This year, why not make up for lost holidays in 2020 by indulging in a truly unique experience: a South Pacific yacht charter.
What makes a South Pacific yacht charter so special?
Imagine exceptional snorkelling and diving in pristine waters teeming with tropical fish, and hikes through lush rainforests in some of the world’s most exotic and remote islands. Fiji, Tahiti, Bora Bora – these names alone are enough to conjure up exotic images of palm-fringed, powder-soft beaches, verdant tropical scenery and volcanic backdrops. The South Pacific is this and so much more, with islands chains that will surprise and delight every step of the way.
The Polynesian island chains
Samoa: Unassuming yet spectacular
This unassuming group of islands boasts spectacular waterfalls and gorges, abundant green rainforests, volcanic caves, amazing wildlife sanctuaries and exquisite reefs. Head to the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve on Savai’i island to admire the extraordinary views from its 40m high treetop canopy walk.
In the capital, Apia, visit the colourful food market Maketi Fou and look out for locally-made jewellery and baskets. This is also where you’ll find the impressive Robert Louis Stevenson Museum: one of Samoa’s most popular tourist attractions, where the famous Scottish author spent the last five years of his life.
French Polynesia: A taste of tropical France
Spread over six archipelagos, the 118 islands of French Polynesia make for idyllic South Pacific yacht charter island-hopping, set in turquoise waters rich in marine life and corals. On land expect dramatic volcanic slopes, lush rainforests and landscapes dotted with vanilla plantations, frangipani and coconut trees.
Tahiti, the largest and best-known of the islands, famously inspired French artist Paul Gauguin, who lived there for several years. In the capital Pape’ete, visit the Black Pearl Museum and enjoy a taste of authentic Polynesian life at the vibrant main market. With its irresistible French influence, the city offers sophisticated restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Neighbouring Mo’orea boasts a beautiful lagoon, white-sand beaches and the chance to swim with dolphins at the Moorea Dolphin Centre. For incredible views, climb up Magical Mountain, one of the island’s highest emerald peaks, through villages, scenic valleys and pineapple plantations.
Take your time in picture-perfect Bora Bora, with its turquoise lagoons fringed by white sandy beaches and coconut groves. Swim with turtles, sharks and rays by day, and feast on exquisite French cuisine by night.
Discover Huahine, one of the most remote and unspoilt islands you could explore during a South Pacific yacht charter. With a sprawling tropical jungle featuring breadfruit trees and watermelon fields, the island offers endless treks through dreamy forests where ancient sacred temples are hidden.
At Raiatea, discover the ancestral heart of French Polynesia, with its mountainous peaks and numerous waterfalls punctuating thick rainforests. The island is blessed with some stunning beaches on which to relax and unwind.
Dotted with vanilla plantations, neighbouring Taha’a is only accessible by boat, making it perfect for exploring as part of a South Pacific yacht charter. Here, some of the world’s rarest pearls are cultivated, while its coral reefs are popular with divers.
The Melanesian island chains
Fiji: An authentic tropical paradise
This tropical haven comprises over 300 islands boasting unspoiled nature, ancient volcanoes and thick rainforests, as well as traditional villages where celebrations, dances and festivities often take place.
With their dazzling beaches and unspoilt coral reefs, the Mamanucas are among Fiji’s most charming islands. Nature lovers, hikers and birdwatchers should head to Bouma National Heritage Park on Taveuni island, with rare tropical plants, bird species and ancient ruins. Take the Lavena Coastal Walk, and bathe in its cool waterfall pools along the way.
In Sigatoka, head to Kula Wild Adventure Park to admire all kinds of tropical plants, reptiles and birds from its wooden boardwalks. Fringing Fiji’s fourth largest island, Kadavu, the Great Astrolabe Reef is the world’s fourth largest barrier reef, where divers can enjoy an underwater wonderland of corals and tropical fish.
The Solomon Islands: Rich biodiversity
For untouched beauty rich with fascinating species, it’s hard to beat the volcanic Solomon Islands during a South Pacific yacht charter. Here you’ll find pristine jungle, powdery beaches and outstanding diving opportunities. Dappled with coral reefs, the waters host an astounding variety of tropical fish, as well as WW2 shipwrecks ready to be explored.
Try surfing in Malaita or Tagovave, visit Uepi’s vast Marovo salt-water lagoon, or take an eco-cruise through crocodile-filled mangroves. On land, climb extinct volcanoes or trek through dense jungles to see traditional leaf-hut villages. Bird-watching is especially rewarding here, with many endemic species to spot.
At the capital Honiara, explore war sites and WW2 relics, and enjoy the vibrant central market, which sells local produce, flowers, handicrafts and jewellery.
The Kingdom of Tonga: Incredible whale-spotting
Explore unspoilt reefs and try to spot majestic humpback whales, or even swim with them. Head to Anahulu Cave to see the ancient stalagmites and stalactites, and take a refreshing dip in its beautiful freshwater pool.
In downtown Nuku’alofa, join the locals and shop for fresh fruit, vegetables and handicrafts at Talamahu Market, and indulge in a traditional feast of suckling pig or raw fish marinated in lemon and coconut cream.
Rapa Nui: Mysterious and enigmatic
Otherwise known as Easter Island, this most isolated inhabited island remains true to its Polynesian roots, despite belonging to Chile. It is famous for the hundreds of enigmatic and massive Moai tribal stone statues, created between the 10th and 16th centuries, which loom over its vibrantly rugged landscape.
Biking, hiking, and horseback riding are popular ways to explore Rapa Nui, much of which is protected by the World Heritage-listed Rapa Nui National Park, where you can discover a variety of archaeological and natural attractions, including caves, volcanoes and ceremonial sites.
Few travellers are lucky enough to take a South Pacific yacht charter in their lifetimes, but for those who can, the experience is magical and unforgettable. With so much to explore and great distances to cover, it’s well worth browsing superyachts for charter to find your perfect vessel. No matter how remote your location, a luxury boat means you’ll always be travelling in style, elegance and comfort.