A sunset cruise and stargazing tour is a great way to spend an evening in Bora Bora. We went on the “Fenua Stargazing tour” recommended by Four Season Bora Bora and really enjoyed it.
Thanks to its remote location in the South Pacific, the Island of Bora Bora is the perfect spot for sunset cruises and stargazing. The colors of the water, the sun as it sets over the horizon, and a starred, sky free of light pollution, make for a very memorable experience.
The Fenua Stargazing tour can be booked via the concierge at the Four Seasons resort. It is listed on their catalogue of activities as “Fenua Stargazing,” and it has a cost of approximately $130 USD per person. The company running the tour takes care of picking you up from your hotel and taking you back at the end of the tour. Similar tours can be booked on Bora Bora Explorer, Expedia, and other travel sites; Simply Google “stargazing tour Bora Bora,” and you should get various booking options.
Our evening began about an hour before sunset with a cruise across the lagoon, filled with beautiful views of area. During the cruise we were offered various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (local beer, sparkling wine, water, and soda), as well as various hors d’oeuvres. Our guide and his crew sang and played local tunes for us and gave us an overview of the area, its origins, and the changes that have taken place over time. Once we arrived at a nice spot in the lagoon, with Bora Bora on one side and the silhouette of Taha’a and Ra’iatea on the distance on the other, we paused to see the sun set over the horizon.
Next, we were taken to a small private motu (islet) on the South side of the island where we waited for night to fall. We followed a set of stairs to an elevated area of the motu, set up with chaise lounge chairs to lie down and stare at the sky. As soon as the first stars of the night made their appearance, our guide began to give us information about the stars we were looking at, and their importance in navigation and Polynesian culture. We were also given ipads with Sky tracker apps that showed us what stars, constellations and other celestial bodies we were looking at.
The tour ended with a boat ride to our hotel and a few more local stories.
During the entire tour, our guide gave us a ton of information about the origins of the islands, Polynesian culture and history, navigation, exploration, and what life has been like for the many generations of people living on this part of the planet for the last few hundred years. For us, learning about the area and listening to their stories was probably the most interesting part of the tour; looking at the stars was definitely an amazing experience as well, but the information our guide shared with us felt like something that one can only get from a local with deep knowledge of his culture.
Tips and Tricks
Check the weather forecast for the area if you want a tour with the clearest skies possible. During our tour we unfortunately did have some rain, which forced us to wait a few minutes under a gazebo, and blocked parts of the sky at certain times. We knew in advance that rain was a possibility, but since it was the only night we had available, went ahead with the tour anyway and don’t regret doing it. If rain would be an issue for you, we recommend booking once you have a sense of what the weather will be like on the day you are looking to go (which can be a bit difficult in Bora Bora since weather conditions can change rather quickly).
Take mosquito repellant. You will be out in the open for at least an hour and the mosquitos will be there to get you. We used mosquito repellent bands (available on Amazon) and that seemed to keep us safe from bites.
Bring a light rain jacket if you expect to encounter rain. You won’t get wet while at the motu, since there’s an area covered by a gazebo, but you are very likely to get wet on the boat ride to and from your resort. Our tour guides gave us blankets and towels while on the boat, but we still got quite wet when we hit rain on the back back to the resort.
Overall, and despite the rain we encountered, we really enjoyed the tour a lot. Our guide and his crew were nice, lively people, we learned a lot of interesting information, the cruise through the lagoon was great, and the view of the sky on this part of the world is excellent.