Marae Taputapuatea
Jeep Safari to Raiatea 
Canoeing on the Faaroa River

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Childhood Garden of the Gods

Raiatea, the cradle of the gods. Home to priceless archaeological treasures, testimonials to a culture that is still present today. We are in the heart of French Polynesia, on the sacred island that represents the history, royalty and religion of a simply extraordinary civilization.

Thanks to your MSC World Cruise, you will disembark on the shores of lovely scene to go hiking through lush tropical gardens, palm trees, mountains, waterfalls and rivers, on the discovery of rare endemic flora and fauna that is just as spectacular. The safari will take you around the island into the bamboo, chestnut and mango forests, the only place in the world where you can find the white flower that is the symbol of Raiatea: the Apetahi, which blooms only at dawn.
From here your vacation with MSC Cruises will continue to Marae Taputapuatea in the southeastern part of the island. This is the most important temple of Polynesia, a religious complex consisting of several ceremonial areas built of stone and coral, dedicated to Oro, the god of war.
Raiatea also boasts the only navigable river in the country, known as Faaroa. You can not pass up the opportunity to make a canoe trip into the heart of the forest to admire the wild hibiscus plants and set off into a tropical fjord surrounded by mountains. The canoe will take you to the islet of Motu Iriru, where you can swim, snorkel and take walks. Scuba diving is a very popular sport here, and you can even reach the wreck of the ship Nordby, which sank in 1900, lying at a depth of 29 meters.

Raiatea is a must for nature lovers and those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Polynesian culture, an island that moves people and gives them unforgettable moments during their MSC Cruises vacation. 

Must see places in Raiatea

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    French Polynesia

    A place where people fell in love
    A place where people fell in love

    Located in the Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia consists of five archipelagos governed by France: the islands of Marquesas, Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral and the Society Islands. An earthly paradise with white sandy beaches, green headlands and blue azure waters. It is no surprise that European explorers Louis-Antoine de Bougainville and James Cook, who were the first to arrive here, both fell in love with the place so much that they recounted its beauty on their return to the Old Continent.

    Word even reached writers of the caliber of Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as the painter Paul Gauguin. The latter, after having stayed in Polynesia, left us with magnificent paintings that immortalise moments of life in this seemingly enchanted world.

    The capital, Papeete, is located on the island of Tahiti: don’t miss the covered market. The colonial-style building embodies the colours and scents of Polynesia: exotic fruits and colourful flowers. But that’s not all you can find at the market; you can also buy local crafts, such as jewellery, sarongs, straw hats, made by the Vahine, the typical Polynesian women with long black hair, adorned with flower garlands.