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Cruises to Huahine

Huahine (Photo:Mumemories/Shutterstock)

About Huahine

Huahine, pronounced wah-ee-nee by the French and who-a-hee-nay by Tahitians, offers a taste of old Polynesia. Historically, the island is one of the three most important Polynesian archaeological sites, along with Easter Island and Raiatea, the latter also in French Polynesia. Ruins in the form of stone and coral temples remain from the days of Royal rule -- as do 400-year-old stone fish traps that are still in use.

Intriguing as is its history, what Huahine does best is force visitors to kick back and relax. With only about 6,000 inhabitants (compared to Tahiti's 190,000), police officers double as mailmen, and tourist infrastructure is purposely kept to a minimum. The pace of life -- even in the main village of Fare -- will slow down even the slickest city slicker. This is an island where it's best to "go with the flow" and seriously chill out. The pace is leisurely -- your meal in Fare's waterfront restaurant won't arrive in lightning time, but if you turn up on a weeknight (or early evening) at one of the food caravans at the port (called roulottes), you may be the only people there and the chef will rustle up your lemon chicken or chow mein in no time flat. Island time rules here and it's quite seductive.

Like Tahiti, Huahine is actually made up of two smaller islands -- Huahine Nui (big) and Huahine Iti (small) -- separated by the bright blue Maroe Bay, to the east of the connecting bridge, and the place where cruise ships anchor.

Polynesian legend has it that the god Hiro split the landmass in two by plowing into it with a canoe. The mountains are lush and green, and roadways are lined with coconut and banana trees, vines of vanilla, and wild hibiscus that scents the air and adds splashes of tropical color to the landscape.

  • More about Huahine

  • Why go to Huahine?

  • Huahine Cruise Port Facilities?

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Nautica
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Wind Spirit
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Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
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More about Huahine

Why go to Huahine?

Pros:

Wild jungle beauty and plenty of history enhance this isolated island

Cons:

Very few facilities for those seeking fancy restaurants and bars

Bottom Line:

Huahine is a quieter alternative to its touristy neighbors and a step back in time

Huahine Cruise Port Facilities?

Aside from a restroom and one small shack containing a snack bar and some handicrafts, there's nothing at the tender dock. If you are exploring independently of a shore excursion, shopping, dining and activities are centered in the village of Fare on the north-west coast of Huahine Nui.

Good to Know?

Rain showers are common in Huahine, and while they don't usually last long, they're often intense enough to require an umbrella. If wet weather occurs during your visit, look for the pretty rainbows that form over Maroe Bay.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the French Pacific franc, shown as CFP in shops (and XPF on currency websites). Though some shops accept U.S. dollars, including the big supermarket in Fare, you may want to keep a few francs on hand for the smaller boutiques. There's an ATM at the Banque de Tahiti.

Language?

  • Tahitian and French are mostly spoken, though tourist officials and many folks in town can communicate in English.
  • Tahitian and French are mostly spoken, though tourist officials and many folks in town can communicate in English.

Where You're Docked?

  • Ships anchor between Huahine Iti (Little Huahine) and Huahine Nui (Big Huahine to the north in Maroe Bay; the tender dock is in the village of Maroe on Huahine Iti.
  • **By Shuttle:** You might find an occasional taxi chugging along, but there's an extreme shortage of public transportation so don't rely on it to get around. Cruise lines operate a shuttle across the bridge (between Iti and Nui) and into Fare, utilizing open-air, wooden bench buses known throughout French Polynesia as Le Truck. _**(Editor's note:** The Le Trucks are sensitive to every bump in the road and can be hard on the back; bring a towel to sit on if you need extra support as the ride lasts about 20 minutes.)_

    On Foot: Once in Fare, the going is easy; the main waterfront road is only a block or so long and extremely walkable. If you are standing at the pavilion facing the water when you exit Le Truck, the town's boutiques, banks and internet cafes are to your left; a five-minute walk to the right along the waterfront is a pretty, free, public beach (the lagoon is clear for independent snorkeling).

    By Car or Scooter: Like most of the islands in French Polynesia, it's easy to drive around Huahine. Both Nui and Iti's coastal roads are about 20 km in length, so it's (virtually!) impossible to get lost. However, as Huahine is made up of two islands, there are forks in the road when you cross over from Huahine Nui to Huahine Iti, and vice-versa. But whatever fork you take, you'll end up circling the island. You're unlikely to see too many other cars on the coastal roads so just relax and enjoy the island's wild beauty. As public transport is limited, this is a good way to experience a really sleepy place and stop off along the way to view ancient temples (marae) and perhaps pull into a cafe for lunch or a snack. Avis, Hertz and Europcar rent vehicles right at the tender dock.


Huahine Cruise Reviews
Very beautiful, rural island with some of the most unspoiled scenery ever. Snorkeling was outstanding and the people amazing!Read More
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CnC1633
Visited vanilla farm, several sacred sites. Paul was and excellent guide.Read More
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waggie1856
Took le truck to the Yacht club and had lunch and beers!Read More
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stephensjw
We were in and out and had to take the spine-shattering ride in a shell on the pack of a oversized pickup truck with no shocks. By the time you arrive at the beach - the only place the free vendor goes - it's time toRead More
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rjeffb

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