You will have the day to explore the island that was once the cultural, religious, royal, and political heart of Polynesia, as well as the site of Tahiti's most significant archaeological sites. Ancient Polynesians built stone maraes, or temples, in many sizes here. The maraes provided a physical space for the spirit of the gods to occupy during ritual ceremonies, as did the carved wooden tikis for which the region is famous. Be sure to visit Taputapuatea, a national monument and the most important marae in the Society Islands. We will bid adieu to Raiatea just before dinner and set sail with the compass set for Motu Mahana.
*2014 sailings stop in Huahine on Day 2.
Covered in an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons and palm-fringed beaches – Moorea's awesome beauty is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples – said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia. An overnight here affords us two full days on Bora Bora's gorgeous sister island.