Jan Prince


Jan Prince was born Janice Word in Shawmut, Alabama in the Chattahoochee Valley just before World War II began. She lived in Talladega, Alabama, then in Columbus and Waycross Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida and Houston, Texas. In 1971 she and her journalist husband, Al Prince, moved to Tahiti to realize their own dreams of life in the romantic South Seas.

After settling on the main island of Tahiti, Jan learned to read, write and speak French and some Tahitian. She began working as a tour guide, escorting large groups of visitors from various countries to discover the island of Tahiti, taking them by boat to spend the day in Moorea, or flying with them for a day tour of Bora Bora. Before the closing of Hotel Tetiaroa in March 2004, she sometimes accompanied small groups of tourists to the peaceful atoll of Tetiaroa, Marlon Brando’s private island.

Jan began her journalistic career by interviewing people who arrived in Tahiti aboard sailboats, then selling the most interesting stories to sailing magazines. She also worked as a free-lance travel writer, covering the islands of French Polynesia for Fodor’s Travel Guides for many years. In addition to writing for overseas newspapers and magazines, as well as for the local English language newspaper, she has written brochures, travel planners, newsletters and travel guides for the Tahiti Tourist office. Jan specializes in helping tourists to awaken to the life and beauty of Tahiti and Her Islands, as they too learn to appreciate the special charm of these exotic isles.

Jan’s work as a free-lance travel writer, journalist and tour guide takes her to all the archipelagoes of French Polynesia, where she has discovered even the most remote villages, traveling by any available means--airplane, copra schooner, deluxe passenger ship, private yacht or outrigger canoe. She has even been shipwrecked on the coral reef in Huahine during a dark and stormy night! This terrifying experience had a happy ending, and Jan lived with a Tahitian family for six weeks in the small village of Parea on Huahine-Iti. She and her husband divorced amicably in the early 1980s and continued to work together for several years on the Tahiti Today magazine and Tahiti Sun Press weekly newspaper, which is now the Tahiti Beach Press.

Since 1996, following the resignation of Al Prince (he died in 2010), Jan has been the senior writer for the Tahiti Beach Press, an English language publication for tourists. The first edition of her book, Tahiti & French Polynesia Guide, was published by Open Road Publishing in 1998. In this book Jan Prince unveils the Tahiti that captured her heart when she first visited the islands as a tourist in 1968. She has had the advantage of discovering Tahiti as an American tourist, then moving to Tahiti in 1971 to make the islands her year-round permanent home. The sixth edition of her guide book was published in December 2011 and the e-book version became available in early 2012.

After living on the island of Tahiti for 22 years, Jan moved to the beautiful island of Moorea in 1992, where she takes occasional breaks from her computer to enjoy the slower pace of life on a small tropical island. When business requires her to go to Tahiti, she commutes by a 30-minute fast catamaran to the capital city of Papeete.

Jan works with local tour companies, leading groups of visitors on bus tours around the island of Moorea. She is also available as a private tour guide for 1-4 people who want to rent a car, drive up to Le Belvedere lookout and stop at many of the photographic sites during a half-day tour of Moorea. Contact Jan by email at: janprincemoorea@​mail.pf

Selected Works

Travel Guide
Jan Prince’s book is considered by many readers to be the “bible” of Tahiti travel.
Learn How the Tahitians Spend Their Sunday
A journalist in Tahiti gets an impromptu gathering of friends instead of her intended interview.