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Bora Bora, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Fiji

South Pacific trip information

Summary : If you have ever wondered how closely linked astronomy is to navigation, then this is the voyage for you! Your journey takes you from Tahiti to Fiji via the Cook Islands and Samoa, as onboard experts will elaborate on techniques that the original explorers used to discover these beautiful islands. As you venture further west, feel the pull and power of traditional, local lifestyles in these emblematic 'Pearls of the Pacific'.

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, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Papeete, Tahiti

Arrive in Papeete 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
Bora Bora, Society Islands

Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you’ll soon realize this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun and relax on Matira Beach. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia, circle the island by “Le Truck” or go snorkeling.

Day 3
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 4
Rarotonga Island, Cook Islands

Life is laid back on Rarotonga, the most populous of the Cook Islands, but the residents are still an active bunch. Though there are plenty of white sandy beaches on which to laze—and people do, with plenty of napping— locals love to get out and move. Join them in snorkeling, diving, riding—bikes, horses, scooters—fishing, bush walking, and playing squash and tennis. Another popular, if odd, and favorite activity is lining up along the sea wall adjacent to the airport's runway to be jet-blasted.

Day 5
Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Even high praise like the 'world's most beautiful island' from Lonely Planet's co-founder, Tony Wheeler, won't prepare you for the intoxicating intensity of the coal blue ocean, the glow of the pure white sand, and the soothing ripple of the palm-tree forests at incredible Aitutaki. It wasn't until 1789 that Europeans discovered this island haven, with the HMS Bounty's crew arriving, just a few weeks before a mutiny tore them apart. The Europeans were beaten to the islands, however, by the streamlined wooden canoes of the Polynesian settlers, who arrived around 900AD. While Western missionaries would eventually visit to spread Christianity to the island - evidenced by the white, coral-encrusted walls of the many churches - their efforts to repress the people’s deep love of communal singing and dancing ultimately failed, and music forms a key component of the islanders' culture to this day. Aitutaki’s lagoon is a huge aquamarine pool of water, alive with a kaleidoscopic swirl of tropical fish, which lurk just below the surface. The snorkeling opportunities here and on One Foot Island are sublime.

Day 6
Palmerston Island, Cook Islands

The low-lying atoll of Palmerston is inhabited by three families, all descendants of William Marsters (1831-1899). Members of the community are known to greet visitors and guide small boats and Zodiacs into the lagoon through a maze of coral reef to reach the only inhabited islet – commonly called “Home”. Once ashore, the whole community generally turns out to meet visitors as it is a rare occurrence. The island’s highlights include a church, the oldest house, the cemetery, the school, the underground gardens and “Duke’s Pool,” inviting for a swim or snorkel. In the lagoon’s waters it is possible to find colorful reef-fish, sea cucumbers, rays, and sea turtles. Overhead there is birdlife including tropicbirds, boobies, noddies, frigatebirds and terns.

Day 7
Day 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
Apia, Samoa

Samoa is proud to be the first independent nation of Polynesia, and home to the largest concentration of full-blooded Polynesians. Some scholars consider Samoa to be the cradle of Polynesia, allowing visitors a look at a traditional Polynesian society that follows the Samoan way of life, or ‘fa’a Samoa’. Located on Upolu Island, Apia is shaded by palms and huge umbrella trees, and has the appearance of a typical South Seas town. Traditional open-sided houses with thatched roofs on platforms of coral or concrete, also known as ‘fales’, can be seen everywhere. Nearly all of the population wears the typical local dress; skirts, or ‘lavalavas’ for men, and long, mumu-style dresses for women. The main road skirts the waterfront, and is lined with banks, shops, shipping offices and the typical public market. The focal points of Apia are the Town Clock and a World War II memorial.

At the ‘roundabout’, you will most likely see a lavalava-clad policeman directing traffic. Inland, rainforests thrive in mountain areas where heavy rainfall nurtures huge tree ferns and slow-growing, moss-laden hardwoods. Some of the island’s loveliest scenery, including the Falefa Falls and Le Mafa Pass, can be found East of Apia.

Day 11
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 12
Somosomo, Tavenui

Somosomo is the largest village on Taveuni, which in turn is Fiji’s third largest island. The village has had and still has political importance as it is the headquarters for Taveuni’s highest chief, the Tui Cakau, and Fiji’s Great Council of Chiefs met in Somosomo until 2012. Somosomo and Naqara, its immediate neighboring village with a predominantly Indo-Fijian population, are the commercial center for Taveuni. Slightly west of Somosomo is the 180th meridian and a sign indicating the International Dateline (which has been moved east of Tonga by now) is about 2 miles to the southwest. Somosomo is also famous for the amount of soft coral in the Somosomo Strait, just west of Somosomo and Taveuni. The reefs along the Somosomo Strait are considered among the best in the South Pacific as tidal currents and constant year–round water temperature create the ideal environment for some 390 species of hard and soft corals and over 1500 species of fish. Other attractions near Somosomo are the Bouma National Park with its waterfalls and Lake Tangimaucia.

Day 13
Lautoka, 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:

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 honoured with the Lowell Thomas Award for his exceptional contribution to human knowledge through his valuable research and discoveries in Polynesia.

David A Aguilar
AUTHOR, SPACE ARTIST & ASTRONOMER
David A. Aguilar is an internationally recognized astronomer and author of astronomy-themed non-fiction books designed for space learners of all ages. His expertise lies in showing us the fascinating connections between the universe, nature, and ourselves. He has the spirited ability to open minds to his exciting views of space and its wondrous worlds of discovery.

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); snorkeling; 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; optional diving; 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; Anthony Kobrowisky; Richard Sidey

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