Summary : Follow in the path of early Polynesian navigators on this epic voyage. From the aquamarine atolls of the Tuamotu Islands to the lush volcanic peaks of the mysterious Marquesas, you’ll visit some of the most remote and compelling sites in the far reaches of French Polynesia.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
- Free round-trip air Los Angeles/Tahiti
- Hawaiian extension offer
- Solo traveler offer
- Offers may not be combinable; conditions may apply
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$7,990 to $18,290
Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Tahiti.
Arrive in Papeete, Tahiti early this morning and check into your room at the hotel. Spend the day adjusting to island time and enjoying the resort’s many amenities, or join the group for a leisurely afternoon tour. This evening, connect with your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail party.
Join an island tour and have lunch at a local restaurant before embarking National Geographic Orion.
Spend two days exploring this idyllic archipelago. Experience with all your senses while learning the geological distinction between volcanic islands, atolls, and uplifted coral atolls—like the stunning island of Makatea, one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. See the spectral remains of a mining operation as you hike through a primeval landscape with your expedition team to discover an incredible limestone grotto. Birders might add endemics such as the imperial pigeon or the Makatea fruit dove to their lists. Snorkelers will revel in the protected reefs of gorgeous Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Conditions permitting, ride the current into the vast lagoon on a world-famous drift dive (extra fee to dive) or snorkel.
A relaxing day at sea brings you to one of the most remote and historic island groups on Earth, the Marquesas. One never forgets the first sight of lovely Hanavave Bay, fronting one of the world’s most soul-stirringly beautiful islands—Fatu Hiva. Be sure you’re on deck and camera-ready as you arrive at one of the most storied shorelines in the entire Pacific. Enjoy a warm Polynesian welcome on a visit to a remote village where you’ll see displays of well-made, uniquely Marquesan arts and crafts. Choose a challenging hike through landscapes studded with sculptural granite and stunning flora to a remote waterfall, or Zodiac to the next bay where local transport takes you birdwatching deep in the Omoa Valley.
At Hiva Oa, the plan is to land at Atuona. Stop for a fresh-baked French baguette before a short visit to Calvary Cemetery and the gravesites of French artist Paul Gauguin and Belgian, Jacques Brel, both revered on the island. Visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by your team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites, and get the chance to photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia.
If you read Herman Melville’s Typee in prep for your voyage, you’ll thrill doubly to the green-mantled, rugged silhouette of Nuku Hiva, the largest and most imposing of the Marquesas. End your Polynesia adventure here, and fly via chartered plane (extra fee) back to Papeete to connect to your flight home.
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. Extra fee applies.
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.
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Marquesas to Hawaii
Take to the sparkling seas of the Pacific aboard the National Geographic Orion and follow in the path of the ancient Polynesian Wayfinders. Learn about this incredible skill and about the Polynesian people from your onboard Cultural Specialists, Tua Pittman and Christina Thompson. Spend time on the bridge with our knowledgeable officers and learn about modern day navigation and chart plotting, as you cross the Equator from southern to northern hemispheres. Take time to marvel at the largest body of water on the planet—the Pacific Ocean. Continue north to the Hawaiian Islands and spend two days exploring the Big Island of Hawaii and the incredible history and nature that embody this paradise. Learn about Captain Cook’s last, fateful visit and explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park along with spectacular Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world. 11 Days from $1,570-$3,990 per person. Subject to change.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; one pre-cruise hotel night in Papeete; shipboard accommodations; kayaking, snorkeling; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; gear on loan (snorkeling gear and wetsuit); all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; optional Hawaii extension; passport and visa fees; scuba diving; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including Internet, laundry, etc; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Bennett Goldberg