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happycdn

Raiatea - inland or Tahaa Excursion Bleue

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Hi

 

I wanted some opinions for the day we are on Raiatea - is it better to go inland to see the old polynesian sites etc. or is it better to do Bruno's Excursion Bleue day trip around Tahaa including pearl farm, vanilla plantation, Coral Garden, Motu picnic etc.

 

Thanks for the info

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IMO if this is your first trip to Raiatea I would say the Bruno activities are the best. A motu picnic on one of the islands is always a treat for us. Not so much the lunch, but the time on the beach and on the reef and the music. A pearl farm and vanilla plantation is a good experience at least once. I have done both tours and the other is also nice. You might be able to find one that is a combination, but if you had to chose one ...

 

Have a great time.

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My vote is for Bruno as well. We did his tour in 2007 and are going to do it again later this year. Wouldn't miss it.

No matter what you do, you can't have a bad time in Paradise. Enjoy.

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Bruno.Bruno,Bruno

 

This is one long fun day--Enjoy !!!!

 

We've done it many times--be sure to buy the CD--the main pictures will be of you--you'll love it--be sure to tell him before you take off that you want it--I think about $35 not sure--but once he knows you want one his camera is pointed your way in and out of the water !!!

 

Nancy:D

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...consider Bruno's tour while visiting.

 

I have a link below (Picasa photo storage site), if interested, that will give you an idea picture-wise of the tour. Just open the link and scroll down to the Raiatea folder.

 

Regardless of your chioce, have a GREAT CRUISE!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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We did the 1/2 day tour with Bruno a few years ago & I can definately recommend it to you. The only thing better would have been the full day tour, but our ship was not in port long enough.

 

I can also strongly recommend an underwater camera. The photo ops are great from the boat around the islands but just as impressive underwater.

We have pictures of both all around the house. ps - My picture above was taken while on Bruno's tour.

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What time does the Bruno tour finish.

 

Is seems Royal Princess are offering a sunset sail cruise around the other half of the island that Bruno does not cover, and would be interested. However Princess say we need an hour between tours?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Another vote for Bruno. I enjoyed the tour with him in 2008 and would like to potentially do it again in 2011.

 

I don't recall the exact finishing time but think the tour time was 8:30am to 4:45 pm. If you e-mail him, I'm sure he'll let you know when you should be back.

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Bob, is the snorkeling that Bruno includes the 'drift' snorkeling that I have read about and that Princess does in their drift snorkeling excursion?

 

...consider Bruno's tour while visiting.

 

I have a link below (Picasa photo storage site), if interested, that will give you an idea picture-wise of the tour. Just open the link and scroll down to the Raiatea folder.

 

Regardless of your chioce, have a GREAT CRUISE!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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Bob, is the snorkeling that Bruno includes the 'drift' snorkeling that I have read about and that Princess does in their drift snorkeling excursion?

 

...regarding their drift snorkel tour.

 

Bruno offers what I call a snorkel 'experience' in the Taha'a Island coral 'garden'.

 

When we were there it was not a true 'drift' dive that you may be used to doing via scuba or snorkel (deeper water, the current carries you through a reef, etc.)

 

The coral garden was fairly shadow with minimal current at the time we did it. In fact, you needed to be able to avoid the coral with what little current there was. Some folks on our tour experienced minor cuts from the coral.

 

It's great portion of the tour (wonderful coral & marine life) but be sure to pack some good water shoes for the tour.

 

Have a Great Cruise!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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The only reason I have not booked Bruno's this August, is because of reviews I have seen where people have reported injuries from the drift snorkelling. The last thing you need at the start of a cruise.

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...regarding their drift snorkel tour.

 

Bruno offers what I call a snorkel 'experience' in the Taha'a Island coral 'garden'.

 

When we were there it was not a true 'drift' dive that you may be used to doing via scuba or snorkel (deeper water, the current carries you through a reef, etc.)

 

The coral garden was fairly shadow with minimal current at the time we did it. In fact, you needed to be able to avoid the coral with what little current there was. Some folks on our tour experienced minor cuts from the coral.

 

It's great portion of the tour (wonderful coral & marine life) but be sure to pack some good water shoes for the tour.

 

Have a Great Cruise!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

 

Is this excursion something that none snorkelers would also enjoy or is the snorkeling/water portion the majority of the tour? My hubby is adamant about not snorkeling though woudl enjoy a boat ride.

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Is this excursion something that none snorkelers would also enjoy or is the snorkeling/water portion the majority of the tour? My hubby is adamant about not snorkeling though woudl enjoy a boat ride.

 

...coral garden took up about an hour. For those that don't wish to snorkel there is a small beach and shore line to explore. Another snorkel opportunity, if desired, follows the motu lunch where they have the small fenced lagoon that has some sharks and turtles penned up. This portion of the tour is also fairly brief (20 minutes). Again, non-snorkelers can explore the motu island, or observe the marine life from the dock/pier.

 

The rest of the tour, as you probably know, are visits to a vanilla & pearl farms (quite interesting) plus motoring around the island.

 

I think you'd have fun even if you wish not to snorkel (the waters are really fairly shallow) where you might want to take just a swim instead. Your probably going to get wet anyhow so be sure to wear swimwear and if dry clothing is desired be sure to put wear in a large ziplock. Rain showers (at least when we toured) seem to come and go.

 

Pix of our January tour are on the Picasa site below my signature

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Bon Voyage & Good Health!

