Sail Tahiti: The Society Islands

The very word "Tahiti" invokes visions of an island paradise. Explore the western Society Islands by charter yacht - monohull or catamaran. For over 25 years Sail Connections has been organising yacht charters around Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora and Huahine. This amazing place is consistently one of our most popular bareboat sailing destinations.

Take a charter boat holiday in the magical Society Islands of Tahiti, a sailing region that's better in real life than it is in the brochures. Majestic volcanic landscapes covered in lush tropical vegetation, each island rising steeply from its lagoon. The encircling and protective outer coral reefs are in turn dotted by small uninhabited motus (islets), fringed by white sandy beaches behind which lush green coconut palms grow. Truly an island paradise!

This is our Pacific backyard. So let us share our local knowledge and first-hand personal experiences of Tahiti boat charters in these great sailing waters. We will secure the boat that's right for you, assisting with all aspects of your charter, including personalised itineraries and provisioning advice to ensure just the very best holiday in one of the best destinations on Earth.

The best time to sail in Tahiti is from May to October. Across French Polynesia the trade winds provide sensational sailing conditions at that time of year, while the weather is beautifully warm. For more on boat charters in French Polynesia, read about sailing holidays in the Tuamotu Islands and Marquesas Islands.  

The Society Islands are that part of French Polynesia that has become so familar to Westerners by way of media and tourism promotion. Within the island group, the name Leeward Islands is given to those lying westward of the main island of Tahiti. These jewels in the South Pacific represent a sophisticated tourist destination where you can be as connected or as remote as you wish to be. Featuring on all these islands are the well-marked deep turquoise lagoons that provide smooth inshore sailing, and safe, sheltered havens. Gaps in the encircling reefs give easy access to blue water and your next island.

After a pleasant day of sailing or relaxation in a picture-perfect lagoon, pick up a mooring and dine ashore at a local restaurant.  Eat as the locals do, or make it five star if you wish. Or simply drop anchor in a secluded spot and BBQ aboard under a blanket of stars, savouring the peace, the serenity, the sweet ambience of this unique tropical paradise. 

Raiatea

The island of Raiatea is our yacht charter hub, just a 40-minute flight from Pape'ete. The township of Uturoa is the administrative centre for the Leeward Islands, and provides your best opportunity to provision your charter yacht. We will assist you with advice on what to buy and where to get it.

According to legend, Raiatea is the sacred home of the gods, and the ancestral heart of French Polynesia. Visit the sacred sites and explore the river where the great canoes were built for their migratory voyages to Hawaii and Aotearoa/New Zealand. It remains a mystery to us why the inhabitants would chose to leave this magical island paradise. Admire the mountainous peaks of the island's south, where magnificent waterfalls cascade to the sea. Spend your first few days relaxing and acclimatising here, exploring the sheltered lagoon shared by the twin islands of Raiatea and Tahaa.

Raiatea lies within easy sight-sailing distance of the Leeward Group's other magical islands - Bora Bora and Huahine. From base it's 24 miles eastward (and to windward) to Huahine, and 22 miles northwest (and downwind) to Bora Bora. 

"Long walks along narrow coastal roads, big swims in crystal clear waters - some of the highlights."

Taha'a

Taha'a is the only island in the group that you can easily circumnavigate on your charter. The sweet tropical aromas of vanilla and frangipani permeate the air of this lush and tranquil isle. It's Taha'a 'au naturel', unfazed by the commercial world, and accessible only by boat. Ashore, wander along the coral road that winds around the waterfront and meet the friendly locals.

Take a safari tour into the hinterland to visit the vanilla plantations. It's a botanical extravaganza! Visit a pearl farm and learn all about the art of cultivation. Dinghy to the shallows of the reef and explore the sandy palm-clad islets that ring the turquoise lagoon.

" We had a great time at Ficus on Tahaa where we saw a very entertaining show and ate authentic Polynesian food which we enjoyed."

Huahine

Lure a deep-sea tuna on your windward passage to the legendary island of Huahine. Anchor your charter yacht off the village of Fare where you can top-up your supplies. Discover some of the unique qualities of a small island village, go horse riding, or take a land tour to learn about the sacred archaeological sites that mark a civilisation dating back over 1000 years. Anchor in the south of Huahine, take a beachfront stroll, and snorkel the underwater delights.

A favourite with our charter clients is the unique 'round the island tour' of Huahine Iti. You'll get to special places places you can't even go by boat!

"Totally awesome place. My wife and I enjoyed the remoteness we found in Avea Bay on Huahine. We had the place to ourselves."

Bora Bora

The fabled island where they make movies. spend some time in secluded anchorages and hop ashore to places accessible only by yacht. Sail to the eastern side, visit the Lagoonarium, then lose yourself in the blues, greens and turquoises of the beautiful lagoon itself. After you have plucked up the courage to swim with the turtles, sharks and rays here, you will announce this a highlight of your yacht charter holiday! Dine at the famous Bora Bora Yacht Club, spend a day ashore and take a bicycle, scooter or car around the island road.

