Cruising with Susan Calman (Tahiti and French Polynesia)

Susan Calman on a cruise

Susan embarks on an adventure to the sun-kissed tropical islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Her voyage, spanning over 9000 miles, requires two plane trips.

The first leg sees her aboard a stunning, sleek sailing ship with five impressive sails. Here, she settles into her home for the forthcoming 10 days. Among the crew and fellow travellers, she encounters Second Officer Brian from Wales, who cordially invites her to the bridge and allows her to handle one of the sails.

Despite its modest size, the ship brims with activities. Susan eagerly signs up for a ‘Couples Massage’, though she’s still on the lookout for a partner. She gears up for snorkelling, donning a mask and fins, and soon plunges into the turquoise waters of Fakarava. Overcoming her shark fears, she triumphs, with a school of dolphins seemingly joining in her celebration.

In Rangiroa, the largest atoll in French Polynesia, Susan delves into the world of the renowned black pearl, learning about its intricate production and harvesting.

As tropical weather sets in, the ship retreats to Tahiti. This diversion allows Susan to accompany Head Chef Danilo to a local food market, culminating in a delightful dinner with fellow guests, courtesy of the onboard crew.

The journey culminates in Bora Bora, where a snorkelling excursion in the lagoon reveals efforts to protect the coral reefs and their inhabitants. The first segment of her South Pacific odyssey concludes with a barbecue and tropical line dancing back on the ship.

Episode 2 sees Susan continuing her captivating voyage around French Polynesia. Her adventure starts off the coast of Bora Bora, then moves to Mo’orea before concluding in Tahiti.

In Bora Bora, Susan discovers the Va’a, a traditional outrigger canoe pivotal in Polynesian exploration. Onboard the ship, she keeps active by walking laps on the deck, rewarding herself afterwards with a cocktail. Her exploration of Bora Bora includes a bus tour, where she delves into the island’s history and culture. This includes learning about the Tahitian pareo, a sarong synonymous with the region.

Susan’s day in Bora Bora ends with a visit to Bloody Mary’s, a famous bar frequented by Hollywood stars, followed by a beach party on a private motu. Here, she enjoys traditional food, Polynesian dancing, and a stunning fire show.

The final part of her journey takes her to the breathtaking lagoon of Mo’orea. She speaks with the ship’s captain, Belinda, about the challenges of navigating these waters and her past sailing experiences around Britain.

On Mo’orea, Susan meets Temoana, a local photographer and environmentalist. He shares insights into the local marine life while snorkelling and discusses the importance of preserving this unique environment.

Cruising with Susan Calman (Tahiti and French Polynesia) airs on Channel 5 on Friday, 12 January and Friday, 19 January at 8:00PM.

The episodes are the second and third from the show’s first series.