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Remote Islands of Polynesia

South Pacific Cruise

Summary : Explore the beautiful Cook and Pheonix Islands, alluring Somoa and breathtaking Bora Bora. Swim, dive and snorkel among and discover some of the 153 different species of colorful fish and marine life including: stingrays, eels, sharks and sea turtles.  Visit the world’s largest marine reserve, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Reflect upon the ancient marae stone temples of Bora Bora and see remnants from America’s presence during WWII. Scan the sea in search for humpback whales and look to the sky for red-tailed tropicbirds. Indulge in lush scenic vistas, unique local foods and cultural demonstrations. Capture it all in vivid photos to share when you return home from this trip of a lifetime.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Snorkeling


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Papeete, Tahiti

Embark the ship in the evening and meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Enjoy time to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet fellow travelers.

Day 2
Bora Bora, Society Islands

No superlatives can adequately describe the spectacular beauty of Bora Bora's emerald-green hills and tranquil sapphire-blue lagoons. Select from a variety of excursions and activities today. Enjoy a leisurely, open-air ‘le truck’ tour of Bora Bora’s highlights: ancient marae stone temples, the Faanui Protestant Church, scenic lookout points to the lagoon and distant islands, old WWII remnants and popular Matira Beach. Alternatively, climb into a specially designed, open-air, off-road vehicle, to circle the island and visit some of its most dramatic sites that are only accessible by four-wheel drive. Veer inland following a trail that leads up the mountain to an amazing 360-degree panorama. From this height, you can view Bora Bora’s breathtaking multi-colored lagoons. Regardless of which tour you choose, your experienced guide will eagerly share his knowledge of the history, local legends, flora and fauna of this beautiful island. Of course, you may choose instead to simply spend the day swimming or snorkeling and savoring this idyllic tropical paradise.

Day 3
At Sea

Become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found onboard. Gather in the lounge to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable experts in a variety of scientific fields present lectures and seminars, preparing you for the upcoming ports-of-call.

Day 4
Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki is rightly known as one of the most spectacular destinations in the Cook Islands. Its reef completely encompasses a large turquoise lagoon. Board the Zodiacs but before stepping ashore, a local warrior appears and challenges all visitors. Though once you have stepped across a special stone, you are free to do as you please on the island. So, that is exactly what we will do! Continue the excursion aboard local boats, crossing the lagoon to the small islet of Tapuaetai for a delicious barbecue luncheon in a lush South Pacific setting. Look for red-tailed tropicbirds, grab some snorkeling gear and see what’s underwater or stroll along the beach out onto a sand cay.

Day 5
At Sea

Today will be a day to scan the seas for humpback whales. Lecture staff will prepare you for your visit to the outer islands, and talk about the natural history, seabirds, and marine life, as well as the early settlers and their interesting stories.

Day 6
Suwarrow Atoll, Cook Islands

Suwarrow, a low coral atoll in the Cook Islands, has a rich history that spans literary ties with Robert Louis Stevenson, through to the island’s relevance during World War II. New Zealander Tom Neale lived alone on Suvorov for a total of 16 years in three periods between 1952 and 1977. He described his experience in the first two of those periods in An Island to Oneself. (NB: Tom Neale was the uncle of one of the onboard photographers, Richard Sidey – who will accompany this expedition.) In 1978, the island was declared to be a National Park of the Cook Islands due to the plentiful marine and bird life it supports, making this a paradise for divers and birdwatchers alike.

Day 7
Manihiki, Cook Islands

According to many, Manihiki is the most beautiful of the Cook Islands. Known as The Island of Pearls, it is a triangular atoll composed of 40 tiny islets encircling a lagoon four kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. This completely enclosed body of water is the source of the island's greatest asset—black pearls. Create a day to remember of your choosing. Learn first-hand how the pearls are made by taking an informative pearl farm tour, or use the day to swim or snorkel over and around the pearl lines.

Day 8 – 9
At Sea

Cross the International Date Line while enjoying some leisure time at sea. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields.

Day 10 – 12
Kanton Island / Phoenix Island

Far out in the central Pacific, the Phoenix Islands boast calm lagoons protected from the sea by a series of encircling reefs. Kanton Island’s lagoon is filled with 153 different species of fish and marine life, including tuna, sharks, stingrays and eels. In a remote corner of the Pacific, the nation of Kiribati has created the world's largest marine reserve: the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. The reserve covers 410,500 sq km and is home to thriving coral reefs and abundant sea life, including sharks and manta rays. Enjoy 3 full days to explore and marvel at the wonders of this preserved marine area. The Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best plan for the three days based on conditions at the time. Time and conditions permitting there could be a stop at Nikumaroro Island, where recent sonar exploration found a wing of an aircraft, suspected to be that of Amelia Earhart’s plane. Earhart the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, vanished during a flight across the Pacific in July 1937.

Day 13
Nukononu, Tokelau

Nukunonu, a group of coral islets within Tokelau, consists of a circle of coral anchored to the rim of a huge undersea volcano. Just 300 miles above Samoa in Oceania, and halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, it is the largest of the three islands which comprise Tokelau. Originally settled by Polynesian immigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands have been protected under both British and New Zealand rule. According to a UN report, these low-lying islands will disappear in the 21st-century if global warming continues.

Day 14
Asau, Samoa

Visit Asau, which is situated on the northwest coast of Savai'i Island in Samoa. Asau was integral to the Samoan timber industry. Unfortunately, in a 2008 bushfire, more than two thousand acres of trees were destroyed. The breakwater protecting the bay is an old American airstrip from World War II. The port was well used in the past as it was well protected on the east and south by the main land and on the north and west by coral reefs.

Day 15
Apia, Samoa

Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Wellness Expedition:
Specifically designed to improve your well-being, join health and fitness expert Natasha Eksteen, yoga instructor Jenni Kauppila, and nutrition consultant Dalila Roglieri for a complete onboard experience of yoga, stretching, pilates, aquagym classes, a complimentary spa treatment, and healthy daily menus.

Diving Program:
The program is complimentary; however, space is limited and thus booking early is recommended. Dives are dependent upon the conditions. Divers must be advanced with full certification which will need to be provided before embarking the vessel. Certification must be active and logbooks must show evidence that each guest has been diving within 12 months prior to the voyage. Dive medical travel insurance is required. Divers must bring their own gear such as BCD and regulator. Weight belts, masks, fins and tanks will be provided free of charge. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for further details.

Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; snorkeling gear; diving; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee). Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; park entrance fees; government fees and taxes; passport expenses; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.

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