From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldSouth PacificFrench PolynesiaSociety IslandsMoorea

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Mo'orea, in the Society Islands, French Polynesia.

Small info.png (Click links for more information)
World icon.png
17°32.0′S, 149°50.2′W
Photo icon.png
Photo gallery
Chart icon.png
Local chartlet
Moorea baie cook.JPGBaie de Cook

Mo'orea is one of the more attractive cruising destinations in the Pacific. Like many of the other Society Islands it comprises a central high island surrounded by a fringing reef, containing several motus or smaller islands dotted around the reef.

Mo'orea is only a short day sail away from the larger and more populated Tahiti and although it lacks many of the facilities of Tahiti it offers a certain charm based on its more relaxed way of life and isolation from the hustle and bustle of Papeete.


Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name


See Society Islands Climate & Weather


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


There are two medium sized motus with sandy beaches at the north west corner of the island. Both can be reached by dinghy from Opunuhu bay, although beware of the wash from larger vessels passing through the rather twisted channel leading to them. One of the motus contains a small beachside cafe, although if you do not speak French you may be refused service there.


There are no radio nets specific to Mo'orea. See French Polynesia Radio Nets

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Although trade wind conditions will usually imply that a downwind run will be had between Tahiti and Mo'orea, the channel between the two islands is frequently windless at least on the Tahiti side. Expect to do some motoring here. In addition, the swell in the channel can be significant due to the effects of the nearby land masses as well as wake from the ferries that shuttle between the two islands.

It is, however, only a short trip.


There are no check in or customs facilities on Mo'orea. Complete all formalities in Papeete.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

There is a marina on the east coast of Mo'orea (despite this being the windward side, because of the closeness to Tahiti and the fringing reef it is quite sheltered), and a new marina in Baie de Cook on the north side.

Marina Vaiare

East coast, Moorea
Tel:+689 562697/564558 Fax:+689 562697.
Nominally they listen on VHF Channel 12 however do not expect this to be answered with any regularity.
This is only a small marina however some provisions are available. It would be better to stock up in Papeete, however. The marina has space for only a few boats but there is anchoring room nearby.

Cooks Bay

There is a new marina/yacht club in Cooks Bay, however I don't have any information on it. The current edition of the cruising guide obtained in Papeete should have the details.


The best anchorages in Mo'orea are in Cook Bay and Opunohu Bay, both of which are on the north of the island.

  • Cook Bay contains a small marina and restaurant, as well as a number of shops
  • Opunohu Bay to the west has fewer settlements. The main anchorage is at the head of the bay to the eastern side, shelter isn't perfect but holding is good in sand and mud with depths ranging from 3 to 15 metres. The anchorage is near the only freely accessible beach on the island. On the eastern side of Opunohu Bay is the village of Papetoai which contains a dinghy dock (enter this from the north only, coming from the east side may cause you to hit coral even in a dinghy), 3 useful shops and a scenic church
  • Multihulls and other shallower drafted vessels may have some luck anchoring on the north side of the island, inside the lagoon to the west of Opunohu Bay

There is some confusion about the PGEM requirements in both of these bays. The latest information from Papeete seems to indicate that anchoring is allowed only at the head of each bay, whereas deeper in the bay there is no anchoring. Other cruising guides and charts seem to indicate anchoring room at the foot of each bay.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Give details on fuel
Give details on water
Give details on electricity

Things to do Ashore


  • There is a small village called Papeto'ai at the north western corner of Opunohu Bay. Finding the dinghy landing there can be tricky -- you almost have to go past the village, standing well off the shore (assuming you are coming from the Opunohu Bay direction) and find a large read beacon. Round this and pick your way through the reef. Once you find the dinghy landing it's easy to enter and a dinghy can be tied up there for short periods. There are 3 useful stores in the village.
  • The north west corner of Mo'orea contains a number of resorts that have beach front restaurants. There is also sailboard/kiteboard hire here as well as some other businesses. It's a couple of miles in a dinghy from the anchorage in Opunohu Bay.
  • The surrounds of Cooks Bay are rather more settled and have restaurants and takeaways ashore, as well as some shops.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See French Polynesia References & Publications


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Beach near the northern entrance of Opunohu Bay, Mo'orea

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Moorea and this page's details validated: Date of member's visit to this Island & this page's details validated:

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Delatbabel

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki