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“Make this No.1 on your 'to do' list in Aitutaki.”
Review of Kia Orana

Kia Orana
Ranked #10 of 16 Tours in Aitutaki
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Attraction details
Owner description: We invite you to book a Kia Orana morning or afternoon speedboat cruise (for up to 10 people) when you come to Aitutaki. Whether you are an individual or a couple, a wedding party, or a group of friends, cruising around the Lagoon and visiting One Foot Island, and Honeymoon Island is one of the most memorable things to do in the whole of the Pacific. We cruise to what we call "the seven wonders of paradise", and every island has something special to see and experience.
Reviewed 29 June 2013

Just returned from our honeymoon to the Cook Islands, the highlight being our week in Aitutaki with the highlight of the week spending a day on the lagoon with Captain Fantastic- Andrew.
This was our second trip to Aitutaki, the first being five years ago where we first met Andrew on his Kia Orana cruise. As this held one of our most enduring memories of our time away then, it was always going to be on the agenda to take another of his cruises this time around. We weren't disappointed. As 5 years ago, he made us feel very comfortable and welcome on his boat that takes a maximum of just 9 passengers. Because of such low numbers, you are better able to interact/ ask questions about the lagoon and the island's culture and history. When landing on one of the smaller islands you also got a better sense of being the only ones there.
Lunch is lovingly cooked and prepared on Maina Island where Andrew's ancestors established rights to occupy the motu. You are also taken to what must be some of the best snorkelling on the lagoon.
Throughout the whole cruise you never felt rushed with a rigid timetable. Something that only a small cruise could offer. Thank you Captain Fantastic for a very memorable cruise (again).

2  Thank Neil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"parrot fish"
in 9 reviews
"clam shells"
in 4 reviews
"palm leaf"
in 2 reviews
"lagoon cruise"
in 9 reviews
"presented beautifully"
in 2 reviews
"snorkeling spot"
in 3 reviews
in 8 reviews
"snorkeling gear"
in 3 reviews
"delicious lunch"
in 4 reviews
"one foot island"
in 9 reviews
in 6 reviews
"full day tour"
in 2 reviews
"giant trevally"
in 4 reviews
"visited islands"
in 2 reviews
"private charter"
in 3 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 26 reviews

43 - 47 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2013

We visited Aitutaki recently and booked on Captain Fantastic's (Kia Orana) cruise. What a FANTASTIC day. There were 4 on our cruise and we were picked up on time from our hotel. A quick pick up to get the boat and we were on our way to some lovely islands ( some that the other cruises don't visit) and some amazing snorkieling. The visit to the volcanic island and seeing and feeding the pigs there was great. Nesting tropic birds on other islands. Snorkeling with giant trevellay and colourful fish,seeing giant clams and lovely coral , this trip had it all. We had a lovely lunch away from the crowds. We may have paid a few dollars more than some of the other trips but it was worth it. Everything was provided - food, water, towels, snorkeling gear and a fun day.
Andrew a was a delightful unassuming host who just wanted us to have a great time. There was no rush and because of the small group the trip was all about us and our other 2 trip attendees.

Thank Gadabout412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2013

Avoid the crowds, the tourists and book with Andrew and his lovely wife if you want an authentic experience with a local who clearly loves his home. With limited mobility I was well catered to although this isn't wheelchair friendly. Food was 100 times better than at the Aitutaki lagoon - honest local flavors lovingly prepared. With great local details on the "Seven Wonders" tour we felt like had experienced something special. Thanks and God bless....

1  Thank stabAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2013

We took this cruise in January 2013. We really enjoyed our day and would highly recommend Kia Orana. Andrew (“Captain Fantastic”) was an extremely nice guy – super friendly, good-natured and generous. This is an excellent cruise to take if you want to avoid the crowds and have fewer people on your trip – perfect for us on our honeymoon. He took us to four snorkelling locations, including the Alexandra wreck (which other operators don’t take you to), the giant clams, and to see the fire coral. We also saw the impressive great trevally. The last spot he took us to was the best coral and best water visibility we had in our whole time in the Cook Islands (and we did a lot of snorkelling while we were there) – the water was amazingly clear. Lunch was on Maina Island and was prepared by Andrew, and it was all excellent – the smoked tuna was particularly delicious! We also went to Honeymoon Island. All snorkelling gear is provided along with towels.

We had arranged to take the sunset tour from 12pm to 6pm. On the day of the trip there was a bit of a misunderstanding caused by our hotel, who told Andrew we wanted to leave at 10am instead, due to bad weather, whereas we thought it was Andrew that was making us get started earlier. When we all discovered the change was due to a mixup by the hotel, Andrew offered to stay out until 6pm anyway, meaning we got an extra 2 hours for free – we were very impressed by this. He really helped us make the best of a day on which the weather was less than desirable for most activities. Thanks Andrew!

1  Thank Max B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 January 2013

We took this tour on 25/12/2012, Christmas Day. Kia Orana cruise's owner, Andrew "Captain Fantastic" picked us up on time and then he drove to his office near the main harbour, Arutanga, before he towed his boat to the harbour to start.

We can't thank Andrew enough for his generosity and kindness as It turned out we two were the only customers of the day, Andrew did not cancel our snorkeling tour under this circumstance, as we realized later on how easily tour operators in the Cook islands cancel their tours when there is not enough customers to carry out the tour. We actually experienced this in Rarotonga. But Kia Orana cruise's owner "Captain Fantastic" Andrew took the two of us on his cruise with his aunt & uncle to make it 4 guests to operate the tour as usual.

Other tour operators, given the same conditions, could easily charge double for a private charter cruise or cancel completely. In Rarotonga, the Captain Tama bluntly canceled our tour just a half day before under the same circumstance (only 2 customers). The other tour operators' cancellation was too short a notice for us to make any alternative arrangement. (So, we lost the only opportunity to look around the Rarotongan motus from a boat)

With Kia Orana cruise we snorkeled to a ship-wreck, and other areas with coral and fish. We saw a giant clam sanctuary too. The Captain cut up fish with a knife and fed a big rare fish swimming around like a puppy.

One year ago, we traveled to another Polyneisian country, and the only thing we missed out on was a motus (small uninhibited island) picnic. So, then, this company's cruise lunch fulfilled our wish. Kia Orana cruise has their private facility on Maina island. Their lunch setting was very impressive. The buffet was presented on giant clam shells on top of mangrove tables, and served on hand-woven coconut palm leaf plates, everything was natural as if in historic Polynesian style.

There was free chilled drinking water for customers and we didn't need to buy any beverage, nor did they ask us to buy a drink.

After the lunch, we were given 90 minutes free time to walk over to sandbars and around the Maina island. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and you could lay down on the paradise beach and take a nap under gentle breezy coconuts trees. What I want to emphasize is that there was no one else around honeymoon island or Maina island but the 5 of us (we the couple, Captain and his 2 relatives). We did feel that the islands were completely private and a secluded paradise. So we could take many incredible pictures of us alone in front of the infinitely vast white sandbar and turquoise blue water.

The Captain told us that his cruise is avoiding crowded spots as it would never feel the same if you see other companies vessels and 40+ other tourists walking around everywhere in front of you, you wouldn't feel as though it was a deserted uninhibited island.

This cruise focuses on the west-side of the Aitutaki, if you want to experience a real deserted island atmosphere as if there were no other tourist walking around you on the same island, and you want to do real snorkeling, but don't need an exhausting busy tour, this tour is for you.

1  Thank Moochi11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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