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“Absolutely fantastic experience!!!”
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 20 August 2017

Kia Orana cruises operated by Captain Fantastic (Andrew) as he calls himself are a fantastic experience on a sunny warm day. Expect some wind as the boat does go reasonably fast at times - bring a dry change of clothes for after the snorkelling.
After visiting a few of the islands in the Aitutaki lagoon and Andrew telling us the stories associated with each he whipped us up a phenomenal lunch of barbecued fish, sausages and locally picked fresh fruits such as paw paw, pineapple, roasted bananas as well as a very tasty potato salad.
Then came the best part which was the snorkelling. He took us out to waters (within the lagoon) which were about several meters deep and where you could snorkel (if you wish to) with all manner of tropical fish from the giant Travelly and massive Napoleon fish to dozens of smaller colorful little fish. The water is very warm but you won't find the wind pleasant afterwards if you are still wet.
It's worth noting that I had my 10 year old nephew with me and he found the trip a blast - so long as your child can stay afloat it is safe for them to go as none of the fish are dangerous and the waters are quite calm.
Many thanks to Captain Fantastic, I would definitely choose to go for another cruise again with him.

Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"snorkeling spot"
in 4 reviews
"giant clams"
in 16 reviews
"honeymoon island"
in 11 reviews
"lagoon cruise"
in 9 reviews
"presented beautifully"
in 2 reviews
"cook islands"
in 9 reviews
"fruit"
in 8 reviews
"fish"
in 17 reviews
"snorkeling gear"
in 3 reviews
"wonderful lunch"
in 3 reviews
"one foot island"
in 9 reviews
"beautiful lagoon"
in 5 reviews
"full day tour"
in 2 reviews
"salad"
in 6 reviews
"visited islands"
in 2 reviews
"private charter"
in 3 reviews
"sausage"
in 2 reviews
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10 - 14 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2017

My family wanted to experience the beauty of Aitutaki Lagoon. When booking tours we prefer private tours so we can focus on what we enjoy rather than fitting in the box with the crowds. My husband’s hobby is photography and videography so he prefers to say in locations that captures his eyes. My two teenage boys enjoy snorkeling and adventures, while I just want to see my family have fun and enjoy the views. We decided to take 2 private charter tours. The first tour is was a full day tour with Bishop Cruise and the other tour is half day private charter tour with Kia Orana Cruise. This review will focus on Kia Orana Private Lagoon Tour (please see my review on Bishop Cruise also).

Captain Fantastic picked us up in our resort with a van and proceeded to drive us to where his boat is located. This gave us the chance to see the main island by car since we had decided we did not want to rent a car. We told the captain this is our 2nd lagoon tour, the first one was with Bishop Cruse. We wanted him to focus on snorkeling spot we have not tried, Heaven and One Foot Island. We told him my husband will be doing photography and videography using his drone. Captain Fantastic was able to meet all our expectation and more. The captain took us to One Foot Island. We were the only one there which was wonderful! My husband took his time flying his drone . The captain also showed us a spot around One Foot Island where we can see giant clams, multiple fishes and GT. This area was easier for our family to snorkel while videotaping since the water was not choppy. It was strange that Bishop Cruise did not mention that area to us during our stop there. He wanted to show us another snorkeling spot to see butterfly fishes around the reef but on our way there, he received a phone call that a tourist was bitten by an eel around the same area so he rerouted us.

We had a wonderful private lunch in Maina. We walked around the sandbars, island and relax while Captain Fantastic cooked lunch for us. The food was delicious and was presented beautifully. He took the time to explain the food we are eating is what the locals would eat in the island, the fruits we ate are what are currently in season. It was definitely one of the best lunches we had in Aitutaki. During lunch he encouraged us eat as much as we wanted while telling us some history of Cook Island. The captain, serenated my family with local songs using his ukulele. When he found out it was my birthday, he sang the local birthday song. We enjoyed this lunch so much more than the lunch we had with Bishop Cruise.

After lunch the captain took us to the last snorkeling spot to feed the fishes with our lunch left over. My boys said they would only watch the feeding but was too tired to snorkeling. As soon as the feeding started my family was so excited. There was at least 3 GT and hundreds of fished! My teenagers started putting on their snorkeling gear and spent at least 30 min in the water. The captain said this area never fails, tourist always wants to get in the water after he feeds the fishes.

We truly enjoyed this tour. I asked my family which tour would they prefer, Bishop vs. Kia Orana. It was a unanimous decision ---- Kia Orana Cruise wins! The snorkeling area where Captain Fantastic took us was better and the lunch and ambience he provided was amazing. We also learned more history from Captain Fantastic and he was more genuine. If we ever come back to Aitutaki again we would definitely take another tour with Kia Orana Cruise.

Thank travelgirlrn70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2017

On Sunday, Kia Orana Lagoon cruise picked us up at 9:30 am at our resort. They were scheduled to pick us up at 9am but was late because of last minute additions. Our boat had 9 people and the 2nd boat had 5 other people. Captain "Useless" (as he called himself) was very friendly and apologetic about being late to pick us up. The cruise visited 7 islands, snorkeled at 2 locations, and they provided tasty lunch. The Captain was stating that Sunday is best day to go on lagoon cruise since only 2 lagoon cruise companies operate that day of the week which was great since we were the only people on most islands we visited. The Captain gave described how many of the islands got its name. Lunch was plentiful and tasty with grilled Skip Jack Tuna, sausage, and many native fruits and vegetables. We then snorkeled in an area with these huge fishes (forgot breed). The Captain was helpful to each people. The 2nd snorkel location was on very shallow sandy area next to where clams were located on reef. He chose 2nd location based on my wife having difficult time snorkeling which was nice of him to do. The weather was perfect with very little clouds, not too hot, not too cold. We returned at around 4pm.

Thank Wayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2017

There were five of us on the Cruise - Captain Fantastic (Andrew) was a great guide and took us to some amazing islands, was knowledgeable and helpful. Had a lovely tasty but simple lunch presented on authentic plates made from the leaves. The snorkeling was great and we pretty much had the lagoon to ourselves. Definitely a day to remember.

Thank Glenda I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 March 2017

No visit to Aitutaki is complete without a day out on it's beautiful crystal blue lagoon. There are several operators offering very different experiences, and this time (our second visit to Aitutaki), and on local's recommendation, we chose Kia Orana Cruises.
We were picked up from our accommodation by Captain Fantastic, who lived up to his name. The tour offers to take you to 7 motus (small islands), but to be honest I lost count after 4. Our speedboat transported us quickly between our island stops, meaning that we could get there before the other boats and each time we had the whole island to ourselves.
Captain Fantastic gives an informative commentary on the history and cultural significance of each location, something you may not get with other bigger tours.
Most tours include a delicious island lunch of fresh cooked fish & salads, but the others don't offer the musical accompaniment of Captain Fantastic, a ukulele and some local tunes.
Throw in a couple of snorkelling stops, (with Giant Trevally and the beautiful tropical fish you would imagine) and it's an amazing day out.
If you are looking for a small group tour (max 10-12 people) this is the best that you will find on Aitutaki, especially if you want to visit the stunning One Foot Island without the "crowds".
10/10 for Captain Fantastic and a relaxing day in paradise!!

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

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