Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool


You are here: Home / Countries / French Polynesia
By No owner — last modified Dec 26, 2018 10:18 PM

 French Polynesia - General Info

Time Zone

Gambier -9 UTC

Marquesas -9.5 UTC

Tuamotu -10 UTC

Society Islands -10 UTC

Australs -10 UTC

Yachting Essentials



It is not difficult to find drinking water throughout the Windward Islands as well as the Society Islands. Some of the smaller atolls have very limited water and a few none at all, but all inhabited islands have a source and the locals are normally more then happy to share. Learn a few French words and expressions to help you on your way. It also rains alot here, so rig up an efficient water catchment system on your boat to keep your tanks topped up.


Whilst French Polynesia is more expensive than Europe and the USA for staple provisions due to its isolated location, shopping on a budget is possible. See this useful site comparison February 2017.


Cash, fuel, gas refills and fresh fruit and vegetables are very hard to come by in the Tuamotu. Make sure you leave the Marquesas with a good supply.

Boat Repair/Parts

Papeete is the first place from Panama that cruisers can source parts and individuals to do boat repair. There is no local VHF Cruisers net here so experienced FP cruiser Chuck Houlihan of SY Jacaranda has put together a very useful services guide (2017). Downloadable as a pdf or viewed online.
Cruisers that have been through Papeete in the last couple of years can contribute suggestions of services or individuals who they found helpful.

See the Customs section for details on bringing in spare parts and equipment.

Purchasing expensive products in FP

Be wary if promised a tax refund when purchasing an expensive product/spare (e.g. a dinghy) in FP. Whilst a company may promise a tax refund, in reality this is complicated to achieve and can only be done in Tahiti. The marine store must first process the paperwork before a freight forwarder can get permission from the Custom's officials to refund the VAT (and this is not always given). If you are purchasing via a third party in another island from a marine store in Tahiti, it's highly likely the papers will never be processed.


French Pacific Franc (CFP for its French acronym, or XPF for its ISO acronym) with a fixed parity to the Euro (1 € = 119,33 XPF).

There are ATMs in most of the local post offices (there are post offices in all towns and little villages, even on outer islands), and at local banks in some islands. (e.g. the larger islands of the Marquesas at Taiohae, Nuka Hiva and Atuona on Hiva Oa, or Rangiroa in Tuamotu.)

Note: There is no ATM or bank in the Gambiers, but the post office will change US$.

Credit cards are accepted at many stores.

In some places you can exchange Euros or US Dollars at the local post office (E.g. in the Gambier at Rikitea, or in the Marquesas at Taiohae on Nuka Hiva and at Atuona on Hiva Oa, and most of the Society islands).

US $ are accepted in few places (at higher exchange rates).

It is recommended to leave the Marquesas with plenty of CFP.

CFP is also the currency in use in the French territories of New Caledonia and the islands of Wallis and Futuna. Therefore keep your extra CFP when leaving French Polynesia, if you plan to stop later at one of these islands!


See Pacific List of Radio Nets


International Dialing Code for French Polynesia is +689. Every town and little village has a public call box. It is best to use a pre-paid international calling card which you can get from the post office.

Note (June 2014): Both landline and cell phone numbers have been amended as shown:-

Landline: 40 + current 6-digit number

VoIP line (internet phones): 49 + 6-digit number starting with 9

Cell phone: 87 + 6-digit number starting with 7 or 2

The cellular operator in French Polynesia is "Vini". It's useful to have a quad band cell phone UNLOCKED. You can do pay-as-you-go; buy a sim card for $5 or $10 and then add money as you need it (although purchasing a SIM card can be difficult). Cell access is surprisingly good in French Polynesia, even out in the Tuamotus.


Internet access is possible in most of the major anchorages near towns of any size, although it is very slow. (2016 prices: approx. US$10 for 3 hours – prices vary slightly from one provider to the other). You can sign up and pay online for a block of time after connecting your WiFi antenna to the provider’s network. You may need to buy blocks of time from 3 or 4 different providers, because coverage varies from place to place.

A long range WiFi antenna is very useful to have. Coverage is pretty spotty in the Tuamotu: Rangiroa, North Fakarava, Makemo, Manihi, Tikehau, and perhaps a few others when anchored near a post office (see Vinispot info. following).

"Vivispot" (www.vinispot.pfis a provider from the French Polynesia postal service and as such operates in all islands where there is a post office, i.e. even in some of the remotest outer islands like the Australs and Gambier.

However the WiFi range is sometimes limited. The Marquesas are ok, eg Fatu Hiva (Hanavave Bay or Bay of Virgins) with a great vinispot signal, also Taiohae Bay. In Papeete it is better than the marina WiFi. Further west, the signal is not so good. Check their website for locations. You can buy access cards at the post office, or sign-in online using a credit card. In many post offices you can also use your access card to connect at the post office public computer which is available free of charge.

HotSpot-WDG”: this is another WiFi internet provider, with WiFi zones in all Society islands, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Ua Pou in the Marquesas, and Manihi, Rangiroa, Fakarawa and Tikehau in the Tuamotu. You can sign-in online using a credit card, or buy access cards at their WiFi zone stations like hotels or  “pensions”, or marinas (check their website home page for locations).

"Iaoraspot": Cruisers can also use this privately owned WiFi service run by a yachting-affiliated person. They are reported to have a better Wi-Fi signal, but not necessarily a faster internet connection. Iaoraspot has WIFI zones in all Society islands, Nuku Hiva, and Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, Rangiroa, and Fakarawa in the Tuamotu, and Mangareva in Gambier.

You can sign-in online using a credit card, or buy access cards at their WiFi zone stations like hotels or  “pensions”, or marinas (check their website home page for locations). From their home page you can also get free of charge weather forecasts from: Windguru (various islands), Meteo France website (very complete including satellite pictures of the South Pacific), and 7 day GRIB files covering all of French Polynesia.

August 2012: OminAccess has expanded its high speed network coverage in French Polynesia - see for more details.


If hoping to receive anything by normal express post, remember that post offices will only hold items for 14 days before returning to sender. The alternative is to give a hotel or cruiser-friendly outfit as a mailing address. Mail first arrives in Papeete, Tahiti, but then if not addressed or invoiced properly, will often just get stuck there. Advice is to get the sender to scan the invoices of the goods and the postal invoice and email them to you. Then you must make sure you have the invoices for the goods and the postal invoice on the outside of the package. Also in large letters somewhere other than the small address label, you should write the name of the yacht and “YACHT IN TRANSIT”. If all else fails go to the PO with your tracking number, a scanned copy of both your boat registration and the customs form copy which they give you on check in, PLUS scanned copies of the invoice. The head of the PO can then e-mail the customs/PO Papeete attaching your scanned copies and with luck you should receive your packet without having to pay import duty.

Last updated July 2016.

Iaoraspot - WiFi Network
Tel:(689) 77.24.86 (9am-6pm) ,VHF Channel 72 (Marina Taina only)
Iaoraspot is a WiFi network of 24 zones for Yachties in Gambiers, Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands.
Sunshine Maritime Services Inc.
103 South U.S. Highway One F5-114 , Jupiter, florida 33477
Tel:001 561 743 7883
Able to arrange economic deliveries to the Bahamas, French Polynesia and also anywhere serviced by Air Tahiti and American Airlines.

Diplomatic Missions


Tahiti > Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous
Tel:+689 87 280 844
With Latitude 38 - 11th edition : 24-26 June 2016.
An annual three-day event that aims to give a warm Polynesian welcome to cruising sailors while celebrating their successful ocean crossing.
Tahiti Pearl Regatta
Running since 2004 this diverse regatta includes a cruising class and takes place at the beginning of May. The event features an inter-island route around the Sous-le-Vent islands providing participants with a different destination each evening.
The Heiva Festival
Three weeks from the end of June until a few days after Bastille Day (July 14th), when there are competitions of Polynesian dancing, Polynesian songs, outrigger canoe racing, fruit carrier racing, etc.. The smaller the atoll usually the closer you get to the people. The Heiva festival is celebrated in all archipelagoes, with the most important competitions in Tahiti. Although smaller than Tahiti, the Bora Bora Heiva Festival is also famous.
The Marquesan Festival
Date and Location unknown
A unique arts and cultural event celebrated only every four years, not for tourists but rather for the Ma’ohi people who come together from all over the Pacific. Most recent 2018. A showcase of traditional Polynesian arts, dancing, music and tradition.


Emergency telephone numbers:

MRCC 16 (Marine search and rescue)
Police 17
Fire 18
Ambulance 15
SOS Medical 42 34 56

JRCC Tahiti (Search & Rescue)
Tel:Emergency: +689 40 54 16 16/Info: +689 40 54 16 15 Fax:+689 40 42 39 15 ,VHF Channel 16
Opening hours: 24/7
Iridium: +881 641 425630 INMARSAT C: 582-422799192. MRCC and ARCC in French Polynesia have merged to become the JRCC Tahiti, Airborne Maritime Rescue Coordination Center. Fluent English Spoken.
Tahiti Pharmacist for all of French Polynesia
Tel:+689 87 79 16 93
Patrick Ly runs his own pharmacy in northern Tahiti, but is available to all of French Polynesia via email, text, phone, and Skype. He speaks English well and is willing to ship medications anywhere in FP. He understands cruisers’ needs to order large volumes and is very helpful in finding alternatives. If he can’t provide a specific solution, he will say so.


