Back in May of 2018, Santana hosted the first-ever cycling tours of French Polynesia. We chartered a yacht-sized ship and premiered two back-to-back bike cruises in a tropical paradise with beautifully-paved roads and spectacular cycling.
148 couples joined us for two weeks of unforgettable rides across an island archipelago that’s more scenic and less crowded than Hawaii. The cycling? 10 times better.
By 2021, word of our Tahiti itinerary had spread like wildfire, and with such emphatic support, we chartered an even more luxurious ship.
After receiving an unprecedented number of A+ reviews, we decided to make our itinerary even more unforgettable by adding an additional island. Our newest adventure for 2024 includes a wide selection of rides on 8 unique islands, each encircled by a ribbon of smooth pavement.
Day 1 – Tahiti Embark
Our cruise begins in the small city of Papeete on French Polynesia’s largest island, Tahiti. While quaint by Western standards, Papeete is a lively city rich with the cultural heritage of the Polynesian people.
As flights from America arrive in the morning, you’ll have time to visit the colorful downtown walking-district, adjacent to our embark.
Behold—our floating resort. Each night it will transport us to a new island while we sleep. There’s no need for daily repacking on this cycling adventure.
Day 2 – Raiatea
Today we awaken in the homeland of the Polynesian people. Raiatea was once the political and religious nexus of Eastern Polynesia. An island of waterfalls, ancient temples, and tropical coastline.
As with all Santana Adventures, our numerous mid-ride activities will get you out of the saddle for tasty treats and cultural interactions across all 8 islands.
We’ll experience live music and dance performances, pearl farms, vanilla plantations, fresh juice stops, ancient temples, a local coconut farm, and much much more.
Every morning, you’ll have the choice between gentle coastal rides, challenging inland climbs, or both. This is your vacation, enjoy it the way you want!
Day 3 – Taha’a
Each of the 8 islands is a true tropical paradise, and Taha’a is a cyclist’s dream come true. French Polynesia is a magical island archipelago that transports you to a time and place unlike any other.
Meeting our bikes ashore, we’ll be greeted by a local troupe of dancers and musicians who will school us in the local customs and dances of French Polynesia.
We’ll navigate along the coast to a family-run vanilla plantation, where you can learn about the process or acquire a tasty souvenir.
When Jan and I first explored this island, we discovered an organic community fruit farm run by the locals. The new friends we made were so curious about two tourists on a bicycle built for two, that they had us sample all of their produce fresh from the field. Including coconuts harvested before our very eyes. We’ll continue the tradition by visiting this community orchard, which also features local musicians who will accompany the experience.
Whereas most tropical islands have airports, hotels, and rental cars, Taha’a remains lush and pristine. With the exception of its recently-paved road, the island and its friendly residents seem untouched by the modern era. The remote location of French Polynesia has preserved the natural beauty of these islands—you can ride for an hour on Taha’a and not see a single car.
Day 4 – Bora Bora
The world’s most beautiful white sand beaches belong to the shorelines of Bora Bora, where we’ll pedal along the silky smooth ribbon of pavement that traces this world famous coastline.
Because these islands are protected by reefs, the water in the surrounding lagoons is serene and crystalline.
While each island is large enough to ride all day long in the shade of the palm trees, the size of the islands offers up an assortment of post-lunch options. Each afternoon there’s ample time for beach-combing, snorkeling, kayaking, hikes, jet skis, scuba, or yes… even more cycling.
Each evening we’ll sail off into the sunset of this tropical paradise as we cruise to the next island…
…Except on the days of two signature Windstar events held on tiny private islands called “Motus”.
The first of these nights is a picture perfect motu evening where we’ll experience the local cuisine at sunset. After the stars of the Southern hemisphere appear, we’ll be entertained with exotic Tahitian dancing.
The second motu day is a relaxing afternoon of snorkeling, volleyball, or lounging in the sun before enjoying a Tahitian barbecue.
Day 5 – Huahine Iti & Huahine Nui
Today our cycling expedition spans two rainforest islands, connected by a bridge. Huahine Iti & Huahine Nui are the primal heart of French Polynesia. Routes wind through the dense jungle canopy of both islands, and emerge into the sunlight to trace coastlines jeweled by sparkling blue waters.
When discussing French Polynesia, we often talk about the smooth roads encircling the islands. Why? These volcanic islands are all shaped like a witch’s hat—smooth white sand beaches along the rim, that transform to vibrant rainforests with a steep point in the center.
Perfect for cyclists looking for a relaxing beachside vacation or the hill-climbing adventure of a lifetime. Each day you can make the choice of mild to wild.
Day 6 – Moorea
Route choices are in abundance on Moorea, where the real question is… How much of the fresh-pressed juice from our mid-ride-stop can I fit in my water bottle?
This day’s rides are intermingled with stunning beaches, over-water bungalows, tropical waterfalls, botanical gardens, a Tiki village, and a lookout point with one of the most spectacular views in all of French Polynesia.
The reef surrounding the island of Moorea leaves the aquamarine water so tranquil and crystal clear that you can actually photograph fish from above the water.
This is not photoshopped—bring your GoPro.
Day 7 – Tahiti Iti & Tahiti Nui
After rides across six islands, today we’ll experience a unique route across Tahiti Iti & Tahiti Nui. Beginning our ride along the Southern coastline of Tahiti Iti, we’ll pedal along the isthmus between the two islands before crossing over to the North shore of Tahiti Nui.
This incredible coastline features miles of cliffside cycling. Along the Northern coast we’ll make a short detour inland to visit an idyllic valley with a magnificent waterfall.
As we glide our way back along the coast we’ll enjoy traffic-free miles to finish our 8-island cycling adventure. This afternoon we’ll return our bikes to their cases for our flights home, before enjoying a farewell dinner extravaganza.
Day 8 – Tahiti Disembark
As flights won’t leave Tahiti’s PPT airport until the late evening, many of our participants opt for day-packages at local hotels, or choose to continue their stay in French Polynesia. We’ll provide plenty of details and recommendations in the flight update that participants will receive a year prior to embark.
MS Star Breeze
Tahiti 8-Island Cycling Cruise 2024
Santana has chartered Windstar’s all-suite Star Breeze for our Tahiti Cycling Cruise!
The Star Breeze is an ALL-SUITES motor yacht!
The smallest suite, at 277 sq.ft., is twice as large as staterooms found on other new cruise ships.
10 different suite categories makes it easy to find one that’s right for you.
A total of 5 gourmet restaurants provide a variety of fresh culinary options. Jan wants you to know that 24-hour room service is a no-cost extra!
The Star Breeze has a 1:1.5 crew-to-passenger ratio to provide award winning service.
Last Year, the Star Breeze was withdrawn from service to take part in Windstar’s “Star Initiative Project”—a quarter billion dollar stretch of their 3 motor yachts. After cutting the Star Breeze into front and rear halves, a precursor to the installation of quieter new eco-friendly motors and generators, they replaced the ship’s decor and furnishings. Before buttoning things up they slid in a new 84-foot midsection.
This 90 second video shows the process –
The Star Breeze we’ve chartered for Tahiti is essentially be a new ship with larger additional public areas, a tripled-size ocean-view swimming pool, new tenders, and new lifeboats.
Existing suites have all been completely rebuilt, will obtain enhanced soundproofing, and feature all-new bathrooms. Added suites include new categories at both ends of the price range. After relaunch you’ll not only have a wider range of staterooms to choose from, the Star Breeze will have five gourmet dining venues to provide a wider range of fresh cuisine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tahiti 8-Island Cycling Cruise 2024
Q: What are the exact dates?
A: May 20 to 27, 2024. 8-Days / 7-Nights aboard the Star Breeze. The weather in Tahiti only varies a few degrees all year long. With a tropical destination, such as Tahiti, rainfall is the key factor in planning a cycling cruise. Our cruise is scheduled for the start of the dry season, there’s significantly less rain and everything is lush and green.
Q: Will I get seasick?
A: Unlikely. The MSY Star Breeze uses its gyroscopes and electronic stabilizers to provide a ride than belies its yacht-like dimensions. All of Santana’s previous charters in Tahitian waters were very calm. During those cruises only a few of our participants popped a pill. Fewer missed a meal. The South Seas are famous for being calm — much smoother than the Caribbean. The Star Breeze has advanced stabilization and Santana’s itinerary links a string of protected lagoons.
Q: What’s the cost?
A: Due to Santana’s long history with WindStar, our per-person first-in pricing for this 8-day Event in Tahiti on an ALL-SUITES ship starts at $4,599. Premium stateroom categories cost more. Lowest pricing in every category is limited to the first few rooms. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE. Our reservations page shows pricing of available suites.
Q: Is this a good deal?
A: Santana’s initial pair of 2018 Tahiti cycling cruises sold out in under an hour. When Santana debuted our 2019 & 2020 Tahiti Cycling Cruises, the incredible offers caused our encore editions to sell out in just a few hours.
Q: What about tipping?
A: Shipboard gratuities are $144 per person. Santana’s cruise hosts don’t accept tips. Santana’s comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $500 per person includes cycling-specific extras and support across eight islands. Port Fees and taxes $268. Fuel surcharges (typically $0) can be imposed after a substantial increase of market prices.
Q: All Suites?!
A: Every stateroom is an exterior suite. About 40% have balconies. Pricing varies by location and floor plan (see the Stateroom Reservations section below for pricing details).
