Get in Tahiti
Tahiti is served by Faa'a International Airport (IATA: PPT), which is close to the main city of Papeete (Papy - et - tay). All international flights will land in Tahiti. The national airline carrier then operates flights to all of the other islands.
Just a little over 8 hours non-stop flying time from Los Angeles and 12 hours from New York, Tahiti is located halfway between California and Australia.
Tahiti is regularly served by the following air carriers: Air Tahiti Nui web, Air France web, Air New Zealand web, and LAN web. Expect to be greeted by a small band, ladies handing out flowers any time of the day or the night.
In case of a late arrival time, you will probably need to book accommodation that night unless you are part of a package group, as hotels typically don't permit a 3 AM check-in time.
Holders of a passport from the EU, and most countries of North or South America don't need to apply for a visa for a stay of up to one month. French Nationals only require a National Identity Card. However, the Delphine passport is necessary in case of transit via the USA. Except for nationals of the European Union and aliens holding a 10 year residence card for metropolitan France, all foreigners entering French Polynesia must have a return ticket.
Getting around Tahiti
Travel to the neighboring islands is short, convenient, and easily arranged.
The domestic airlines, Air Tahiti and Air Moorea, are located at Tahiti Faa’a Airport.
As the major inter-island airline, Air Tahiti serves 40 islands with newer, twin-engine, jet-prop aircraft.
Flights to the neighbouring islands depart from Tahiti Faa’a Airport with frequent daily service between the most visited islands.
Air Tahiti Air Passes give you the opportunity to visit several islands for a special flat price. There are a few rules which have to be respected, like beginning and ending your island-hop trip in Tahiti, and making your circuit in no more than 28 days.
There are 4 Passes available to you that encompass various island groups. Please go directly to the Air Tahiti information page for Passes, www.airtahiti.aero
Air Moorea is the quickest way to Moorea. These shuttle flights of less than 10 minutes are considered to be one of the shortest commercial flights in the world.
Air Moorea departs every 30- to 60-minutes from Tahiti Faa’a International Airport and also serves the island of Tetiaroa. The airline operates both scheduled flights with reservations and shuttle flights for walk ups.
Between Tahiti and Moorea, Aremiti operates the high-speed Aremiti Catamaran 5 which seats 700 passengers for a 30-minute one-way crossing. For transport of autos and passengers, the Aremiti Ferry crosses in 1 hour. Both have frequent daily schedules from the waterfront in Papeete to Vaiare, Moorea.
Moorea Express, Tahiti-Moorea-Tahiti
Between Tahiti and Vaiare, Moorea, the Moorea Express catamaran seats 306 passengers for frequent 30-minute crossings and the Moorea Ferry seats 300 passengers plus autos for 1 hour crossings.
Other Ferry Transportation
The ferry or catamaran will take you to Moorea and other adjacent islands. It now takes about half an hour by catamaran to go from Tahiti to Moorea.
Ferries (sometimes combined cargo and pax boats like the Aranui) travel between most islands. Catamarans and ferry boats cross between Tahiti and Moorea several times a day. Schooners and cargo boats serve all the inhabited islands from Papeete. Rotations vary according to the destinations: from three times a week to the Society Islands to once monthly to the Island of Mangareva.
Two cruise ships/luxury liners currently ply the islands: the Paul Gauguin, which does a regular 7-day trip around the Societies, with occasional trips out to the Tuamotus, Marquesas and Cook Islands; and the Tahitian Princess which does similar itineraries. A great way to see the islands, unless you're on a tight budget. The Bora Bora Cruises is a more intimate vessel based in the Leeward Islands. Or for more adventure, embark on the Aranui III. Coming up December 2007: the Star Clippers will have the capacity of 170 passengers.