BORA BORA, Tahiti
-- There I was, sitting on the beach of a remote island in the
middle of the Pacific, my toes in the water, watching a silent
movie, the screen a white sheet tethered between two palm trees.
that evening had been filet mignon and lobster tails. Now a
deckhand brought me dessert: a warm crepe filled with homemade ice
These are the
images I carried home after my seven-day sailing with Bora Bora
Cruises through the Tahitian islands of Bora Bora, Tahaa, Raiatea
The vessel was
the Tia Moana, one of two luxury yachts owned and operated by Bora
Bora Cruises. Its a 226-foot-long luxury vessel with 34 cabins
spread out among its five decks. Its single-hull design allows for
smooth sails through shallow waters.
Its a lot smaller
than the other cruise options out there -- compare 68 passengers on
the Tia Moana with 670 passengers on the Tahitian
My cabin is what
I think of as ideal: light wood paneling and flooring, accented by
a colorful bedspread; a flat-screen TV on the wall opposite the
bed; fresh fruit and fresh flowers in the room; and Philippe Starck
Other amenities are what you would
expect on a boutique ship: a library; an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi
tub; afternoon tea; the services of a masseuse; and the use of
kayaks and snorkeling equipment. There are various activities (some
that cost extra) and a number of lounge areas, both indoor and
outdoor, for those who want to read and relax.
include shark and manta ray feedings in the open ocean, river
kayaking to a botanical garden, a visit to a Tahitian vanilla farm
and sacred healing grounds, and an off-road tour of an
We left the boat
via a pair of skiffs located in the rear.
Those who wanted
to create their own activities were encouraged to do so.
One afternoon as
I was preparing to join other passengers on the river kayak and
hike through the botanical gardens and jungle, a young newlywed
couple from Ecuador set off on another skiff.
They later told
me they had retreated to a nearby island for a private lunch and
some snorkeling. The staff landed them on the motu (island),
arranged towels, beach chairs, a cooler with bottles of water and
secured the time they would be picked up.
On the evening
before debarkation, I found myself angling for silver jackfish off
the stern with one of the activity directors and a couple of
members of the kitchen staff, as though we had known each other for
We watched a pair
of octopuses awkwardly thrust past the lights that shined from the
bottom of the ship.
Not a bad life
out here, I said to the activity director.
Not bad at all,
reporter Brian Berusch, send e-mail to [email protected].