Q: Are there differences between the suites?
A: Certainly. The Star Breeze features deluxe bedding and spacious floor plans. The suites have a private bathroom with a double-vanity & double-sinks, air-conditioning with adjustable thermostat, and are soundproofed. All Star Breeze staterooms are located on the exterior, and offer exquisite views or balconies. The smallest room on the ship is 277 square feet.
Q: Has anyone done this before?
A: Only our participants in 2018, 2019, & 2021. Santana hosted the first group of International cyclists to tour French Polynesia, and is the only company to have hosted a Tahiti Cycling Cruise.
If you’d like, feel free to browse the galleries of Participant Photos:
Q: What’s the next step?
A: To lock-in availability and the lowest pricing on a RISK-FREE basis, reserve your space through our PayPal portal. PayPal’s secure website is open 24 hours per day, accepts all major credit cards, and automatically adjusts for remaining stateroom availability. Reserving your spot is RISK-FREE. In each category the prime location staterooms will be assigned in the same order as the time stamp of your booking.
Q: What do you mean by RISK-FREE?
A: When you use your credit card and book through PayPal, we’ll give you 14 risk-free days to think it over and clear your schedule. If you change your mind, send an email to Cancellations@SantanaAdventures.com within two weeks to cancel the PayPal transaction and obtain a full refund. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: What if we change our minds after 14 days?
A: Because full-boat charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-through-PayPal commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out—for any reason. This is no different than the clear written policy that existed for all of Santana’s prior chartered-ship cruises. Here it is (again) in writing:
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on rallies and tours, Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 25 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. An informative application will be mailed with your invoice; and further information is available online. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: Have you ever relaxed your refund policy?
A: Jan and I have willingly resold a number of fully prepaid staterooms for a fee of $1,000 per stateroom—which was waived when a vacating couple found someone to take their place. When there has been more than one pending resell request, those who paid-in-full earliest had their space resold next. Using this non-guaranteed method (which is grossly inferior to trip insurance) Jan and I have cheerfully refunded over $500,000 in otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable cruise fares. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: How are staterooms assigned?
A: In any category all rooms are identical. Using the PayPal timestamp, those who reserve earliest get staterooms closest to the center of the ship, which Bill and Jan both prefer. If friends desire a pair of adjacent staterooms the timestamp of the first reservation determines the location of both rooms. In short, we will not take requests for specific room numbers. Those who book early obtain prime positioning.
Q: How do we get to and from the tour?
A: Detailed info by May ’23. Those who arrive and leave on the embark and debark days will receive FREE Pape’ete transfers.
Q: Are rental bikes available?
A: Yes. If you own a nice bike that fits, however, bringing it with you is relatively easy and inexpensive. More info on this in Bill’s Travel Tips. We are also working with Air Tahiti Nui who will provide a discount code and Free Bicycle Carriage on their flights to and from PPT. When it comes to a week of riding, we always recommend flying with your own bike.
Due to its location in the South Pacific, Tahiti has a small supply of road bikes, and while e-bikes are not necessary for this cruise there are some available to rent in Papeete. Due to the low supply of rental bikes in French Polynesia, expect to pay a premium of around $750 per-person.
Q: How many miles each day?
A: In addition to our daily pair of zero-mile options (remaining on the ship or exploring the island by other means), every day has multiple cycling routes. Anyone who can ride 30 flat miles will be able to enjoy cycling on all eight islands. If you prefer hills or want to spend additional hours in the saddle, we’ve got you covered. At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s grades and difficulty. For more info on the GPS units we recommend, take a look at our GPS Guide: SantanaAdventures.com/gps/
Q: Are beverages included?
A: Alcohol is not included but can be charged to your room. Soft Drinks, Coffee, Espresso Drinks, and Juice are all complimentary all day long.
Q: Which meals are included?
A: During Santana’s earlier charters of Windstar cruises the culinary staff appreciated our appetites as much as we appreciated their multi-course gourmet meals. A 5-star chef will curate a new menu for each meal, and will always include a surprising selection of local fruits and produce, regional specialties, the freshest-possible seafood, vegetarian options, and grilled-to-order meats. A changing assortment of desserts and pastries are produced aboard each day. Breakfast and Lunch are served buffet style, perfect for active cyclists. Dinner is a plated multi-course menu with plenty of gourmet options for all of our participants.
Q: Does the Star Breeze have WiFi?
A: Yes, WiFi access can be purchased.
Q: Does the Star Breeze have an elevator?
Q: Will there be menu selections for vegetarians, vegans and picky eaters?
A: Yes, Dietary Restrictions/Preferences can be accommodated.
Q: What if we have more questions?
A: The quickest and easiest way to get help is to use Santana’s Contact Form. One of our team members will follow up with you as soon as possible.