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. Venture into the lush tropical forest and discover ancient Polynesian sacred sites on the verdant island of Hiva Oa. Snorkel or dive in the Tuamotus, and see abundant fish and thriving coral reef ecosystems. Enjoy stand up paddleboarding in gorgeous turquoise lagoons. Watch on deck as National Geographic Orion navigates into dramatic Hanavave Bay.
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 - 3 free hotel nights
- Supplement waived for solo travelers (select cabins)
- Offers apply to select dates; may not be combinable; conditions may apply
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$8,360 to $18,450
Depart the U.S. and land in Tahiti in the evening. Check into your hotel.
Wake up to a view of Tahiti's azure lagoon, and spend the day discovering the resorts many amenities. Or, join a leisurely afternoon excursion. 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.
Choose to end your Polynesia adventure here, and fly back to Papeete (extra fee) to connect to your flight home. Or continue on and spend seven relaxing days at sea following in the wake of the great Polynesian explorers north to Hawai’i (extra fee).
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 Pre- or Post-trip Extension: The Brando, Tetiaroa
Idyllically sited on the atoll of Tetiaroa, The Brando features a level of quality that more than merits its mystique. Built on land Marlon Brando purchased in the 60s after falling in love with the region and his Tahitian co-star while shooting Mutiny on the Bounty, and inspired by his original vision, it is an exceptional way to start or cap off any of our South Pacific itineraries.
*Two night minimum stay required.
*Payment Information: 100% of the total amount due at the time of booking.
*Cancellation Information: A 20% fee applies if the booking is cancelled between booking and 121 days prior to the arrival date; a 100% fee applies if the booking is cancelled 120 days or less prior to the arrival date; no reservation name change is allowed; travel Insurance is strongly recommended.
*Private flight required - Air Tetiaroa: From $535 per person, roundtrip
*2020 Low Season (Apr 1 - Jun 30): From $4,575 per villa per night (plus taxes)
*2020 High Season (Jun 30 - Oct 31): From $5,130 per villa per night (plus taxes)
Optional Post-trip Extension: InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa
On the isle of Moorea, volcanic peaks rise from sapphire seas in an explosion of emerald-green splendor, creating an arresting backdrop for a French Polynesian escape. Settle into your waterfront accommodation and enjoy a selection of activities with a complimentary $150 resort credit. Kayak, snorkel, and paddleboard among pristine coral reefs, unwind on white-sand beaches, and explore dense tropical forest where bright hibiscus blooms and rare birds roost. 3 Days.
2020 Double Occupancy from $1,410 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $2,090
Please inquire about different rates for overwater bungalows
One pre-cruise hotel night in Tahiti; transfers between airport/hotel/ship if booked on recommended flights; 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; extensions; 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