Written by Dr. Donato (Dan) Soranno
Tahiti, Bora Bora and the group known as the Society Islands can best be summed up as the definition of tropical paradise.
To get there, we flew across the United States to Los Angeles and then the next day, we took Air Tahiti Nui to Tahiti. Upon arrival we were taken immediately to our cruise ship, The Paul Gaugin. This was rated the best cruise in the world and after spending a week on the boat, I have to agree.
The entire back of the boat flopped down and became a diving dock for Zodiac boats to take patrons to the islands for diving and snorkeling. Atlantic tropical diving is certainly some of the best in the world. We found that frequently, when entering the water, sharks were swimming around the boat however they did not bother us. We visited four or five islands with this ship which were Bora Bora, Marea, Raetea and others.
Within these islands, we went to vanilla plantations, local natural areas and jewelry shops which frequently featured local black pearls, as this is only place on earth that they are grown.
The food we ate was was fresh and outstanding. We had fish we had never heard of prepared beautifully with local herbs and spices.
I fee that this boat was the very best way to see the area and take advantage of the diving. We simply could not look anywhere without viewing tropical paradise.
Upon completion of the cruise, we boarded a plane and flew for a 40-minute hop to Bora Bora. We stayed at Le Meridian in a classic thatched hut with glass floors over the water. There was great food, diving and snorkeling that rivaled diving in a 13-acre pond amongst thousands of fish and other ocean creatures.
This trip could be bundled into 10-12 days and fill a complete dream of a tropical paradise.