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Tahiti Travel Information & Planning Guide

Base Location
Marina Apooiti

Nearest Airport
Raiatea International

Provisioning Service
Online Provisioning 
Store Available

Sailing Licences
A formal licence 
is not required

Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in Tahiti. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don’t forget to pack a copy to take with you.


Before you go

Sunsail Raiatea
Marina Apooiti
Uturoa Raiatea
French Polynesia
Base phone number: +689 40 600 485
Base manager cell phone: +689 40 21 10 73

Raiatea, nicknamed “The Sacred Island” and once at the heart of ancient Polynesia.  Sunsail’s base is at Marina Apooiti, 2km from the town of Uturoa.  The base is located in the middle of the Leeward Islands, the North-western group of French Polynesia, and is located just 2 minutes from the airport.

Base hours
Monday – Sunday: 7:30am to 5pm

Time zone
Standard Time Zone in Raiatea is UTC/GMT -10 hours

The official languages of the Raiatea are Tahitian and French. English is spoken in the tourist areas.

Cost of living
Prices are in general higher than average. For example, a meal in a restaurant will cost between 2000 CFP and 6000 CFP (16 USD /50 USD).

Tourism Information 

Tourism Information, TAHITI – Tel: (689) 40 50 57 00  
Tourism Committee Information, RAIATEA Tel: (689) 40 600 777

What to bring

Passport and visas
You must have a valid passport when you travel to Tahiti. Please ensure that your passport is valid for up to six months beyond your scheduled stay. Visas are generally not required if staying for less than 30 days. You need a visa if you stay more than 3 months in French Polynesia.

Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.

Non-EU passport holders, please contact your local consulate for advice on visa and passport requirements.

Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. Please check Foreign travel advice – GOV.UK ( for the latest information before you leave. Sunsail is not accountable for any requirement changes.

Customs + immigration
On arrival, you will be required to show your passport, completed Immigration card (distributed on the aircraft) and your return ticket. Going through Immigration, Customs and Baggage Collection can take up to an hour.

Duty free allowances are similar to those in the EU. Airlines will assume no liability for perishable articles, e.g. food, which may also be confiscated by Customs.

No Airport Departure Tax or Taxes/Customs Charges apply.

Sailing licences
Although no sailing licences are required for cruising in Raiatea we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on vacation with you. This may be useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police. If you have not already done so then Skipper and 1st Mate will be required to fill in a Sailing CV to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sailing in this region.

Luggage + packing list

Luggage allowance is 20kg per person. Only one item of hand luggage per person is allowed and this must not weigh more than 5kg. For storage aboard we recommend travelling light and using folding luggage.

We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

What’s on board

Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please sign these out and return them clean and undamaged, otherwise there will be a charge for replacement. Only one per boat.

Mobile phones
The VINI networks everywhere around and if you have an extension for your own mobile phone you can use it in French Polynesia. Otherwise you can buy a SIM card to have a local number.

There is a mobile phone provided on every boat with a certain amount of credit.  When you arrive back at the base you need to pay for the credit that has been used. 

Music + iPods
All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your iPod whilst sailing you will need to bring along an iTrip or FM radio transmitter.


The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit

The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts.

Internet access is available at the base. There are two internet cafes near the Marina. Huahini and Bora Bora also have internet cafes available. You can also find WiFi zones on each island. 

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How to get there

After a stop in the airport of Papeete-Tahiti, you will take a plane with a local company on to Raiatea. Facilities at Papeete-Tahiti include several gift and pearl boutiques, a flower shop, car rental, restaurants, internet points, duty free shop, money exchange and a bank.

You can pre-book a minivan or taxi from North Uturoa Airport to the Marina. Alternatively take a taxi to the base a journey of approximately five minutes.

Please provide us with your flight information prior to departure so that we may schedule a transfer for you from the airport to the base. Payment is due to the driver locally upon arrival.

Boarding time + checking out

On arrival
Most clients land around 8:00am and fly out again around 5:50pm, during base opening hours. If your arrival is earlier or later we can arrange for you to be met by our customer service staff.

