INTER-ISLAND TRADE: The connection with islands
The port of Papeete have 1.100 linear meters of quays for coasters performing sea connections between the capital city and the different islands of French Polynesia, and this, in a seazone as big as Europe.
About fifty galleys are the only link between Tahiti and some remote islands, still deprived from airline service. They are essential for supplying building material, food, fuel and services. They also contribute to conveyance and commercialisation of agricultural products of islands’ inhabitants towards Tahiti: vegetable products from the Austral Islands and copra or fishes from the Tuamotu Islands. Nowadays, more than 80.000 Polynesians live outside of Tahiti and are still tributary of inter-island transport for getting their supplies.
For a lot of inhabitants of Moorea (15 000 inhabitants), their island became a real “suburb” of Papeete and vessels assuring the Tahiti-Moorea line are the essential mode of transport for them to go to work, to school or to university each day. More and more efficient, fast ferries connect both islands in 20 to 30 minutes, following meteorological conditions.
Equipment and infrastructures
Infrastructures for inter-island navigation are made up of six Cabotage wharfs, 4.500 m² of platforms and a Transit wharf of length 120m that will soon be extended. Located in Motu Uta, these structures have in general 6 meters acceptable draught.
The Ferry wharf or Moorea wharf, a structure of length 100m located next to the downtown is made up of three berths of length 60m. It is exclusively reserved to vessels of type ferry and to fast ferries assuring the maritime line between Papeete and Moorea (located 17km from Tahiti), in North North-West. These installations can receive 6 ships simultaneously and offer a surface area over 13.000 m² for loading and unloading of vehicles and embarkation or disembarkation of passengers. Construction of a harbour station, planned in the 2010-2019 urban homesteading could respond to needs of traffic in constant growth.