Take advantage of our Tahiti experience. Ask us about the location of our favourite anchorages, our recommended itinerary options, and all the ways to get the very best out of your Tahitian sailing holiday. 

Getting to the Society Islands

Internationally, Tahiti is served through Fa'a'ā International Airport in Papeete. Air Tahiti has scheduled flights to all the main Society Islands, including multi-island passes. Flight schedules make both return and one-way charter itineraries easy to plan. Charters out of the main island of Tahiti may also be arranged on enquiry.

Our client reviews about charter sailing in Tahiti: The Society Islands

Rating: 5 / 5
We sailed for two weeks in the Leeward Islands of French Polynesia in late May, 2019. The Dream Yacht Charter team was fantastic. Our boat, the 52' sloop ARZ, was a delight, very much up to the job of carrying our crew of 8 from island to island. Every minute of the trip was life-changingly dynamic, charged with beauty in land, sea, and people. We experienced the deepest peace combined with the greatest excitement, including a passage from Bora Bora in the midst of a suddenly appearing, un-forecast gale with 2-3 meter breaking wind waves slamming against directly opposing 2 meter swells. The boat performed beautifully in these challenging conditions.

Really, we couldn't imagine a more wonderful trip and greatly appreciate Sail Connections as our agent, who smoothed our way and was instrumental in our choice of charterer and vessel, and Dream Yacht Charter, who made it happen. Had taken an earlier cruise in Tahiti and had experienced some problems with the charter service. Robert talked to me in detail about those issues and reassured me that Dream Yacht Charters was excellent, and that he and the Sail Connections team would back us up and do all they could to smooth over any difficulties. Without this, I doubt if we would have taken the cruise. Both teams, Sail Connections and Dream Yacht Charters, were meticulous in making serious promises and keeping them. Ten out of ten. Paul, New Zealand, Jul 19th, 2019
Rating: 4 / 5
The boat was well maintained with everything in good working order. Sail systems are easy to use, especially with the electric winch and the Catana sailed beautifully. Personally I do not like the steering stations at the stern of each hull as visibility to the opposite side is poor. But I knew that before we booked. The GPS is located inside the saloon which makes navigating more difficult compared to having a map alongside the steering. Overall a very comfortable sailing boat for 2 families.

Vanilla tour of Tahaa was amazing with Noah. Bora Bora is beautiful, though of course very touristy. Managed to swin with many reef sharks, eagle rays and a manta. Taputapuatea is worth the effort to visit being the centre of Polynesian migrations.

Your service was great. Quick responses to most questions and patience during the many changes. Craig, New Zealand, Jul 17th, 2019
Rating: 5 / 5
"The water in Bora Bora was amazing. We found the Bali 4.5 to be an excellent boat for cruising the lagoons around Bora Bora, Taha'a and Raiatea." Glenn, Australia, Nov 4th, 2018
Rating: 5 / 5
Practically new boat, so was in great shape. We liked the design, equipage, etc. Everything was as advertised and cannot think of anything serious to complain about. Quite comfortable. We would go back to the Leeward Islands of Tahiti in a speedy minute. Spectacular scenery, not at all crowded, felt private in all our anchorages. Nice, friendly people. Robert, USA, Jul 31st, 2018
First rate service in all respects. At the end of the charter we were practically ready to adopt our skipper and hostess. We truly enjoyed their company as well as high level of competence and knowledge. Checking in and out was a snap. We had such a great experience with Sail Connections, our boat and itinerary. Robert & Pat, USA, Jul 19th, 2018
"What a truly magical trip it was! The islands were stunning, the crew was amazing. We had an amazing trip and truly kicked back. We snorkelled so much in such amazing underwater coral gardens and reefs - outstanding! The local Champion in Raiatea is as good as any grocer here in Toronto. Good supplies in Bora as well, and pizza too! The base crew in Raiatea were great, most knowledgeable and helpful It was a most amazing time. Thank you for all of your help in making this all come together." Patti, Canada, Nov 30th, 2017
We are home and Tahiti seems a distant memory. We had a wonderful time away - it was warm and the water was lovely. Cynthia our skipper was awesome, incredibly respectful and such a lovely woman. Thanks so much for all your help and assistance for a great holiday. WOW Tahiti is so different to sailing in the Med, but we loved it and had a really relaxing time. And of course it's such a bonus to be only a 5½ hour flight away. Anna, New Zealand, Jul 30th, 2016
Totally awesome place and a trip of a lifetime! My wife and I enjoyed the remoteness we found in Avea Bay on Huahine. We had the place to ourselves. We enjoyed learning about the culture and had a great time at Ficus on Tahaa where we saw a very entertaining show and ate authentic Polynesian food which we enjoyed. We met some great people on our trip. The sailing provided a mix of adventure and relaxation. The natural offerings were spectacular and we enjoyed snorkeling where we saw many beautiful fish and several Manta Rays. Awesome. Robert, USA, Feb 28th, 2016

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