Motu Beach Picnic &
Duration: Approximately 4 1⁄2 hours
Departs: Thursday, Morning
Your experience begins when you board a comfortable, covered, motorized
catamaran to the sounds of the crew playing welcome songs. From Cook’s Bay you
will visit Opunohu Bay and cruise along colorful lagoons and learn about the
history and legends of the island. Upon arrival at your private motu (small
atoll), you will have ample time to explore, swim, snorkel around the turquoise
lagoon or simply relax on the beach or in the shaded tree area while the local
crew prepare lunch. One of the highlights will be when the local guides attract
schools of stingrays from the lagoon for a feeding. You are welcome to join in
and touch and play with these gentle sea creatures. A delicious buffet-style
lunch is served with soft island music in the background. After lunch you will
be entertained further with more music and a coconut demonstration (coconut tree
climbing and coconut preparation). You will be transferred by motorized
catamaran back to Cook’s Bay and the ship.
Parasailing for Lovers &
Duration: Approximately 1 1⁄4 hours
Departs: Wednesday, Morning & Afternoon
very limited capacity
In the comfort of a private, deluxe covered parasail boat with an
English-speaking driver/guide, relax and enjoy flying high above the
turquoise lagoons of Moorea. With new equipment on board, you can fly double
with a friend or partner and share the exciting adventure together. Or
simply slip on a single harness and enjoy the tranquility and views on your
own. Either way, you are in for the thrill of a lifetime!
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Duration: Approximately 3-3 1⁄2 hours
Departs: Wednesdays, Morning & Afternoon
very limited capacity
Participate with the research team of American marine biologist Dr.
Michael Poole in long-term research on Moorea’s wild, free-range dolphins and
See, learn about, and photograph dolphins and/or whales, and the dramatic
beauty of Moorea, then relax with a snorkeling stop in Moorea’s translucent,
blue-green lagoon and enjoy complimentary fruit and juice.
The comfortable, fiberglass boat is 34 feet long, has an overhead sun roof, and
is powered by two outboard motors. During the departure from the boat dock the
team’s naturalist and the boat captain are both introduced, and the abundance of
dolphins and whales in French Polynesia’s warm waters is briefly discussed.
During the tour, the naturalist discusses the volcanic creation of
oceanic islands and coral atolls, as well as the formation of fringing reefs and
barrier reefs, all with specific reference to the islands of French Polynesia.
The naturalist also discusses plate tectonics with reference to the past and
present geographical positions of the islands.
The primary adventure of the tour is the search for and finding of
schools of acrobatic spinner dolphins. These dolphins live permanently in
Moorea’s waters, and are known by name and number to the research team. The
dolphins approach the boat very closely and are sometimes very active, so guests
should bring their still and video cameras. While the dolphins are close to the
boat, the naturalist shares with the passengers our current knowledge of the
remarkable lives at sea and the complex society of these fascinating mammals.
Occasionally, rough-toothed dolphins and pilot whales are also seen, and
from July-October there are often the magnificent giants—humpback whales.
One of the fringe benefits of the tour is the opportunity to see from the
water the dramatic, scenic beauty of Moorea. The boat will slow down or stop at
any time to allow photographs to be taken of the breathtaking scenery. Time
permitting, a snorkeling stop somewhere in the lagoon is offered during the
tour, usually immediately after you have left the dolphins. This stop generally
takes place in shallow, clear water where coral, fish, and sometimes shells can
be seen. A ladder on board the boat facilitates entering the water and returning
to the boat.
Complimentary fruit and juice are offered during the tour. Typical fruit
includes bananas, papayas, pamplemousse (Tahitian grapefruit), and Moorea’s
world famous pineapples. The fruit juice is usually made from fresh Tahitian
limes, or from pineapples and coconuts.