Imray & Adlard Coles Pilot Books can be purchased with an exclusive Noonsite discount of up to 15% by visiting our Imray store if shopping from the UK or Europe.
For North America and the rest of the world visit Bluewater Books & Charts. When ordering through Bluewater be sure to enter the coupon code NOON during checkout to save 10%.

Charlie's Charts of Polynesia
By Charles Wood and Margo Wood
Publisher: Charlies Charts (Last printed 2011)
Cruisers in Polynesia have provided many significant updating details for anchorages and marina facilities in the following areas: Iles Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu (the Tuamotu), Pitcairn Island, Isla de Pascua (Easter lsland), Iles de la Societe (Society Islands--Windward Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora-Bora), Cook Islands, Niue and Includes entry procedures, weather information, advice on the location of the best anchorages, navigation in coral waters and advice for running passes. Many sea view sketches aid in recognizing entry to passes and anchorages.

The Pacific Crossing Guide
By Kitty Van Hagen
3rd Edition October 2016
See The Pacific Crossing Guide 3rd Edition
See latest updates here.

South Pacific Anchorages
By Warwick Clay
Published by Imray (2nd edition 2001)
DISCOUNTS available through Imray and Bluewater Books (see details and links above)
This cruising guide covers the South Pacific from the Mariana Islands in the northwest across to the Galapagos in the east then down passed Easter Island to New Zealand in the Southwest. It covers this vast area in detail and virtually every anchorage is described with supporting plans produced from the author's own information.

Yachtsmans Guide to French Polynesia,
Produced by the Port Autonome de Papeete. A pdf (2008) that can be downloaded.

Moon Tahiti
By David Stanley
Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing;
7th edition - February 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1598807387
Since 1989, Moon Tahiti has been the leading travel guidebook to French Polynesia and this new edition incorporates the latest restaurant, resort, and transportation news. Stanley has been covering the South Pacific for over three decades and he knows the region better than any other travel writer.
The Tahiti Cruisers Guide is brought to you by Julien Desmont from Xperimental and Chuck Houlihan from Jacaranda. Starting as an idea based on the very successful Panama City Cruisers guide, it has evolved into 160+ pages of information on vendors and services in Papeete and some businesses in Mo'orea and Raiatea.  GPS coordinates and links to Google Maps assist in locating businesses.
Association des Voiliers en Polynésie : The French Polynesia Cruising Association is now available online.
Association of Sailboats in French Polynesia.
Website has news, Formalities information, anchoring information, marine directory and more. Membership charge.
Official Tourist Office Site

Tahiti Sun Travel
Another good travel guide

SY Moya Cruisng French Polynesia
An informative guide to cruising French Polynesia put together by a cruising family of four.

French Polynesia: The World's best tropical cruising ground
John Freeland advocates trade wind cruising in French Polynesia through many seasons with no long blue water passages.

Completing their longest passage yet, a
cruising family finds the Marquesas worthy of its superlatives (February 2016).

Yacht Jacaranda Passage Notes!passage-notes/cj6y

Detailed write ups on each of the islands visited in the Marquesas (June 2015 onwards).

Cruising Compendiums for the Tuamotus, Marquesas and Society Islands.
A Compilation of Guidebook References and Cruising Reports put together by SV Soggy Paws with updates from cruisers who have used the guides. Lots of good information if planning on cruising French Polynesia.


Passage Notes - Cruising the Tuamotus: The Dangerous Archipelago (2016), by SY Jacaranda
Lots of useful tips on Atoll approaches & passes, lagoon navigation & anchoring.

A useful source of information about the Tuamotus can be found in this report by SV Soggy Paws.

SY Kavenga has useful provisioning costs for FP from May 2012 and earlier on their site ( - find link near the bottom of the their home page.

Bound for the Marquesas? Wondering about what you'll find food-wise? SY Jacaranda spent a year cruising around all 6 inhabited islands and have a useful introduction to provisioning in the Marquesas and a list of food and fuel costs on their website (posted Feb. 2016). Go to "Other Good Stuff" in the main menu at

Using a Stern Anchor
Yacht Adina visited French Polynesia in 2014 and found that they needed to use their stern anchor extensively to keep the boat facing the swell that predominates in many anchorages here. Their useful notes are well worth a read if you are not familiar with the art of using a stern anchor.

