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nikita

Need suggestions for Raiatea tour

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Any suggestions for a great tour on this Island or exploring on our own? (sailing on TP)?

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unfortunately Brunos tour is full. We were just going to pick up a tour on the pier maybe but would like suggestions and recommendations. Thanks.

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nikita

 

We've been to Raiatea twice. Both times we just picked up tours at the pier. There is a building right at dock area with different tours. The first time we did a river cruise tour. Went up the river, to a pearl farm and then to a motu for some snorkeling. Not necessary to snorkel if you're not into that. We had a great time on that tour.

 

Second visit we took a tour of the island with Iris. She had a sign right at the dock. We visited a couple different places with pull offs for views of the island, went to botanical gardens, pearl farm and marae. Tour was about 4 hrs. Nice tour if you don't want to do any water activities.

 

There are other tours offered at the pier.

 

Hope this helped.

 

Diane

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nikita

 

We've been to Raiatea twice. Both times we just picked up tours at the pier. There is a building right at dock area with different tours. The first time we did a river cruise tour. Went up the river, to a pearl farm and then to a motu for some snorkeling. Not necessary to snorkel if you're not into that. We had a great time on that tour.

 

Second visit we took a tour of the island with Iris. She had a sign right at the dock. We visited a couple different places with pull offs for views of the island, went to botanical gardens, pearl farm and marae. Tour was about 4 hrs. Nice tour if you don't want to do any water activities.

 

There are other tours offered at the pier.

 

Hope this helped.

 

Diane

 

Thank you for the suggestions! We will just see what peaks our interest once we get there. Thanks again!

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I also waited and found the "Faaroa River" tour at the pier. It worked out great as I had wanted to go on an outrigger canoe. The tour of the river was beautiful with a couple of stops. I took so many pictures. The motu was also very nice as you could snorkle if you wanted or just relax on the beach. The motu was small enough that you could walk the whole area. I certainly recommend it.

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I also waited and found the "Faaroa River" tour at the pier. It worked out great as I had wanted to go on an outrigger canoe. The tour of the river was beautiful with a couple of stops. I took so many pictures. The motu was also very nice as you could snorkle if you wanted or just relax on the beach. The motu was small enough that you could walk the whole area. I certainly recommend it.

 

Do you remember what time you took this tour? Just want to know how early we should get off the ship to book a tour. Also how long and how much was this tour (if you can recall). Thanks.

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Do you remember what time you took this tour? Just want to know how early we should get off the ship to book a tour. Also how long and how much was this tour (if you can recall). Thanks.

 

I was afraid you were going to ask that:) I do recall that I got of the ship first thing in the morning. There was a booth just inside the building.....they offered a few different tours. It was around 4 hours long...I can't remember the exact cost but I do know that it was considerably less than taking a Princess tour. Hope this helps.

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I was afraid you were going to ask that:) I do recall that I got of the ship first thing in the morning. There was a booth just inside the building.....they offered a few different tours. It was around 4 hours long...I can't remember the exact cost but I do know that it was considerably less than taking a Princess tour. Hope this helps.

 

It helps and I appreciate it! Thanks!

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Ia Orana,

 

I noticed nobody mentioned Matta tours with Stephane. He can be found inside the visitors Hut when you are in port. His tour is also available in Raitea/Tahaa. he will take you to feed the Stingrays and then Sharks.

 

No worries the sharks are small. My DW was not eager to get in the water but after coaxing Loved It. He will then take you to his private Island for a little snack. Some coconut, bananas, Juice and water.

 

If you get burgers at the grill and put them in baggies with the Hinano you have previously purchased in Pappete and keep cold in your room fridge. You are prepared to spend the day on his Island. His Island is across the lagoon (100ft) from the Island that Le Tahaa resort is located. You can visit the resort. You can go back @ noon when he goes and gets his second tour or stay. He will get you back for the show on the ship. His children are in the show.

 

There will be another show later in the evening on the Pool deck.

 

Emerse yourself in the culture and get to know the people. They are wonderful and a highlight of our trip to Tahiti and her Islands. We have a special place in our heart for Tahiti and its people and will always be trying to get back as often as we can.:)

 

Also look for other thread regarding "what to do in Raitea/Tahaa"

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Ia Orana,

 

I noticed nobody mentioned Matta tours with Stephane. He can be found inside the visitors Hut when you are in port. His tour is also available in Raitea/Tahaa. he will take you to feed the Stingrays and then Sharks.

 

No worries the sharks are small. My DW was not eager to get in the water but after coaxing Loved It. He will then take you to his private Island for a little snack. Some coconut, bananas, Juice and water.

