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South Pacific shoreline

Faces of Polynesia: Fiji to Tahiti

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Caledonian Sky
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Journey to the South Pacific aboard the Caledonian Sky. Enjoy exuberant welcomes from traditionally clad dancers and experience warm hospitality as you are invited to join kava rituals and sample local delicacies. Witness the unique cultural heritage of Tonga, the oldest and last remaining Polynesian monarchy. Search for a bevy of rare and endemic birds, including Fiji orange doves, chattering kingfishers, and Cook Island fruit doves. Snorkel or dive nearly every day to discover dazzling coral reefs and healthy populations of tropical fish. Photograph lush, emerald islands rising from turquoise lagoons, white-sand beaches framed by lanky palms, and lovely dancers adorned in flower leis and tapa cloth.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Nadi, Fiji | Lautoka | Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 2 : Taveuni
Day 3 : Futuna, Territory of Wallis & Futuna
Day 4 : Wallis
Day 5 : Niuafo'ou, Kingdom of Tonga
Day 6 : Expedition Stop
Day 7 : Neiafu, Vava'u Islands
Day 8 : Niue
Day 9 : At Sea
Day 10 : Palmerston, Cook Islands
Day 11 : Aitutaki
Day 12 : Atiu
Day 13 : At Sea
Day 14 : Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Day 15 : Papeete, Tahiti | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy exuberant welcomes and hospitality from traditionally clad dancers
  • Witness Tonga's unique cultural heritage, the oldest Polynesian monarchy
  • Search for a bevy of rare and endemic birds, including Fiji orange doves
  • Snorkel or dive nearly every day to discover dazzling coral reefs and fish
  • Photograph lush islands rising from turquoise lagoons & white-sand beaches

Ship

Caledonian Sky

Places Visited

  • Fiji
  • South Pacific
  • Aitutaki
  • Bora Bora
  • Cook Islands
  • Futuna
  • Nadi
  • Neiafu
  • Niue
  • Palmerston
  • Papeete
  • Society Islands
  • Tahiti
  • Taveuni
  • Tonga

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

South Pacific shoreline Locals of Polynesia Snorkel the Polynesian reef Locals paddle a traditional canoe at sunset Snorkel the clear, blue waters of the South Pacific

Day 1 Arrive in Nadi, Fiji | Lautoka | Embark Caledonian Sky

After an early morning arrival, check in to your hotel dayroom to enjoy a morning at leisure before lunch. In the afternoon set out for an island exploration, including a visit to The Garden of the Sleeping Giant, started by the late actor Raymond Burr in 1977, and showcasing more than 2,000 varieties of orchids. Then visit the Vei Sei Sei village, and make a stop for magnificent island views at Vudu Lookout. In the city of Lautoka on the western “sunshine coast” of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, embark the Caledonian Sky.

Day 2 Taveuni

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Fiji Islands, considered part of Melanesia, cover an area of 386,000 square miles. Of the 325 islands large enough for habitation, only 106 have permanent residents. The third largest, Taveuni, is a dazzling emerald known as “the garden island,” and you have several excursions to choose from here. Hikers enjoy a visit to beautiful waterfalls in Bouma National Park, while birders explore the lush forests, keeping a lookout for collared lories, Fiji orange doves, and blue-crested flycatchers. A cultural tour highlights traditional Fijian village life, a kava ceremony, and demonstrations of cooking, tapa-cloth production, and basket weaving. Snorkelers and divers investigate the submerged wonders of the sea including Fiji’s famed soft corals and an incredible diversity of fish.

Day 3 Futuna, Territory of Wallis & Futuna

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Though linked through French colonialism, the language, customs, culture, and artistic traditions of Wallis and Futuna are distinctly different. While Wallis has ancestral ties with Tonga, Futuna traces its roots to Samoa. Be on deck as the ship approaches Futuna, whose verdant slopes ascend into the clouds. Stunning beaches fringe the east coast and Mt. Puke, the island’s largest volcano, soars to nearly 2,500 feet. In a traditional village visit the impressive shrine to the South Pacific’s only saint, Pierre Chanel; the interior is covered in elaborately-decorated tapa cloth. Birders keep an eye out for red-footed boobies, white-collared kingfishers, and blue-crowned lorikeets. Lunch on board is followed by snorkeling or diving in the clear waters to view longnose filefish, anemonefish, and colorful corals.

Day 4 Wallis

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tour the regional capital, Mata Utu, to visit its distinctive stone cathedral, then drive to one of the island’s beautiful crater lakes. Stroll through the interesting remains of a 14th-century fort, and browse local handicrafts. 