See Routing/Pacific Crossing page for other useful reports and links.

Update History

November 2018: Security information for Papeete City Marina passed on by Chuck of SY Jacaranda.
October 2018: Immigration information for non-EU citizens updated with the help of SV Jacaranda.
March 2018: Formalities checked and updated.
February 2018: LS visa information and weather links from SV Jacaranda.
October 2017: Additional information re. purchasing expensive items in FP added to Customs and Yachting Essentials section following feedback from SY Destiny who purchased a dinghy in Nuku Hiva on the basis they would get the promised tax refund, however this never materialised.
April 2017: French Polynesia pharmacist details added from SY Kandu.
January 2017: Security section updated following reports of incidents in Raiatea and Huahine.
November 2016: Immigration updated Long Stay visa regs with information from SV Jacaranda.
July 2016: Pet regulations updated by Dr Bichet, official FP Veterinary.
June 2016: Duty free fuel and bond updates from Margaret Beasley.
April 2016: Customs update re alcohol from comment by stage2man.
March 2016: Clearance updates from Ken Vernaudon, Marina de Papeete.
June 2015: Publications checked
April 2015: Clearance process still up to date, confirmed by SY Domino.
February 2015: Arrival information for non-EU citizens re. posting a bond updated with information from Cruisers Network Online.
July 2014: Formalities updated with confirmation on latest rules from Papeete Harbourmaster and French Polynesia Customs.
June 2014: Information on Customs patrols from Tom of SY Adina.
September 2013: New information on importing spare parts from SY Scott-Free and Polynesia Yacht Services.
2012 & 2013 Various updates to the main country sections.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 09, 2019 11:34 AM

Reported by Chuck Houlihan of SY Jacaranda:

Thanks to Bruce and Alene on SV Migration who worked the issue with the French consulate in Mexico City. The French consulate is allowing non residents in Mexico to apply for FP long stay visas. According to Bruce the consulate is now allowing yachties and other to submit the paperwork from the French consulate in Mexico City.

Awaiting reports of the first cruisers applying.

This is a big hurdle as it allows cruisers to not have to travel back to the US, submit the paperwork along with their passports, obtain a temporary US passport and then travel back to the boat.


chouliha says:
Nov 24, 2018 04:08 PM

That is the 4-5th boat we have heard that was robbed in Avea Bay Huahine in the past 2 seasons. A warning to boats coming behind you - Lock the boat everywhere in FP -

lderamus says:
Nov 11, 2018 07:38 AM

After several lovely months in French Polynesia encountering nothing but friendly people we finally got robbed.

At anchor in Avea Bay in Huahine someone swam to our boat while we were at dinner ashore, went through the boat and got away with all our cash (around $2000.- total). Thank God passports, credit cards and electronics were ok. Our bad for leaving the companionway unlocked.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 01, 2018 07:54 PM

Reported by Bob Carlisle:

Tahouna Bay/Atouna, Hiva Oa, Marquesa Islands, July 2018


Probably not too many are heading that way right now, but when the next Pacific crossing season gets up and running, this is one of the main arrival/check-in ports for the Marquesa Islands and space is going to be restricted.
hen we visited in July 2018 there were notices posted stating that due to dredging works programmed for mid-July to late-December, the anchorage would be restricted to an area north of the dinghy dock and presumably you'll need to get your anchor & chain behind that line too? That area's predominantly very shallow and I'd estimate that no more than half a dozen yachts will be able to squeeze in there, of which there seems to be four or five semi-permanent yachts already.

Works hadn't begun when we left in August, so it's reasonable to assume that the works will overrun and these restrictions will continue at least into the early months of 2019 when the Puddle Jumpers begin to arrive in numbers. You can anchor off outside the harbour wall, but in all but very light weather with little south in the winds/seas that's an uncomfortable option at best.

Even with 'normal' restrictions in place you'll be twin anchored if you're inside the harbour wall and be wary of the Aranui cruise/supply ship's arrival if anchored close to the dock on the east side (the red Taporo supply ship invariably seems to be a lot more careful and courteous?) Whilst we were sat comfortably 'behind the line' our anchor wasn't and the Aranui first tripped that when dropping their own anchor, before 'blasting' us sideways a few seconds later with their powerful bow thruster as they docked; no gel-coat was lost, so just an interesting experience.

lderamus says:
Aug 20, 2018 11:44 PM

We are currently at Marina Taina in Tahiti and can highly recommend Yacht Services Tahiti. Responsive, nice,english speaking and efficient. Worth every penny!

lderamus says:
Aug 20, 2018 11:42 PM

Highly recommend making landfall in Nuku Hiva instead of Hiva Oa. Much better anchorage and dinghy dock in Nuku Hiva,shops,fruit and veggie market and small restaurant right near the dock.
kevin and his lovely wife at YACHT SERVICES in Nuku Hiva are absolutely fabulous !! There services are worth every penny and more. They help with check-in, paperwork and pretty much anything you need.

