venue, time and with whom you wish to dine
  • Complimentary kayaking in the pristine waters and lagoons surrounding the Society Islands
  • Complimentary fresh fruit and flowers in your Stateroom
  • Two nights in the Five-StarInternational Resort Tahiti, Papeete
  • Visit six of the gorgeous Society Islands
  • A specially arranged excursion included on each island, with experienced local guides
  • Extraordinary visibility and color during optional snorkeling or scuba diving in turquoise lagoons
  • Great value for a Five-Star South Pacific cruise program
  • Transfers and luggage handling is included abroad for participants who have booked their air tickets through Gohagan & Company on the program travel dates
  • Dolphin-watching expedition off the coast of Moorea accompanied by a marine biologist
  • Cultural tour of Raiatea, a cradle of early Polynesian culture and a favorite destination of Captain Cook
  • Visit to a vanilla plantation and black pearl farm on Taha’a
  • Traditional Polynesian barbecue lunch on the private motu at Taha’a
  • Island tour on idyllic Bora Bora by “Le Truck,” the local open-air transport
  • Excursion on Huahine, with a focus on the cultural treasures of the ancient Polynesians
  • Tour of Moorea, the tropical paradise that inspired James Michener’s Bali Hai, featuring magnificent Belvedere Point
  • Gratuities to shipboard personnel and to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers
  • Complimentary bottled water in your Suite or Stateroom aboard ship and on excursions
  • Hospitality desk aboard ship and in the hotel
  • The services of experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program
  • A program of optional shore excursions is available at an additional cost

Dates Feb. 13 – Feb. 23, 2018

Cost $6,795* (From price. Airfare is included from Los Angeles. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Land and Cruise

Region Pacific Ocean

Activity level



Contact Addie Natalie
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3




Depart the U.S. and arrive in lively, cosmopolitan Pape’ete. This breathtaking capital of French Polynesia and the gateway to the treasures of the South Pacific has extended a hospitable welcome to visitors since its founding as a missionary settlement in 1824. Located on a natural harbor cooled by trade winds, Pape’ete enjoys one of the finest natural settings in the South Pacific, set against a backdrop of verdant, forest-clad peaks. Its tropical ambiance is complemented by the charm and diversity of its inhabitants, a vibrant blend of native Tahitian, French and Chinese.

Upon arrival, check into the ideally located, Five-Star InterContinental Resort Tahiti. Wednesday afternoon, travel along Tahiti’s west coast, and tour the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands to view significant archaeological finds and learn more about the island’s geology, flora, fauna, culture and customs. Walk through the sacred Arahurahu Marae, Polynesia’s only fully restored marae (temple). Visit the beautifully landscaped Spring Garden of Vaipahi, a haven of tranquility, waterfalls and walking paths and home to 75 different species of plants, including precious mape (chestnut), pine woods and tropical flowers.

In the evening, enjoy the Welcome Reception in the hotel. (1B,1R)

Enjoy time at leisure before embarking the Wind Spirit. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board this evening. (B,R,D)

The heart-shaped island of Mo’orea is the remnant of a long-extinct volcano. Once a sanctuary for vanquished warriors from Tahiti, it was visited by Captain Cook in 1777 and by the American novelist Herman Melville in 1842. It also inspired James A. Michener to write his unforgettable Tales from the South Pacific. A scenic drive to Belvedere Point reveals an unforgettable panoramic view of the island’s lushly forested volcanic peaks, including impressive Mount Rotui, and the crystalline waters of Cook and Opunohu Bays. Visit the Agricultural School for a sampling of fresh fruit and local jams.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. (B,L,D)

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In the pre-colonial era, Ra’iatea served as the political and spiritual center of the Society Islands and was beloved by Captain Cook, who called here on each of his three voyages of discovery. It was the hub for the colonization of Hawaii, the Marquesas and New Zealand, and according to local legend, it was the birthplace of Oro, the god of war and fertility. On a panoramic tour, visit Marae Taputapuatea, a temple constructed of coral and black volcanic rock and one of the best‑preserved marae complexes in Polynesia. Aboard a motorized va’a (outrigger canoe), cruise along Ra’iatea’s tranquil Fa’aroa River, the only navigable river in Polynesia, as it threads its way through a world of wild hibiscus, bamboo and Tahitian chestnut trees.