Out of hours
In the evening a short briefing is arranged for overnight. A full briefing is given the following day.

On departure
Disembarkation is at 12:00 pm.  This is the mandatory time when the boat must be returned and ready for debriefing and checks. If you have booked an early morning flight on the day your charter is ending, it is preferable you return to port in the middle of the afternoon the day before to carry out these formalities.

Before disembarkation please collect a debrief form from reception. The debrief form is to let us know if you have encountered any problems with the boat or broken anything during the trip, this enables us to rectify problems for the next charter.

In addition to filling in forms we also require you to bag dirty laundry and leave in the cockpit, empty all cupboards and fridges of food and throw away, return snorkel gear and any lifejackets borrowed from reception and ensure that the boat is handed back to Sunsail in a clean and tidy state.  We reserve the right to charge for boats left less than shipshape.

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About the marina

Marina facilities

Supermarkets are located in Uturoa, 10 minutes by taxi and 30 minutes with vessel.You will find complete facilities at the marina, including toilets, washbasins and showers. They are near the Sunsail office and are open 24 hours a day. Please ask the Sunsail staff for the key if it is a weekend or public holiday.

Dock facilities

Cost GuideApprox 1.25 Euros per liter
Fuel Station LocationUturoa

Experience required

Sailing licences

Experience level
Sailing experience: Level 2

Our intermediate sailing destinations, Level 2 sailing areas offer a greater challenge for sailors more comfortable on the open water. Enjoy strong winds and longer spells of open water sailing, suitable for more experienced skippers.

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area. Follow the link for more information on the sailing conditions.

More information on the sailing in this area.

Sailing grounds

Skippered charter information
The skipper’s time is booked from 12:00pm to 12:00pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved him for the first day of your charter and have a 6:00pm start, he will use this time to ensure he is happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you have reserved him for a later date on your charter he will start at 12:00pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. He is not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of his contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the checkout skipper’s time is booked from 6:00pm to 6:00pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day. This skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. It is suggested that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his time with you on the yacht. It is also suggested that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover…anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper will be required to give you as much information as you require concerning the yacht and its systems, sailing skills and navigation in general.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and are therefore your responsibility. It is suggested that you discuss this on the first day with the skipper and establish whether you will give the skipper cash for meals, whether you have included him in your provisioning or whether you will accommodate him as part of the group for meals ashore.  The skipper must have his own cabin.

For one-day check out skipper’s it is your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay for his expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15 to 20% of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at your discretion.  

More information on Skippered Charter Options.

Sailing area restrictions
This information will be provided in the chart briefing, however for passages to the islands of Raiatea, Bora Bora, Huahine and Tahaa the base may ask you to sign a waiver confirming your experience in making such long passages. Passing to the south of Raiatea (Passe Nao Nao) is prohibited.

Tahiti prohibits anchoring inside Bora Bora Island.  Only Moorings balls and docking is allowed.
This information is covered in the chart briefing.

Night sailing
You are not permitted to sail at night unless it has been agreed with the base manager prior to departure.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht.

Sailing permits + taxes
Cruising permits are not required in Tahiti.

Moorings fees + taxes
All moorings in the area belong either to restaurants, charter companies or similar and are usually for their clients. As a guest you may use them free of charge otherwise call the owner to ask for permission. In most places you will anchor.

Health + safety

Illness or injury 
If you get sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip please have a member of your party contact the Sunsail base manager as soon as possible.


Swimming is often a fun and important part of a holiday. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board. 


Be aware of your surroundings

Look out for others

Do not overestimate your ability

Diving is popular but you should be aware that the only decompression facility is in Papeete and that in the event of an accident it might take some time to reach there.


All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your holiday. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing. 

We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.  

Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck. 

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy. 

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Sunsail Provisioning
Provisioning is available at this location. All provisioning orders should be placed no later than 7 days prior to the charter start date.



