Rangiroa Atoll is the biggest in the Tuamotu Islands group of French Polynesia, as well as one of the world's largest coral atolls (though smaller than Kwajalein in Marshall Islands and Huvadhu in Maldives). Rangiroa is part of Tuamotus' Palliser Islands group. Tikehau is the nearest atoll, located 12 km (7.5 ml) to the west. Rangiroa is about 355 km (221 ml) northeast of Tahiti, has population around 2600 and covers a total land area of approx 79 km2 (31 ml2) . Its main town is Avatoru (on the northwestern coast).
The pearl oysters' breeding in the lagoon produces black pearls (marine cultured pearls produced from black lip pearl oyster shell, Pinctada margaritifera), which are abundant in the French Polynesian atolls. These pearls, featuring a wide range of colors, all kind of grey from white to dark, are the world's only cultured pearls with so many various natural colors as the green rose peacock.
Rangiroa Atoll is also famous for its unique vineyards. The vines produce two harvests per year. They grow on the edge of a beautiful lagoon beside coconuts, and the winery is located in the heart of Avatoru village. The grapes are brought by boat to the winery. The creation of the vineyard came after prior analysis, to find the best spot capable of hosting the vines, the first of which were imported in 1992 and tested for acclimatization and selection in Polynesia's main islands, with uncertainty of the adaptation to climate. 30 varieties were imported from different parts of Europe.
Tourism is the major economic activity on Rangiroa Atoll due to good connections with Tahiti, exceptional lagoon and passes that are good sites for scuba diving and appeal to a steady number of tourists. The island offers some of the world's best dives in and around Tiputa Pass. Sedentary common bottlenose dolphins regularly play group in Tiputa. They can be viewed from mainland but it's also one of the few sites where they can be approached via scuba diving. Each high tide creates strong incoming current while low tide creates an outgoing current in the passes. When the current flows inward, around 200 shark specimens gather at Tiputa Pass' entrance, at 50m deep. Led by the strong current, they can remain motionless allowing divers to observe them with no difficulty. Green sea turtles, humphead wrasses and manta rays can also be seen. Occasionally, hammerhead sharks and tiger sharks can also be spotted.
Highlights: Tuamotu Islands, Amazing snorkelling or diving, Motu Paio bird sanctuary
Rangiroa Atoll cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Rangiroa Island dock (anchor) at Tiputa - port town on the atoll's northeastern coast.
Port Rangiroa Atoll cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Rangiroa Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ship||Arrival||Departure||Next Port of Call|
|4 April, 2018|
|Wind Spirit||09:00||17:00||Tahaa Island, Society Islands, French Polynesia|
|20 April, 2018|
|National Geographic Orion||Papeete, Tahiti Island, French Polynesia|
|21 April, 2018|
|National Geographic Orion||At Sea|
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