Tahiti and the Society Islands - SOUTH PACIFIC 2006
Discover the hidden Pacific with us on Tall Ship adventures
navigating the Polynesian Triangle.
V234 Tahiti and the Society Islands
Evocative names of Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora and Rarotonga conjure up a Polynesian paradise that still exists.

This voyage is dedicated to a thorough cruise of the Society Islands, allowing sufficient time to explore the passages, lagoons and bays of this famous South Sea idyll.

Starting our journey at the Tahitian capital of Papeete, we may see preparations for the annual Heiva I Tahiti festival, the largest of all yearly celebrations in Tahiti, held each June and July.

Moorea Cook's BayFrom Papeete we will sail the short 10 mile passage across the Sea of the Moon to the outlying island of Moorea. Staying overnight in beautiful Cooks' Bay beneath the volcanic peak of Mt Rotui this will be our first taste of the stunning lagoons and anchorages of the Society Islands.

Sailing north west downwind from Moorea we leave the Windward isles and reach the Leeward isles about 90 miles away. This should take us around 24 hours and we first enter the reef-protected islands at Huahine. Of all the islands that are frequented by travelers, this is the least affected from such contact.

Adjacent to Huahine is Raiatea. For the Polynesian Maohi, ancestors of today's Tahitians, Raiatea was known as Sacred "Havai'i", and was the centre of royalty, religion, culture and history. It is also the home of the ancient Polynesian navigators whose sailing ‘waka’ once traversed the Pacific. There are several passes through the lagoon, which also encompasses the neighboring island of Taha’a.

Voyage starts Papeete, Tahiti
Sunday 25 June 2006
Voyage Ends Papeete, Tahiti
Thursday 6 July 2006
Duration 11 nights
Type Islands Cruising
Berth fee UK £ 1225
A Søren Larsen voyage is a holiday adventure where your enjoyment is of paramount importance. Participation in the ship and the voyage is central to the experience and you will be signed on ship as Voyage Crew as part of the ship's crew for your trip. However the level of involvement is up to you and no previous experience is necessary. The ship requires authentic seamanship to sail her but participating Voyage Crew are treated in a friendly and informal way and Søren Larsen's level of comfort and facilities reflect this.

See previous Voyage Logs and first hand reports and pictures of these destinations here

At the shallow anchorage at Taha’a one can occasionally smell the aroma of vanilla grown in plantations here. Locals lead a simple, tranquil life of farming or fishing and outside influences on the island are minimal.

Bora Bora from deckNavigating out of a pass in the reef we sail across open water to Bora Bora, the most famous of the Leeward islands. The spectacular pass at Vaitape is the only entrance through the barrier reef surrounding the island's lagoon. We will certainly spend a couple of nights here, enjoying the hospitality of Bora Bora Yacht Club, hiring bicycles to explore the island or snorkeling in the lagoon. Bora Bora is the most widely known of the outer Society islands and is more developed for high-end tourism than the less visited islands of our itinerary and its reputation is fully deserved.

We shall gradually work our way back through the island chain, visiting different anchorages and bays to take walks to explore inland. We aim to spend more time back at Moorea before completing the voyage back at Papeete The exact itinerary and time spent at each place will be decided by the Master and determined by the sailing conditions. A Captain's briefing is held each morning to view charts and discuss plans to the day, but note this trip has been planned to fully explore the Societies at relaxing pace.

Twin berth cabinOn arriving onboard you will be shown your berths, introduced to the crew, and signed on Ship's Articles as Voyage Crew members. Much of the morning will be spent introducing you to the ship and explaining the various routines, safety procedures and equipment and how the watch system works.

Our sailing passage between anchorages may involve some motoring but also some quite intense sail handling. However this allows those who would rather relish the amazing scenery to stand back and let the keener sailors get involved in handling the ship under sail. Everyone is involved in the duty watch system as Voyage Crew which will operate while we are under way and you may have your turn at the helm, on bow lookout or helping trim sail or help tack ship.

Going aloft is a unique experience but is not compulsory and everyone can decide when or if they’d like to. People of all ages join us and many have never sailed before - previous experience is certainly not necessary. There are 13 permanent crew who maintain and sail the ship who are there to assist and help you enjoy your time aboard. Once we drop anchor the deck watch is undertaken by the permanent crew and you the Voyage Crew are free to explore ashore.


