Summary : Following in the wake of early Polynesian navigators, this voyage takes you to the farthest reaches of Oceania. From remote and enigmatic Easter Island, to the historically significant Pitcairn Islands through the “low islands” of the Tuamotu Archipelago to Tahiti, you’ll visit islands that are virtually inaccessible and untouched. Dive or snorkel the stunning reefs of Fakarava, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the Pitcairn Islands, identified as one of most unspoiled reef systems in the world by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala. Trace the legend of the ill-fated H.M.S. Bounty from Tahiti to Pitcairn Island, where descendants of its mutineers still live today. Explore the unusual geology and wildlife of Henderson Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and look for endemic bird species. Delve into the intriguing lost culture of Easter Island, and examine ancient burial sites and towering moai with an archaeologist.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Photography, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins
Bar tab onboard ship and crew tips now included. Subject to change.
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart the U.S and fly to Papeete, French Polynesia.
Take a short tour before embarking National Geographic Orion.
Begin your exploration of the “Dangerous Archipelago” at Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. After a festive welcome with traditional dancers, learn about the island’s pearl industry, and walk its pristine beaches. Snorkel the protected reefs or ride the current into the lagoon on a world famous drift dive. In true expedition mode, explore one of the uninhabited atolls such as Tahanea. Navigate reefs and islets during a day at sea on your way to Pukarua, where you’ll be greeted by traditional dancers.
Famous for its black pearls, Mangareva is the largest of the Gambier Islands. Venture underwater to snorkel or dive, meet islanders to learn about their culture and the missionaries who made their home here, and go on a hike with your naturalists. Then spend a day at sea scanning the horizon with your naturalists, or relaxing on deck with a good book.
Many of the mutineers of the legendary Bounty made their home on Pitcairn Island in the late 18th century, and about 50 of their descendants still live here today. Meet the residents and hear a few words of the unusual Pitkern dialect—a combination of English “sailor speak” and Polynesian phrases. Visit the gravesite of the last surviving Bounty mutineer, John Adams, and see the Bounty’s anchor, which was salvaged in 1957. Your next stop is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Henderson Island, an uplifted atoll that is uninhabited and virtually untouched by humans. On hikes and Zodiac excursions, discover the island’s four endemic bird species, rich flora and fauna, and fascinating geology. Then spend a day on Ducie Atoll, watching for frigatebirds and boobies and snorkeling or diving among spectacular reefs. Set out on the final leg east, listening to talks by your experts as you sail two days towards Easter Island.
Disembark on Easter Island and check into your hotel for two nights. Explore volcanic calderas, jagged lav a fields, and sweeping grasslands to discover the colossal moai statues, the astonishing legacy of a long-lost culture. Join archaeologists to examine these statues and discuss their meaning and creation; visit burial sites, quarries, and intricately carved ceremonial altars. Explore on your final morning; fly to Santiago, then an overnight flight back to the U.S.
Arrive after an overnight flight from Santiago.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Optional Diving Program:
Scuba divers must be certified by an internationally recognized dive association prior to the voyage, and certification cards and logbooks must be shown on board. Divers must have logged 25 dives in total and made a dive within the 12 months preceding the voyage. If you have not made an open water dive within the past year, please contact us about a dive refresher course in Tahiti prior to your voyage.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; most alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guide; crew gratuities; port charges and service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; diving program; extensions; passport and visa fees; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including internet, laundry, etc; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Bennett Goldberg