Fakarava Ferry

One of French Polynesia’s undiscovered gems, Fakarava is renowned for its pristine beaches, beautiful lagoon, and abundant marine life. It’s the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers who want to escape the rush of city life. The most convenient method of transportation to Fakarava is by ferry.


A ship in the seaHistory of the Fakarava Ferry

The growth of French Polynesia is strongly related to the history of the Fakarava ferry. After being discovered by Europeans in the 18th century, the island quickly rose to prominence as a hub for the pearl trade. Unfortunately, regular transportation connections between Fakarava and the rest of French Polynesia were not developed until the 20th century.

French Polynesia’s early ferries were uncomplicated wooden boats propelled by sails or oars. These boats were primarily used to ferry people, supplies, and pearls to the mainland as well as between the islands. The older boats were eventually replaced by more advanced ships like steamships and diesel-powered ferries.

The 1974 construction of the Tetamanu wharf was one of the most significant events in the Fakarava ferry’s history. This quay made it possible for larger ferries to arrive and depart from Fakarava, simplifying the movement of cargo and passengers. The Fakarava ferry still plays a significant part in the island’s economy and day-to-day operations today, serving as a crucial link to the outside world.

Schedules and Routes

The island is connected to other French Polynesian islands by a number of routes run by the Fakarava boat. The most well-liked route travels several times per week between Fakarava and Tahiti. Depending on the weather and water conditions, the trip takes around 30 hours.

Moreover, a route is run by the ferry between Fakarava and Rangiroa, a smaller island to the east of Fakarava. Although this route doesn’t run as frequently as the one to Tahiti, it nonetheless does so on a regular basis. Between Fakarava and Rangiroa, the travel time is about three hours.

The Fakarava ferry may operate more routes or increase the frequency of existing routes during the peak season, which lasts from May to October. Before purchasing tickets, it’s crucial to review the ferry company’s timetable and route details.

Inside a shipAmenities on Board

The Fakarava ferry is furnished with all the comforts necessary for a relaxing and delightful trip. Air-conditioned accommodations with cozy beds, pillows, and blankets are available. There are also common rooms like the dining room, lounge, and outside deck where you may unwind and mingle with other guests.

The eating space on the boat offers a range of meals, including Western-style food and traditional Polynesian fare. Every effort is made to use locally obtained foods as the meal is freshly prepared on board. The ferry’s shop also sells snacks, beverages, and mementos.

Certain boats may have extra facilities like entertainment systems, Wi-Fi, and spa services in addition to these fundamental comforts. It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all ferries offer these amenities, and they might be more typical on bigger and more contemporary vessels.

Travel thingsTips for Travelers

To make your trip on the Fakarava boat as easy and enjoyable as possible, there are a few things you should bear in mind.

  • First, if you’re traveling during a busy period, be sure to reserve your tickets far in advance. To avoid disappointment, it is advised to purchase your tickets early for the Fakarava ferry because it can get packed.
  • Second, bring a ton of entertainment, snacks, and drinks to keep you entertained on the trip. Although there are some food and beverage options on the ferry, it’s usually a good idea to pack your own as well. To pass the time while traveling, you could wish to bring some books, magazines, or entertainment technology.
  • Lastly, if you’re prone to motion sickness, be ready for seasickness. Even seasoned passengers may feel sick on the ferry due to the choppy waters in French Polynesia. Try to select a cabin that is in the middle of the ferry, where the movement is less obvious, to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill. To relieve symptoms, you can also use over-the-counter medicines or herbal treatments.
  • Fourth, pack travel-appropriate attire. Although the cabins have air conditioning, the ferry’s exterior spaces can become chilly and windy, especially at night. Packing warm clothing, a windbreaker, and dry, comfy shoes is a smart idea.
  • Finally, respect the traditions and culture of the area. Given the rich cultural past of French Polynesia, it is crucial to respect the customs and values of the native populations. This calls for modest attire, abstinence from binge drinking and boisterous behavior, and consideration for regional traditions and customs.

The Fakarava Ferry’s Future

Since it connects the island to the outside world and helps the local economy, the Fakarava ferry has been a crucial link. Yet, the ferry is struggling in the twenty-first century, much like many other transportation networks around the globe.

The deteriorating state of the seas is one of the major problems. Storms and rough waves are occurring more frequently in the waters surrounding French Polynesia, making them more erratic. This may make it challenging for ferries to run safely and effectively, which could lead to cancellations or delays.

Another difficulty is the stiffer competition from alternative forms of transportation like private planes and boats. While many visitors still find the ferry to be a cheap and handy option, it might find it difficult to compete with quicker and more practical alternatives.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, there are still chances for the Fakarava ferry to develop and adjust to new situations. The ferry firm may, for instance, make an investment in newer, more technologically advanced boats that are better adapted to the regional sea conditions. To provide passengers additional choices, they might also look into new routes and collaborations with other transportation companies.

In conclusion, the Fakarava ferry has a long history and is crucial to the island’s economy and daily life. You may maximize your trip on this famous boat by being aware of the routes, amenities, and travel advice. And by being aware of the opportunities and difficulties the boat may face in the future, we can take steps to make sure it keeps serving the Fakarava community for many years to come. Book Far and Away Adventure’s latest packages today!

Our Top FAQ's

The Fakarava Ferry’s history dates back to the 20th century when regular transportation connections between Fakarava and the rest of French Polynesia were established. It played a significant role in the island’s economy, particularly during the pearl trade era.


The Fakarava Ferry connects the island to other French Polynesian islands, with popular routes to Tahiti and Rangiroa. The trip to Tahiti takes around 30 hours, while the journey to Rangiroa is approximately three hours.


The Fakarava Ferry offers air-conditioned accommodations with cozy beds, dining rooms, lounges, and outside decks for relaxation. The eating space provides a variety of Western-style and traditional Polynesian meals, and there’s a shop selling snacks and beverages.


Travelers are advised to reserve tickets in advance, pack entertainment, snacks, and drinks for the journey, and prepare for seasickness if susceptible. Bringing warm clothing and respecting the local traditions and culture is also important.


The Fakarava Ferry faces challenges due to deteriorating sea conditions, increased competition from alternative transportation, and changing travel preferences. However, there are opportunities for improvement, such as investing in newer boats and exploring new routes or partnerships.


The trip from Fakarava to Tahiti takes around 30 hours, subject to weather and water conditions.


Travelers should pack warm clothing, a windbreaker, and comfortable shoes, as well as entertainment, snacks, and drinks for the journey.


To reduce seasickness, travelers can choose cabins in the middle of the ferry, where the movement is less noticeable, and consider using over-the-counter medicines or herbal treatments if necessary.


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