Tahitian Moment Video – Tahiti – A Circle Island Tour

Join me on another short tour – this time of the Island of Tahiti. Often people don’t spend a lot of time on the main island however it does have a lot to offer.

Outside of the busy hustle and bustle of the Papeete area you will find gushing waterfalls, ancient maraes, lush tropical vegetation, surf spot, blowholes, tropical gardens and a laid back Polynesian lifestyle.

Also if you are on a tight budget, we can have you spend some time here where accommodations are less expensive but there is still so much you can see and do!

Come with me on this short 2 minute video for a quick same of what the Island of Tahiti can offer to you on your vacation.


A Private Island Paradise – Motu Mahana

Imagine an all sand island surrounded by crystal clear warm water and covered in gently swaying palm trees. How are you going to spend your day? Basking in the warm sun? Snorkeling with the colourful coral and tropical fish? Reading a book as you relax in a hammock? Or perhaps enjoying the fresh BBQ fish, tropical fruits and 5 star service from the Paul Gauguin staff? Whatever you decide to do – don’t let the bar tender out in the lagoon get lonely – get in the water and enjoy a cocktail from the floating bar!!

This is a unique port of call – a cruise stop unlike others and only available through Paul Gauguin Cruises. Welcome to Motu Mahana – their private island in the Taha’a lagoon. I have been here several times and most recently with a group of family and friends as 14 of us cruised with Paul Gauguin and everyone agreed – it is an amazing day!

When you book your Tahiti cruise with me, I like to help you plan your ports of call throughout the sailing so you get the best experience – and this stop is the easiest to plan. “Plan Nothing! Do Nothing! Just enjoy Motu Mahana!”

It is always a favourite stop for clients. Your day in Taha’a the cruise line staff all come ashore bringing with them everything you need for a great day on their private island. They do a fantastic beach BBQ lunch, they bring the kayaks, you can snorkel, a small market is set up with locals if you would like to do some shopping, maybe a massage on the beach and of course listen to Les Gauguines and Gaugins play their ukuleles and sing Tahitian songs. It is a perfect way to forget any stresses from home and fall into the relaxed Polynesian life style.

When looking at cruises for Tahiti and her islands – it is important to have a Polynesian experience and Paul Gauguin are truly the masters at letting you experience the destination by cruise. Motu Mahana is just one of many, many ways they bring the Tahitian experience into your cruise vacation.

Contact me for more details and be sure to ask me about specials and promotions on cruises to Tahiti. Enjoy this Tahitian Moment on Motu Mahana!


Why is it such a Rip Off?

Why is Tahiti a rip off

Earlier today I had one of my Facebook followers comment on a post “Why is it such a rip off?”   I don’t know him personally, but know he has been following my page for 5 years so a pretty loyal follower.  And I get what he is asking.  But I wouldn’t call it a RIP off.…but I would agree Tahiti is an expensive destination.

I feel there is a big difference between a rip off and an expensive destination and I know my clients who have been can attest there is value in what you get and a trip to Tahiti is well worth it!

Whether ‘a rip off’ and ‘expensive’ mean the same or not is a point I won’t further debate – but I do get asked a lot why it is so expensive?  Why does a trip to Tahiti cost so much?   So I thought a little post here might help explain it to my followers.

Here are my Top 3 Reasons why French Polynesia is an expensive destination to visit:

1. Isolation – if you pull it up on a map you will see how incredibly remote the islands are

making it harder to get to – fewer flights and

world map with location of Tahiti
Location of Tahiti

therefore more expensive.  Additionally travel between almost all the islands must be done by flights and not boats adding to costs.  The isolation makes it very expensive to import everything.  Cars, boats, building materials, food, drinks and all everyday living items must be imported into the islands.  Very little is manufactured in Tahiti so most items are brought in by plane or boat.

2. Political Affiliation  – French Polynesia is a territory of France and follow French laws.  Therefore it is not a third world country like many other island destinations.    They have high taxes, strict labour laws, excellent medical care, a good education system and a social support network.  All this costs money – especially when they operate with a small population base and in an isolated part of the world.

3. Exclusivity – Tahiti is a very exclusive destination.  The size and number of hotels and even tour operators for excursions is very regulated.  For example no hotel in Bora Bora can have more than 100 overwater bungalows.  You compare this to Mexico where most

empty beaches of Tahiti
Privacy comes Naturally

newly built hotels have over 1000 room per resort!  Supply and demand naturally drives the pricing up.  However, this also creates an atmosphere of privacy and relaxed nature in Tahiti which mirrors the soft warm nature of the locals themselves.

Did you know  the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas has more rooms than all of the hotels on all 118 islands in French Polynesia have added up together?  And that Hawaii gets more visitors in 1 week than Tahiti gets in a whole year?