Patrick Erwert
Patrick Erwert says:
Jul 18, 2018 03:44 AM

I first sailed French Polynesia in 1984. Two days after arriving in Papeete, our dingy was stolen. When I went to the gendarmes, the first thing he said was, laisse-moi deviner, ton zodiac a ete vole. Let me guess, your dingy was stolen. Things haven't changed, secure and lock up your valuables. I am headed again there this coming spring and will keep my past experiences in mind. Enjoy this beautiful land and remember to take nothing for granted. Patrick, S/V Voila

chouliha says:
May 05, 2018 04:00 PM

Headed towards French Polynesia? Be sure to download the free cruisers guide that lists parts and services available in Papeete. Having the pdf onboard will allow to to order parts and check on services. Hopefully this may help you if you are in the remote islands and something breaks or save you time while sourcing parts in Tahiti. Updated often so be sure to check when internet is available Chuck/ Jacaranda

Daniel Baydreamer
Daniel Baydreamer says:
Jan 24, 2018 01:45 AM

If you ever run into mechanical problems or need something done on your boat while you are in Tahiti I can highly recommend a Hungarian guy named: Adrian: 00 689 87286083 email: He is a magician when it comes to boats and engines. He changed our head gasket, rebuild our diesel injector pump,mounted our new bow spread and even made a complete overhaul of our dive compressor. He is honest and he defiantly knows what he is doing.

He lives on his boat just outside marina Taina.

Palzur says:
Jan 21, 2018 08:01 PM

Before sailing to French Polynesia it is really recommend to join for free the "Pacific Puddle Jump".
They will give you tips, handbooks and other stuff that really helps.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Dec 20, 2017 10:42 AM

Noonsite has written to the Immigration authority in French Polynesia asking for clarification/confirmation about the 'new' rule. We will update the site as soon as we receive the information.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Dec 20, 2017 10:39 AM

Posted 20th December 2017 on behalf of Ian and Erika

We left our boat in Papeete, Tahiti for a 6 week trip to New Zealand. Upon our return, at the Auckland airport check-in (Air Tahiti Nui on Dec 14th 2017), I was asked to provide evidence of having a boat in Tahiti. When I queried this, I was told that a ‘New’ regulation had just come in and applied to British EU travellers (but not to my wife, who is German). Fortunately we had copies of Ships Papers (SSR) on us, but I was told I would not have been allowed to fly without proof or evidence of an onward plane ticket, despite the fact that Britain is still in the EU. Apparently, this new regulation is in preparation for Brexit !

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 28, 2017 12:06 PM

Hi Sue - I recommend your post your offer on the Women Who Sail Facebook page - There seem to be quite alot of followers in the Pacific right now actively cruising and I am sure they can guide you accordingly.

BlueWaterSue says:
Apr 27, 2017 07:25 AM

I'll be flying from San Francisco, California into Pape'ete for a short week visit in mid-May and I'm wondering what I could bring to cruisers in the way of useful supplies. I hear things are expensive there, and I know from personal cruising experience that specialty repair items can be hard to source abroad. Any ideas for finding requests?

Pannikin says:
Apr 14, 2017 12:21 AM

Marine Surveyor in Tahiti.
If anyone is looking for a marine surveyor in Tahiti I am happy to relay our experience with Patrice BEUSCHER.
We found Mr Beuscher to be very professional, prompt, reliable and honest. He surveyed out boat for purchase and was meticulous with a keen eye for detail and always replied to any query we had promptly and efficiently.

John Freeland
John Freeland says:
Feb 14, 2017 12:08 AM

Fact or Myth: Food in French Polynesia is exorbitantly expensive

While in Panama several permanent sailing residents repeated the often heard tale of woe about Polynesia. “Why would you go to Polynesia, it so dreadfully expensive?” I would usually say "well when I was in French Polynesia 20 years ago many items were price controlled and very reasonable. If you’re on a tight budget you can eat cheaply if you’re careful."
Currently we found many of the Marquesas and Tuomotus were supplied regularly. Staples are rarely an issue, fresh is often available the day the freighter arrives. Locally sourced foods, like mangoes and grapefruit, are not sold in stores but can be found by a bit of asking around.
But are the prices exorbitantly expensive? In a word – No.
We’re from the UK where food prices are similar to the rest of Europe. There are several comparison websites which use the “shopping basket” comparison to measure cost of living and between city comparisons. Using February 2017 here are average UK prices converted to French Polynesian Francs, compared to the Champion Supermarket in Papeete (which by the way is certainly not the cheapest.)
I have converted the British pounds to French Polynesian francs at the current rate of 140.

UK vs Tahiti Prices - Feb 2017 UK in XPF Papeete
Milk , (1 liter); Papeete presidente whole milk HDT XPF 123 XPF 139
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) Papeete for 2 bagettes XPF 132 XPF 124
Rice (white), (1kg) XPF 168 XPF 97
Eggs (12) XPF 269 XPF 451
Cheese (1kg); Papeete Emmental XPF 783 XPF 995
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg): Papeete frozen XPF 843 XPF 292
Beef Round (1kg) XPF 1,092 XPF 1,395
Apples (1kg) XPF 252 XPF 372
Banana (1kg) XPF 134 XPF 140
Oranges (1kg) XPF 239 XPF 345
Tomato (1kg) XPF 255 XPF 720
Potato (1kg) XPF 167 XPF 167
Onion (1kg) XPF 132 XPF 165
Lettuce (1 head) ;only cleaned bagged Papeete XPF 99 XPF 368
Total basket XPF 4,687 XPF 5,769
Papeete is 23% more expensive than UK.

French Polynesia is arguably one of the most isolated nations on the planet and it would be a surprise if food was cheap. Papeete is an expensive city by third world standards where 2 bedroom flats start at 200,000 euros. Shipping food by freighter in refrigerated containers also raises the prices in the outlying archipelagos. Nevertheless, with some staples price controlled by France, many staples are quite reasonable. Try to get a baguette in London for 44 pence, 54 cents US.
Is food more expensive than Europe or USA? Yes. Is it exorbitantly expensive? I’d answer that question with a resounding – NO.

John Freeland - SY Mary Ann II

stefandec says:
Jul 28, 2016 09:24 PM

Nuku Hiva Yacht Services recommedation
I spent a couple of hours with Kevin of NHYS last June 2016 and can recommend him to other cruisers as a friendly, capable, generous and serious person. I recomend them to fellow cruisers, Stefan (

stage2man says:
Apr 14, 2016 08:57 PM

In 2015, Customs patrols of Fatu Hiva were not tolerating vessels that had not prior checked in to the country at either Nuka Hiva or Hiva Oa. Additionally for those who had applied for a long stay Visa prior to leaving the USA, the paper work now takes 7 weeks, after submission to Papeete, upon arrival in French Polynesia. Anne-Marie Guiguen(some English), is a delightful official on Nuka Hiva who assisted us with submission to Papeete. Given the now prolonged time to process, I think she may be not be as helpful to future cruisers, and may suggest heading to Papeete early enough to submit the paperwork yourself. We were not allowed to leave the Marquesas until our papers were returned from Papeete to her office.

stage2man says:
Apr 14, 2016 08:31 PM

Warning on alcohol reporting to Customs. Customs is back in business utilizing the Navy vessel after losing their's on a reef. When reporting alcohol to the Gendarmes on arrival in the Marquesas, be accurate. Do not under report stores or Customs will assume your intention is to sell the excess alcohol to the local population. You will be fined, and have alcohol confiscated. Note that there is no maximum that one can bring into the country. We know of a vessel that had over 1000 cans of beer on board, yet had no problems because they declared all upon arrival with the Gendarmes. Note that they want the quantity in Liters, not cases or bottles. They told us a case to them is 6 bottles of wine. Hence we had inadvertently under reported as the rest of the world counts 12 bottles in a case. They also check all medication and controlled substances when searching a vessel for patient names on labels.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 09, 2015 12:13 PM

Posted on behalf of Bill, Lara and Isobel Calfee of SV Sunrise:
I thought it would be worth writing about our experience with Tahiti Crew. We picked them up as an agent via the Pacific Puddle Jump.

Tehani is a local woman who owns the company and is the primary contact in Tahiti. She has remote island contacts and I suggest that you deal directly with her by phone, text (689 87 21 59 80 ) or email ( She has been wonderfully responsive and has helped us with many things beyond customs and immigration: car rental, tax fee fuel, making medical appointments, importing parts, hiring local contractors, finding places to stay, guided tours of the island (her “auntie” has a pHd in Tahitian Culture and leads tours of the island). We are traveling with our 6 year old daughter and Tehani helped us work our way through the system to put her in the local school!! She also knows the local customs and culture. Tahiti crew does charge fees for many things that can be done on your own… and we feel strongly that Tahiti Crew is a great value.

