MARCH 9 – 17, 2013
$100 Per Person On Board Ship Credit (for passengers 1 & 2 in cabin)
Tahiti And The Society Islands Helpful Information
The exotic beauty of French Polynesia begins with breathtaking
islands, gentle sea breezes and white sandy, palm-fringed beaches.
All of Tahiti’s charms are yours, when you visit any of the beautiful
Islands of French Polynesia.
TAHITI / PAPEETE:
Tahiti, Otahiti for the first Europeans, the “Island of Love”, the
“New Cyther” for Bougainville, the myth of paradise, of Rousseau’s
“good savage”, all those names to describe the same beauty of this
island, symbol just by itself of the entire French Polynesia. Two
Volcanoes emerged from the waters compose the Island of Tahiti.
Those two extinct volcanoes are joined together by the Taravao isthmus. Tahiti is also the largest
and the most populated (150,371 persons). Expect white sand beaches bordered by coconut trees
and over water bungalows. Circle shape, Tahiti is entirely surrounded by a lagoon except for a north
coast part going from Mahina to Tiarei.
Tahiti is also the economic heart of French Polynesia. Papeete, its
capital, is built along a friendlywaterfront (recently renovated)
welcoming many shops and luxury ships. It is the unique city and
one will find everything they need here, markets, jewelers, bars,
nightclubs, restaurants (French, Chinese, and Italian), hospitals
And much more.
According to the oral tradition, Raiatea would have been the first island colonized by the
Polynesians and also the starting point for wide migrations to Hawaii, the Cook Islands and New
Zealand on board of those famous double canoes. Hawaiki Nui was Raiatea’s first name which
means “big gushing out water”. After a while, a young queen of the island decided to rename it
Raiatea in remembrance of her mother Rai and her father Atea who she had never known. Raiatea
earns an authentic charm thanks to its historical prosperity for its legends and its sacral mountain.
In fact, the island is still nowadays the heart of Polynesian culture with its several marae. The most
famous one is the Taputapuatea marae located in Opoa’s village (South of the island). It is
considered as the biggest and most sacred of the territory as it was at that time the headquarters of
political and religious power of French Polynesia. In the south of Raitea some beautiful waterfalls
can be seen.
Raiatea is also the most important nautical base of the
Society Islands. The lagoon has 11 passes of which the
famous Te Ava Piti that allows big boats to reach Uturoa,
the island’s capital. Raiatea, second economic center of
Polynesia, is particularly lively when those luxury cruise
boats arrive. On those occasions, the shops on the wharf,
as well as the market, offer their best local products.
This was a sacred island that was called "Tahaa of the distant
marae". When heroes died in battle they were carried to its
shores by canoe hence their soul flew to the original Havai'i of
the great "Maori" navigators. The sister island of Raiatea,
enclosed with her in the same wonderful lagoon was not yet
the plantation island with the sweet aroma of vanilla pervading
the mountains and villages as it is nowadays. But if the growing
of the scented pods now plays an important part in the lives of her 4,470 inhabitants, Tahaa, with its
56 miles of charm, has remained the same magic island of the living traditions. A fabulous mountain
forms the island's shape with its peak Mt. Ohiri.
Bora Bora, the “Pearl of the Pacific” is the most famous of the
Leeward Islands. It is located north-west of Tahiti, just under
one hour away by plane from Papeete. Bora Bora emerged
from the waters 3 millions years ago. It currently presents
particular geological characteristics ranging in between a
high island and an atoll status. Its unforgettable turquoise
lagoon, where a multi-color aquatic fauna (sting & manta
rays, sharks, tropical fishes) can be observed by outrigger
canoe, boat or diving explorations. The coral reef includes
a string of islets and gorgeous white sand beaches surrounding the main island. The unique pass of
Teavanui between the ocean and the lagoon faces the main Village of Vaitape located on the
western coast of the island.
Moorea Island with its trident shape and its two famous bays (Cook and Opunohu) was formerly
called Aimeho (or Eimeo). It emerged from the water three millions years ago. Today, it counts
12,000 inhabitants concentrated in the many villages located by the seaside. The island features
eight mountains, the highest is Mount Tohiea and it is only 10 miles away from Tahiti. Because of
this short distance, Moorea often carries the nickname of “Sister Island” (of Tahiti). The name
Moorea which means the “yellow lizard” would come from a legend where a big yellow lizard would
have opened the two bays with its tail. Moorea, sometimes described as a huge garden with
tropical scents, is covered by trees, carefully maintained gardens, and beautiful fare with pandanus
roofs, cool rivers and waterfalls. Many beautiful white sand beaches can be found around Temae
(near the airport) and Haapiti. Moorea offers several beautiful and deep valleys.