These are a few reasons that cause the higher prices of visiting Tahiti.  But as a high end destination they are not alone in the world. Places like St  Barts, Maldives, Seychelles and others fall into similar price brackets.  Having visited many upscale destinations, I feel Tahiti and her islands still have a warmth and charm not found in other locations.

Overall the isolation, culture and uniqueness of the islands creates a feeling and experience that can’t be replicated.   So as my Facebook follower asked “why is it such a rip off?”   I answer, Yes the islands comes with a price tag…but as people who have been will agree – it is well worth a visit and the memories that last forever are priceless! I hope one day all of my Facebook followers can all get down there to experience it first hand themselves and have those priceless lifelong memories.

Update – March 26th   To add your thoughts to the Facebook conversation:


Tahitian Moment – The Brando – The Ultimate Private Resort


If you haven’t heard of The Brando before, let this video be your introduction to perfection in paradise! The resort has hosted famous celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Barack Obama, Leonardo Dicaprio and Beyonce just to name a few. It makes you wonder who might be in the villa next door – but you will never know unless they want you to – as the villas are completely private.

The Brando is the ultimate in 5 star luxury, eco friendly resort. Set on Marlon Brando’s private island of Tetiaroa, it is just a short 30 mile flight northeast of the main island of Tahiti. The Brando has been created to incorporate the pristine nature of its surroundings. With only 35 villas, all set on perfect white sand beaches you are assured the utmost in privacy and personalized service.

It hit me just how private the resort is when visiting I was out on the lagoon tour (included in your stay!). We were out on the boat and there was nobody else around – just us, the birds and marine life – I was really struck with the aspect of privacy and south Pacific isolation. As The Brando is the only resort on Tetiaroa, the whole lagoon is a private lagoon too. No jet skis zooming past, no boats back and forth – just you and the most beautiful nature you have ever laid your eyes on.

The resort is all inclusive right down to including spa treatments and excursions as well as all meals and beverages. The well trained, yet warm and friendly staff are there to cater to your every need and they do not disappoint.

Until you are fortunate enough to visit, come with me for a few minutes to explore a bit of The Brando on this incredible coral atoll of Tetiaroa.


Tahitian Moment – 4×4 Tour of Moorea

Come with me for another Tahitian Moment – this time I am going to take you around Moorea on a fantastic 4×4 tour. Venture into the crater of the old volcano. Visit the pineapple fields and learn why they are some of the sweetest and juiciest in the world. Take in the views from Magic Mountain and visit an ancient marae. Moorea is a beautiful island and this half day tour is a great way to see it!

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Tahitian Moment – Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort – A Tuamotu Gem for Rest and Relaxation

Bora Bora may be the most popular island, but the coral atoll of Tikehau is a little gem perfect for a complete escape, rest and relaxation. The Tikehau Pearl Resort is a lovely, quiet little 4 star resort with only 37 bungalows. The resort sits on a stunning section of blue lagoon and beach with shades of pink, coral and white sand. The local Polynesian staff are warm and friendly welcoming guests to their island and resort.

While staying here bird lovers will enjoy a day tour to Bird Island. Snorkel or scuba in the warm lagoon, clear waters and abundance of coral, fish and manta rays. Enjoy a private picnic on a motu or rent a bike and ride around the main town to see the laid back lifestyle of this off the beaten track island.

Come to what feels like the edge of the world for an incredible lagoon, views, rest and relaxation.  Enjoy this Tahitian Moment video for a sneak peak of the Tahitian Pearl Beach Resort.

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Tahitian Moment – Conrad Bora Bora Nui – Come with me on a ride

Come with me for a ride around the 5 Star Luxurious Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa. The newest property in Bora Bora it shines with luxury, upgrades and Polynesian tastes in a drop dead gorgeous setting.

Of course with 5 star service and food to go along with all of that!

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Moorea Lagoon and Motu Tour

The experiences you have while travelling around Tahiti and her Islands often end up to be your most memorable days.  One of the things that makes the Polynesian Islands so unique is their incredible lagoons – crystal clear, filled with marine life and warm waters lapping the shores of sandy white beaches.  A day out on the lagoon is a must do.

Join me in this Tahitian Moment Video as I share with you some of the highlights of one of my recent Moorea lagoon tours.   You will see what it is like, to brave a swim with the sharks and stingrays.  Enjoy a picnic on a private motu.  Cruise past luxurious overwater bungalows and as luck would have it the dolphins came swimming past to say hello.  All of this set against the most magnificent lush green mountain backdrop.

Who is ready to go?

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Change is in the Air – the Buzz about The Bee, French Bee

Change is in The Air – the buzz about the Bee

There is a buzz in the air here in Tahiti… a French Bee is making some noise and getting people super excited!

For a long time, there have been limited flight options for your trip to Tahiti – primarily you would fly with Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles.  Alternatively, once a week you could fly from Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines, or Air France from LA but otherwise there were not many options.