A complete list of clothing and personal gear is contained in the Soren Larsen’s Voyage Handbook, available only after a booking has been accepted. Here we make a few specific recommendations with regard to your voyage.

Luggage: One main piece of luggage, which should be a soft kit bag. A hard suitcase is NOT suitable as space is strictly limited.

Clothing: For any sea passage it is wise in invest in a quality wet weather jacket. It would also be sensible to have warm cloths for night watches. Cotton tops, t-shirts and shorts get worn on sunny days.

Footwear: In these tropical latitudes most go barefoot on deck. Bring a pair of trainers or velcro strapped sandels (reef walkers) for excursions ashore.

Equipment: High factor sunblock and sunglasses are recommended protection from sun on water; sea sickness tablets (Stugeron recommended); a large and small towel; earplugs, a torch and spare batteries; extra camera film; binoculars may be handy. A sleeping roll mat is good for sleeping out on deck. A lightweight rain jacket would be good insurance as when it rains in the tropics, it really pours.

Seasonal Climate
24 deg to 29 deg C. during the day, slightly cooler at nights, although in tropical latitudes you should expect it to be still warm and humid.

Meal Plan
Local Food and Drink: Three meals a day are included in the voyage price while on board the Soren Larsen. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are available on board and are paid for separately at the end of the trip.

Personal Expenses
You’ll need some extra money to cover drinks and souvenirs not included in voyage price, sightseeing and spending money at ports visited etc. Credit cards are accepted on board.

Health - Useful websites are www.cdc.gov/travel/austspac.htm

Freedom and Flexibility
Voyages are planned to allow us some flexibility en route as to where we stop and anchor, how long we stay at each place and where we choose to go. We feel this is the key to the sailing authenticity and the genuine adventure of the ship’s voyaging. Itineraries may change due to weather conditions, readiness of the vessel or any other reason and so are without guarantee. If winds are unfavourable we may make use of the ship’s engine to maintain the schedule. All decisions regarding our route and itinerary will be made by the ship’s Master.

National Geographic Adventure mag award

About the Søren Larsen
Now famous for providing sail training adventure voyages and as the star of the BBC’s classic series "The Onedin Line", the Soren Larsen was originally one of the last cargo carrying sailing ships trading throughout Scandinavia, northern Europe and Britain. Built of oak by the Danish ship building company of 'Soren Larsen & Sons' in Nykobing Mors in northern Denmark, she carried timber, grain and general cargo from 1949 to 1972. Purchased in 1978 by her present owner Tony Davies and his family, she was taken to Colchester on the east coast of England and lovingly restored and rerigged as the graceful 19th century brigantine she is today. Captain Davies specialised in period film work and so the Soren Larsen began her working life again in early 1979 starring in "The Onedin Line". Other projects followed including "The French Lieutenant’s Woman" and "Shackleton". In 1982 she was invited to pioneer sailing for the disabled for the Jubilee Sailing Trust in Southampton before being chosen, in 1987, to be Flagship of the First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage to celebrate Australia’s Bicentennial. She led a fleet of squareriggers on an ambitious 22,000 mile voyage from Portsmouth via Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, arriving to a tumultuous welcome in Sydney in 1988.

She came to Auckland in 1989 to represent Britain in the 150th Celebrations and was made so welcome that she adopted New Zealand as her base from which to cruise the idyllic South Pacific Islands, taking many first time sailors on adventure holidays to Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu. In 1991 she made a passage back to Europe along the Clipper Route across the Southern Ocean and in December 1991 she became the first British tallship to round Cape Horn since 1936. She is presently the only authentic square rigger to have sailed around Cape Horn in Australasia.

After a major refit in the UK at Gloucester, Soren Larsen returned home to Auckland. She established herself as 'Flagship of the City of Sails' and has won Tourism Awards for Adventure and Experience categories. This illustrious ship  celebrated the Millennium with a spectacular round the world voyage, the 2000-2001 Global Odyssey, visiting 25 countries and sailing 30,000 nautical miles. This 2007 project sets out to visit the further corners of the Polynesian Triangle and visit the very best of the untouched tropical South Pacific.

Tallship Soren Larsen,
P.O.Box 310, Kumeu, Auckland.
Tel: +64-9-411 8755
Fax: +64-9-411 8484
E-mail: escape@sorenlarsen.co.nz
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