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Easter Island and French Polynesia

Easter Island trip information

Summary : Visit three UNESCO sites on this seminal voyage to Pacific paradises. Begin your odyssey in Valparaiso, whose historic quarter is the first UNESCO site; then explore the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Juan Fernandez Islands; and finally, Easter Island, another extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage. Complete your voyage with the tiny, Arcadian Islands of French Polynesia.

Please Note: This voyage will have other guests that are taking part in some, or all, of the other segments of the 168-day Expedition World Cruise. Please inquire if you are interested in booking other segments to add to your trip.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Valparaiso, Chile

Arrive in Valparaiso and transfer to the ship to embark.

Please Note: This voyage will have other guests that are taking part in some, or all, of the other segments of the 168-day Expedition World Cruise. Please inquire if you are interested in booking other segments to add to your trip.

Day 2
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 3
Robinson Crusoe Island

Robinson Crusoe Island is located off the coast of Chile. The island is a rugged volcanic speck where 70 percent of its plant species are endemic, and is the largest of the Juan Fernandez Islands, a small archipelago that since 1935 is a Chilean National Park which in 1977 was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This island has witnessed and played an important role in Chilean and world history. In 1704 the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was marooned on the island and stayed for more than 4 years, eventually inspiring Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe –hence the name of the island. 1750 the village of San Juan Bautista was founded at Cumberland Bay and by 1779 there were already 7 small fortresses bristling with guns. The island’s isolation offered Spain a splendid place for setting up a penal colony, to which high-ranking Chilean patriots were deported in the early 19th century.

In 1915, during the First World War, three British ships and a German one, the Dresden, engaged in a sea battle which ended with the scuttling of the German cruiser. Today there are currently around one thousand people living in the archipelago, most of them in the village of San Juan Bautista engaged in fishing for the “spiny lobster”, a delicacy exported to the mainland.

Day 4
Alexander Selkirk Island, Chile

Alejandro Selkirk Island is part of the Juan Fernandez archipelago. The island itself was renamed in 1966 after the marooned sailor who served as the template for Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, although Alejandro Selkirk was a castaway on the island Mas a Tierra, today named Robinson Crusoe Island. Alejandro Selkirk is located west of the other islands in the archipelago. Throughout much of its history, the island has been uninhabited, although there is a former penal settlement on the middle of the east coast, which operated from 1909 to 1930. During the summer months, Selkirk welcomes a small community of lobster fishermen and their families who come from Robinson Crusoe. As part of the Chilean National Park, it also holds the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve title. The island is home to a number of rare and endangered plant and animal species.

One of those iconic species—the Masafuera Rayadito—is found only on Selkirk; its global population numbers in the low hundreds and it is of particular interest to researchers and those looking to prevent species extinctions.

Day 5 – 8
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 9 – 10
Easter Island

Discovered (by the Western world) on Easter Sunday, 1722, Easter Island is one of the most isolated places on the face of the Earth, some 2,300 miles from the Chilean mainland. Although more Polynesian than South American in character, the 64-square mile island was annexed by Chile in 1888, and is now famous as the world’s largest ‘open air museum' on account of the Moai, or human-like stone statues, that can be found on the island. The island’s national park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Moai remain very much a mystery, which archaeologists are still trying to unlock. The ancient language of the Rapa Nui is one of the keys to understanding this culture. One of the other mysteries are the texts written on the so called ‘rongo rongo tablets’. The island owes its origin to three volcanoes: Poike and Rano Kau had erupted first and were later connected with Maunga Terevaka‘s eruption. It is not known when or how the island was first populated, but the most credible theory suggests that the Rapa Nui people came from other Pacific islands. Scientists debate as to when this occurred, the earliest claim sees this happening in the 4th century AD.

In addition to the cultural and archaeological interest, there are two beautiful beaches, transparent waters, and a few coral reefs as might be expected of a Pacific Island.