I am happy to say, change is in the air!  Competition on the Tahiti route is picking up which will be good for travellers as prices on the flights are coming down a bit.   When planning your trip, we now may have 2 new options for your flights:

  1. French Bee – this is a new French low-cost carrier that is travelling from Paris Orly Airport, stopping in San Francisco and then carrying on to Tahiti. A few key points about French Bee:
  • They are flying on Airbus A350 Aircraft (a great new plane)
  • Their parent company, Groupe Dubreuil, also owns Air Caraibes – so they are experienced in the airline business
  • There is no business class, however, they offer economy or Premium Economy with 3 fare categories – a Basic, Smart and Premium. For my clients the Smart and Premium fares are going to be the way to go
  • Like all l low cost carriers, the fare you pay will reflect what you receive onboard
  • They are travelling on the overnight red eye flight from San Francisco to Tahiti, so you arrive in the wee hours of the morning and then your return flight is early morning from Papeete back to San Fran. This means spending your last night in Tahiti so you can arrive for the early check in, but it also means you can move on to any island on your first day of arrival
  • Flights from San Francisco to Tahiti operate on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday with the return flights on Saturday, Monday and Thursday

I am thrilled to say French Bee invited me along for their Inaugural Flight and as I write this, I am sitting staring across the Tahiti Lagoon looking at Moorea reflecting on what this means to the islands and my travellers.   My flight down was fantastic.  The flight attendants are a   mix of French and Tahitian and were super friendly and efficient.  The plane is brand new – we are talking shiny and spotless – such a great treat.   Sitting in Economy class the seats were quite comfortable – firm but they put in good quality seats.  The legroom was better than I expected for a low cost carrier, although I did find the width of the seats a bit on the tight side.

They served one meal (not two like other carriers), however you can purchase additional food if you like.  For In-Flight entertainment you have your own screen and movies and TV shows on demand.  There was an okay selection but not tons options– definitely enough to keep you occupied on the 8 hour flight.  WiFi will soon be available (for a fee).  The new plane has large windows and was very quiet and comfortable – airlines are coming a long way to make these long haul flights more enjoyable and I have no complaints about my flight down with French Bee!

The excitement in Tahiti on this new air carrier has been amazing!   It is the first new airline to come to Tahiti in 20 years!  I have attended 2 PR Events one when we landed on the tarmac  and then a cocktail party with local news, press from around the world, the President of Tahiti, Airline CEO,  hoteliers, tourist boards and of course traditional Tahitian dancers and blessings.  The energy and enthusiasm around French Bee’s arrival is fantastic and I am thrilled to offer my clients more options for your dream vacation!   It is definitely clear to me they are a Low Cost Carrier – but NOT low Quality.  A great mix!

Enjoy this video French Bee made of our trip around Tahiti and Moorea:

  1. United Airlines – The other change in the air is the addition of the legacy Airline, United Airlines, who areintroducing flights to Tahiti as well on a Seasonal Basis too. A few key points about the United Flights:
  • This is great for those loyal to Star Alliance – for all my Canadian travellers who collect with Air Canada we can ticket you on AC to San Francisco and then connect you onwards with United collecting your points all along. Or if you have enough points – perhaps redeeming your Aeroplan points for the flights to help with your budgeting!
  • Flights are operating three times per week every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday in the off-season months of November through to the end of March
  • Flight times are departing San Francisco mid afternoon, so you arrive into Papeete in the evening and spend your first night on the main island. Return flights leave around midnight so you can enjoy your last day on an outer island and fly in late to connect for your international departure.
  • United is also operating using excellent equipment on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with either a business class or economy class service.

  1. Air Tahiti Nui – Not to neglect old faithful Air Tahiti Nui, they have exciting changes coming along that will help them battle all the new competition.
  • The company has recently rebranded with a new logo reminding passengers they are the most Polynesian airline
  • A whole new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners are on order with the first of the air craft coming in October 2018 and the remainder to be delivered in 2019.
  • The new fleet will offer an enhanced Poevara Business Class, a new Premium Economy Class which I am very excited about and then an improved Economy Class.
  • They now offer an online check-in! It arrived in Island time compared to the rest of the airlines around the world but happy it is here for my clients to use
  • Nobody can take away the fact that they are the most Polynesian Airline so your Tahitian vacation has that feel about it from the moment you step onto the plane to Papeete and last until you get the friendly “Nana” as you step off the plane at the end of your vacation.
  • They offer different flight times and options depending on your travel dates with either late night arrivals into Papeete or early morning arrivals

Each airline offers something different and unique.   Like all steps of planning your Tahitian vacation, let’s talk about the differences, pros and cons, your budgets and I will help you sort out what is best for you!

10 Reasons to Book with Carl

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