World ARC 2023, Leg 4

Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Society Islands, Bora Bora, Suwarrow, Niue, Vavu'a, Tonga
March – May 2023, 2,500nm

This leg focuses much more on island hopping down through French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, and beyond. We begin at Hiva Oa in the Marquesas and from there will spend time cruising round the thousands of islands and atolls on offer. French Polynesia covers the largest sea area in the Pacific and these islands gave Darwin the ideas for his theory of how atolls form and his theory is still the one we use today. The Marquesas consist of 6 large and 6 small islands, of which half are uninhabited. Great hikes, waterfalls, spectacular views, horseriding and island tours are all on offer here, as well as perfect sailing conditions.

We will then head off for the Tuamotus, which stretch across a wide sea area positioned between the Marquesas and the Society Islands. Many of the atolls have pearl farms that grow black pearls which used to be the main source of income for the islanders, but now they rely on selling coconuts and fish! Unbroken circles of coral surrounding lagoons make for truly spectacular views. All sorts of marine life abound here including turtles, rays and exotic fish. With fringing reefs creating sheltered lagoons the crystal clear water is perfect for endless snorkelling.

Our next stop is Papeete in Tahiti, the largest of the Society Islands. Tahiti has become known as a typical South Seas island paradise. Whilst the main city, Papeete, is bustling and well populated, the interior of the island is uninhabited, filled with jagged peaks and gorges all covered in lush tropical vegetation. Close by on Moorea there are opportunities for mountain hiking, island tours and snorkelling with rays. We will also visit Raiatea, Tahaa and Huahine before stopping off at Bora Bora, which has been known as the most beautiful island on earth. It has massive twin peaks which create a wonderful skyline. Beautiful anchorages sit within the surrounding barrier reef. For those adventurous types, you can conquer the mountain or an easier option would be to take a helicopter tour. Biking round the island is also a great way to explore.

We rendezvous with the other WARC yachts in Bora Bora in the middle of May, and from there sail across in company to Suwarrow and then onto Niue. Suwarrow is an atoll only 9 miles by 11 which became known as a dream destination for those seeking a remote island on which to escape civilization. Tom Neale from New Zealand wrote a book describing his stay there as a hermit in the 1950s. It is an amazing place, home to a huge array of fish and the biggest manta rays you will have ever seen! A proper island paradise.

In contrast, Niue Island is part of New Zealand with an area of 100 square miles, making it the largest raised coral island in the world. There is much to explore ashore including massive lime stone caves which are present both inland and along the coast, some of them nearly a mile deep. Diving is superb with underwater visibility of 30m or more.

We conclude this leg in Vava'u in Tonga which is a 230 mile sail from Niue. This was our most popular leg in 2014 & 2017 for a good reason!

Read about our previous experiences on this leg on our 2017 blog.

Booking Details
World ARC 2023, Leg 4: The Marquesas Islands to Tonga
March – May 2023 (Exact dates TBD)
(69 days, 2,500nm)
Spaces Available

£TBD per person.

Register interest

All dates subject to confirmation. Discounts available for multiple legs. Deposit of 25% due on booking, final balance due 4 months prior to joining.

Key Facts:

What's included:

  • Qualified and experienced skipper and first mate.
  • Fully coded yacht, licensed to charter anywhere in the world.
  • Full Category A medical kit.
  • Entry cost to the World ARC.
  • Organised tours, parties and events by WCC.
  • All onboard expenses.
  • Onboard food and drinks.
  • Satellite tracking, blogs and photos sent whilst at sea.
  • Tuition and guidance from two Ocean Yachtmasters.
  • Use of sextant and navigation tables.
  • All safety equipment.
  • Fuel.

What's not included:

  • Flights and transfers.
  • Meals ashore.
  • WCC crew fees (£150 per leg).
  • Personal visas (if required).
  • Personal insurance.