Day 11 – 13
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 14
Adamstown, Pitcairn Island

With a total of around 50 residents on the island, Adamstown is the capital of the Pitcairn Islands and the only populated settlement, as all of the other Pitcairn Islands are uninhabited (although Henderson was populated by Polynesians in the 11th through 15th centuries). Halfway between Peru and New Zealand, Pitcairn was the perfect hiding spot for the famed HMS Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Not only had the island been misplaced on early maps of the region, but it can also be very difficult to come ashore as large breakers tend to build up just in front of the small harbor of Bounty Bay. On shore visit the local museum that houses the HMS Bounty Bible, the historic Adamstown Church, view Fletcher Christian’s cave, or keep an eye out for the Pitcairn Reed Warbler.

Day 15 – 16
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 17
Atuona - Hiva Oa, Marquesas Island

The largest of the southern islands, Hiva Oa, the master pillar or finial post of the ‘Great House’ - which represents the Marquesan archipelago in the local mythology - has always been the rival of Nuku Hiva. The island is shaped like a seahorse and has a mountain range running southwest to northeast whose main peaks, Mt. Temetiu and Mt. Feani form a real wall around Atuona. Atuona, a peaceful little port at the head of the Taaoa Bay, also known as Traitors Bay, has emerged from obscurity due to having had the privilege of being the last resting place of Paul Gauguin and of the singer Jacques Brel. The tombs of these famous personalities are on the side of the Calvary cemetery looking out across the bay and are places of great pilgrimage. In the village, the Gauguin Museum displays items related to the painter's stay there at the beginning of the century and has copies of his works.

Day 18
Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Island

Fatu Hiva is the southernmost and most remote island in the Marquesas Group. First seen by Europeans in 1595 when Mendaña went to colonize the Solomon Islands, the island again gained some fame through the visit of Thor Heyerdahl in the mid-1930s. Steep cliffs, sharp mountain peaks and many narrow valleys form an impressive obstacle when exploring this volcanic island. The two villages of Omoa and Hana Vave have combined some 650 inhabitants and are both located on the more protected western side of the island. They are connected by a 17 kilometer long road that climbs up to the central plateau. Omoa has a protected little harbor for local boats, but Hana Vave has the Bay of Virgins, one of the most photographed bays in the Marquesas Islands, if not French Polynesia. Islanders are known for their tapa (bark cloth) paintings and wood carvings, which are highly sought after in Tahiti.

Day 19
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 20
Fakarava Tuamotu Archipelago

Fakarava is oblong shaped and has an almost continuous string of reef and motu stretching 25 miles on its eastern edge. It's the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls, located 280 miles northeast of Tahiti, and 75 miles southeast of Rangiroa. The tiny village of Tetamanu, situated by the southern pass, was once the capital of the Tuamotus and houses the first church built in the archipelago in 1874. In 2006 the entire atoll was deemed an UNESCO biosphere reserve; to preserve the lagoon, no overwater bungalows have been built in it.

Fakarava was "discovered" by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Von Bellingshausen in 1820; some 20 years later missionaries arrived, such as the fanatical Catholic priest Honore Laval, and began building churches.

Day 21
Rangiroa Island

Rangiroa, or "Endless Sky" in Tahitian, is French Polynesia's largest atoll. A long, narrow grouping of 415 small motu strung together in a misshapen circle, it harbors a lagoon so large the entire island of Tahiti could fit in it. It's also impossible to see from one side of the lagoon to the other. Rangiroa's tourism industry has been built around the lagoon and the two passes (Avatoru and Tiputa) that connect it to the ocean. Divers descend on Rangi, as it's nicknamed, to "shoot the pass." The atoll's main town, Avatoru, and the village of Tiputa lie in the northern section of the atoll.

