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Cruises to Bora Bora

149 Reviews
2 Awards
Bora Bora (Photo: TWEITH/Shutterstock)

About Bora Bora

Bora Bora is an exclusive haunt loved by honeymooners and celebrities, some of whom have reportedly stayed in over-the-water villas for more than US$15,000 per night. A meal or drink at the island's famous Bloody Mary's in Bora Bora Yacht Club is a must. The bar, which has hosted stars from Willie Nelson to Nelson Rockefeller, is as much a part of the Bora Bora experience as swimming in the gorgeous blue-green lagoon, which is three times the size of the island's actual landmass. The good news for cruise passengers is it's cheaper to visit Bora Bora by sea than on a land-based holiday -- and, on some cruises, you get an overnight stay.

The island is a high-end playground dependent on tourism, but it's still not as slick and Hollywood chic as you might expect. Novelist James A. Michener, who penned Tales of the South Pacific and visited 40 islands during his WWII naval service, described Bora Bora "the world's most beautiful island". Within the warm turquoise waters and snow-white ring of sand is a mountainous interior dominated by two majestic peaks -- Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the remnants of an extinct volcano.

You can make a day of it in Bora Bora simply by lounging on the beach or floating in the lagoon. But if you find it surprisingly difficult to do nothing, there are active pursuits to enjoy on the water and on land. Bora Bora is much more geared to outdoor pursuits than to shopping and culture, although shoppers will find plenty of trinkets for sale at the Vaitape wharf and many high-end pearl shops. Snorkelling and scuba diving are world class, with surprisingly friendly reef sharks and rays. Bicycles are the recommended method of transport if you have time to spare - you can circle around the whole island in three to four hours (or less) depending on fitness levels. The coastal ring road is 32 km long.

  • More about Bora Bora

  • Why go to Bora Bora?

  • Bora Bora Cruise Port Facilities?

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Regatta
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386 Reviews
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Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

57 Night
World CruiseDetails

386 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

10 Night
Tahiti CruiseDetails

386 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

11 Night
Tahiti & The Tuamotu Islands 11d Ppt-pptDetails

121 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Feb 4, 2024
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36 Night
Grand World VoyageDetails

1,006 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2023
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7 Night
Dreams Of Tahiti 7d Ppt-pptDetails

102 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Jul 20, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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18 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

361 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jan 8, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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150 Night
150 Night World CruiseDetails

375 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

302 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Feb 11, 2025
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15 Night
Heart Of PolynesiaDetails

202 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Apr 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Tahiti CruiseDetails

361 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

302 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Feb 26, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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34 Night
South Pacific CrossingDetails

794 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

120 Night
120 Night Viking World JourneysDetails

1,088 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Bora Bora

Why go to Bora Bora?

Pros:

One of the world's most stunning lagoons is best explored by boat or jet ski

Cons:

It's an expensive place and some areas are surprisingly less than luxurious

Bottom Line:

The claimed 'seven shades of blue' water will take your breath away

Bora Bora Cruise Port Facilities?

You'll find shops and market stalls in Vaitape selling souvenirs and jewellery (the famous Tahitian black pearls are everywhere), plus a handful of restaurants (all closed on our Sunday evening stroll for dinner, sadly.) Most folks don't linger too long in Vaitape; they're taking ship-sponsored shore excursions or exploring independently. You can find an ATM, post office and tourist office within easy walk of the tender pier.

Good to Know?

Much of Vaitape is closed on Sunday evenings and on national holidays. It's also expensive -- even compared to typically high island prices. Expect to pay about $30 more for a rental car here than in Moorea, for example.

Getting Around?

By Car: Avis and Europcar have offices across from the Vaitape pier. Electric bicycles are also available for hire.

By Bus: Le Truck is the island's bus service, but it is highly irregular and not recommended.

By Taxi: Taxis are available at the pier. Taxi fares are expensive in French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora. So it's advisable to ask the price before boarding. Taxis are plentiful during cruise ships visits and may offer competitive rates for short shuttle trips down to Matira Beach or Bloody Mary's restaurant. As buses charges around US$5 (A$7.50) per person for a one-way trip; a taxi ride up to $20 (for the whole cab) is a good deal.

By Shuttle Bus: Local buses turn up in droves on the days when cruise ships are docked. The buses offer trips to Matira Beach and Bloody Mary's restaurant, about three miles to the south. The one-way ride is US$5; drivers also accept French Pacific Francs -- the equivalent is around 500 XPF. The bus leaves once all the seats are full.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the French Pacific franc. It is officially written as XPF, but many shops write it as CFP. ATMs are found at the bank branches of Banque Socredo and Banque de Polynesie in Vaitape.

Language?

French and Tahitian are the official languages, and both are commonly used, but English is spoken and understood in most restaurants and tourism establishments.

Where You're Docked?

Ships typically anchor in Pofai Bay and passengers are tendered to the township of Vaitape. This village of shops and eateries is on the western side of the main island and perfect for sunset viewing.


Bora Bora Cruise Reviews
We overnighted at Bora Bora. On day 1 we did an island tour which was very nice. There was a driver and also a guide so he was able to talk to us during the entire excursion about Bora Bora. On day 2 we went on a Read More
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loudini56
We booked with aa cruise critic group and it went wellRead More
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Kauaijim
Do not miss the opportunity to see the life under the water. There are many tour options and prices reflect that you are in one of the premier islands of the world. The water is very clear and warm allowing you to enRead More
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welcometocruising
absolutely beautiful, a must see for every cruiserRead More
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grandpacobra

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