FLY AIR TAHITI NUI TO TAHITI:
Your flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti will be on Air Tahiti Nui.
(www.airtahitinui.com). It is recommended that guests check-in
three hours prior to departure for your international flight.
Passengers on Air Tahiti Nui are allowed the following carry-on
baggage allowance, 1 personal item (cane, handbag, small
camera case, briefcase, laptop computer with case) and 1 carry
on not to exceed 45 inches (115cm) with the combined
dimensions of length + width + height and should not to
exceed 22 pounds (10kilos).
Checked Baggage allowance for an economy class ticketed
traveler is1 piece that should not exceed 50pounds (23kgs)
and the maximum combined dimensions of the length + width
+ height should not exceed 62inches (158cm). First and
Business Class ticketed travelers checked baggage allowance
is 2 pieces, each piece should not exceed 70pounds (32kgs)
and maximum combined dimensions of the length + width
+ height of each piece should not exceed 62 inches (158cm).
Baggage that is in excess of the free allowance, travelers will
be liable for charges. For further details and updates please
visit Air Tahiti Nui at www.airtahitinui.com.
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance as additional security in the case of
cancellation or interruption of travel plans, lost or damaged luggage, travel delays, illness, or
accident. Learning Through Travel suggests you obtain travel insurance with Travel Guard
International. You will have three options to purchase travel insurance: one contact Learning
Through Travel and they will apply the insurance for you, secondly call Travel Guard directly
at 1-800-549-9037, or your third option would be to go to Travel Guard’s website at
www.TravelGuard.com to apply for the insurance yourself. You will be asked for a travel agent code,
in this case please give them the code 00552160 as this will identify your booking with Learning
Through Travel. Travel insurance is only applicable to U.S. and Canadian Citizens.
A valid passport is required for entry into Tahiti. The
passport must be valid for at least 6months after the date
of return. USA / Canadian Citizens and countries of
European Community do not currently require entry visa
for Tahiti. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please
check with the consulate office of your home country for
Visa and passport regulations.
Cooled by the gentle breezes of the Pacific, the climate of
the islands is sunny and pleasant. There are two seasons:
from November through to March the climate is warm and
humid; April through to October is cooler and drier. Most of
the rains fall during the warmer season, but there are also
many lovely sunny days during these months with refreshing
trade winds. Average temperatures in °F: Nov-Mar 82°-84°
IMPORT REGULATIONS BY TAHITI CUSTOMS:
The following items may be imported into Tahiti by passengers 17 years and over without incurring
customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 200g of tobacco; 2l of still wine and 1l of
spirits over 22 per cent or 2l of spirits up to 22 per cent; 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette;
goods up to a value of CFPFr5000 (CFPFr2500 for passengers up to 15 years of age). Please note
plants, fruit, weapons, ammunition, all food products of animal origin, and drugs may not be
EXPORT REGULATIONS BY TAHITI CUSTOMS:
Prohibited items, and any food products of animal
origin are prohibited from export.
FOOD AND WATER:
Main water is normally chlorinated and relatively
safe. Bottled water is available and is recommended.
Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be
contaminated and sterilization is advisable. Milk is
pasteurized and dairy products are safe for
consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit
and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.
For any concerns, please consult your physician
before travel. Before departure please verify with
your medical insurance company if overseas coverage
is included and whether it will cover emergency
expenses such as medical evacuation. Always pack your medication in your carry on bag, not in
your checked luggage. For all health requirements, immunizations, and recommendations travelers
should check with a local Department of Health Clinic or U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For further information please check:
Local currency is the French Pacific Franc (CFP). Travelers’ checks are the safest way to take money
with you on holidays. All major banks and hotels will cash travelers’ checks and proof of
identification will be required. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, shops
and other tourist establishments.
Government taxes (currently 9%) are included in prices shown. A communal city tax of CFP150 per
person per night is also applicable. This has also been included in the price shown unless otherwise
French is the official language and English is widely
spoken in the main tourist areas, restaurants, shops,
hotels and resorts.