Day 22
Moorea Island

Moorea is called the "sister island" of Tahiti and its proximity—12 miles away across the Sea of Moon—has assured a steady stream of both international and local visitors. Many Tahitians have holiday homes on Moorea and hop over in their boats or take the 30-minute ferry. The draw is island charm and a relatively slow-paced life. Moorea is an eighth of the size of Tahiti but packs all the classic island features into its triangular shape. Cutting into the northern side of the island are the dramatic Opunohu Bay and Cook's Bay, the latter backed by the shark-toothed Mt. Mouaroa and home to many resorts and restaurants. Between the two bays majestic Mt. Rotui rises 2,020 feet (616 meters) and steep, jagged mountain ridges run across the island. From the Belvedere lookout there are awesome views of these bays and mountains, including the tallest peak—the thumb-shaped Mt.

Day 23
Papeete, Tahiti

Disembark the ship after breakfast.

Notes

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

Please Note:
This voyage will have other guests that are taking part in some, or all, of the other segments of the 168-day Expedition World Cruise. Please inquire if you are interested in booking other segments to add to your trip.

Special Onboard Guest Experts:

Tim Severin
EXPLORER AND RGS MEMBER
Gold medallist of the Royal Geographical and Scottish Geographical Societies, has retraced the storied journeys of Saint Brendan the Navigator, Sindbad the Sailor, Jason and the Argonauts, Ulysses, The First Crusade, and Genghis Khan. His signature technique is to travel in replica boats of the time or on horseback. He has also investigated the truth behind the tales of Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe. His journeys have been cover stories in the National Geographic Magazine, and his books about his expeditions are classics of exploration and travel.. He also writes historical novels - notably the best selling Viking, Pirate, and Saxon series. With a research degree in the history of exploration from Oxford University, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by the National University of Ireland and Trinity College, Dublin, He lives in West Cork, Ireland.

Judith Kunzle
POLYNESIAN DANCE AND ART
Judith Kunzlé lives in San Francisco Bay Area. She has focused for many years on the representation of movement and body language by drawing and painting. Her major subject is dance, from Polynesian dance to tango to contemporary ballet. Judith has lived for 30 years in the South Pacific, most of it in the Cook Islands, on Rarotonga, where she studied Polynesian dance by drawing and painting, working with dancers and choreographers. She has traveled widely in Polynesia and Melanesia to draw and experience the dance of different Pacific cultures. From the Cook Islands she moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, to work with hula dancers. Her paintings of Hawaiian Hula has been used to promote the Merrie Monarch Festival.

Tua Pittman
TRADITIONAL NAVIGATION
Tua is one of two Pwo Master Navigators from the Cook Islands, where he serves as Captain and Navigator on the vaka (voyaging canoe) Marumaru Atua. Tua was inducted in Pwo, the degree of the Weriyeng School of Navigation of Micronesia in 2008. He has sailed extensively around the Pacific sharing his traditional voyaging experiences.

Edmundo Edwards
MEMBER OF EXPLORERS CLUB & ASTRO ANTHROPOLOGIST
Edmundo’s passion for archaeology started when he was 12 years old and discovered a pre-Incan site in northern Chile. Edmundo is an active member of the Explorers Club and in 2011 he was honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for his exceptional contribution to human knowledge through his valuable research and discoveries in Polynesia.

Photography Studio: 
Utilize the ship's Photo Studio as a hub for the multifaceted enrichment program. With both private and group lessons, guests can learn to master the art of digital photography through the Academy, which provides an array of specialty workshops for both beginners and pros.

Included: 
Shipboard accommodations; Wi-Fi onboard ship (1x device per guest for Vista-Deluxe Veranda; 2x devices per guest for Medallion-Owner's suites); backpack; one voyage highlights DVD per cabin; most meals onboard ship; butler service; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship (except spa). Royal Suite, Grand Suite, Owner’s Suite also receive two hours of worldwide telephone use from your suite, and one dinner for two at La Dame per suite. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included: 
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; meals onboard at La Dame Restaurant unless mentioned above as included; some alcoholic premium beverages; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts, items of a personal nature, and spa charges; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos ©: Creative Services at Silversea Cruises

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