Reefs, Lagoons and Volcanic Isles: Fiji to Tahiti Cruise

Snorkel with sea turtles as you cruise the South Pacific
Jan Butchofsky-Houser
Snorkel off stunning sand beaches
View the underwater world of Rangiroa
Traditional buildings of Tahiti
View the exceptional underwater wildlife of Bora Bora
Jan Butchofsky Houser
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
Bob Fowler
The lovely National Geographic Orion
Experience the magic of the South Pacific on this 18-day cruise. Sail from Fiji to Tahiti, stopping to observe the pristine villages and reef systems in between. A great mix for your South Pacific cruise adventure.

Day 1

    Nadi / Lautoka, Fiji

    Arrive in Nadi, Fiji and transfer to Lautoka to board the National Geographic Orion. More than 300 islands make up the remote volcanic archipelago of Fiji. Take to the warm turquoise seas, sailing past idyllic white-sand beaches edged with jungle as your ship makes its way east. (D)

    Days 2-4

      Taveuni / At Sea

      Your first stop is Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island, known as “The Garden Island” for its rich vegetation, which includes several species found nowhere else in the world. Head inland to discover the waterfalls of Bouma National Heritage Park and admire a panoramic view from 3,920-foot Des Voeux Peak. Go diving or snorkelling, or take a birding walk along a coastal trail to see species such as orange fruit doves, endemic silktails, fantails, and parrots.

      On Fiji’s outer islands, experience the local culture in remote villages. Then take advantage of a full day at sea to settle into the relaxed pace of life on board. Watch for marine life from the deck, study your ship's route on the navigational charts, and attend talks by onboard experts. (B,L,D, daily)

      Days 5-6


        The ship winds its way through a maze of uplifted limestone islets as you arrive in the lesser-known Kingdom of Tonga. In Neiafu, the capital of the stunning Vava’u island group, venture into verdant hills to visit a vanilla plantation and browse the craft and produce markets at the wharf. Spend the afternoon on the water kayaking, snorkeling, diving, or taking a Zodiac into limestone caves along the coast.

        The following day, anchor off Niuatoputapu and witness daily life on Tonga’s most remote islands. Enjoy an introduction to Tongan music and dance, and attend a kava ceremony. On Tafahi, a volcanic cone rising out of the sea, explore volcanic rocks and submerged canyons and tunnels while snorkeling or diving. (B,L,D)

        Days 7-9

          Samoa / At Sea

          With its spectacular beaches and aqua lagoons, hidden waterfalls and lava-sculpted landscapes, Samoa captures the essence of the South Pacific. During your time on these islands, hike through rain forests vibrant with flowers and birds, take a dip in a swimming hole, go snorkeling or diving on the reef, and soak up the languid rhythms of island life that drew Robert Louis Stevenson to these shores. Then enjoy life aboard Orion as you spend two days sailing into the heart of Polynesia. (B,L,D)

          Days 10-11

            Northern Cook Islands

            The 15 Cook Islands are scattered across the Pacific. Captain Cook was the first to thoroughly explore the islands in the 1770’s. The northern islands feature low coral atolls with vast turquoise lagoons and are known for their black pearl farms. Explore the area ashore and at sea, visiting the island communities and discovering the aquatic world beneath the waves. (B,L,D)

            Days 12-15

              At Sea / Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

              A day at sea brings us to the Southern Line Islands, where you can snorkel or dive some of the most remote and pristine atolls on Earth. Marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala researched these islands as part of the Pristine Seas project and identified them as one of the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean. Explore deeper via our ROV. Go ashore on Caroline Island, renamed Millennium Atoll after becoming one of the first places to see the sun of the new millennium rise. Navigate the intricate channels of its lagoon by Zodiac or kayak, seeing nesting boobies and tropicbirds on the shore, and swim above fields of giant clams. (B,L,D)

              Days 16-17

                Rangiroa, French Polynesia

                Gain a day as you cross the International Date Line and arrive in French Polynesia. Explore Rangiroa, a ring of slender islands known for some of the best diving and snorkeling in French Polynesia. The turquoise lagoon at its center is the second-largest in the world. Pass between the islets and anchor near the village of Tiputa. Local musicians greet you and show you around the village. Visit the village, and kayak, snorkel, and scuba in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and hammerheads. (B,L,D)

                Day 18

                  Papeete, Tahiti / Disembark

                  Approach the emerald crags of Tahiti’s volcanic peaks and disembark in French Polynesia’s capital city, Papeete. Check in to a day room and explore the city’s museums, markets, and black pearl shops before venturing off to the surrounding beaches. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your connecting flight home. (B, L)

                  Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

                  INCLUDED FEATURES
                  Aboard ship:
                  - All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
                  - Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
                  - 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
                  - Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
                  - Fitness center or exercise equipment
                  - Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
                  - The guidance and company of expedition staff

                  - Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
                  - Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
                  - Sightseeing & entrance fees
                  - Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
                  - Transfers to and from group flights
                  - The expertise of expedition staff

                  - All excursions
                  - Zodiac & kayak explorations
                  - Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge

                  NOT INCLUDED
                  - International and internal airfare

                  Pre- and post-expedition:
                  - Additional hotel nights
                  - Private transfers
                  - Travel Protection Plan
                  - Passport, visa, and immigration fees
                  - Expedition extensions
                  - Gratuities

                  Aboard ship
                  - Alcoholic beverages
                  - Spa treatments
                  - Gratuities
                  - Scuba diving
                  - Laundry
                  - Internet and phone
                  - Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
                  South Pacific, Fiji, Samoa, Line Islands, Papeete, Rangiroa, Lautoka, Nadi, Taveuni, Bouma National Heritage Park, Neiafu, Niuatoputapu, Tafahi, Northern Cook Islands, Caroline Island
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