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Variety Cruises

Variety Cruises Announces New Tahiti Cruises for 2023

Variety Cruises has announced that they will launch two new cruises in Tahiti, marking the first time the company has ever operated there. The seven and ten-night cruises will set sail from Papeete Port in Tahiti with itineraries that include stops in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The ship will have an intimate and private atmosphere, with a maximum capacity of just 49 passengers. The first cruise company to do so, Variety Cruises has also made headlines by adding a stop in Makatea to its itineraries. 

“There is something about magical civilizations that has always intrigued me,” said the company’s CEO Filippos Venetopoulos. “Being Greek, of course this is something I grew up with, being surrounded by the wisdom of the ancient philosophers. French Polynesia also envelops my soul. Much like how Greece can capture you, these islands seem to give you something you never knew you needed. I couldn’t be more thrilled to share that with the world, and thus, create, a better life at sea, one cruise at a time.”

Cruising to Tahiti 

Locals of the Tahitian Islands heavily embrace the concept of Mana, a life force and spirit that surrounds us. Visitors are encouraged to quickly embrace this concept upon arrival to best partake in the culture of the locals. Guests are encourage to island hop while in Tahiti, giving voyagers the opportunity to see all different types of landscapes, waterfalls on the high islands and the desert-like atolls where lagoons can even outsize the landmass. 

“The Islands of Tahiti is pleased to offer a warm welcome (maeva) to Variety Cruises as they launch their new voyages this coming year,” said Kristin Carlson, managing director for Tahiti Tourisme North America. “We look forward to travelers coming to the destination to experience the Mana, or spirit of the islands, aboard their intimate yachts, perfectly suited for exploring our paradise.”

Guests will set sail on Panorama II, a 50-meter, two-masted motorsailer with a maximum capacity of just 49 guests for both of the company’s newest cruises. The vessel features 25 passenger cabins, inviting dining areas, a sunbathing deck and an outdoor bar. Variety Cruises highlights the benefits of traveling on a small boat with fewer people, including having access to smaller private beaches and secluded locations that larger cruise ships do not. 

The seven-night cruise, Tahiti & the Pearls of French Polynesia, will make stops in Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea and Moorea. The cruise will launch next year on February 3, 2023 with rates from $2,490 USD per person, based on double occupancy, excluding port charges. The cruise will feature a few rare excursions for guests to choose from including a visit at the UNESCO protected site of ancient Marae (an open-air temple) of Taputapuatea, a snorkeling excursion where guests can swim with stingrays and sharks, an opportunity to feed the sacred blue-eyed eels of Faie Bay and various lagoon adventures. 

Variety Cruises 10-night cruise, Tahiti, the Society & Tuamotu islands, will give guests a bit more time to discover the beauty of the Tuamotu islands. This cruise will take passengers through the same route or the seven-night cruise, but will add stops in the rarely visited Makatea, Rangiroa, Tetiaroa and Mo’orea. The company expects that the stop in the island of Makatea, described as a uniquely raised island of coral in French Polynesia, will quickly become a guest favorite. 

Exploring Makatea

Makatea is home to limestone cliffs that tower over the coast, various species of endemic birds and limestone holes. Limestone holes are integral to Makatea’s history. In the early 20th century, phosphate reserves were found in the limestone holes on the island, and for over 50 years, the island was a center of a successful phosphate mining business. However, in the 1960s, the mining stopped and the island went from a population of thousands of inhabitants to just a few hundred. Today, Makatea is home to three species or endemic birds: the Makatea fruit dove, the imperial pigeon, and the reed warbler.

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A few activities offered on this ten-night cruise include: a visit to a beach with rock pools and a grotto, an opportunity to swim deep inside a grotto into an underwater cave system that leads guests to a watery cathedral. Among some of the highlights of swimming through Makatea’s Vaimarui cave, guests can see the popular hanging elephant leg-shaped stalactite, which is accessible to all guests eager to jump in the clear water. The legend of the elephant leg- shaped stalactite claims that it brings happiness to all those who touch it. 

This 10-night itinerary will run from January 13, 2023 through December 2023, with rates starting at $3,190 USD per person based on double occupancy, excluding port charges.

Offers and booking instructions:

* Cruise fares mentioned exclude shore excursions and port charges which are at $275 USD and $360 USD respectively for these cruises.

* Rates are full board and include buffet breakfast and two meals daily (no beverages included).

* For bookings made by November 10, 2022, cruisers get to enjoy free shore excursions (valid for select excursions) and free beverages with meals. Children up to 17 years old get to travel for free, sharing the parents’ cabin. Under this offer there will be no single supplement for single travelers.

* For bookings made by January 15, 2023, a 10% discount will be applied for cruises sailing from July through December 2023.

* Promotions do not apply on existing bookings and on group bookings.

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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.