Pape’ete, Tahiti, French Polynesia. There is very little to do in Pape’ete itself. It is a major town based around the port, like Tilbury. On docking, there will be some musicians playing by the ship, some stalls and buses, taxis and seaways waiting to take you wherever. But to see the sea and palms you need to get to a beach, or you can explore lagoons or a volcano but you will need a plan. We show you the disembark, port side, market and taxi rank, then a resort and street food.
To get a taste of local Tahitian culture, you should use the bus. We often recommend that as you know. Board the Le Truck bus to meet people and get a great introduction to the island. Simply flag a bus down, and pay on exit. About $2 US dollars in local money. The red and white buses travel 5 miles along the west coast; the green and white buses travel 6 miles along the east side. Orange and white buses are long distance and travel all the way around the island if you want a bus tour. Ask if confused.
Pape’ete is othewise expensive not just for tourists but for the people who live there. To put it in perspective, a cooked rotisserie chicken on sale from a van at the roadside is $13 to locals. Three times the price of a supermarket in the UK. A fridge magnet will cost $10 to $12.50, yes, it is ridiculously expensive. To enjoy it you will need to go to a beach, marina or a resort. Some of the beaches have black sand. The no money choice is to turn right at the docks and walk through the parks to stretch your legs.
La Plage de Maui is a beach to head for in a taxi or by a tour. It is one of the only white-sand beaches on the island and is on Tahiti’s south coast. It is about half an hour from Papeete and here you can get a true sense of the Polynesian way of life. The beach is used by many a star or celebrity. Nearby there is a lagoon where you can swim in clear clean, warm waters. Then there is a rainforest to explore and the Caverna de Maui. This will need a taxi.
If you want an easier beach, Plage de Toaroto is next to a public park and on local bus routes.
If you want an easy luxury way, contact a resort and book before you arrive; they might pick you up. A day at a resort will cost $100 each and might include lunch. We used the Manava Suite Resort which is shown in our film which is free and where some of the ship tour activities go from. Book something there and they will pick you up. The Marina is a $25 taxi ride away, the food, however, will be pricey. Expect a local beer to be $2 in a supermarket, $5 in a bar, and a cocktail to be not short of $20. So, the answer might be to take an excursion or a trip. Take a look at our film. We have done this route twice, both times we went to resorts. You need to get out to see unspoilt mountainous landscapes full of cascading waterfalls and dramatic coastal blowholes. Our deals guide is a page of working links to the operators deal pages, and this is our list of ship chat sites.
GOOD READS FOR A CRUISE –
A serial killer on ship in the Pacific days from land? – Millions of dollars smuggled on and off ship, then goes missing? – An agoraphobic woman who has never had a relationship decides to cruise before its too late? – Great books that happen on board cruise ships, that make excellent reading while cruising – click here for our cruise novels page.
The cruise size luggage labels are a hot recommendation, the other items are fun.
If you want a closer look at the Manava Suite and the rooms there, here is the longer film of the resort.
Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA.
- P&O Cruises – Book your cruise to Papeete direct with P&O – Click here
- or for the Late P&O deals click here to see the fleet click here
- Fred Olsen – Book your cruise to Papeete with Fred Olsen – Click here
- or for the late Fred Olsen deals click here to see the fleet click here
- TUI Cruises – TUI Cruises click here
- or for the late Thomson Cruise deals click here to see the fleet click here
- Saga Cruises – Search, check availability and book – Click here
- or for the late SAGA CRUISE deals click here to see the fleet click here
- Pontins special breaks like Big Bands and Christmas Tinsel can be booked here. See Pontins special breaks here
BOOKS SET IN TAHITI: The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea. Following a brief romance and a period of self-pity, Kevin Patterson decided to have an adventure and sail in a boat to Tahiti from Canada. Quite a distance for someone who had never been in a boat. On Amazon