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Cruises to Moorea

Moorea (Photo:GuilhermeMesquita/Shutterstock)

About Moorea

They don't call the heart-shaped Moorea "the magical island" for nothing. Dominated by jagged mountain peaks, turquoise lagoons and lush tropical foliage, Moorea is the favorite port of call in French Polynesia for many cruise passengers and crew.

Some say that Bali Hai, the fictional island from the musical South Pacific, was based on Moorea -- and the island looks the way you probably imagine a tropical paradise to look (even unsightly power cables are buried underground to further the paradisaical effect). Even better is the wide, shallow lagoon that surrounds it. You can swim or snorkel right from shore, or take a short boat ride out to a secluded motu, a tiny islet.

Upscale Bora Bora may get more hype, but Moorea is a sleeper. While it doesn't have Bora Bora's drop-dead beautiful lagoon, there are many beautiful vistas at every turn for those who take the time to explore. Residents of Tahiti know all about it. They come for the weekend because it's so easy to get here, a mere 30 minutes on the fast ferry from Papeete. No matter when you visit, you won't find crowds or traffic jams. Only about 16,000 people call Moorea home.

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DAY 1: Honolulu

18 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Hilo, Tahiti ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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DAY 1: San Diego

35 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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DAY 1: Sydney

18 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Paihia, Auckland ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Santiago
Visiting:
Robinson Crusoe Island, Easter Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
New Plymouth, Picton ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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107 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Paihia, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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107 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Komodo Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Raiatea, Huahine ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Rangiroa, Tahaa ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Rangiroa, Tahaa ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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55 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Bergen, Olden ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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22 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Lautoka
Visiting:
Suva, Savusavu ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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31 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Mare ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Huahine, Tahaa ...
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Cruise Line:
Paul Gauguin Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Vairao, Huahine ...
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Cruise Line:
Paul Gauguin Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Huahine, Bora Bora ...
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Cruise Line:
Paul Gauguin Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Tahiti
Visiting:
Moorea, Raiatea ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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25 Night
Cruise to Moorea

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Bora Bora, Tahiti ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Why go to Moorea?

Pros:

Spectacular rugged mountains are the island's scenic drawcard

Cons:

The lagoon is not as invitingly blue as Bora Bora's

Bottom Line:

Plenty to do on land and sea, but renting a car or scooter will add to the experience

Moorea Cruise Port Facilities?

Merchants set up tables of shell jewelry, key chains, pareos and other wallet-friendly souvenirs at each tender drop-off spot on the island. There are also a few cafes, pizza parlours and shops in Cook's Bay -- but that's about it. Remember, you're in Moorea to get away from it all.

Good to Know?

Chickens cross the road! Moorea is sleepy and safe; apart from sunburn and mosquito bites there's little to fear. Still, practice common sense especially if renting motor scooters.

Getting Around?

By Car: Driving around Moorea is easy and a fun way to spend a day in port. The island's coastal road is 40 miles (63 km) long and there are only a few roads that venture into the island's interior -- the main one wanders up to the Belvedere Lookout for amazing views. As in Tahiti, distances are measured by Pointes Kilometre markers, called PK, which begin at 0 at the airport and are numbered both clockwise and anti- or counter-clockwise. For example, the Hilton Resort, located between the two bays on the north coast, is located at PK13 counter-clockwise on maps. You'll get the idea once you start driving. Avis (689-40-56-32-68), Europcar (689-40-56-28-64) and the family-owned Albert Rent-a-Car (689-40-55-21-10) rent cars from around 90 Euro a day at Vaiare and other locations across the island; advance reservations are highly recommended and prices are seasonal. Local car rental agencies gather at the pier, as do renters of bicycles and scooters. There is virtually no public transportation on Moorea, and taxis are expensive. Even hitching a ride is chancy as there is so little traffic, although it is perfectly safe

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the French Pacific franc, which is written as CFP in shops, and on currency exchange websites as XPF. Banque de Polynesie ATM is located in Le Petit Village, the island's main shopping area on the north-west coast of the island.

Language?

French and Tahitian are the official languages. Some locals speak English, but don't count on it. Carry an English/French dictionary or phrase book.

Where You're Docked?

Ships anchor off the town of Vaiare on the east coast -- or in Cook's Bay or Opunohu Bay on the northern coast -- and tenders passengers to makeshift villages that spring to life only when ships are in.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated South Pacific Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated South Pacific Destinations

Moorea Cruise Reviews

teamflames
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We also stopped in Marquesas which is not listed here, it was fantastic, very little infrastructure and tourism but so wild. We hiked to local lookout which was hot and amazing. Also visited the unique Notre Dame... Read More
Lindabinda
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Caught the tender over to Moorea and walked through the local shops. Had the absolute BEST fresh coconut ever!!! Seemed like it would never end, sweet, cold milk & the flesh was delicious too. Bargain at 200... Read More
Aandn
Sail Date: Apr 2019
The sail into Moorea was truly magical with low cloud over the mountain peaks and a shower out on the water. The port was a tender port, so it took a little while to get to shore. It was Easter Monday, but still we... Read More
Luisella
Sail Date: Jan 2019
We hired a car and spent three hours around Moorea. Loved it! French Polynesia is spectacular. Bought a mabe pearl ring at Pearlescence-I highly recommend.... Read More
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