This tour is the most adventurous, most informative, and most exciting
water-based excursion in French Polynesia. Dr. Poole’s research and this tour
have been featured on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. “There is no
comparable tour in the South Pacific”---Hidden Tahiti & French Polynesia,
Ulysses Press, 1997.
note: Wear your bathing suit under your clothing, bring a towel, hat,
sunscreen, cameras, and snorkel gear.
Moorea Island Tour by Helicopter
Duration: Approximately 1 1⁄2 hours (20 minutes flying time)
Departs: Wednesdays & Thursdays, Morning & Afternoon
Very limited capacity
A 20-minute flight aboard a five-passenger Ecureuil helicopter is
available for those who would like to view Moorea from the air. Your pilot will
circle the island, affording views of the beautiful aquamarine waters of the
lagoons surrounding the island. Next you will fly in and around the mountain
ridges and valleys which make up Moorea’s distinctive interior. Before landing,
you will have the opportunity to take photographs of the Wind Song at anchor in
Cook’s Bay. This is a helicopter ride like no other; the sheer beauty of
Moorea’s scenery from the air makes this tour a must!
Agricultural 4-Wheel Drive
Duration: Approximately : approximately 3 hours
Departs: Wednesday, Morning
Board a 4-wheel-drive vehicle for a ride through Moorea’s deep valleys.
Your adventure begins with a drive to Paopao Valley, passing pineapple
plantations and then crossing the Paopao Opunohu trail to the territorial
property of Opunohu, where a stop will be made at the Titiroa Marae. This large
temple complex was strictly reserved for the gods, while the tablet-like stones
protruding from the earth were backrests for chiefs or priests. This particular
temple was used for animal sacrifices as offerings to the gods.
Continue to the Belvedere lookout point where you will have a spectacular
panoramic view of Opunohu and Cook’s Bay with imposing Mt Rotui in the middle.
Return to the interior trails of the Rural College of Opunohu to learn all about
banana, grapefruit and papaya trees and coffee plantations. The heady smells of
these fruits may entice you to purchase some of the exotic fruits at a fruit
The interior of Moorea continues to draw you ever deeper into vanilla and
bamboo plantations. Continue to Papetoai Village and visit the first Christian
church built in French Polynesia. This octagonal church built by the London
Missionary Society in 1822 still stands and is the oldest European building
still in use in the South Pacific. In Papetoai Village you will also encounter
some fresh water eels. Your tour continues with a visit to the Moorea Fruit
Juice Factory. Aside from the excellent papaya, grapefruit and pineapple juices
made with local fruits, the factory produces apple, orange and passion fruit
juices from imported concentrate, with no preservatives added. They also make
40% proof brandies—carambola or star fruit, ginger, grapefruit, mango, orange
and pineapple flavors—and 25% proof liqueurs—coconut, ginger and pineapple.
Please note: This tour involves rough off-road driving and steep
ascents and descents. It is not recommended for guests with bad backs, pregnant
women or those who suffer from motion sickness or vertigo.
Swim & Snorkel in Moorea’s
Duration: Approximately 31⁄2 hours
Departs: Wednesday, Morning
Discover the bays of Cook and Opunohu in comfort on a modern, covered
boat that will protect you from the direct rays of the sun. Travel these
majestic bays with a captain who will give a brief lecture on the legends, the
geography, the fauna and the flora of Moorea.
Next, dive into this magnificent lagoon and enjoy the warm, crystal-clear
water. You will continue to a lovely sandy islet surrounded by transparent
turquoise waters, shallow enough to walk comfortably into the sea. As soon as
the boat arrives, you will find rays waiting for you. In exchange for a piece of
fish they will gracefully dance around you. After this wonderful experience,
continue to another uninhabited motu (islet), where refreshments will be served.
You will have time for snorkeling and swimming or beach combing before returning
to the pier.
Please note: The boat has an excellent ladder that extends deep into the water
to facilitate boarding. Bring your camera, a disposable underwater camera, reef
shoes, snorkel gear, a hat, towel, and sunscreen. The snorkeling location may
vary depending on lagoon conditions such as currents and visibility