Day 5 Niuafo'ou, Kingdom of Tonga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tonga’s northernmost island, Niuafo’ou, is the tip of an underwater volcano, and recent eruptions have left part of it covered in black lava. Step ashore to visit the island’s interior caldera lake where the Niuafo’ou megapode incubates its eggs in the warm volcanic ash until the chicks emerge fully fledged. Underwater, silvery fish sparkle like diamonds against a dramatic backdrop of extrusive lava that has turned into black basalt.

Day 6 Expedition Stop

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore one of the many uninhabited islands of Tonga. Go ashore for beach walks with naturalists, and, conditions permitting, spend time snorkeling or diving.

Day 7 Neiafu, Vava'u Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Locals welcome you ashore on Neiafu. Take a stroll through the small community and visit the colorful market. Then, cruise by Zodiac to a cavern hollowed out by wave action and search for black-and-white sea snakes while snorkeling or diving off one of Neiafu’s surrounding islands. This evening, cross the International Date Line and gain a day.

Day 8 Niue

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A saucer-shaped uplifted atoll—one of the world’s largest emerged coral atolls—Niue is endowed with some of the most extensive and dramatic limestone cave systems in the South Pacific. It is one of the world’s smallest self-governing states, with approximately 1,500 inhabitants. A hike to the sea caves takes you over a “pathway” of coral for spectacular views, including a huge arch rising from the aquamarine waters. In the afternoon, snorkelers and divers take in underwater wonders among the coral—including the chance to see the endemic sea snake—while birders may choose a rainforest walk to seek out the banded rail, masked lapwing, and blue-crowned lorikeet.

Day 9 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend your day relaxing on deck and attending informative lectures. 

Day 10 Palmerston, Cook Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
About 60 people reside on Palmerston, all descendants of the eccentric William Marsters, who managed the island’s coconut plantations in the 1860s. Permission pending, go ashore to meet the friendly islanders and stroll through the village. The translucent waters reveal numerous healthy coral heads and marine life.

Day 11 Aitutaki

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Like a miniature Bora Bora, Aitutaki’s central peak rises above a reef-encircled lagoon, and you are welcomed by villagers performing intricate dances. Local guides accompany you on an island tour highlighting the natural and cultural attributes of the island. After lunch on the ship, enjoy snorkeling or diving off a remote motu in the crystal-clear waters dotted with coral heads.

Day 12 Atiu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning arrive at Atiu, whose shoreline is perforated with wave-sculpted caves. A tour introduces you to the local culture with a village visit and a stop at a coffee plantation. Birders set out to look for the Raratonga monarch, Cook Island fruit dove, and nesting site of Kuhl’s lorikeet. Or, join a challenging hike to visit several natural caves. This afternoon snorkel or dive in the surrounding pristine waters.

Day 13 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Attend lectures today and join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine life.

Day 14 Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be sure to be on deck early this morning as the ship enters the dazzling sapphire-hued lagoon of Bora Bora surrounded by soaring cloud-wreathed peaks. Tour this lush island, driving along roads lined with fragrant frangipani. Then venture to the large lagoon to snorkel or dive, watching for graceful stingrays and colorful fish such as fairy basslets and teardrop butterflyfish. Birders seek out chattering kingfishers and gray-green fruit doves.

Day 15 Papeete, Tahiti | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast disembark the Caledonian Sky and set out to explore this beautiful island. Visit the superb Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands, dedicated to the history and culture of the people of Polynesia, and drive along the stunning coast. Continue to your hotel to check in to dayrooms. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the hotel and to rest before your late evening flight homeward.

Caledonian Sky

Per person starting at
$14,980
Your suite on the Caledonian Sky features three portholes
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Category 1
Category 1 suites are 240 square feet and have three portholes.
Relax in your category 2 suite on the Caledonian Sky
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Category 2
Category 2 suites are 230 square feet and have large picture windows.
Your stateroom on the Caledonian Sky is large and allows great light
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Category 3
Category 3 suites are 220 square feet with a picture window.
Greet the day through your sliding glass window
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Category 4
Category 4 suites have 220 square feet and have direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
Your cabin on the Caledonian Sky has a sliding glass door and two portholes
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Category 5
Category 5 suites are 240 square feet and feature two forward facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
Sail in comfort aboard the Caledonian Sky
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Category 6
Category 6 suites are 215 square feet and pave patio doors leading to private balconies, which are 45 square feet.

Notes

- Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

For most activities a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs and tenders for diving and snorkeling activities and excursions ashore. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over beaches and sometimes rough terrain. Average daily temperatures will range from the low to upper-70s°F to mid-80s°F, though high humidity can make it feel warmer. 

Included:
  • Daily activity options including snorkeling, diving, cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

Excluded:
  • Airfare from your home city/Nadi and Papeete/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed at above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges

Included

  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jenna F

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
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