On day 3 of our luxury cruise of the Society Islands aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, we awoke to the site of the island of Taha’a outside of our stateroom. Taha’a is a small island with a population of almost 4,500. It is often referred to as the “Vanilla Island” as it is home to numerous vanilla plantations and is one of the leading exporters of vanilla in the world. It also has a many motus (small islands) around it’s northern reef.
After an enjoyable buffet breakfast in La Veranda, we headed to the the Marina aboard the m/s/ Paul Gauguin to pick up our complimentary snorkeling gear. We would be needing it today as our shore excursion included a tour of a Black Pearl Farm as well as snorkeling.
With our gear in-hand, we headed to the exit of the ship where we boarded our tour boat at 9:30am to head out for our morning excursion. Along the way our guide pointed out some of the scenic features of Taha’a, including various motus, vanilla plantations, and the visible mountain of Bora Bora in the distance.
We first stopped at a Pearl Farm where we we provided with the background and techniques of Black Pearl Farming. Black pearls do not, of course, occur naturally and are produced through an intricate process of insemination of an oyster and the careful operation of farming them in the ocean.
Of course, we had the opportunity to purchase some of these cultivated pearls:
As we waited for others to make their purchases, we were provided with iced drinks and fruit for a light snack:
The location of the Pearl Farm was absolutely gorgeous.
After completing the tour of the Pearl Farm, we we back in our tour boat and heading for our morning of snorkeling located in a lagoon near the La Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, a Relais Chateaux property (check out this property on my Virtuoso page here).
The water was so warm and clear, with an abundance of fish, creating a fantastic snorkeling experience:
As we returned to the boat, our guide showed us a Puffer Fish that he had found. He was very careful not to harm it and gently released it back to the water after briefly showing it to us.
Withe our morning excursion completed, we were transported to Motu Mahana which is Paul Gauguin’s private island for a lunch BBQ and a day of relaxing on the beach and in the water.
After some time on the motu, we returned to the ship for a quick rest by the pool, as well as some desserts from the Le Grill restaurant.
In the evening we made our way to La Veranda for a wonderful dinner which was highlighted by the impeccable service of the staff (the Crème Brûlée for dessert was one of the best I have ever had!).
During dinner, we were also entertained by Les Gauguines with some dancing and singing.
At night, in the Grand Salon, we enjoyed a display of mentalism, magic, and illusions performed by Gustavo Vierini. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. He was also aboard throughout the cruise doing tricks for the guests at various locations on the ship.
We had a fantastic experience in Taha’a with a full day of awesome events. We couldn’t wait to see what our first day in Bora Bora would bring tomorrow!
As outlined above, we participated in the Snorkel & Black Pearl Farm shore excursion. The full list of excursions on the day included:
- Exploration of Taha’a
- Catamaran Sail
- Snorkel & Black Pearl Farm
- Taha’a Cultural Tour
- Waverunner with Snorkeling and Sharks
- Coral Garden Drift Snorkel
If you would like to learn more about schedules and different Paul Gauguin Cruises, please visit my Virtuoso page here.
If you would like to receive more information, or book a Paul Gauguin Cruise, you can contact me here.
As a Paul Gauguin Cruises PEARLS Accredited Partner and having experienced the cruise myself, I can provide you with the intimate knowledge to help you get the most out of your Paul Gauguin cruise.