A day stop over in Bora Bora

by Brittany
(Brisbane, Australia)

My husband and I are arriving by tender for a day in February 2013 from the QE and we were looking at how best to spend our time.

We were hoping to head out to one of the resorts ie. Sofitel or St Regis and relax at their facilities. You mention that some of the resorts are welcoming to cruise passengers and some restaurants have pick ups. Would you mind letting us know if there was a pick up service from the dock and somewhere where we can relax for the day, perhaps with some wading/snorkeling in the lagoon? I did see a wonderful photo of beach side dining for the Sofitel but I can't seem to get additional information. This would be perfect to sit and watch and swim at our leisure whilst enjoying some lovely dining experiences and then be returned to the dock for our ship. Thank you so very much for your site, it truly is a marvelous resource.
Kind Regards

Bora Bora Island Guide's Response:

A visit to the Sofitel Private Island will certainly acquaint you with the magic of Bora Bora. (I have attached a photo from our amazing lunch on the beach at the Sofitel from our last visit). Email to find out if you can book a lunch for 2 on the beach for that date. It's quite surreal to linger over 5 courses of white table-cloth dining and fine French wines, while being wowed by perfect postcard picture views of the world's most beautiful island! The water surrounding you is in unbelievable shades of iridescent blues. You can paddle a kayak around to the south side of the island and snorkel at Bora Bora's most famous coral gardens, the Aquarium. Here you'll be entertained by the largest number of colorful fish to be seen in the Bora Bora Lagoon.

There are usually taxi's waiting at the Vaitape dock. The fare is about $20 to the Sofitel. There will also be shuttles waiting with signs saying 'Matira Beach'. As award winning Matira Beach is on the way to the Sofitel you can also choose to get aboard one of those and have a stop at this popular 2 kilometer stretch of white sand. From there it's a 10 to 15 minute walk or a brief taxi ride to the Sofitel. The shuttle boat across to the Private Island is on-call. This is a convenience not available at other resorts on a motu.

If the time of the last tender back to your cruise ship allows, you might like to have another typical Bora experience. Book for the evening meal at one of the Bora Bora restaurants on the mainland and ask the Sofitel concierge to arrange a complimentary restaurant shuttle for the desired time. Legendary Bloody Mary's is on your way back to Vaitape. Or the friendly Yacht Club is a few minutes north of Vaitape. These restaurants will return you to Vaitape Wharf after your meal.

If you are unable to make a Sofitel booking, the Hilton Nui welcomes guests at it's all day restaurant set right on the sand. You will not have Mt Otemanu views while dining, but it's a wonderful introduction to the luxury Bora Bora resort experience. You can enjoy the use of a beautiful infinity pool set on the beach front, snorkel straight from the beach, or laze under a palm in a hammock for two. Here's how to get to the Bora Bora Hilton from a cruise.

We had a beautiful sunny day in January for our memorable beach-side lunch at the Sofitel. I hope you have brilliant summer weather for your day in Bora Bora.

Here's more ideas for Bora Bora activities to do from a cruise ship.

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Bora Bora by Cruise Ship

by Carol

Hi Melinda
Thanks for replying to my message. We are coming in by cruise ship and staying on it while we are in Bora Bora. I don't want to go on an organized tour from the ship but would like to go on the lagoon by you know someone ?
Thank you thank you thank you.

Warm Regards
.....Carol ( I am sooo excited to be coming to the Bora Bora and if there are other activities you think we should do , I would welcome your ideas. I am packing snorkelling gear too.)

Bora Bora Island Guide's Response:

Hi Carol,

I think the perfect thing for you, if you are wanting to do your own thing would be hiring a boat. This is one of my favourite ways to see the lagoon. You don't need a license to drive them. They are two person boats. And you will be able to get around the lagoon and see its beautiful different shades of blue much more easily than kayaking. It is a really big lagoon so a kayak will not get you very far. With the boat you can also stop at some of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Take the boat to the 'aquarium', drop anchor (or tie up to the buoys) and then you can snorkel around this beautiful coral gardens for as long as you like.
You can read about hiring a boat here...

Boat hire in Bora Bora

Hire is for 4, 6 or 8 hours. I would recommend booking ahead, because the boast can sell out on a day a cruise is in. Also if you have pre-arranged a hire they will pick you up from the pier complimentary.

The other option that would be good for you (just in case there are not boats available) would be to book with Christophe's reef discovery tour. He only takes out 6 passengers at a time, so it is much more personal than the organised tours with the cruise. So check if there is availability on his tour for the day you are in Bora Bora. His tour has constant rave reviews.

I really enjoy being out on the lagoon exploring on our own too, so I understand you wanting to do something a bit more intendant. If the boat rental works out for you, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we always do.

Your absolute 'last resort' option is that when you get off the tenders at shore, there will be a number of tour providers selling various excursions. We have mainly had good experiences with these tours. And in some ways they are better than the ships tours because they are not so packed with people.

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Day trip to a Bora Bora Beach

by Carol


One day we just want to go to the beach.....Matira? Another beach?
Is there public transportation from the dock? Is taxi better?

Hope all is well
Thank You


Bora Bora Island Guide's Response

Hi Carol,
you will need to take a taxi to get to Matira beach. About $5 per person each way. Matira beach is the only public beach on the main island. It is a very beautiful beach. calm water. some food and drink places near by.

Your other option is that you can contact the Bora Bora Hilton and ask to come for lunch. That way they will allow you to come and visit the resort for the day. You can swim at their beach and use their pool. There is some coral around the Hilton for snorkelling too. The Hilton has a shuttle that leaves from the same dock that you get dropped off at from the ships tenders.

They are your best two options for having a day at the beach.

Kind regards,


Comments for Day trip to a Bora Bora Beach

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Aug 07, 2015
Very Nice Place!
by: Jesica Marteen

I was just there on my honeymoon.

Aug 14, 2014
Re: taxi availability
by: Melinda

Taxis will come past Matira beach. Especially on cruise ship days. You will just need to flag one down. earlier in the day they will be dropping people off to the beach so it will be easier to get one back. As the day gets later there will be less and less taxis coming by so don’t leave your return to the ship till too late.

One time we were at Matira until sunset and then we had trouble getting a taxi (although it was not a cruise day). None came past, so we walked around to the popular Bloody Mary's restaurant because we knew we could get one from there at night.

Jun 29, 2014
Taxi Availability at Matira Beach?
by: Anonymous

Hoping to get dropped off at Matira Beach after a private tour and enjoying the beach before reboarding the ship. Are there taxi's waiting at Matira beach for return to the cruise ship tender dock?

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