Home THE JOURNEY Cruise The French Polynesia with Variety Cruises

The French Polynesia with Variety Cruises

Variety Cruises, Greek-owned small ship cruise company, is the first cruise line to introduce Makatea as a key stop in its new Tahiti itinerary.

The island of Makatea is like no other found in French Polynesia. The limestone cliffs tower over the coast and the island’s interior shows significant vegetation, complete with a few species of endemic birds and a peculiar expanse of limestone holes. In the early 20th century, important reserves of phosphate were discovered in these naturally occurring holes, and for over 50 years the island was the centre of a thriving phosphate mining business. The mining ceased in the 1960s, and the island went from a population of thousands to less than 100 inhabitants. Today, this sleepy but spectacular island is home to three species of threatened endemic birds: the beautiful Makatea fruit dove, the impressive imperial pigeon, and the comely singer extraordinaire, the reed warbler.

On-the-ground activities include: Visit a beach with rockpools and an incredible grotto. Swim deeper inside the grotto into an underwater cave system that opens out to reveal a spectacular watery cathedral, full of weird and wonderful stalagmites and stalactites.