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Cruises to Raiatea

Raiatea (Photo:Styve Reineck/Shutterstock)

About Raiatea

Raiatea is one of the largest islands in French Polynesia -- second only to Tahiti, however, don't let its size fool you into thinking it's busy or overrun with tourists. While Bora Bora offers celebrity chic and Moorea is simply exquisite, Raiatea is a secret find. Outside of the main port town, Uturoa, the 105 square- mile (272 square-kilometer) island is quiet and lightly populated, yet there's much to do and see along the coast and within its untamed, rugged interior.

Natural beauty aside, Raiatea is known as 'The sacred Isle' because it was the centre of religion and culture dating back to about 1000AD, and there's also an enticing mystique about it. Members of various Polynesian kingdoms once journeyed here by canoe for tribal meetings, ceremonies and even human sacrifices at Marae Taputapuatea in Opoa to the southeast. Today, visitors can visit the outdoor ancient worship temple and glimpse petroglyphs carved in basaltic stones found along the coast.

One thing that sets Raiatea apart from other islands in French Polynesia is there are no real sandy beaches. However, those who want to get their feet wet can take a trip to one of the motus or islets that dot the lagoon (you have to rent or hire a boat to get to them). Among those are Motu Nao Nao, a stretch of gorgeous white sand, and Opeha Point, known for good snorkeling.

Apart from cruise ship visits, Raiatea is the yachting hub of French Polynesia and there'll always been plenty of sailboats and yachts at the island's marinas on the north coast.

Situated in the same lagoon as Raiatea and only about 10 km to the north is Tahaa, a tiny island, even quieter than Raiatea; you can only get there by boat via ship-sponsored excursions or private tours. Upon arrival you might see women fishing for their day's lunch and you'll certainly have a chance to buy vanilla and pearls and these are the two main industries. If it isn't a school day, kids will pause from chasing each other to wave hello. It feels a world away, even in the already far reaches of the South Pacific.


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  • 32 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Hilo, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    32 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Hilo
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Honolulu
    • Day 10
      Maui
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Christmas Island
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Bora Bora
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Raiatea
    • Day 19
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Moorea
    • Day 21
      Rangiroa
    • Day 22
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Marquesas
    • Day 25
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Zaandam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Easy-to-navigate ship with a spacious feel and grown-up vibe.

    Cons

    Few balconies, little variety in cabin categories, mediocre evening entertainment.

    Bottom Line

    Perfect-sized ship for port-intensive itineraries.

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Zaandam is a classy ship that proves you don't need gadgets and gimmicks to have a good time. It's...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Herbs Mom
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Top Notch small ship! Great Itinerary!!!
    Read More
    AKJonesy
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Great itinerary and good ship
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 32 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Hilo, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    32 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Hilo
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Honolulu
    • Day 10
      Maui
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Christmas Island
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Bora Bora
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Raiatea
    • Day 19
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Moorea
    • Day 21
      Rangiroa
    • Day 22
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Marquesas
    • Day 25
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Rotterdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Pool deck never feels overcrowded

    Cons

    Older ship showing signs of age, particularly in non-suite cabins

    Bottom Line

    Simple ship with a laidback atmosphere

    Reviews

    Rotterdam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Launched in 1997, Rotterdam VI is the sixth in a line of Holland America flagships and it shows...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    dhaslett87
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Mostly great service and a relaxed, uncrowded ambiance
    Read More
    Seamore42
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Comfortable Rotterdam
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    Tahiti
    Visiting:
    Bora Bora, Raiatea ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 2
      Bora Bora
    • Day 3
      Raiatea
    • Day 4
      Moorea
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Hilo
    • Day 12
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 13
      Kauai
    • Day 14
      Maui
    • Day 15
      Honolulu
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jewel - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options

    Cons

    Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover

    Bottom Line

    Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jewel Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.0
    Service3.0
    Value4.0

    More than 14 years old, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbis...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    sc_parry
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Average cruise, some good, some not so good
    Read More
    marlowman
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Not bad for a good value solo cruise
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 10 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    Tahiti
    Visiting:
    Tahiti, Huahine ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    10 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 2
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 3
      Huahine
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Rangiroa
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Raiatea
    • Day 8
      Bora Bora
    • Day 9
      Bora Bora
    • Day 10
      Moorea
    • Day 10
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 11
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    Ship Details

    Pacific Princess - Princess Cruises

    Reviews

    Pacific Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    Pacific Princess offers some of the line's more exotic itineraries in Europe, Asia and South Am...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    seanugget
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Pacific Princess Dream Come True!!
    Read More
    cllindse
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Best cruise ever on Princess
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 14 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    Tahiti
    Visiting:
    Bora Bora, Raiatea ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    14 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 2
      Bora Bora
    • Day 3
      Raiatea
    • Day 4
      Moorea
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 12
      Kauai
    • Day 13
      Kauai
    • Day 14
      Maui
    • Day 15
      Honolulu
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jewel - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options

    Cons

    Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover

    Bottom Line

    Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jewel Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.0
    Service3.0
    Value4.0

    More than 14 years old, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbis...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Rrb99
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Comparison to prior cruise experience
    Read More
    MY Schavuit
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Free at sea
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 32 Night
    Cruise to Raiatea

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Hilo, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    32 Night Cruise to Raiatea Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Hilo
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Honolulu
    • Day 10
      Maui
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Christmas Island
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Bora Bora
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Raiatea
    • Day 19
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Moorea
    • Day 21
      Rangiroa
    • Day 22
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Marquesas
    • Day 25
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Volendam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Incredibly polished service from friendly, well-trained crew

    Cons

    Does show its age in several areas throughout the ship

    Bottom Line

    Nice variety of activities, amenities and enrichment on a manageable midsize vessel

    Reviews

    Volendam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    When it launched in 1999, Volendam had the highest passenger capacity in Holland America's flee...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    esanesel
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Our second and last cruise on HAL
    Read More
    MischiefNM
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Rollercoaster of highs and lows
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.