As a side bar: all Tahitians expect to be treated as friends would treat each other, with kindness and respect. We found people in Tahiti and Moorea to be very kind and generous if you treat them as friends. Of course, the more densely touristed the area, the more you will have to work to become friends. Attempting to speak french will go a long way. And attempting to use a few Tahitian words makes a huge difference as these people are Polynesians, not French!

lifelineexplorers says:
Nov 22, 2015 08:50 AM

For anyone needing assistance with formalities or customs clearance I would highly recommend using Tehani at Tahiti Crew. She helped me clear into Polynesia, dealt with arriving packages being held at Customs, and assisted in acquiring two visa extensions. Her service was beyond was expected and she is extremely professional and pleasant to deal with. She can be contact at

David Johnson
David Johnson says:
Jul 11, 2015 08:33 PM

Couple of recommended services in French Polynesia.
1. PSA (listed under Tahiti marine services) for batteries. Great service, batteries delivered to boat, and good after sales support.
2. Voilerie Aveia (Regine Faux, 68987725112) in Raiatea for sail repairs. We got next day turnaround on 2 separate repairs. Collected and returned sails, nice repairs completed.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 11, 2015 11:34 AM

The cruiser who sent us this security report prefers to remain anonymous:

We are currently cruising French Polynesia and have throughly enjoyed every minute. We are passing through Raiatea for the second time.

I want to report three cases of boats being boarded in the last two weeks in Uturoa on the town public dock. We are still cruising here and want to make sure fellow cruisers are aware of petty crime here.

The first incident happened two weeks ago to a friend's boat tied up close to the Shell Gas Station. His boat along with three others were boarded at night and various items were stolen. All three boats were unlocked. The perpetrator was maced and fled leaving various items behind.

We pulled back into the public dock today to re-provision and met two Australian boats that were boarded last night with a Laptop stolen with forceful entry and the perpetrator being chased off a second boat when the owner was awoken.

Local recommendations are NOT to tie up here over night but anchor off the town or pick up a mooring ball over night. Our suggestion is to go to Taha'a and pick up a moring ball by the old yacht club and spend the night there.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 27, 2015 09:40 AM

Posted on Women Who Sail Facebook Group - April 25th, 2015
DINGHY THEFT ALERT.... another dinghy stolen last night in Bora Bora. Boat was at a mooring in front of the gas station, not far from the Mai Kai Marina... there's been a rash of thefts in Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora... as always, LOCK IT OR LOSE IT!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 14, 2014 01:07 PM

It has been reported that the customs boat hit a reef in the Tuamotos - and it may be a while before a new one arrives.

French Polynesia
Other Atolls
Society Islands
Main Ports
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Diplomatic Missions
Update History
American Samoa
Antigua & Barbuda
Ascension Island
BIOT (Chagos)
British Virgin Islands
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
El Salvador
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Hong Kong
Ivory Coast
Juan Fernandez Islands
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Myanmar (Burma)
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Palau (Belau)
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Island
Puerto Rico
Reunion Island
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
Sint Maarten
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Turks & Caicos
US Virgin Islands
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Wallis and Futuna
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Platinum Sponsors
Related Reports
Bora Bora: New Anchoring Restrictions for all Yachts - 2019

Bora Bora: New Anchoring Restrictions for all Yachts - 2019 (31 Jan 2019)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Bora Bora, Vaitape: Outboard stolen - December 2018 (31 Dec 2018)

Report Icon

Pacific - List of Radio Nets (12 Dec 2018)

Cruising French Polynesia With Kids

Cruising French Polynesia With Kids (28 Nov 2018)

Report Icon

Refilling your gas bottles from a larger container (16 Oct 2018)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Huahine: Burgled while having dinner ashore - October 2018 (15 Oct 2018)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Tahiti: Yachts burgled at Marina Papeete - September 2018 (30 Sep 2018)

Report Icon

Obtaining a French Polynesian Long Stay Visa (10 Sep 2018)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Tuamotu, Kauehi: Daylight Robbery - April 2018 (01 Apr 2018)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Raiatea: Repair Facilities (27 Nov 2017)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Tahiti: Yachts burgled at Marina Papeete - August 2017 (31 Aug 2017)

French Polynesia, Marquesas: Nuku Hiva In Five Days

French Polynesia, Marquesas: Nuku Hiva In Five Days (22 Jan 2017)

Report Icon

French Polynesia: Yacht security incidents - Nov/Dec 2016 (31 Dec 2016)

Report Icon

The Pacific Crossing Guide - 3rd Edition (17 Oct 2016)

What are the options for keeping your boat in French Polynesia during the cyclone season?

