Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moorea, French Polynesia

I hope you have been enjoying our Tahitian Princess - 10 Day Polynesia/Cook Islands cruise.

Our next port of call was Moorea in French Polynesia. This island is the "sister island of Tahiti". It's hard to believe but this was our last port of call before returning to our starting port of Papeete.

We arrived in Moorea around 8 am and sailed around 5 pm. This gave us a full day to see the sights of Moorea. After breakfast, we took a tender to the pier and did some shopping in the tents that were setup near the tender dock. We could have hired a local driver to take us to a shopping area, but we really didn't need to do that. If you haven't booked an organized tour, there are several vendors to help you dockside. Our final shore excursion, Moorea 4wd Safari, went from from 12:45 pm to 4:15 pm.
We boarded our 4WD vehicle and drove through the Paopao Valley, passing pineapple plantations. Our driver stopped our vehicle a few times so that we could take pictures of the pineapples growing alongside the trail. The tour continued across the Paopao Opunohu trail to Le Belvedere Lookout for views of Cook's (or Paopao) and Opunohu Bays. It was an overcast day, but the scenery from the lookout was still pretty amazing. We looked down and saw our ship comfortably resting in the bay, waiting for us to return.
Our guide then drove us to the top of Magic Mountain where we hiked the last 300 feet to its summit for a stunning view of Moorea's north shore. It was so lovely up there, we hated to climb back down to our vehicle, but we still had one more stop to make before returning to the ship.
The final stop was at the Jus De Fruits De Moorea (Fruit Juice Factory of Moorea) where we sampled the various fruit drinks and had some time to purchase souvenirs. Keep in mind that this trip was before the 3-1-1 days of air traveling, so we didn't have to contend with those limitations. I believe they will also ship to any destination, so that would probably be the way to go these days.

As usual, we've posted some Moorea 4WD Safari pictures on Kodak Gallery for you to enjoy. If you want to explore on your own, the following guide will give you some ideas of what to do around Moorea.

Now that our tour was over, it was time to pack our suitcases and get ready to disembark the ship for our flight home. In my final post on this cruise, I'll tell you how our final day in Papette went. Disembarkation day on this cruise is quite different than on other cruises, so you'll defiinitely want to read about our final day aboard the Tahitian Princess.

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