Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – Getting to Moorea

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Ferry to Moorea

Taking the Ferry to Moorea

“Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise” Trip Report Index:

Emily Jablon:  After we landed in Tahiti and made our way to the baggage claim, we were greeted by serenaders welcoming us into their country.  We had to fill out a tourism survey in addition to the immigration form, and the ladies who collected the tourism survey were dressed in strapless flower print dresses and looked very pretty.

We picked up our luggage, then stopped at the ATM to get some cash.  On our way we saw lots of people with real flower garlands to give to their friends or family who arrived.  The flowers smelled so nice and sweet!

Daraius:  We landed when it was still dark.  There were no jet-bridges in the airport, so we walked down the stairs and into the airport.  We were finally here!

We were hungry so we stopped at the cafe in the airport.  I had a baguette and Emily had a quiche.  The cafe accepted credit card, so we didn’t need any cash.

Ferry to Moorea


Daraius:  My usual strategy is to withdraw cash from an ATM for expenses which I can’t charge to the hotel or have to pay cash for.  I pay all our other travel expenses with a credit card which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

There was an ATM on the left of the arrival door, but it wasn’t working, so we went in the opposite direction and used a Banque Socredo ATM.

Ferry to Moorea

Banque Socredo ATM at Airport

It was about 6:15 in the morning and we had to get to the ferry terminal in Papeete.  We could have taken the public bus (Le Truck), but it was Sunday, we had luggage, and I didn’t want to risk missing the 7:30 ferry to Moorea.

Here are directions on how to take the bus from the airport to the ferry terminal.

It was easy to get a cab.  We just made our way to where they line up and I asked what the fare would be before loading our bags.  The driver asked for 2,200 XPF (~$24) which was less than the 2,500 XPF (~$27) which I had read online and in the Moon Tahiti guide so I agreed.

Ferry to Moorea

Taxi to the Ferry Station

Emily Jablon:  After ~15 minutes, we arrived at the ferry station.  We got out of the cab and a man put our suitcases in a crate, which is then filled with other bags and forklifted into the ferry.

Ferry to Moorea

Moorea Ferry Station

We tried to buy our tickets, but the sign said that tickets would be sold only after 7:00 am.

Ferry to Moorea

Come Back at 7!

Daraius:  We hung around and bought 2 tickets on the fast ferry (Aremiti 5).  Each 1-way ticket cost 1,500 XPF (~$16) and I could use a credit card to pay for the tickets.  This was cheaper than the ~$66, per person, to fly from Papeete to Moorea.

It takes ~35 minutes by the fast ferry and ~7 minutes by air.  The advantage of flying is that you don’t have to leave the airport in Papeete, but it costs more.

Here’s a link to the ferry schedule.  There are 2 ferries – the regular or slower ferry (Aremiti Ferry) and the faster ferry (Aremiti 5).

I debated buying the tickets online in advance, but everything I read suggested that the ferry doesn’t sell out (unless you want a spot for a car).

Ferry to Moorea

Ferry Tickets

Emily Jablon:  We walked up the stairs and boarded the ferry.  It was huge and mostly empty.

Ferry to Moorea

Lots of Empty Seats on the Ferry to Moorea

We climbed the stairs and sat in the open deck on top.  It was a bit windy so I was glad I had my sweater.

Ferry to Moorea

What’s That?

Daraius:  The wind felt great and we were soon approaching Moorea.

Ferry to Moorea

Approaching Moorea

We got out of the ferry and went to collect our bags.  There were buses outside the ferry station, so it is possible to take the bus to your hotel. There is only 1 road in Moorea which goes around the island and the entrance to the Hilton is right off the road.  You can usually just signal to the driver to stop when you want to get on or off.

The Moon guide suggested that they would be no buses on Sunday morning, so I had booked a ride through the Hilton.  A little after-the-fact research suggested that the buses ran in tandem with the fast ferry schedule, so we could have saved money by taking the bus.  The bus tickets would have been ~$5.

Ferry to Moorea

Buses Outside the Moorea Ferry Dock

I had emailed the Hilton for a pick-up from the ferry dock for 2,400 XPF (~$26) for both Emily and I.  There was a lady with our names on a sign and soon we were on our way to the Hilton.

Ferry to Moorea

Moorea Ferry Parking Lot

Emily Jablon:  There were gorgeous views on our way to the Hilton in Moorea.  We were so excited to be here!

Ferry to Moorea

On Our Way to the Hilton

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43 responses to “Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – Getting to Moorea

  1. Looks awesome so far. Can’t wait for the next post.

  2. Kind of an odd question but.
    How much time was there between your first and second honeymoon?

  3. How long was the ferry ride? How long is a plane ride?

  4. Bora Bora looks beautiful. It is definitely on my bucket list. I have over 200,000 AA miles that I can probably use to get a free business class ticket from LA to Bora Bora.

  5. When traveling to foreign country, Is it better to get currency from local ATM or bring US dollar to exchange into local currency?

  6. Ooh yay Emily! Jem is truly outrageous!

  7. Do you use one of your credit cards with a chip for ATM withdrawals? About how much cash do you get per day for two people? Another round of questions from the newbie! Thank you!

    • @Lisa – I wouldn’t use a credit card at an ATM, because you’re charged very high cash advance fees. I used my regular debit card (without a chip) to withdraw cash. We took out way to much since we could charge most of our food and activities to the hotel room. But it depends on what you want to do and there are ATMS in Moorea and Bora Bora as well.

  8. Your trip reports are so awesome. Thank you for the little details and breakdown of your planning, costs, and itinerary. It really helps give an idea on how to plan for the trip and what to expect. May I suggest you put all your trip reports on another tab to bookmark them so your readers can easily find them? They are a valuable reference point in addition to your flight and hotel points information. They are also fun to read.

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  15. Almost everyplace in South Pacific takes credit cards, so you will not need much cash. Your regular ATM card with 4 digit PIN should work if you let bank know in advance where you are going. I get about $100 a day and can spend excess cash on last day to top off hotel, bus fares, food, etc. If you drink, get duty free bottle at departure airport as booze is expensive.

    PS In australia and NZ for regular Cr. Card payments, you need to hit CR key on a keypad and then Enter. (no pin). they call this Credit and Signature.

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  21. 2 Questions: 1. Did the taxi from Papeete airport to Ferry take a credit card? 2. Do the buses on Moorea take XPF only or credit cards too?

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  23. Darius – You have inspired our Feb. Valentine’s trip to Tahiti – Moorea – Bora Bora. I actually booked the Hiltons before the rates changed (not really knowing if the trip would happen) . Rather than cancel that dream, I began to work on it ….and it is happening soon!!! Thanks for all of your incredible details!!! So – my question at this point involves money exchange. Do you feel that it is best to exchange money at the airport or hotel ? About how much would you suggest ? We do use fee free credit cards as much as possible.
    We are hoping for Gold upgrades to over-water bungalows and free breakfast.

    • @Mara – That is wonderful! And a great time to visit. Thanks so much for sharing! I used a debit card to get cash out from the airport ATM. I can’t suggest an amount without knowing your plans. But you could start with a small amount and if you don’t use it all, you can settle your last hotel bill with the remaining cash. BTW, the Inter Continental Thalasso in Bora Bora now lets you book directly into an Emerald overwater bungalow! Good luck on the upgrade!

  24. Darius – Great idea to use extra cash to settle hotel bill! We have never used an ATM – guess we’re a little old-fashioned. Is there a money exchange in the airport? Or is it a better rate to use the ATM? Maybe we should learn the ATM. Hmmm…
    Since you said that more time in Papette would have been nice, we decided to begin our trip with several nights at the Radisson Plaza using those points from the sign-on bonus from 2 credit cards.
    Thanks again for your posts! You have truly inspired our semi-retired travels…and made them affordable!!! (Blessings as you start your family!)

    • @Mara – I can’t remember very well, but there should be a many exchange at the airport. That said, you do get a better rate at the ATM. Do you have a debit card? If so, use that at the airport. But don’t use a credit card because you will be charged cash advance fee. I would have liked an extra day in Papette to explore, but Moorea and Bora Bora are prettier. Safe travels!

  25. Ok Darius. You’ve convinced me that I need to get a debit card. Now where do I get the best deal with the debit card that I can use in Tahiti? Sorry for the dumb question, I just really don’t know. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • @Mara – I wouldn’t worry about the debit card if it is just for 1 trip. Your bank can provide you with a debit card, but always carry cash in case the machine doesn’t work. I like the Charles Schwab Investor checking account, but wouldn’t suggest opening it for just one trip.

  26. I have looked all over the Aremiti website and cannot find any information about the difference between the Aremiti 5 and the Aremiti 2. How much longer does the Aremiti 2 take to travel between Papeete and Moorea ? It doesn’t look like the Aremiti 5 schedule will work for us on Monday February 24th. Also, I am a bit nervous seeing the website indicate that the Aremiti 2 is limited to 25 “passengers” but it is possible that is a translation thing and maybe actually refers to vehicles … not sure ! I am not receiving any response from the query that I sent through the Aremiti website. Your comment would be greatly appreciated !

  27. Hello! I really enjoyed reading about your trip! My husband and I are also going on our Honeymoon to Moorea. I understand you used your Credit Card for most of the purchases but was wondering if they accepted the US Dollar or would we need to convert our USD to XPF when we get there? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Although it has been a few years since you did this trip, I just wanted to say thank you for publishing it! We are by, coincidence, duplicating this trip exactly, even to paying with points in business on AF. This report provides the perfect blue print about what to expect on each step along the way. How wonderful! Thank you again.

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  32. Excellent trip reports. We’ll be doing a similar trip in November, arriving around 6am at PPT and then heading over to Hilton Moorea for a couple days.

    On the day we land it looks like there are ferries at 6:05am, 7:15am and 9:45am. How long would you estimate it takes to get out of the airport (i.e. clearing immigration, getting checked bags)? I’d like to make the 7:!5am ferry but that seems aggressive.


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