Marae Arahurahu
Robert Wan Black Pearl Museum
Bougainville Park

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Discovering the City of Pearls

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean exists a paradise of crystal clear waters, white beaches and primitive vegetation. A place of pure beauty, where every corner hides wonderful treasures. It is French Polynesia, home of the island of Tahiti and the bustling port city of Papeete. This is where your incredibly beautiful vacation with MSC World Cruise will start on a journey to discover sensational places. It is the home of pearls; in Papeete, you can visit the first museum in the world dedicated to the processing of these natural jewels, in particular the black pearl of Tahiti, the protagonist of the museum named after one of the largest cultivators of pearls, Robert Wan.

Here each step of the delicate process of harvesting and processing pearls will be explained and you can learn how they become beautiful jewels. The museum also offers a comprehensive guide to the history and legends associated with pearls, crossing various cultures and civilizations. During your MSC Cruise into this exotic land, you will have the opportunity to visit the pulsating center of the city of Papeete, famous for its market. Activity begins at first light, with fruit, vegetables, fish, flowers and crafts.

It is a place not to be missed especially early in the morning to breathe in its magical atmosphere before it is full of people. The entire island of Tahiti offers visitors a hiking dream, including walks in Bougainville Park, full of flowers and manicured plants, or a ride to Marae Arahurahu, the best place to admire the old traditional Polynesian temples and learn about their history by admiring one of the best preserved on these islands. MSC Cruises also offers a fantastic tour in the sky of Tahiti to see the whole island in one fell swoop.

Must see places in Papeete

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    A sweet taste of everyday Polynesian life
    A sweet taste of everyday Polynesian life

    Volcanic and surrounded by spectacular coral reefs populated by colourful fish, Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, in the Pacific Ocean, and is made up of two areas connected by an isthmus: Tahiti Nui, or Big Tahiti, and Tahiti Iti, Little Tahiti. The capital, Papeete, is a popular tourist destination, famous throughout the world for its beautiful pearls. In fact it is no coincidence that the Musee de la Perle Robert Wan, which is dedicated to these shiny jewels from the sea, can be found in this quaint town.

    It is undoubtedly the panorama that draws thousands of tourists to this beautiful island: transparent blue sea lapping languidly and gracefully against fine white sandy beaches. But it doesn’t end there: the East coast offers black beaches and spectacular waves, which are a great attraction for surfers.

    The Tahitian vegetation is also incredible: anyone finding themselves immersed in the island’s intoxicating nature will be captivated by the lush plants and colourful flowers. The island’s volcanic origin makes it a popular destination for high altitude excursions to the top of Orohena, at 2,241 metres.