Bob:)

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Is this excursion something that none snorkelers would also enjoy or is the snorkeling/water portion the majority of the tour? My hubby is adamant about not snorkeling though woudl enjoy a boat ride.

 

Sure is !!!!--that is the last part of the day--and you can enjoy the water there--as I remember it's about waist high and warm or you can stay in the boat when others go snorkeling--plenty for a non-snorkelers to do--I try NOT to snorkle any longer--but I go on all the boat rides--swimming with the rays etc.

 

Bruno starts with taking you to a black pearl farm--he or someone else shows you how the black pearls are formed etc--then walk over to the house where the lady will teach you a lot about quality of black pearls when they are side by side--of course, they are more than happy to sell black pearls to you--This is also a spot with a restroom in the back house--few of those things around--there is usually a vanilla farm and of course, lunch--sometimes at a spot with a lagoonarium that Bruno wlll go in and show you the different fish--Don't know if anyone can go in--or why would anyone want to--I think you may go in the water if you would like to--Not me !!!

 

Personally, I will go with Bruno again for one of my Raitaia stops--but I'm looking for a different venue/person for one of them--I like all of my excursions to be water oriented--don't care about a circle island land tour--just toss me in a boat and I'll be happy.

 

Nancy:D

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Thanks Nancy and Bob for your info. I have sent Bruno an email to enquire. We may get a group going for our Nov 29 sailing.

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the coral gardens are formations of coral that are in a narrow of water between land on both sides. when you get out of the boat you walk along the side for a ways til you get to the top of the gardens where the flow of water can be quite swift(funnel). if you opt to go all the way and enter the water there, it can push you thru and into some coral depending on the current that day. i am a fairly good swimmer and had water shoes and dive gloves but didnt feel comfortable going all the way up so i opted to enter the gardens(alleyway) 1/2 way up. the current wasnt as strong and it was wider there. it was amazing:eek: you just lay there and go slowly with the current towards the boat. saw tons of different fish, coral and red octopus. when you get close to the boat, stand up and walk along the beach again til you feel you want to go back in. definately worth going!!

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I checked out your Raiatea pictures Bob, very nice, thanks for sharing them. As I have time I plan on looking at others you have.

 

I'm starting research early for 2012 trip. At this point I'm looking at options. I've been in contact with Bruno and am leaning heavily towards booking him. I haven't seen any operators or tours that go inland. Does anyone have any information on those. I've see West Coast Charters & Tane Catamaran for Tahaa tours.

 

Looking forward to a return to paradise.

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We did Bruno's tour last month - it was great! I got a couple of scrapes in the coral gardens, but, really no big deal at all. Bruno is very passionate about the underwater world and will go out of his way to point things out and answer your questions!

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We just got back yesterday. We did Bruno's tour and it was fantastic. The coral garden snorkel was incredible; even my non water friendly husband drifted through the coral gardens with his snorkel vest and had a wonderful experience. Of all the fantastic snorkeling we did on the islands, I think the Tahaa coral gardens were the best as the coral was all in bloom and there were so many varieties of fish and sea life all very readily viewed as the water is so shallow. A few people in our group had minor coral scrapes and some, including my husband, got a few urchin spines if they didn't watch where they touched. Nothing significant and it certainly did not dampen the snorkel experience. The current was not strong. I highly recommend this snorkel experience. If you check the L'excursion Bleue facebook page for the Dec 5 photos, you will see our group. All the photos on Bruno's facebook page are exactly what you will see if you do the tour.

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We just got back yesterday. We did Bruno's tour and it was fantastic.
Thanks for the current intel on L'Excursion Bleu. Good to know that Bruno hasn't lost his touch.

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Thanks for the current intel on L'Excursion Bleu. Good to know that Bruno hasn't lost his touch.

 

His nature does not seem to be quite as social as some other operators and his English is somewhat broken so that probably contributes to some misunderstanding. We found him polite and informative and he even had a sense of humour. I would readily do his tour again.

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What time does the Bruno tour finish.

 

Is seems Royal Princess are offering a sunset sail cruise around the other half of the island that Bruno does not cover, and would be interested. However Princess say we need an hour between tours?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

We signed up early and really looked forward to our sunset cruise around Raiatea on the Princess excursion. Couldn't have been more disappointed. They used West Coast Charters, small boats with people sitting on hard benches six across from each other. We had expected a much nicer boat (a nice catamaran or something) where you might be able to move around and socialize a little with the other people, perhaps enjoying a glass of wine...... Ha! We got a cup of rum punch with coconut in it out of a dirty looking thermos. The "Frenchman" who was our guide (?) didn't give us much information about what we were seeing. Yes the sunset was lovely, but I have seen some pretty ones right here at home and didn't have to pay $129pp for them! Many, many people turned in comments to Princess how this tour didn't measure up. Look into something private or with other cc members. If Princess is still using the same boat company, you might want to think about this one.

We had gone out in the morning in the same boat for the ship's Tahaa Coral Gardens Snorkel....it was very nice. Got to do the drift snorkel twice on that one. If you go with Bruno it's unlikely you'll be back in time to do the sunset cruise anyway. Since we did a b2b we had time for a lot more things. Did Bruno's tour on our second time around and thoroughly enjoyed it, including the vanilla farm (which we didn't expect to be so interesting). He took us to several nice snorkeling spots and we had a very nice buffet lunch. I think you'll enjoy it.

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