Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a tender port – Ships have to anchor off Pofai Bay near Vaitape and tender passengers ashore by boat. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is the place for honeymooners and celebrities, some of which have reportedly stayed in over-the-water villas at a cost of $15,000 per night. And a meal or drink at the island’s famous Bloody Mary’s Restaurant & Bar, which has hosted stars from Willie Nelson to Nelson Rockefeller, is as much a part of the Bora Bora experience as swimming in the gorgeous blue-green lagoon three times the size of the island’s actual landmass. What’s good news for cruise passengers is that it’s cheaper to visit Bora Bora by sea than on a land-based vacation — and you generally get a two-day call.

You can make a day of it in Bora Bora simply lounging on the beach or floating in the lagoon. But if you find it surprisingly difficult to do nothing, as so many of us do, there are active pursuits to enjoy. Bora Bora is much more geared to outdoor excursionists than shoppers or culture vultures; snorkeling and scuba diving are world class, with surprisingly friendly sharks and rays. Bicycles are the recommended method of transport; you can easily circle the whole island, stopping for sightseeing and shopping along the way, in a couple of hours.

The disabled cruiser visiting Bora Bora 

Since the cruise ship does not dock and the disabled cruiser is tendered to the island from out in the harbor; if the water is too rough, the captain may not let the disabled cruiser off the ship. Anyone with limited mobility would have some difficulty. Anyone in a wheelchair would have to be carried on and off the tender.

Where You’re Docked

Bora Bora is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.

Ships typically anchor in Pofai Bay near Vaitape, the island’s main settlement; you’ll tender to Vaitape.

Good to Know

Heavy traffic 

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the French Pacific franc.  You can find ATMs at the bank branches of Banque Socredo and Banque de Polynesie in Vaitape.


French and Tahitian are the official languages and both are commonly used, but English is spoken and understood in most restaurants and tourism establishments.


Pareos (silk wraps), whether mass-produced or hand-painted, are available in infinite varieties, as are the region’s ubiquitous black pearls.

Points of Interest

  • Bora Bora – a seven-

Bora Bora Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Bora Bora Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible