Raiatea and Taha'a are two separate islands sharing the same lagoon. Located 120 miles northwest of Tahiti, between Huahine and Bora Bora among the leeward Society Islands, Raiatea is the second largest island of French Polynesia after Tahiti. The island tour reveals lush green valleys, numerous waterfalls, and pineapple and vanilla plantations. Discover fascinating under-water scenery within Raiatea's deep lagoon, rich with fish and surrounded by mountains.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Known as the sacred island, Raiatea was the center of royalty, religion, culture and history and this tour allows you to explore Raiatea's marvelous interior from the more intimate perspective of an 8-seater 4-wheel-drive vehicle.
Boarding your 4X4 at the pier, you and your fellow guests will head off to the island's interior for a close-up look at this tropical paradise that features verdant mountains and lush foliage. As you navigate the inland roads, you'll find yourself traveling amongst lush vegetation that includes bamboo forests, chestnut trees, mango trees and guava trees.
Along with tourism, the island relies on cottage industries and you will have the chance to visit one of them with a brief stop at a small vanilla field. From there, it's on to Raiatea's most famous landmark, Marae Taputapuatea. It was from this sacred site that the ancient Polynesians set-off to discover the other islands which now form the famous Polynesian Triangle: Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. Following your stop here, you will drive back to the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops; however, a high step is required to board the vehicle. As this tour involves some bumpy off-road driving, tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility, back and/or neck problems, pregnant women or those who suffer from motion sickness. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellent; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The itinerary and order of the stops may change and the duration of the stops can vary based upon group size and interest. As the vehicles carry only 8 guests maximum, large families or couples may be split dependent on tour numbers.
Cruise to the island of Tahaa to explore an intoxicatingly fragrant vanilla farm and then visit a small islet nearby to comb the beaches and enjoy a typical Polynesian picnic lunch.
After departing from the pier in a boat, you will soon enter the protected turquoise lagoon that encircles Raiatea, an island whose name translates to “faraway heaven.” Upon arriving at the nearby island of Tahaa, it’s a short walk to reach the vanilla plantation. Seventy percent of the vanilla grown in French Polynesia is from Tahaa and it makes for a wonderfully fragrant setting.
While strolling about, you can expect to see and smell aromatic vanilla pods curing in the sun. You may also walk among the rows of climbing orchids that produce the pods and learn how they are hand-pollinated. You will also have time to shop for vanilla-infused merchandise such as lotion, shampoo, sea salt and rum.
Re-boarding your boat, it’s a short cruise to one of the lagoon’s gorgeous reef islets, known as motus. Few places are so relaxing, serene and ideal for beachcombing. Lunch will be served during your time on the motu, and the remainder of your stay will be free to do as you please.
You might sunbathe or relax in the shade, doing nothing more ambitious than watching the waves gently lap at the shorr or you may enjoy a refreshing swim and a bit of snorkeling.
Following your time on the motu, you will cruise back to the pier.
Please note: There is approximately 45 minutes of moderate walking/standing on this tour, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion while on the motu. There will be natural terrain that includes uneven and sandy surfaces to negotiate as well as some steps to enter and exit the boat. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with walking difficulties. For your own safety and to help us preserve the environment, do not touch or step on the coral reef or touch any marine wildlife while snorkeling. Swimwear worn under your clothes, sun protection, a towel from the ship and reef shoes are recommended. Guests who wish to snorkel, should be in good physical condition, know how to swim and be comfortable wearing snorkeling equipment, being in deep water and coping with occasional currents. A mask and snorkel are provided. As with all water tours, personal items may become wet so special care should be taken with any electronics. There are no restroom facilities on the motu.
Visit Raiatea's most famous landmark and see the lush countryside on this mostly panoramic tour.
Board your casual "Le Truck" at the pier and head towards the south of Raiatea. En route to the Bay of Faaroa and Marae Taputapuatea, you will pass through the town of Uturoa and view the Faaroa River.
Marae Taputapuatea is an open-air temple comprised of 7 marae that are constructed of stones and coral and is one of the largest ancient temples in French Polynesia. It is from this temple that migrations throughout the South Pacific started. This particular sacred site is dedicated to Oro, the bloodthirsty god of war who demanded human sacrifices.
During your tour, you will also discover tropical plants, flowers and trees that all contribute to the stunning beauty of the island.
Please note: There is minimal walking on this tour, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. Le Truck is a casual, open-air vehicle resembling a windowless bus and has bench-style seating with three large steps to board. Commentary during the driving portion of your tour will be limited (no PA system. Road conditions in some areas of the island may make for a bumpy ride during parts of the tour. As there is no room on Le Truck to store wheelchairs or walkers, the tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing; sun caps; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellent; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Cruise the crystal-clear lagoon on the eastern shore of Raiatea while enjoying stops to observe an ancient religious site and to lounge about the beach on a picture-perfect islet.
After departing from the pier, you will soon begin cruising the protected turquoise lagoon that encircles Raiatea, an island whose name translates to “faraway heaven.” In local legends, the island is known as “Hawaiki,” meaning “homeland,” because many cultures believe that the great Polynesian migration began in Raiatea, as islanders departed in large, double-hulled canoes and colonized the Hawaiian islands and New Zealand.
Your guide will recount many of these legends as you cruise the beautiful lagoon and Faaroa River, taking in some of the most extraordinary scenery in French Polynesia. You may also discover that Raiatea is considered to be the final resting place of the ancients and a revered pilgrimage site.
You will see evidence of ancient Polynesian life at marae Taputapuatea, an open-air place of worship right on the coast. It’s one of the most important marae in the islands and was dedicated to the god of war Oro, who was a significant figure in the area’s ancient religion.
Then for a change of pace, you will stop at one of the lagoon’s gorgeous reef islets, known as motus. Here, you may sunbathe on the beach or enjoy a refreshing swim in the clear waters. Afterwards, you will cruise back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of moderate walking which will include sandy surfaces at the motu. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those who suffer from motion sickness or have mobility concerns as there are steps to navigate to enter and exit the boat and there will be motion by the boat. Weather appropriate clothing, sun protection, insect repellent a bottle of water from the ship and reef shoes are recommended. Those who wish to swim or sunbathe should wear a swimsuit under their clothes and bring a towel from the ship. Those who participate in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility and must know how to swim, be comfortable in the water and able to cope with occasional currents. Furthermore, guests are cautioned not to touch or step on the coral reef, or touch any underwater animals for safety and environmental reasons. The depth of the water varies. At the local operator’s discretion, a liability waiver may be required to be filled out by each guest prior to the tour’s departure.
Delve into traditional Tahitian culture by cruising to nearby Tahaa to discover how vanilla is grown and black pearls are produced before relaxing on the island’s gorgeous beach.
After departing from the pier in a motorized catamaran, you will enjoy a wonderfully scenic 25-minute cruise across a turquoise-blue lagoon to the island of Tahaa, which lies due north. Your first destination ashore is a vanilla farm. You will probably be greeted by the scent of the spice before arriving as 70% of the vanilla grown in French Polynesia is from Tahaa.
Expect to see and smell fragrant vanilla pods curing in the sun. You may also stroll among the rows of climbing orchids that produce the pods and learn how they are pollinated. There will be some time for shopping before continuing on with a short drive to Motu Pearl Village.
Established in 1991, the village cultivates black pearls in the warm, crystal-clear waters of the surrounding lagoon. After hearing the fascinating story of how the pearls are produced, you may shop for jewelry and other items adorned with these prized treasures. Like vanilla, black pearls are synonymous with Tahaa, and both are mainstays of the economy.
Next, you will enjoy a traditional Polynesian buffet lunch while a live Polynesian band entertains you. It makes for an excellent introduction to the pareo show that follows. A pareo is a wraparound skirt that is essential to Tahitian dance.
Finally, you will head for the beach to relax, sunbathe or get in the water before returning to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy walking/standing. There will be natural surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Swimwear worn under light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a towel from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Explore Raiatea's abundant flora and fauna during this journey through the island that includes a motorized outrigger canoe ride from Raiatea's lagoon to the Faaroa River with a beach break at one of the small islets.
Board your motorized outrigger canoe at the pier and glide over the waters of Raiatea's deep blue lagoon towards the mouth of the Faaroa River; Polynesia's only navigable river. Along the way, you will see wild hibiscus, or purau, bamboo groves, chestnut trees, ginger flowers and more. Your guide will also share a bit of Polynesian history and folklore about the famous voyages that emanated from this river to all of the islands in the Polynesian Triangle. As you navigate the river into Raiatea's interior, you'll see lush tropical foliage, verdant mountains and waterfalls.
Leaving the river, a stop will be made at a "motu" (islet) where you can swim and relax while enjoying some refreshments. Afterwards, you'll transfer back to the pier.
Please note: Tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility issues. Swimwear worn under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; biodegradable sunscreen; towel; and flat, comfortable shoes or aquasocks are recommended. Those participating in water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility. Guests will exit the canoe at the beach using the canoe's side ladder and will have to walk a few yards in very shallow water to reach the beach.
Explore the evolution of Raiatea's spectacular terrain, ancient culture and local way of life during this orientation tour that navigates a course around the island.
Boarding your air-conditioned coach at the pier, you will first cross through the main town of Uturoa; the cultural and administrative center of Raiatea. Shortly after leaving town Mount Temehani comes into view.
Your scenic drive will then pass along the coastline, giving you a glimpse of Polynesian daily life before continuing on the inland road of Raiatea that connects the East coast with the South of the island. Along the way you will see plenty of lush tropical vegetation, with your guide pointing out various plants, trees, flowers and fruits along the way. After crossing the village of Fetuna, where the main activity is family fishing, a refreshment stop will be made and then it's on to the Marae of Tainuu (open-air temple). Here, you will learn some traditional customs from the Polynesians and about the historical significance of the marae. A short stop at a pearl farm/shop will be included before returning to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Light-weight clothing, sun protection, insect repellent, a bottle of water from the ship and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
"Explore Tahiti's most unique and sought-after natural treasures during this visit to a Black Pearl Farm that includes a snorkeling adventure.
A 20-minute scenic drive from the pier brings you to a pontoon where you will board a boat and travel out to the fringe reef. Here, you will find a small pearl station that has been built over the lagoon. From the moment you arrive, the magic takes its course. During your visit, your guide will unveil all of the secrets of Tahiti's most mysterious gem, the famous Black Pearl. Watch the grafter as they perform the ""operation"" on the pearl and learn about how the pearls are harvested and their value in the world today. This is truly an unforgettable look at one of nature's finest gifts.
Next, you'll have the opportunity to snorkel the crystal-clear waters of one of Raiatea's most beautiful reefs. Upon entering the water, you will see wonderful underwater fauna, colorful coral formations and a myriad of tropical fish swimming around you. Following your snorkeling session, you will embark your boat for the return ride to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, but guests must be able to enter and exit the boat with limited assistance. Those who wish to snorkel or swim should be good swimmers and in good physical condition. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Guests must be comfortable wearing the snorkeling equipment provided (masks and snorkel), being in deep water and able to cope with occasional currents. Fins are not provided. Swimwear worn under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; biodegradable sunscreen; towel; and flat comfortable shoes or aquasocks are recommended. Guests are cautioned not to touch or step on any coral for both safety and environmental reasons. Those participating in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility."
"Visit Raiatea's sister island Taha'a on this tour that highlights the beauty and culture of French Polynesia and includes a snorkel stop.
From the pier in Raiatea, you will board a boat and begin your excursion with a scenic cruise across the the tranquil lagoon towards Taha’a. An ancient legend says that Raiatea and Taha’a were originally one island until a giant eel swallowed a young girl. Possessed by her spirit, the enraged creature broke through the surface of the earth, causing the sea to surge. The impact of the water causing the island to be cut in two, creating the separate islands of Raiatea and Taha'a.