Bora Bora Yacht Club Farepiti, Cote de Mer

BP 162,
Vaitape 98730,
French Polynesia
+689 40 67 60 47
VHF channel 16 and converse on channel 69

The Yacht Club is situated just north east from the entrance of the pass in Bora Bora. There is an array of services on offer including delicious waterside dining, bar, live music weekends,  mooring buoys, water, Wi-Fi, garbage disposal, hot showers, bicycles,  laundry, book ex-change, and boutique.

Ficus Restaurant
Apu bay

Polynesian show every week with music, dances, buffet

Phone: +689 87 34 98 38

Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for lunch, dinner and breakfast on demand, our restaurant is one of the finest on Tahaa. Tuesday is Polynesian Night.  Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Reservations required.

Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants and bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15 percent of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.

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Around the base

Sunset Beach – is located by the base and comprises 22 bungalows.

Kite boarding, snorkelling and scuba diving can be arranged here.
PK 2 , Apooiti Bay
B.P. 397, 98735 Uturoa – Raiatea
Telephone- (689) 66.33.47
Fax- (689) 66.33.08

The Pacific Franc is the common money in French Polynesia.

Euros and US Dollars are accepted throughout the Leeward Islands.

Credit card information
Visa and MasterCard are accepted in most of the larger restaurants and supermarkets.

In the main town of Uturoa (5km from the base) you will find several banks each with ATM’s.

Opening Hours: 7:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

There is an excellent central market in downtown Uturoa, located between the docking area and the main road going through downtown Uturoa. You’ll find inexpensive produce, wonderful fruit and vegetables. Markets are open 6 days a week with limited hours on Sunday. Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6pm and Sunday 6am to 11:30am

Beside the ship dock “Gare Maritime Building” is a shopping center with a couple of restaurants, boutiques, jewelry shops and an ‘Arts and Crafts Village’ where you will find hand painted dresses and pareos, woven hats and bags, woodcarvings and shell jewelry.

A Post Office is located in Uturoa 5 KM from the base.  Monday to Friday: from 7:30am to 3:00pm during week time and from 8:00am to 10:00am during weekends.  
Stamps, post cards, mailbox are available at the base.

VAT is included in prices, accommodation taxes exist for hotels but not in charters.

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Things to do

The Leeward Islands have many activities to offer such as scuba diving, snorkeling, tours of islands in 4-wheel drives, deep sea fishing, visits to vanilla plantations, black pearl farms to visit, maraes (holy places), horseback riding and trekking.

Car rental
Foreign and International licenses accepted. All the main car rental companies are present at the airport. You will find small car rental companies that offer very competitive daily rates.

Bike rental

Raiatea tour with Esland bike rental

Phone +689 87 73 97 79

The perfect way to discover Tahiti on electric bikes with or without guide

Tahiti Pearl Regatta takes place in May over 4 days. This handicap race with non-spinnaker divisions is open to all charter boats. There are legs from Raiatea to Tahaa and Bora-Bora.

Dancing and singing
“July” (Tiurai) is a month of festivities with dancing and a singing contest on all islands.

Water toys + sports

Hawaiki Nui Vaa’ is the biggest local canoe race with around 100 canoes participating each year. It is a 3 days race held each year around the end of October and a nice typical event to see. A lot of sailing boats follow this race each year.Diving
Nemo World- Bora Bora Diving center
Tel: 67 77 85 Fax: 67 77 85

Mahana Dive Club
Tel: 73 07 17 or 68 76 32 Fax: 68 76 63

We have a range of snorkelling gear which you may wish to use. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to bring them with you.

Standup paddleboards

The newest way to experience the water. Experience gliding on the water’s surface; this is as close as it gets to ‘walking on water’ and is suitable for all ages.


Most of the lagoon fishes can be affected by ciguatera disease, so it’s better not to eat them.


Most of the lagoon fishes can be affected by ciguatera disease, so it’s better not to eat them.

Offshore fish such as bonito, tuna and mahi mahi are edible. Crabs and lobsters are rare but taste very good.

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For more information on what’s included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

Sailing conditions

Max temp
Min temp
Avg precipitation
Avg wind speed
Dominant wind direction 
Bora-Bora Airport

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