The French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea
2023 HAL World Cruise
Saturday to Tuesday, January 21 to 24, 2023
So, where does one begin when talking about the charm of French Polynesia??? There is so much to explore; so much to amaze; so much to learn and admire. Entire books are written about these islands!!! There are more than 100 islands grouped into 5 archipelagos: Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands, and Austral Islands.
The Society Islands are the most inhabited group. These high tropical islands are encircled by coral reefs and lagoons. This is where Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea are located. Papeete, Tahiti is the capital city of French Polynesia. The island is lush and beautiful. The city not so much. It is a governmental city with little to do other than eat and conduct business!!! There is a large shopping mall, Vaimo, with upscale boutiques and charming restaurants. There is also the local market, Ville de Papeete, only a block away with flowers, vegetables & fruits, spices, and other foodstuff as well as crafts on the first level and little shops with clothing on the second. The seaside promenade is lovely; the cathedral is charming; and the roulottes on the dock in the evening are one of our most favorite things!!! Moorea, which happens to be shaped like a heart, is a popular honeymoon destination. Several years ago, we ferried over to this island from Papeete to stay at the Intercontinental Hotel’s overwater bungalows. We toured the on-site dolphin rescue center, attended a Polynesian show & dinner on the beach, and marveled at the sea-life through windows in our bungalow floor!!! Alas, this year, the Intercontinental is closed and we were unable to taxi over for the fabulous lunch we had anticipated. Raiatea is believed to be the origin of organized migrations to the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, and other parts of Polynesia. Now how amazing is that!!! Originally known as Havaiki (the sacred place), this little island is the homeland of the Maori people. This is also the site of the Taputapuatea marae (maraes are holy compounds) which was built in 1000AD and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. We docked in the village (farre) of Uturoa where we shopped, ate the most wonderful fish and chips (eat your heart out UK!!!), and paid exorbitant prices for the vanilla beans, black pearls, and magnets we bought as souvenirs!!!
Let’s take a look at the photos:
It will now take four sea-days to our next port-of-call.
We will cross the International Dateline on the way!!!
2 thoughts on “The French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea”
That was Great!!
Almost like being there! Very beautiful!!
Thank you, Tony.
The surprising thing about French Polynesia is that the islands are all so different. It’s impossible to have a favorite island because each one is special in some way and that makes them all favorites!!!