It was bound to happen. Tried and true cruise itineraries to the Mediterranean were getting a wee bit stale.

This spring, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Regent were among some of the major cruise lines that announced cuts to European destinations, citing dampening demand due to Europe’s weak economy and the high price of airline tickets from the U.S.

As a result, several cruise lines have responded by introducing more exotic voyages, including to destinations like French Polynesia and the South Pacific.

Paul Gauguin Cruises, which has dominated French Polynesia in past years, is offering a new line of destinations through Tahiti and the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, the Tuamotus, and the Marquesas for the 2014 season.  The line even offers trips as far as Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.

Windstar Cruises—with its fleet of intimate motor-sail-yachts and mega yachts—returns to Tahiti for the first time in 12 years, offering 7-night round-trip voyages out of Papeete, Tahiti, aboard the 148-passenger Wind Spirit starting in May, 2014.

Windstar CEO, Hans Birkholz, told the return of Windstar was due to customer demand.

“Windstar’s return to Tahiti has always been the number one request from our guests, even a decade later,” said Birkholz. “The expansion of our fleet, with the addition of our three new power yachts (formerly Seabourn Legend, Pride, and Spirit), made this the perfect time to return one of our sailing yachts to Tahiti.”

Bill Goodwin, author of Frommer’s Tahiti & French Polynesia and Frommer’s South Pacific guidebooks, told that exploring the region on a boat is one of the best ways to see it.

“The Society Islands are close enough together that no overnight passages are necessary among Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a, and Bora Bora,” said Goodwin. “Consequently, cruise ships spend many nights at anchor inside the lagoons, giving opportunities to play in the water and take excursions into the mountainous interiors.”

Goodwin, who’s been visiting this region since 1977 when he made a trip there on a 41-foot yacht from Annapolis, Md., going through the Panama Canal, says experiences like climbing to Moorea’s Le Belvédère Lookout or going shark-feeding on Bora Bora are not to be missed.

If you’re looking to add some exotica into your cruise itinerary, there are more than Paul Gauguin and Windstar cruises.  Here’s a list of some of the best options available: