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How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Papeete To Moorea


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Nelia Rubenstein




Welcome to the beautiful islands of French Polynesia! If you’re planning a trip to this tropical paradise, you may be wondering about the ferry ride from the capital city of Papeete to the enchanting island of Moorea. The journey between these two destinations offers a breathtaking experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the South Pacific.


Located in the heart of the Society Islands archipelago, Papeete serves as the gateway to French Polynesia and is the primary hub for international travelers. Just a short ferry ride away lies the idyllic island of Moorea, known for its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Whether you’re a sun-seeker, an adventure enthusiast, or a nature lover, Moorea offers a diverse range of attractions and activities to indulge in.


As you plan your itinerary, understanding the ferry options and the duration of the journey from Papeete to Moorea is essential. In this travel guide, we will take you through the various ferry options available, the factors that can affect the duration of the ferry ride, and share some valuable tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


So, sit back, relax, and let’s embark on a virtual journey to uncover the wonders that await you on the ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea!


Overview of Papeete and Moorea


Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, is a vibrant and bustling city located on the island of Tahiti. This cosmopolitan hub offers a unique blend of French and Polynesian culture, where you can explore colorful markets, indulge in delicious cuisine, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals. Papeete is also a popular starting point for island hopping adventures within French Polynesia.


Just a 30-minute ferry ride from Papeete lies the picturesque island of Moorea. Often referred to as “the Island of Love,” Moorea is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Its dramatic mountains, fringed with lush greenery, and pristine beaches make it a postcard-worthy destination. Whether you want to snorkel in its vibrant coral reefs, hike to breathtaking viewpoints, or simply relax on the beach, Moorea offers a wide range of activities to satisfy every traveler’s desires.


Both Papeete and Moorea are known for their stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. In Papeete, you can immerse yourself in the local way of life by visiting the vibrant market, experiencing traditional dance performances, or exploring historical landmarks like the Paul Gauguin Museum. Moorea, on the other hand, offers a more laid-back atmosphere, with opportunities to engage in water sports, visit local pearl farms, or take a leisurely stroll through its charming villages.


As you venture from Papeete to Moorea, be prepared to be captivated by the beauty of these islands and the warm hospitality of the Polynesian people. With their unique charm and natural wonders, Papeete and Moorea promise an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return.


Ferry Options from Papeete to Moorea


Traveling from Papeete to Moorea is made convenient by the regular ferry services that operate between the two islands. There are two primary ferry companies that offer transportation options for this route: Aremiti and Terevau.


Aremiti operates high-speed catamaran ferries that provide a fast and efficient way to reach Moorea from Papeete. These modern vessels offer comfortable seating, air-conditioning, and onboard amenities such as restrooms and refreshments. Aremiti ferries depart from Papeete’s waterfront terminal, and the journey takes approximately 30 minutes, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding islands and the turquoise waters of the lagoon.


Terevau is another popular ferry operator that offers regular service between Papeete and Moorea. They provide a range of ferry options, including both high-speed and traditional ferries. The high-speed ferry takes around 30 minutes, while the traditional ferry, although slower, offers a more relaxed and scenic experience, taking approximately 1 hour to reach Moorea. Terevau ferries are known for their comfortable seating, spacious decks, and friendly crew.


Both ferry companies offer multiple departure times throughout the day, providing flexibility to suit your travel plans. It’s advisable to check the ferry schedules in advance and arrive at the terminal with sufficient time to purchase tickets and board the ferry.


When booking your ferry tickets, it’s recommended to choose a round-trip option, as it can often be more cost-effective. Round-trip tickets also guarantee a seat on your return journey, particularly during peak seasons when the ferries tend to be busier.


Traveling by ferry allows you to witness the stunning landscapes and navigate the crystal-clear waters of the South Pacific. Whether you opt for the high-speed catamaran or the traditional ferry, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic journey and soak in the beauty of the islands along the way.


Duration of the Ferry Ride from Papeete to Moorea


The duration of the ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea varies depending on the ferry operator and the type of vessel chosen. On average, the journey takes approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.


For those traveling with Aremiti, the high-speed catamaran ferries offer the quickest option, with a journey time of around 30 minutes. These fast and modern vessels are designed to optimize speed and efficiency, allowing you to reach Moorea in no time. This is ideal for travelers who prefer a swift transfer between the islands.


If you opt for Terevau, you have the choice between a high-speed ferry or a traditional ferry. The high-speed ferry also takes approximately 30 minutes, providing a convenient and time-efficient travel option. On the other hand, the traditional ferry offers a more leisurely experience, taking around 1 hour to reach Moorea. This slower pace allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic views as you make your way through the turquoise waters.


It’s important to note that these times are approximate and can be affected by various factors, such as weather conditions and operational circumstances. Occasionally, ferry services may experience delays or schedule changes, so it’s advisable to check for any updates before your departure.


Regardless of the ferry option you choose, the journey from Papeete to Moorea is relatively short, allowing you to maximize your time on both islands. You’ll have ample opportunities to explore the beauty of French Polynesia as you embark on your unforgettable adventure.


Factors Affecting the Ferry Ride Duration


While the average ferry ride duration from Papeete to Moorea is relatively consistent, there are a few factors that can affect the actual time it takes to complete the journey.


One significant factor is the weather conditions. French Polynesia is known for its tropical climate, and occasional rough seas or strong winds can impact the ferry ride experience. In adverse weather conditions, ferry operators may need to adjust their schedules or reduce their speed, which can result in a longer journey time. It’s important to be aware that during periods of inclement weather, ferry services may be temporarily suspended for the safety of passengers.


Another factor to consider is the type of ferry chosen. High-speed catamaran ferries are designed for rapid transit, providing a quicker journey with minimal delays. On the other hand, traditional ferries, while offering a more relaxed experience, may take longer to reach Moorea due to their slower speed. Therefore, the type of vessel you select can impact the overall duration of the ferry ride.


Additionally, the ferry schedule and frequency of departures can also influence the duration. During peak travel seasons or holidays, ferry services may be in high demand, leading to more crowded conditions and potentially longer boarding and disembarking times. It’s advisable to plan your trip accordingly and allow extra time for potential delays during busier periods.


Lastly, unforeseen circumstances or operational issues can arise, causing unexpected delays or changes to the ferry ride duration. These can include technical difficulties with the ferry, logistical challenges, or other unforeseen events. While these situations are rare, it’s always a good idea to stay informed and be flexible with your travel plans.


Overall, while the average ferry ride duration from Papeete to Moorea is relatively consistent, it’s important to keep in mind that factors such as weather conditions, the type of ferry chosen, ferry schedules, and unforeseen circumstances can impact the actual time it takes to complete the journey.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Ride Experience


To ensure a smooth and enjoyable ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:


1. Arrive Early: It’s advisable to arrive at the ferry terminal with ample time before your scheduled departure. This allows you to purchase tickets, check-in, and secure a good seat on the ferry. Arriving early also helps avoid any potential stress or rushing before the journey.


2. Check Ferry Schedules: Ferry schedules can occasionally change due to weather conditions or operational reasons. Before your trip, double-check the ferry schedules to ensure there haven’t been any updates or changes. This can help you plan your day better and avoid any surprises.


3. Purchase Round-Trip Tickets: If you already know your return date, consider purchasing round-trip tickets. Not only does this often save you money, but it also guarantees your seat on the return journey, particularly during peak travel seasons when ferries can get busy.


4. Pack Essentials: Bring along any essential items you may need during the ferry ride, such as sunscreen, a hat, a light jacket, and any medication you require. It’s also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the journey.


5. Keep Cash on Hand: While most ferry companies accept credit cards, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases like snacks or drinks onboard. Additionally, having local currency can be useful for any purchases on Moorea, such as souvenirs or snacks.


6. Be Mindful of Motion Sickness: If you are prone to motion sickness, consider taking over-the-counter medication or using motion sickness bands to alleviate any discomfort. It’s also helpful to choose a seat near the center of the ferry where there is less movement.


7. Respect Safety Guidelines: Follow all safety instructions given by the crew during boarding and throughout the journey. Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency exits and life-saving equipment on the ferry.


8. Enjoy the Scenic Views: Finally, make the most of the ferry ride by taking in the breathtaking views of the islands and the surrounding turquoise waters. Have your camera ready and soak in the beauty of French Polynesia as you travel between Papeete and Moorea.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure a smooth and pleasant ferry ride experience, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure in Moorea.




Embarking on the ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea is not just a means of transportation; it’s an experience in itself. The short journey allows you to witness the stunning landscapes, navigate the crystal-clear waters, and immerse yourself in the beauty of French Polynesia.


Papeete, with its vibrant culture and bustling markets, serves as the gateway to this tropical paradise. From there, Moorea awaits with its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and a myriad of activities for every traveler to enjoy.


Whether you choose the high-speed catamaran ferries of Aremiti or the options provided by Terevau, the ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea offers convenience, comfort, and flexibility. With multiple departures throughout the day, you can plan your itinerary and maximize your time on both islands.


Factors such as weather conditions and ferry schedules can influence the duration of the journey, but with careful planning and a dash of flexibility, you can enjoy a smooth and stress-free ferry ride experience. Remember to arrive early, check the ferry schedules, and pack the essentials for a comfortable journey.


As you travel between Papeete and Moorea, be prepared to be enchanted by the scenic views, the welcoming Polynesian hospitality, and the sheer beauty of this tropical paradise. Soak in the turquoise waters, explore the lush landscapes, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, the ferry ride from Papeete to Moorea sets the stage for an unforgettable journey. So, hop aboard, sit back, and let the beauty of French Polynesia unfold before your eyes.