My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Swimming with the stingrays in French Polynesia

2008/07/25by Donna Hull

Do you have a favorite travel activity that you repeat whenever there’s an opportunity?

Alan swims with a stingray (thanks for the photo, Valerie)

Alan swims with a stingray (thanks for the photo, Valerie)

Alan and I like to swim with the stingrays. In fact, we enjoy it so much that we’ve been swimming with them once in Bora Bora and twice in Moorea.

All three of our experiences were based upon a cruise ship excursion. We rode the tender to the dock then boarded a smaller boat. Guides introduced us to the area as we motored in the lagoon to a spot where they feed the stingrays. Once you’re in the water, the guides hold the rays so that you can touch their soft, slimy backs. We followed one guide’s advice to, “Match your movements to the way the ray moves.”  It’s the most peaceful feeling to float along with them. And, it really is a connection with nature that you can’t make on land.

Most swimming with stingray excursions last about three to four hours and include snorkeling time. Equipment is provided or you can bring your own (especially important if your feet are extra large or very small.)

Whether you’re staying in one of those romantic over-the-water bungalows or visiting by sea, it’s easy to arrange your own excursion with the rays via tour providers over the Internet. Also, look for recommendations that fellow travelers have posted on the discussion boards at Cruise Critic or Luxury Cruise Talk.

Have you ever been swimming with stingrays< ? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

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