Fatu Hiva Island is the southernmost of Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia) - French overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean. The closest isle is Motu Nao. Fatu Hiva has land area approx 85 km2 (33 mi2), highest elevation point 1125 m (3690 ft) and population under 1000.
When discovered by the Spanish in late-16th-century, the island was named Isla Magdalena. Its eastern coastline features narrow valleys carved by small streams leading to the interior. Between the valleys are located headlands ending in cliffs plunging into the sea. The western coastline has two large, well-protected bay harbours - the port villages Hana Vave (north) and Omoa (south).
Island's central plateau is covered by tall grasses and pandanus (monocot) trees. The north-south running mountain ridge (Tauauoho) is the highest peak. The north-northwest mountain (Fae One) has the highest elevation of 820 m (2690 ft).
Fatu Hiva Island is visited by the cargo cruise ship Aranui 5 (2015-built). Next are listed all ports of call (scheduled day visits) on the ship's 14-day roundtrip cruise itinerary from Papeete Tahiti.
- DAY 1 - embarkation in port Papeete at ~10 am. Activities include "Welcome Aboard" party with fruit punch and Marquesan dance show by the swimming pool.
- DAY 2 - Takapoto Atoll (Tuamotus Islands) - activities include swimming, lagoon snorkelling, scuba diving.
- DAY 3 - At Sea
- DAY 4 - Nuku Hiva Island. Activities include stops in ports Taiohae, Hatiheu, and Taiohae, cathedral tour, Kamuihei (archaeological site, sacred dance performance), ashore lunch at Yvonne's Restaurant (the traditional dish is Hima'a / pig cooked in an underground oven), meae (sacred ritual sites, sacred dance performance), paepae (huge stone boulders), optional hiking (trail to Paeke site).
- DAY 5 - Ua Pou Island (Hakahau-Hakahetau). Activities include stop in port Hakahau, the ship's crew unloads here supplies (including cement and sugar) and loads copra (dried coconut meat), Hakahau town exploration (handicrafts centre, stone carvings shopping, church visit, ashore lunch at Rosalie's Restaurant (special dishes are breadfruit, island staple, curried goat, the poisson cru / raw fish marinated in lime and coconut milk, also fei / red bananas and fruit poe). Dining includes traditional Bird Dance performance.
- DAY 6 - Tahuata Island, and Hiva Oa Island. Activities include a stop in port Vaitahu (Tahuata), visiting handcrafts centre (bone carvings, shell carvings), stop in port Atuona (Hiva Oa), visiting Paul Gauguin burial site, ashore lunch at Hoa Nui Restaurant, visiting the "House of Pleasure" and museum, optional hiking tour.
- DAY 7 - Fatu Hiva Island. Activities include stops in ports Omoa and Hanavave, demonstration (local women make tapa), demonstration (kumuhei making / herbal bundles used by local women as perfume), visiting arts-crafts centre (tapa, carvings, monoi coconut oil), optional hiking (16 km / 10 ml from Omoa to Hanavave), ashore lunch.
- DAY 8 - Hiva Oa Island. Activities include stops in ports Puamau and Hanaiapa, guided tour visiting Meae Ipona (archaeological site) and Puamau ruins.
- DAY 9 - Ua Huka Island. Activities include stops in ports Vaipaee, Hane, and Hokatu, optional (4x4 or horseback riding) tour, visiting a museum, gardens, ashore lunch, visiting woodcarving workshops black and white coconuts carvings), onboard "Polynesian Night" (themed events, traditional dancing and chanting lessons, buffet dinner on the pool deck, themed entertainment).
- DAY 10 - Nuku Hiva Island. Activities include morning stop in port Taiohae (arts-crafts centre), afternoon stop in Hakahau (Marquesan souvenirs shopping).
- DAY 11 - At Sea
- DAY 12 - Rangiroa Atoll. Activities include lagoon swimming-snorkelling-scuba diving, visiting pearl (pearl and shell jewellery shopping).
- DAY 13 - Bora Bora Island (Society Islands). Activities include white-sand beach, snorkelling, picnic lunch (with traditional Tahitian dishes), optional excursions (scuba diving, outrigger boat tour, swimming with sharks and manta rays, a helicopter tour over Bora Bora Lagoon).
- DAY 14 - disembarkation in Port Papeete at ~9:30 am.
As cruise port, Fatu Hiva Island (Hanavave and/or Omoa) is also included in the Paul Gauguin ship cruise itinerary "Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands".
|Date / Time||Port|
|Day1 23:55||Departing from Papeete, Tahiti Island|
|Day2 08:00 - 17:00||Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotus|
|Day3 08:00 - 18:00||Fatu Hiva Island, Marquesas|
|Day4 08:00 - 18:00||Hiva Oa Island (Atuona)|
|Day5 08:00 - 18:00||Tahuata Island, Marquesas|
|Day6 08:00 - 18:00||Nuku Hiva Island, Marquesas|
|Days 7-8-9||At Sea|
|Day10 08:00 - 17:00||Huahine Island, Society Islands|
|Day11 08:00 - 23:00||Bora Bora Island, Society Islands|
|Day12 09:00 - 17:00||Tahaa Island, Society Islands|
|Day13 08:00 - 17:00||Moorea Island, Society Islands|
|Day14 Sep||Arriving in Papeete, Tahiti Island|
The 14-day roundtrip Papeete voyage is priced from USD 8150 pp (double-occupancy cabin rates).
Fatu Hiva Island cruise terminal
Marquesas Islands' highest elevation point is Mt Oave (on Ua Pou island) - 1230 m (4035 ft) above sea level. The Marquesas are one of French Polynesia's all 5 administrative divisions. Their capital is Taiohae (on Nuku Hiva Island). Group's total population is around 10,000.
The islands are divided into two groups:
- Northern - Eiao, Hatutu, Motu Iti, Motu Oa, Motu One, Nuku Hiva (388 km2, pop 3000), Ua Huka (83 km2, pop 600) and Ua Pou (106 km2, pop 2200)
- Southern - Hiva Oa (327 km2, pop 2200), Fatu Hiva (85 km2, pop 600), Fatu Huku, Moho Tani, Motu Nao, Tahuata (61 km2, pop 700) and Terihi.
The islands were named by the Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana (1542-1595). The Marquesas are served by all 4 airports (on Nuku Hiva, Ua Pu, Ua Huka, Hiva Oa). Follows the list of Marquesas cruise ports (docking/bay anchorage points) by island:
- Fatu Hiva Island (Hanavave or Omoa)
- Hiva Oa Island (Atuona, also anchoring at Pau Mao Bay)
- Nuka Hiva Island (Tiaohae)
- Tahuata Island - either at Vaitahu (central) or Hapatoni (south) - both port towns on the western coast
- Ua Pou Island (Hakahau)
Note: For detailed info on exact island destination (port stops) in the Marquesas please contact your cruise booking/travel agent.