What are the options for keeping your boat in French Polynesia during the cyclone season? (18 Aug 2016)

Clearing into French Polynesia: Dealing with the Bond & Duty Free Fuel

Clearing into French Polynesia: Dealing with the Bond & Duty Free Fuel (29 Jun 2016)

Report Icon

Cyclones in the Society Islands and El Nino: Considering options for cyclone season (30 May 2016)

Sailing Advisory Galapagos to Marquesas

Sailing Advisory Galapagos to Marquesas (22 Feb 2016)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Huahine, Baie D’Avea: Night Boarding - September 2015 (27 Sep 2015)

South Pacific Cyclone Season in the tropics: Calculated risks

South Pacific Cyclone Season in the tropics: Calculated risks (15 Jun 2015)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Raiatea, Uturoa: Yacht burglaries on the public dock - June 2015 (10 Jun 2015)

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013 (21 Oct 2014)

Tahiti, Taina Marina: Moorings not to be trusted long term

Tahiti, Taina Marina: Moorings not to be trusted long term (23 Sep 2014)

Perfect Anchorage - Motu Murimahora, Huahine, French Polynesia

Perfect Anchorage - Motu Murimahora, Huahine, French Polynesia (14 Jul 2014)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Bora Bora: Deck equipment stolen - July 2014 (07 Jul 2014)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Tuamotos, Apatiki Carenage: Cruisers share their experiences (16 May 2014)

Report Icon

French Polynesia: Good News for Visiting Yachts (05 May 2014)

Report Icon

Tropical South Pacific weather resources (17 Mar 2014)

Cruising the South Pacific with Pets on board - hassle in Fiji

Cruising the South Pacific with Pets on board - hassle in Fiji (15 Jan 2014)

Report Icon

Courtesy Flags for the South Pacific (13 Oct 2013)

Report Icon

French Polynesia: Pet Regulations (12 Sep 2013)

Shipping in goods to Tahiti

Shipping in goods to Tahiti (11 Sep 2013)

Report Icon

French Polynesia, Tahiti, Papeete: Attempted Dinghy Theft - July 2013 (09 Jul 2013)

Bora Bora a great stop

Bora Bora a great stop (24 Jun 2013)

French Polynesia: Permitted Stay for yachts increased to 18 months

French Polynesia: Permitted Stay for yachts increased to 18 months (01 May 2013)

Report Icon

Pacific Planning Advice (26 Mar 2013)

Report Icon

Highly Recommended Boatyard in Raiatea, French Polynesia (27 Feb 2011)

Report Icon

French for Cruisers Book Review (09 Jul 2010)

Report Icon

Are Propane and Butane interchangeable with most boat systems? (19 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Cruising the Marquesas - what we learnt (09 Jun 2009)

Report Icon

NZ as Cyclone Season Destination (20 May 2009)

Report Icon

Fatu Hiva, Marquesas April 2003 (14 Apr 2003)

Report Icon

Delights of the Northwest Tuamotus (11 Mar 2003)

Report Icon

Marquesas in the Hurricane Season (10 Jan 2003)

Report Icon

Tuamotu Archipelago (19 Aug 2002)

Related News
French Polynesia, Bora Bora: New Anchoring Restrictions for 2019

French Polynesia, Bora Bora: New Anchoring Restrictions for 2019  (30 Jan 2019)

Saint Lucia: World ARC 2019-20 Sets Sail

Saint Lucia: World ARC 2019-20 Sets Sail   (15 Jan 2019)

MAYDAY! On passage from Mo’orea to Huahine catamaran "Tanda Malaika" violently hits an unmarked reef

MAYDAY! On passage from Mo’orea to Huahine catamaran "Tanda Malaika" violently hits an unmarked reef  (25 Jul 2017)

ARC Pacific - new rally route from Los Angeles to Hiva Oa, via Mexico , announced for Spring 2018

ARC Pacific - new rally route from Los Angeles to Hiva Oa, via Mexico , announced for Spring 2018  (19 Jan 2017)

French Polynesia, Tuamotus: Skipper Found Dead aboard Grounded Sloop

French Polynesia, Tuamotus: Skipper Found Dead aboard Grounded Sloop  (22 Jul 2016)

French Polynesia: Morning Dove Lost on Tuamotu Reef

French Polynesia: Morning Dove Lost on Tuamotu Reef  (08 May 2016)

Tahiti, Papeete: Totally Renovated Marina

Tahiti, Papeete: Totally Renovated Marina  (03 May 2015)

South Pacific, Niue: Arrive with correct paperwork or face fines

South Pacific, Niue: Arrive with correct paperwork or face fines  (06 May 2014)