Upon arrival in Taha'a, you'll transfer to 4WD vehicles and navigate your way into the island's valleys and mountains. Along the way, your guide will point out the various sights you are passing. At a beautiful viewpoint, you'll stop for photos and discover the traditional use of local plants and trees. You will also have the opportunity to sample various local fruits and learn the Tamure, a typical Tahitian dance.
The island of Taha’a is often called the Vanilla Island and a visit to a small, local vanilla plantation allows you to learn all about this fragrant spice that has a multitude of uses. Next, you will travel to a small black pearl farm and discover how these treasures of the sea are raised and harvested. These small cottage industries are part of the island’s economic structure and will give you a broader perspective of life here in French Polynesia.
Rejoining your boat, you will cruise across the turquoise waters to a motu (islet) where you can enjoy some time for snorkeling or swimming before returning to the pier in Raiatea.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of walking. Those who wish to snorkel or swim should be good swimmers and in good physical condition. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Guests must be comfortable wearing the snorkeling equipment provided (mask and snorkel), being in deep water and able to cope with occasional currents. Fins are not provided. Swimwear worn under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; biodegradable sunscreen; towel; and flat comfortable shoes or aquasocks are recommended. Guests are cautioned not to touch or step on any coral for both safety and environmental reasons. Those participating in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility."
Discover the pristine natural beauty of Raiatea along the same route used by New Zealand's Maohi settlers during this scenic kayak adventure on the Fa'aroa River.
From the pier, it's a 30-minute drive to the Fa'aroa River, French Polynesia's only navigable river. Upon arrival, you will receive your safety instructions and equipment and then embark your two-person kayak. Led by your guide, you will begin your journey by paddling from Raiatea's fjord-like inlet, or Fa'aroa Gorge, to the scenic Fa'aroa River. Along the way, you will find the steep river walls to be lush with jungle foliage, and home to diverse species of birds and wild hibiscus trees, or purau, growing along the sheer cliffs of the rainforest.
After approximately 2-hours of paddling, you'll return to shore and transfer back to the pier in Raiatea.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, but involves moderate to strenuous activity in the kayak. Guests must know how to swim and be in good physical condition. The tour is not recommended to wheelchair guests, those with mobility concerns or with back and/or neck problems. Swimwear worn under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; biodegradable sunscreen; towel; and flat comfortable shoes that can get wet are recommended. Participants must be at least 12 years of age, and weigh less than 260 pounds. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. You will be required to follow your guide and wear your lifejacket at all times. A small waterproof bag will be available on board the kayak to store your small items. The kayaks are double-occupancy and will be shared.
Explore the scenic beauty of Raiatea's sister island during this snorkeling and lagoon tour along the Taha'a coast.
Depart the pier aboard a covered motorized boat for the approximately 50-minute ride along the west coast of Taha'a, Raiatea's beautiful sister island. Upon arrival, you will disembark the boat for a guided walk across an uninhabited islet, or motu, located just off the coast. After reaching the other side of the motu, you will commence your drift snorkeling experience. Your guide will lead you while the current carries you through the shallow lagoon on the way back to the boat. This particular area abounds with a spectacular variety of tropical fish and amazing coral. The unique richness of this coral garden will leave you with lasting memories of your visit.
Upon reaching your boat, refreshments will be provided and some additional snorkeling time will be made available before it's time to cruise back to the pier in Raiatea.
Please note: This tour is recommended for experienced snorkelers who are in good physical condition and who are also good swimmers. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns and not for recommended for pregnant woman or those with back/neck injuries. Travel in the boat can be bumpy and those prone to motion sickness should take the necessary precautions before commencing the tour. Guests must be comfortable wearing the snorkeling equipment provided (mask and snorkel), being in both shallow and deep water and able to cope with ocean currents. Fins are not provided. Swimwear worn under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; biodegradable sunscreen; towel; and flat comfortable shoes that you do not mind getting wet, or aquasocks are recommended. Guests are cautioned not to touch or step on the coral reef for both safety and environmental reasons. Those participating in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.