This practice is neither customary nor expected in
Tahiti. Although not forbidden ;-) tipping is not usual
in French Polynesia and consequently it is not
expected. But of course, if you feel that you were
well attended; your tip will always be appreciated.
French Polynesia is 10 hours behind Greenwich Mean
Time, 2 hours behind US Pacific Standard Time, and
20 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.
From Europe, to telephone to Tahiti, dial: 00 (to access
the international network) + 689 (French Polynesia's
country code) + your correspondent's 6-digit number.
From the USA and the Canada, to call Tahiti, dial: 011
international network) + 689 (French Polynesia's country
code) + your correspondent's 6-digit number.
From Tahiti, to call, for example, the United States, dial:
00 (to access the international network) + 1 (USA/
Canada country code) + your correspondent's full
From Tahiti, to call France, dial: 00 (to access the
international) + 33 (France's country code) + your
correspondent's last 9 digits (without the first 0).
Polynesian Post Offices offer the same kinds of services as you would find in your home country and
are generally open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mail sent to Europe and the U.S.A. will
reach its destination within 8 to 15 days.
There is only one ISP with headquarters located in Tahiti called MANA that charges a rate of 33 CFP
per minute (ie: .25$ / min) without subscription. It is possible to retrieve your emails while on
vacations since several Internet Cafes are now available in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. If you have
a laptop and want to access to the Internet in RNIS (via the phone line), you can use the
following account information in your remote access parameters:
•Server phone number : 36 88 88
•Login : anonymous
•Password : anonymous
Shops are open from Monday to Friday 7:30am to
11:30am and from 1:30pm to 5pm/6pm, and even to
8:00pm. Saturday hours are from 7:30am to 11:30am.
Some shops also open afternoons. Most places are
closed on Sunday except for the colorful Papeete
Market, which is very busy from 5 in the morning.
There you can find a wide variety of flowers, food,
pareos, hats, mother of pearl, art objects, and a
variety of souvenirs.
In French Polynesia, medical care is generally very satisfactory and medical infrastructure is
comparable to what you would find in most developed countries. The most modern facilities are
located in Tahiti but you will also find a hospital in Raiatea.
The most famous and modern hospitals and private clinics
are mostly concentrated in Papeete and open 24 hours:
•Mamao Hospital : Tel (689) 42 01 01 or (689) 46 62 62
•Clinic Cardella : Tel (689) 46 04 25
•Clinic Paofai : Tel (689) 46 18 18
You will find many pharmacies in Papeete area and
several around the island. The pharmacies rotate night
and weekend or holiday duty. You can check with your
hotel to find out which one is open.
MEDICAL EVACUATIONS (EVASAN):
They are carried out by Air Tahiti planes or by
helicopters and will transport you to the nearest hospital.
WHAT TO PACK:
Bring summer clothes, beachwear, sports wear and boat wear, all preferably in cotton. On board this
cruise is “Resort Casual”. Essentials include comfortable walking shoes, sandals, sneakers, rubber
flip flops for the poolside, sweaters, clothes you can layer and an all-weather coat, cotton pants,
jeans, shirts, skirts, and bathing suits. Bring a spor t jacket and a dress for dinner on the boat if you
prefer to wear one. You may want to carry a small supply of detergent for hand laundry. Have
something warm available for the evenings which are sometimes cooler (lagoon side, boat trips and
in the mountains).
Personal toiletries, polarized sunglasses, hat, sun block creams to block off intense reflections from
the lagoons and a powerful anti-mosquito lotion (useful in the islands and in certain seasons). One
should bring a first aid kit that has antibiotics, an anti-diarrhea product, a moisturizer, an
antihistamine, a disinfectant, aspirin, bandages, a cream to care for punctures and cuts, alcohol, and
a thermometer. It is recommended that you leave all valuables at home.
OTHER ITEMS TO PACK:
• Small backpack to take while exploring
• A small flashlight
• Adapter plugs and converters
• Packaged wet tissues (“Wash & Dry”)
• A small calculator for estimating cost while shopping
• Digital Camera, Disposable Camera, memory stick
• If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses
• Tickets, passports, money etc.
• Waterproof bags/cover for your cameras
• Medical Insurance Card
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