 

If you get burgers at the grill and put them in baggies with the Hinano you have previously purchased in Pappete and keep cold in your room fridge. You are prepared to spend the day on his Island. His Island is across the lagoon (100ft) from the Island that Le Tahaa resort is located. You can visit the resort. You can go back @ noon when he goes and gets his second tour or stay. He will get you back for the show on the ship. His children are in the show.

 

There will be another show later in the evening on the Pool deck.

 

Emerse yourself in the culture and get to know the people. They are wonderful and a highlight of our trip to Tahiti and her Islands. We have a special place in our heart for Tahiti and its people and will always be trying to get back as often as we can.:)

 

Also look for other thread regarding "what to do in Raitea/Tahaa"

 

Is there no where to purchase food or drinks on his Island?

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To answer with one word. No.

 

 

Please visit this site

 

http://www.letahaa.com/main.php

 

Please note the OWB on the left in the photo.

 

To the right are two more motus.

 

Stephans is the one in the middle. You can swim the lagoon and go to Le Ta haa resort that has the bungalows and purchase food etc there if you wish.

 

His Island is his home and he is very proud of it. But it is not a tourist destination, just a place to stop and rest before going back to the ship.

 

Enjoy Tahiti.

 

Get a pareo in Le Marche and wear it like the Tahitians (even the Men). Stephan can show your husband how to tie for a swimsuit.

 

Here is more info from a previous post regarding Stephans tours.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=310749

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We did Bruno's tour once and quite frankly enjoyed just going to a motu and snorkelling from there much better. There is a large building right by the dock and can make arrangements to go to a motu for relatively small money.

 

Raiatea is actually my favorite island. The motu off Tahaa that you go to is beautiful.

 

If you want something entirely different, there is a hill behind the dock with communication towers on top. There is a dirt path that winds it way up the hill, sometimes have to go around cows and horses that are grazing but the view from the top is breathtaking. You look across to Tahaa but the colors of the water are unbelievable. I found about this in an old guide book that I had.

 

I am sure that whatever you do, you will enjoy!

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I just want to thank everyone who posted! We now have a few choices and know more of what we can do there. Thank you all!!

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The drift snorkel that we did (through) princess was the BEST excursion I have ever done. The snorkeling was amazing. But be warned, when they say it is for advanced snorkelers, they mean. You don't have to be a pro but you it should definitely not be your first time.

 

It is the exact same snorkel as Bruno's but we got to go through twice. The advantage is that you get over any fear you have the first time (yes, the coral is VERY close to you) and the second time you can relax and follow the trial and see lots more fish.

 

And the folks on Bruno's were out all day. It was way too long of an excursion for me.

 

Oh and I don't mean to scare people away from Bruno's if you're a beginner as there are other places to snorkel where he stops that are calm. You don't have to go down the drift snorkel part.

 

But again, I can not stress enough that this was the best excursion that I have ever done.

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Raiatea and Tahaa share the same outer coral reef. We did the Coral Gardens Drift Snorkel on one cruise and the Vanilla Plantation / Pearl Farm on another. Both were excellent.

 

I agree that the coral garden snorkel can be more of a moderate snorkel. It depends on the tide. This snorkel is between two motus and depending on the tide can be a bit of a struggle to make some of the corners. If your fairly new to snorkeling be first in line to follow the tour leader. It will be much easier to folllow the route through the coral that way. There is pleanty of area on the lagoon side of the coral gardens to snorkel around on your own, if you do not want to try going back through the coral gardens the second time.

 

The Vanilla Plantation and Pearl Farm were entertaining and educational. The Vanilla Plantation is a really good place to pick up fresh vanilla beans. Bring 5 home and make your own vanilla extract. Your own pure vanilla extract makes a unique present (5 beans will make about 3 liters of pure vanilla extract).

 

When we were on the TP in 2006 they had the Children of Raiatea come onboard to dance for us one afternoon. The second cruise we had the Mamas & Papas of Raiatea do a show in the evening for us. The dancers were excellent the youngest of the children who danced was 3. Don't miss the show if it's offered!

 

luvtahiti

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I'm looking for more recent recommendations. Oceania is offering a motorized outrigger canoe tour on the Faaroa River for $119 pp.

 

We haven't taken a ship's tour since our first cruise but I'm having a hard time finding a private tour operator online. Are tour operators still available at the pier? I'd would love to hear from anyone who has visited recently.

Thanks!

