French Polynesia Adventure with Quest Nature Tours

Aranui 3 was specially built as a passenger and cargo ship to supply the remote Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. From 17 November to 5 December 2010, I was a leader with Quest Nature Tours to Tahiti, Moorea, Tuamotus and Marquesas Islands. I thank Laurielle Penny and Lewie Gonsalves of Quest Nature Tours for the opportunity to visit these faraway South Pacific islands. This was primarily a cultural trip. In addition to learning about ancient and modern Polynesian culture, there were interesting birds, plants, fish and geography.

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We sailed 3493 km from Tahiti to the Marquesas Islands and back. The Marquesas Islands are very remote, being the farthest islands in the world from any continent. They lie in the Pacific Ocean between latitudes 7˚50ˈ and 10˚35ˈ south of the equator.


Before the cruise on Aranui 3, we stayed at the InterContinental Hotel on Moorea with beautiful gardens and beach.


Spiru, our guide on Moorea, told us about the history of Cook's Bay.


Brown Noddies were common and nested in the palm trees at the hotel. 17 November 2010.


White (Fairy) Terns were common also. They have a shorter bill with blue at the base compared to the Little White (Fairy) Terns we were to see on the Marquesas Islands. 19 November 2010.


It was a treat to see Pacific Golden-Plovers on the hotel lawns and beach. 17 November 2010.


Wandering Tattler near the hotel 18 November 2010


Great Crested Terns were common at the hotel where the dolphins were being fed. 17 November 2010.


Barbara and Bernard at the lookout on Moorea on 18 November 2010


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