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Cruise Reviews

Raiatea, French Polynesia

Home > Cruise Ports > Raiatea, French Polynesia

Overview
Destinations
Cruise Lines
Currency
Language
Tourist Attractions
Port Location












Overview

Raiatea is the second largest of French Polynesia's Society Islands, and is the largest of the Leeward Islands. Although it's a large island, relative to the rest of the South Pacific, it's not nearly as packed with things to do and places to see as Tahiti or Bora Bora.

What Raiatea does have is a rich history of Polynesian culture and religion. In fact, this island is known as the "Sacred Island." The main town in Raiatea is Uturoa, a very relaxed town that houses the cruise terminal along with various shops and restaurants.


Destinations
Raiatea is included on many South Pacific cruise itineraries.


Cruise Lines Departing Here

Raiatea is not a cruise departure port.



Currency
The official currency of French Polynesia is the CFP franc (XPF), commonly called the franc. Using a credit card whenever possible is a great way to avoid having to exchange currency. ATM machines are available, but make sure you use one that works with the card you're using.


Language
The official languages of French Polynesia are French and Tahitian. Some English is spoken by a few locals that are involved with tourist-related places (such as major tourist attractions, restaurants, stores and hotels) and activities (such as tours).


Tourist Attractions
Visiting the ancient maraes, sacred places that had both religious and social functions in pre-Christian Polynesia, is a nice way to learn about Raiatea's history. The Taputapuatea Marae is a very popular Polynesian archeological site to take a walking tour of. Another place to visit is the Taninuu Marae.

Other popular things to do in Raiatea include having a picnic on a beautiful beach, taking part in a 4x4 off-road adventure, watching a demonstration of a traditional Polynesian dance, walking around town, and taking a day trip (via boat) to the island of Tahaa (a smaller island, located right next to Raiatea).


The Gare Maritime is Raiatea's main cruise ship terminal. It's located right by Utuoroa, the main town in Raiatea. At this terminal are shops, restaurants and the visitor information office. In addition to that, locals will usually be there selling various handicrafts. Some of the more popular items for sale in this area are black coral, wood carvings and beautiful drawings. Other shops, cafes and markets can be found along the town's main street, the Rue Centrale. Since this island is a French overseas territory you're sure to find quite a few French lunching and dining options.


Port Location
Cruise ships dock at the Gare Maritime, within walking distance of Uturoa (the main town in Raiatea).
 
Raiatea
Raiatea
Cruise Reviews
Taputapuatea Marae
Taputapuatea Marae
Cruise Reviews
Taputapuatea Marae
Taputapuatea Marae
Cruise Reviews
View of Tahaa from Raiatea
View of Tahaa from Raiatea
Cruise Reviews
Aerial View of Raiatea
Aerial View of Raiatea



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