French Polynesia covers a swath of the South Pacific that is as large as Europe. In all there are 130 islands that are grouped into five archipelagos, each of which has its own fascinating physical and cultural attributes.
- The Marquesas are closest to the equator, but chilled by cool currents. Without protection from coral reefs their coastlines are carved into dramatic cliffs and bays. The archaeological sites here are magnificent and the people are proud of their traditions.
- The Society Islands are the heart of French Polynesia with the big island of Tahiti, Moorea the most beautiful island in the world, the luxurious Bora Bora, and the sacred island of Raiatea. The combination of high islands with quiet lagoons makes for an amazing array of habitats to explore. The people here are warm and humorous and welcoming, and happy to share their culture with visitors.
- The Australs are an amazing group of small islands with strong cultural traditions and are rarely visited by tourists. They lie at 23° S so they are cool most of the year and support a variety of endemic plants and birds, including brilliantly colored lorikeets.
- The Gambier has always been a crossroads between The Society Islands and the islands of Pitcairn and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to the southeast. They have a rich settlement history, both Polynesian and European, and have faired well after periods of exploitation.
- The Tuamotu Archipelago, with 78 islands, is the largest collection of atolls in the world. These spectacular low islands are a marine wonderland of reefs and lagoons and endless tropical shorelines. The small islets (called motu) that make up the land surface are the stuff that tropical dreams are made of – white sand beaches lined with palms and flanked by warm crystalline lagoon. This is the outback of the South Pacific, and the local Paumotu people have thrived here with their knowledge of this ocean world.
Tahiti Expeditions is the only inbound tour operator that is dedicated to providing high quality adventures throughout French Polynesia focusing on the nature and culture of this island paradise. We know these islands well, and we work with local guides and experts on the natural and cultural history to provide our guests with exceptional experiences. We think of ourselves as designers and facilitators of adventures, which our guests then encounter first hand, courtesy of a village elder, or a humpback whale, or a towering waterfall, or a group of school kids performing a local dance.
At Tahiti Expeditions we follow ecotourism guidelines. We believe that tourism should be a win-win situation that enriches our guests, brings benefits to local people, and contributes to conservation of the biological and cultural heritage of the place. To this end we partner with local conservation based NGOs to create tourism programs that are hosted by the NGOs and provide our guests a window into Polynesian culture.
The Tahiti Expeditions Teams consists of Frank and Hinano Murphy, and Marie Laure Vanizette. The three of us have unique but overlapping backgrounds in education, science, culture, and tourism. We are all dedicated to providing high quality tourism programs both for our guests and for the place and people that they have come to see.
Our products cover a wide array of activities and topics, and we do everything from day excursions to extended trips. All of our products are grounded in the nature and culture of these islands, and we pride ourselves in our ability to interpret the natural and cultural history of the islands for our guest in fun and interesting ways.
We have three categories of products:
Day Excursions – full or half day excursions that can be done for groups of varying size. Done mostly on Moorea or Tahiti.
Adventures A La Carte – two to four day activity packages that focus on a particular subject, or activity, or place. These can be done as all-inclusive packages with hotels, meals, transfers, etc., or simply as a series of daily activities for guests that already have accommodations.
Expeditions – extended trips that are all-inclusive.
The activities and subjects that we cover are:
History of Polynesia
Literature of the South Seas
Our products are meant for anyone that is interested in exploring the natural and cultural world of Polynesia with us. We have done many soft-adventure programs for university alumni, and museum groups, as well as full-on adventure sea kayaking and hiking. Polynesia is all about big families as well, so we are always happy to have family groups. Our strength is our ability to customize a program for any group’s interest, to create the ideal trip for everyone.
Why are we here
We joined ATTA because we saw that it creates a great forum for networking with other tour operators, and a place to meet potential outbound operators for partnerships. We have also found that the information provided in various webinars and seminars (at the ATWS) have been very helpful in developing marketing strategies, sustainable travel practices, etc. We welcome anyone to contact us that is interested in French Polynesia as a destination for adventure travel.