The remoteness of the Tuamotu Archipelago makes it a quite different charter destination to most. This is primarily a crewed-charter destination that requires a flight from Papeete, taking you into another world. These atolls are so far from the usual tourist crowds and commercialism that a sailing holiday here is the epitome of a tropical island escape.
Sailing in the Tuamotos presents some challenges. Besides the natural hazards of navigating an area strewn with coral atolls, idylic though it is, provisioning is also an issue for a sailing holiday in the Tuamotus. The best and easiest way to experience this part of French Polynesia is by crewed charter. A number of boats, mostly medium to larger catamarans, are based in the archipelago.
As well as flying from Papeete to pick up your crewed charter in the Tuamotus, it may be possible to sail from the main island of Tahiti, depending on availability. Experienced blue-water sailors may be able to charter bareboat from either Papeete or within the Tuamotus.
Charter boats stationed in the Tuamotus are in strong demand and not always available as advertised on the Internet. Talk to us first if considering a Tuamotus boat charter.
The Tuamotu Archipelago comprises a low-lying string of atolls at the heart of French Polynesia between the Society Islands to the south and the Marquesas to the north. The main gateways to the Tuamotus are Rangiroa (population around 3,000) and Fakarava (1,000). Both these destinations offer good navigation aids into and within their lagoons, and are the most developed atolls onshore.
The scale of the Tuamotus is vast. Rangiroa, to the western edge of the archipelago, offers a full sailing holiday experience in itself, all within the world's second largest lagoon. For a sample of real blue-water sailing, it's 35 nautical miles between the centre of Rangiroa Atoll and that of its nearest neighbour, Tikehau. Fakarava, to the centre of this well spread-out collection, offers good anchorages, and a choice of several nearby smaller atolls for some variety and total seclusion.
There are scheduled flights from Papeete to Rangiroa and Fakarava, both taking about 75 minutes.