Your afternoon is at leisure. (B,L,D)

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Taha’a is dominated by the profile of Mount Ohiri, named for Hiro, the Polynesian god of sailors and thieves. Today, two exotic enterprises provide the islanders’ livelihoods—the harvesting of the world’s most flavorful vanilla beans and the farming of lustrous black pearls. Gain a deeper understanding of the Polynesian people and their traditional agriculture when you tour the lush grounds of a vanilla plantation and visit a farm that meticulously cultivates the region’s distinctive black pearl oysters.

Enjoy a traditional Polynesian feast on a private motu (islet), where you can swim, snorkel or kayak. (B,L,D)

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Bora Bora, the proverbial vision of a South Seas paradise, was described as “the most beautiful island in the world” by James Michener. On a panoramic tour, view its distinctive black basalt peak cloaked in a lush tropical forest and silhouetted against turquoise lagoon waters. Alongside glittering Fa’anui Bay, see the ceremonial site of the Fare Opu marae adorned with carved petroglyphs of turtles— a sacred creature in ancient Polynesia—and bunkers constructed by American soldiers during World War II.

Bora Bora was settled by adventurous Polynesian mariners in the 10th century, and since then, the islanders have preserved the ways of their forebears and still wear the traditional colorfully hand-dyed pareo (sarong). In Bora Bora’s forested interior, villagers cultivate breadfruit, coconuts and taro; preserve the ancient ruins of stone marae; and respect the legacy of ancestral Polynesian deities. Learn about the art of dyeing the traditional Polynesian pareo and taste some of the island’s abundant cultivated fruits.

From a lookout point, admire spectacular views of Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora’s highest peak, then enjoy time at leisure to explore the island. (B,L,D)

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Set across an azure lagoon to the south of Taha’a, idyllic Huahine is distinguished by soaring peaks, lush rain forests, dazzling white beaches and ancient shrines. This untouched paradise is actually two islands—Huahine-Nui (big) and Huahine-Iti (small)—separated by a deep blue bay and ringed by a coral atoll. Stroll through the picturesque port of Fare, nestled between the sea and a woodland of towering mape trees draped with sweet-scented vanilla vines. Visit the nearby settlement of Maeva, the ancient religious center of Huahine-Nui, and see 10 marae, built in the 16th century of locally quarried stone and dedicated to the Polynesian deities Tane and Oro.

Your afternoon is at leisure. (B,L,D)

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Impressive temples evoke Mo’orea’s Polynesian heritage while European churches underscore its role as the center for 19th-century missionary activity in the Society Islands. Contemporary islanders continue the ways of their forefathers, farming pineapples and papayas and crafting fine works of art from seashells and indigenous wood.

On board the ship, enjoy an enriching lecture by naturalist Frank Murphy of the Richard B. Gump Research Station. Afterward, visit the Atitia Outreach Center at Gump Station to learn more about the unique ecosystem of French Polynesia. Enjoy a demonstration of traditional weaving and tapa (barkcloth) making.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board. (B,L,R,D)

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Disembark the ship and explore the east coast of Tahiti. Visit the former home of American author James Norman Hall, best known for co-authoring Mutiny on the Bounty. Admire the island of Tahiti’s only lighthouse at Point Venus, named for the observatory Captain Cook established here in 1769. Day-room accommodations have been reserved in the InterContinental Resort Tahiti.

This evening, transfer to the airport to continue on to the Bora Bora Post‑Program Option or board your flight home. (B)

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*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.


Contact Addie Natalie at Ohio State Alumni Tours
Phone: (614) 292-2372 or (800) 852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3

Space is limited. Book your tour now!

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