This article is the second part of a three-part series by Porthole Cruise Magazine contributor Georgina Cruz chronicling her voyage aboard a Holland America Line world cruise. The three parts each focus on a unique island in French Polynesia: Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Today, Georgina takes us on a tour of Moorea.
The Views on Arrival
Twelve miles from Tahiti across the Sea of the Moon, loosely heart-shaped Moorea is another idyll with lofty peaks, including Mt. Mouaroa (sometimes called the “Shark’s Tooth”) that greet passengers whose ships are anchored in its beautiful Cook’s Bay or Opunohu Bay.
A Circle Island Tour
This follows the 37-mile road that circles Moorea and includes pineapple and coffee plantations and the Belvedere Lookout with its stunning views of Opunohu and Cook Bays and the green velvet Opunohu Valley.
Indulging in Relaxation
This is popular at such resorts as the Moorea InterContinental Resort & Spa with 144 rooms and thatched-roof over-water bungalows. This resort is on 27 acres of gardens on a tropical lagoon with a mountain backdrop. In addition to the expected amenities of an infinity pool, swim-up bar, spa, water sports and white sandy beach, the resort has a turtle sanctuary and clinic where injured sea turtles are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. It also offers opportunities to swim with dolphins and lagoon catamaran cruises.
A dolphin-watching tour is an exciting way to spend a few hours on the island. These programs look for spinner and rough-tooth dolphins that frequent the island’s crystal clear waters. These incredible animals bounce through the waves effortlessly and getting so close may just be the best experience of your whole vacation!
The Monoi Oil Route
A showcase of spas, gardens and boutiques that feature monoi oil, a natural product obtained from crushing fresh tiare flowers in refined coconut oil. This natural oil, sacred to ancient Polynesians, is credited by local women as the source of their lustrous hair and skin.