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Old 28-07-2013, 22:05   #1
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Aussies in French Polynesia

Can anyone tell me the current state of play for Aussies sailing an Aussie registered boat to Australia via French Polynesia?

Do we need to pay a bond on arrival in the Marquesas?
If we need a visa can we get it on arrival?
I've even been told you have to have a refundable airline ticket, which I actually can't believe.

So, all the boats ahead of us this season... what do the Frenchies want?

Vic
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Old 29-07-2013, 00:12   #2
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

I am no expert, but a friend just arrived in FP and is being asked to pay a bond or leave. He was given about a week to come up with a bond.
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Old 29-07-2013, 05:15   #3
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Can anyone tell me the current state of play for Aussies sailing an Aussie registered boat to Australia via French Polynesia?

Do we need to pay a bond on arrival in the Marquesas?
If we need a visa can we get it on arrival?
I've even been told you have to have a refundable airline ticket, which I actually can't believe.

So, all the boats ahead of us this season... what do the Frenchies want?

Vic
We arrived in Hiva Oa end July last year. As Australian passport holders we were required to post a (refundable) bond equivalent to an airfare back to Australia for each person (5 on board x $2500=$7500) OR purchase a Bond Letter, organised through our agent at cost of approx AUD350. Take the Bond Letter (basically an insurance premium) over the credit card deduction airfare bond as I understand that when you go to claim this back you are repaid in cash with the local currency. Exchange that to AUD and lose 25%. Visa can be obtained on arrival.
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Old 29-07-2013, 06:03   #4
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

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We arrived in Hiva Oa end July last year. As Australian passport holders we were required to post a (refundable) bond equivalent to an airfare back to Australia for each person (5 on board x $2500=$7500) OR purchase a Bond Letter, organised through our agent at cost of approx AUD350. Take the Bond Letter (basically an insurance premium) over the credit card deduction airfare bond as I understand that when you go to claim this back you are repaid in cash with the local currency. Exchange that to AUD and lose 25%. Visa can be obtained on arrival.
Frant, thanks for the info.
Where did an agent come into the picture?
Also, if they refund in cash, could that money be used in New Caledonia?
Is it francs or euros?

Vic
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Old 29-07-2013, 06:08   #5
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

French Polynesia uses the CFP franc (XPF South Pacific Franc); also used in New Caledonia. The current rate is: 100 CFP = $1.11 USD. (100 CFP coin, make a great souvenir to give to friends, as very few people visit French Polynesia, in their lifetime.) Have fun!

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Old 29-07-2013, 06:51   #6
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We did it last year. Refundable ticket with flexible date (v important). Pay for it, print it, show it, then cancel it and get the refund.

The froggies are great! Play by their rules, enjoy the subsidised baguettes, pay up big and then head downwind for the cheap prices.
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Old 29-07-2013, 06:53   #7
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

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French Polynesia uses the CFP franc (XPF South Pacific Franc); also used in New Caledonia. The current rate is: 100 CFP = $1.11 USD. (100 CFP coin, make a great souvenir to give to friends, as very few people visit French Polynesia, in their lifetime.) Have fun!

Mauritz
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Old 29-07-2013, 07:08   #8
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Online ticket with credit card and Aussie travel agency means no exchange charges, no local currency BS. Too easy.
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Old 29-07-2013, 07:23   #9
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pirate Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
We did it last year. Refundable ticket with flexible date (v important). Pay for it, print it, show it, then cancel it and get the refund.

The froggies are great! Play by their rules, enjoy the subsidised baguettes, pay up big and then head downwind for the cheap prices.
Only saw Nuku Hiva but loved the place... wild boar and goat to hunt in the hills... horse's to ride.. took me back to the 50's and my adventurous youth..
Numbahwan on my list of places to retire to.... The Marquesas....
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Old 29-07-2013, 07:33   #10
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

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Frant, thanks for the info.
Where did an agent come into the picture?
Also, if they refund in cash, could that money be used in New Caledonia?
Is it francs or euros?

Vic
We hired the agent off the notice board on arrival at Hiva Oa. She organised the Bond Letter, all of immigration paperwork, our duty free fuel certificate etc, ferried us around as a taxi service and organised a tour of the island for us. Are you going via Galapagos? We used Galapagos Ocean Services in Puerto Ayora. Excellent service from them. Can try to dig out contact details if you like. Can't remember the name of the lass in Hiva Oa but she was excellent as well. We found that a good agent saved us money as they know their way around the local traps. I really wouldn't risk relying on the cash refund route as it is going to be another very big hassle when checking out from Papeete. Pre paid refundable airfares could be fine but don't count on organising that after arrival and you still have to fork out payment by credit card for the duration.
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Old 29-07-2013, 07:45   #11
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Actually, we used a trusted travel agent that knew us very well, so they gave us the e-tckets without charging our credit card. They knew it was just for a day or two before we cancelled!!
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Old 29-07-2013, 08:06   #12
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

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Online ticket with credit card and Aussie travel agency means no exchange charges, no local currency BS. Too easy.
Hi Jim,
I did this kind of thing through Flight Center when we left Aus. We've been waiting for our refund for 11 months now! Looks like I'm going to have to break a few legs when we get back.

So I'm a bit wary now...

Can you remember who you used?

Vic
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Old 29-07-2013, 08:17   #13
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pirate Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

Word of warning about Nuku Hiva... if that's where you do stop... fuel is best done by dinghy as the swell makes the big concrete fuel dock dodgy... and the water is not potable. It is possible to organise a ride to 'good water' with a bunch of jerry cans... or sail to one of the bays either side and dinghy run jerry cans..
Dunno about the other big islands... but I ended up fueling and watering in US Samoa... luckily the SPCZ kept us supplied with water till we got there..
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Old 29-07-2013, 08:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post

Hi Jim,
I did this kind of thing through Flight Center when we left Aus. We've been waiting for our refund for 11 months now! Looks like I'm going to have to break a few legs when we get back.

So I'm a bit wary now...

Can you remember who you used?

Vic
Sorry, Vic, .........
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Old 29-07-2013, 08:38   #15
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Re: Aussies in French Polynesia

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We hired the agent off the notice board on arrival at Hiva Oa. She organised the Bond Letter, all of immigration paperwork, our duty free fuel certificate etc, ferried us around as a taxi service and organised a tour of the island for us. Are you going via Galapagos? We used Galapagos Ocean Services in Puerto Ayora. Excellent service from them. Can try to dig out contact details if you like. Can't remember the name of the lass in Hiva Oa but she was excellent as well. We found that a good agent saved us money as they know their way around the local traps. I really wouldn't risk relying on the cash refund route as it is going to be another very big hassle when checking out from Papeete. Pre paid refundable airfares could be fine but don't count on organising that after arrival and you still have to fork out payment by credit card for the duration.
We'll be giving Galapagos a miss because we are running much later than we planned. Also they seem to be a costly stopover if you're really just passing through.

It's looking like prepaid refundable will be the least costly option in the long run.

Vic
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