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My recent experience with Bruno of Excursion Blueu

 

I’ve been to Tahiti before - around 10 years ago - but not to Raiatea. I was looking forward to returning to the pristine waters, so I organised a tour for 16-18 people who would be calling into Raiatea on a ship.

Our day in Raiatea was saved ONLY because of Eric the boat owner, and Tama, our guide, who really did their best to ensure we had a great day … and we did, but that was no thanks to Bruno.

In all honesty I cannot recommend anyone use Bruno … however if Eric and Tama are organising and running the tour, I would go again in a heart beat.

 

What was so difficult about dealing with Bruno ?

 

The bottom line is this - communicating with Bruno is difficult - perhaps because English is his second language however it was made more complicated by changes to itinerary which we agreed to AFTER paying our deposit last year due to the fact that we had to be back on board by 4.30 pm.

A few days prior to arriving in Raiatea when I wrote to him asking if we could add another 2 people, he agreed to that and told me he wanted “cash xpf, credit card, cash USD”. In earlier emails (prior to us boarding the ship) he told me he wanted EURO or CC and that XFP was “complicated” ... I had also specifically asked if he would take USD and he said no !!.

At this late stage, Bruno also changed the itinerary yet again (deleting snorkelling in the coral gardens) without discussing it with me - the organiser - and then deciding to charge more for what he offered to me at a fixed price when I first contacted him last year !

 

I had several emails back and forth - anyone sending emails on a ship knows this can be costly - I used approximately 100 hours sending and receiving emails from him from early September until we docked on 10th September..yes it was that bad trying to get back what he had agreed to provide and clarifying everything time and time again !!

Eventually he agreed we could do all on our original itinerary.

 

When we arrived on the meeting spot, Bruno’s attitude was rude and arrogant - a few members of our group who witnessed this were shocked by his behaviour.

On the dock I made sure to over the itinerary with him to ensure we got snorkelling in the coral gardens included … he seemed reluctant to include it but did agree in the end.

 

About 3 days before arrival Bruno had quoted $US 110 for those who had previously paid their deposit … now he wanted XFP …which none of us had based on his early emails confirming our tour and my questions in emails to him as to how he wanted to be paid.

At the dock he demanded $USD 120 pp. I told him he said $110 a couple of days … Bruno then turned around to walk away, looked back at me and said if I don’t like it, get a tour elsewhere then walked away saying that’s the exchange rate today - funny thing is that the Pearl Farm and the Vanilla Bean Farm as well as the shops in port, the exchange rate was 1,000 xfp = $US 10 as it was in Papeete the previous day.

To make matters worse, there was another couple waiting to pay the balance of their tour. I told them this tour did not include them - it was a private tour and was full. I told this lady that she needed to speak to Bruno.

The woman stood her ground and eventually Bruno came over. The woman showed him proof that she had paid a deposit and then Bruno told them the “boat’s broken” shrugged his shoulders and walked off - the couple left - I felt badly for them but very shocked again at his attitude.

As I said, had it not been for Eric and Tama, our day could have been a total disaster if we had to rely on Bruno to take us around in a boat.

As it turned out, we did not get a cultural show at the motu - as listed in the itinerary that Bruno provided to me - and as I found out later, some of our group were not offered drinks.

We shared the motu with a large group on a shore excursion from the ship and although the food was lovely, IMO there was not enough cut fruit to go around some 60 or so people.

Furthermore, none of the toilets on the island flushed and did not look as clean as expected.

Having said that the motu was beautiful - definitely picture postcard beautiful. The Vanilla Bean Farm, swimming with sharks was great. We went to one coral garden (not two coral gardens) and then headed back to the Pearl Farm (East side) - as there was insufficient time to go back to the ship, and visit a pearl farm on the way via the west side of the island.

 

Is the tour worthwhile doing? Yes but find a different operator ... hopefully Eric and/ or Tama will do their own tours one day and if they do, I very much doubt you would have the drama and the rudeness we experienced with Bruno.

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I can only say we've taken Bruno's tour several times over the years and have a a wonderful time. Yes Bruno is a bit 'dry' but he is knowledgeable and made sure everyone had a great time. His photos that he takes for free are first rate stuff.

 

Every time we've gone with Bruno the drift snorkel was on the itinerary and every time he made sure everyone went as many times as they wanted plus he purposely made sure we went down a different 'channel' every time we made the run.

 

We've found Bruno to be very honest and delivered what was promised at the price quoted each and every time. I believe we've taken Bruno a total of 4 different times over the years.

 

Just our experience with Bruno clear.png?emoji-wink-1685... taken on his tour.

 

i-3fH8CBW-X3.jpg

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