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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Tahiti
Sights to see & things to do

Only a two-hour time difference from the west coast of the United States, Tahiti is light-years away. Born of volcanic violence, the islands typify an earthly paradise with unrivaled beaches and lush tropical scenery. Few other places on earth come so close to perfection. Although attempts by overly zealous missionaries in the late-1790's obliterated many sacred maraes (temples) and banned native rituals and customs, their efforts didn't diminish the joyous Tahitian spirit and culture. Traditions live on to the delight of visitors and locals alike.

"Tahiti, where love lives"—Tahiti Tourisme promotes that slogan and from the lush green mountains to the crystal clear warm lagoon waters, the islands are truly romantic and appealing. Their rhythmic grace is both joyous and tranquil. A favorite Tahitian expression is Haere Maru—"take it easy." It isn't difficult to set your internal clock to Island Time and adopt the local lifestyle. In no time at all it’s likely that beautiful hand-painted pareos and crowns of flowers will be de rigueur for female passengers on your ship.

Tahiti has a well-deserved reputation for being expensive. Hotels, particularly those featuring over water bungalows, can run eight hundred dollars a night and up without meals. Fortunately, the Tahitian government and the Ministry of Tahiti Tourisme have made a concerted effort to change all that. The country's tourism infrastructure is growing and cruise passengers benefit from improved port facilities and expanding tour options.

Io ora na (pronounced yo-rana with hard 'o' and soft 'a') is Tahitian for "hello" and tentative efforts at using it (and Mauruuru roa for "thank you") are rewarded with smiles and nods of approval. French is the official language and Spanish and English are taught in schools. Although not learned in school, Tahitian is widely spoken. Many islanders shyly sharpen their English skills on tourists and helpfully share local terms for flowers, food, and fish.

Three cruise ships now call Tahiti home and many others make intermediary South Pacific itinerary stops in the islands. Exploring a variety of Tahiti's islands is finally affordable. With a few exceptions, Tahitian tour guides speak very good English and go out of their way to answer questions and provide visitors with information about their culture and homeland. Make your objective to see Tahiti on land, in the sea, and from the air. Chose excursions and activities carefully and you will be rewarded with amazing sights and experiences.

Know before you go…

A marae is a sacred temple—generally rectangular with a base of stone. Unfortunately, many temples were dismantled when missionaries arrived in the islands. Their stones were sometimes used as the foundations of churches. Many Tahitian traditions were lost when temple prayer was halted; however, their oral history was passed along through dance and song.

Plantations dot the Tahitian islands, but not the traditional "plantations" Americans are accustomed to envisioning. Rather, these coconut, pineapple, and vanilla plantations are small plots of land—carefully cultivated and lovingly tended. The nono plant and a variety of crotons are also grown and prized for their medicinal qualities.

Motus are the small islands found in the encircling coral reefs of Tahiti’s main islands.

Sunscreen and insect repellant are musts to prevent sunburn and keep Tahiti’s aggressive insects at bay.

Tahiti 
Ports of Call:

Bora Bora

Huahine

Moorea

Tahiti~Papeete

Raiatea

 

Cruise Diva's 
 Focus on Tahiti with reviews, cruise line info, tourism links, and more.

 


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