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WorldSouth PacificFrench PolynesiaSociety IslandsTahitiPapeete
Papeete Waterfront, Tahiti

Papeete ("water from a basket") is the capital of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The commune (municipality) of Papeete is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, of which Papeete is the administrative capital. The French High Commissioner also resides in Papeete. It is the primary center of Tahitian and French Polynesian public and private governmental, commercial, industrial and financial services, the hub of French Polynesian tourism and a commonly used Port of call. The Windward Islands are themselves part of the Society Islands.


See French Polynesia.


See [[Tahiti#Weather|Tahiti]' .


See [[Tahiti#Passages|Tahiti]' .


There are no radio nets specific to Papeete. VHF channel 16 is monitored by Papeete Harbour Control and is used to request and receive permission to transit the channel between Papeete and Marina Taina (where the nearest fuel wharf is located), as it passes under the flight path of planes arriving and departing from Faa'a airport.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Papeete Harbour chartlet

Papeete port is located at 17°32'S and 149°35'W. he Pass is indicated by two lighted buoys (Red left returning). Alignment is marked by two green occulting range lights mounted on red and white towers and oriented at 149°. Current normally sets outward and can be dangerous for small yachts with heavy North swell. Contact Port control before entering the pass on VHF channel 12 or SSB 2638 Khz.


See also French Polynesia,

Arrival and Departure

  • Contact the Port Captain on VHF 12 or 2683 kHz. before entering or leaving Papeete harbour.
  • On arrival you are required to report first to Immigration, then to Customs and then to the Harbour Master's office. These are no longer all in the Bureau des Yachts on the waterfront -- Customs and Immigration are at the other end of the harbour on Motu Uta. In fact I suggest reporting first to the Harbour mastter's office on the ground floor of the new ferry terminal (at the back of the terminal building, facing the ferries). The Harbour Master speaks excellent English and will be happy to relay instructions to you about Customs.
  • Any pets aboard have to be microchipped, have an ID number and have a valid vaccination certificate against rabies, paraovirus, canine distemper, infectious hepatitis and leptospirosis. You can get an application for an Import Permit from the French Polynesian Minister of Agriculture, B.P. 2551, Papeete, Tahiti 98713. Ph: 689 504455 or 689 504460

It is necessary to obtain permission from the Harbour Master if you wish to cruise further than 50 miles from Tahiti.

All vessels proceeding to or from Taapuna or Taina Marina must request permission to cross the airfield axis east or west by calling "Vigie" on VHF 12 at least 10 minutes before passage.

On departure, yachts must clear out at Customs and Immigration and obtain a clearance certificate from the Harbour Master.

Note: Laurent Bernaert of "Polynesia Yacht Services" offers assistance to cruisers including help with formalities and clearance. Email

Local Official Contacts

  • Customs: (Mon-Thurs 0700-1445, Fri 0700-1330). Ph: +689 420122
  • Harbour Master: (Mon-Thurs 0715-1130 and 1215-1600, Fri 0715-1130 and 1215-1500). Ph: +689 505451 and 505482, Fax: +689 433612
  • Immigration: Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1330-1600). Ph: +689 424074, Fax: +689 424074


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Papeete Harbour, Tahiti
  • Papeete Yacht Quay (Quay des Yachts) - Mooring is made stern-to with mooring lines picked up from a buoy - Depth 3 to 15m. Water and electricity (20 Amp plugs - 220V - 60Hz) are available. The quay has been refurbished in 1997 and offers a convenient access to downtown. It is however located on a busy sea front road and is noisy, polluted and rather unsafe, though it is noted that security has recently been upgraded. Contact Yacht Master, Gerard TEIVA. Ph: 50 5454 - Fax 43 3612 - VHF 12. Contact the harbour master for the latest tarrifs. Note that despite what some cruising guides report, there are no showers or toilets at the Quay des Yachts.
  • Marina Taina is about 8 miles south of Papeete.


List details of all safe anchorages in the area.

  • There is some anchorage space north of Marina Taina.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

  • LPG / Bottled Gas (butane only available) refills are done by taking your empty LPG bottle to a Mobil station and arranging for them to have it refilled and returned. It's no longer possible to visit Gaz de Tahiti (either by road or by dinghy) as it once was, all refills must be arranged through a service station. The turn-around time on an LPG refill is 2 days
  • Nautisport have a store a short walk north of Papeete, and another at Marina Taina.
  • Sin Tung Hing Marine has a store at Fare Ute, north of Papeete. Their range is similar to that of Nautisport but they do have a better range of engine parts.


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel is best obtained at Marina Taina, where there is a fuel wharf. After clearing customs, a document entitling the holder to purchase duty free fuel will be received. Present this to the fuel attendants at Marina Taina when purchasing fuel
Water is available at Quay des Yachts and also at berths in Marina Taina.
Electricity is also available at Quay des Yachts and on the wharves at Marina Taina. Power is 220V 50Hz, using the same 15A round plugs found in New Zealand and elsewhere in the Pacific. There is an electrical supply store in the Fare Ute district north of Quay des Yachts that has these plugs in stock.

Things to do Ashore


List places of interest, tours, etc.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • There are 2 medium sized supermarkets within walking distance of Marina Taina. The Carrefour supermarket approximately 20 minutes walk south of the marina appears to have the best range and prices
  • There is a 24 hour supermarket adjacent to Marina Taina


There are many colourful and different eateries in Papeete -- after sailing elsewhere in the Pacific, the range of different foods available will be somewhat of a culture shock. In particular look for the roulottes (food vans) operating along the waterfront and also in the park south of the Quay des Yachts.




  • There are 1 or 2 laundry services near the Quay des Yachts -- look on the side streets leading away from the main wharf road. These are drop-and-collect services and are quite expensive.
  • A similar drop-and-collect service operates at Marina Taina.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

There are garbage disposal bins at the Quay des Yacths (outside on the main street), and also at Marina Taina.


Transportation (local and/or international)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


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



Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

{{Reference|Rod Heikel|Greek Waters Pilot|Imray Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire|9780852889718}}, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot Imray, Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

You may want to remove the above entries and use instead a link to the Country or Region that lists the relevant references. If so enter, after removing {{MagentaText|xx}}, the following:


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