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Concierge.com

Haumana Cruises, Papeete

Papeete , Tahiti
French Polynesia
Tel: 689 500 674
www.tahiti-haumana-cruises.com
Concierge.com's insider take:

Owned by the same family as Bora Bora Cruises, this 18-cabin adventure cruise isn't quite as glam, but it's still by far the most deluxe way to see the undeveloped Tuamotu atolls. You can choose to do just three nights, or a full week, sailing around Rangiroa exploring pristine beaches and snorkle spots. Once you leave the village of Tiputa (known for its shark-filled pass), it's unlikely you'll see anyone other than the people onboard (with the exception of Mama and her family who live all alone on the far end of the atoll, and make gorgeous shell jewelry). The yacht is 20 years old, and occasionally emits strange odors, but the fun casual crew, mostly Tahitians, more than make it up to you with nightly serenades (maybe even an original song composed just for you), and real local flavor. One skipper, not a man big on words, catches blue coconut crabs that burrow into the sand and reach about three to four feet in length for guests to marvel over (they look like a cross between a giant lobster and the creature from Alien). And don't be shocked if someone lassos a turtle or delights in putting an octopus on their head to amuse you. There's a French gloss onboard, but on the excursions, you will definitely feel in the wild.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.