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Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Caledonian Sky
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Sail the beautiful waters of the South Pacific on this 20-day Tahiti to Easter Island cruise. For many, Polynesia is the definition of paradise: palm-fanned beaches, turquoise lagoons, and friendly islanders. Begin in the legendary Tahiti and head east across the ocean, stopping to explore sky-piercing volcanoes, lushly carpeted canyons, and chiseled bays. This voyage offers a comprehensive blend of Polynesia’s natural and cultural splendors, backdropped by dreamy, postcard-perfect scenery.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Papeete
Day 2 : Papeete | Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 3 : Apataki, Tuamotu Islands
Day 4 : At Sea
Days 5-7 : Marquesas Islands
Day 8 : Puka Puka, Tuamotu Islands
Day 9 : Puka Rua
Day 10 : Expedition Stop
Day 11 : Mangareva, Gambier Islands
Day 12 : Pitcairn, Pitcairn Islands
Day 13 : Henderson
Day 14 : Ducie
Days 15-16 : At Sea
Days 17-18 : Easter Island, Chile
Day 19 : Easter Island | Disembark | Santiago


  • Photograph the exquisite Marquesas with their sky-piercing volcanoes
  • View Easter Island’s giant volcanic stone statues & mysteries - the moai
  • Meet the residents of tiny Pitcairn Island, many descendants of HMS Bounty
  • Visit all four Pitcairn Islands, home to rare and endemic bird species
  • Enjoy excellent snorkeling and diving nearly every day to coral reefs
  • Step ashore to exuberant welcomes such as conch shell “trumpets” & dancing


Caledonian Sky

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Colorful fish Moai of Easter Island Tropical islands Tropical islands Snorkle the reefs of Indonesia

Day 1 Papeete

Arrive in Papeete in the late evening and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2 Papeete | Embark Caledonian Sky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax during a morning at leisure, then join a tour of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia’s largest island. Pass by orchards of papaya as you drive along the stunning coast. Visit the Museum of Tahiti, which traces the islands’ history. Embark the Caledonian Sky this evening. 

Day 3 Apataki, Tuamotu Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Though remote and sparsely populated, the far-flung Tuamotus comprise the world’s largest atoll chain. These venerable coral constructions rise just high enough above the water to be called land, and if it weren’t for their waving coconut palms, they might be entirely invisible from any distance.

With few visitors, and little industry, the dazzling lagoon of Apataki offers a pristine underwater landscape for snorkelers and divers to explore.

Day 4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Attend informative lectures on board as the Caledonian Sky cruises toward the legendary Marquesas Islands.

Day 5-7 Marquesas Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Considered one of the most beautiful island groups in the South Pacific, the Marquesas lie farther from a continental coast than any other islands in the world. Unlike other Polynesian islands, the Marquesas have no surrounding reefs or placid lagoons. Their wide, deep bays are havens for vessels such as ours.

Spend three days exploring this dazzling collection of islands whose breathtaking vertical peaks reach into the clouds, while carpets of lush tropical vegetation drape cliffs and canyons that descend to sea-sculpted bays. Countless sooty, fairy, and bridled terns circle tiny, rocky pinnacle islets. Zodiacs bring you ashore on a variety of islands, to be greeted by dancers and drummers adorned in leis and tapa cloth, and welcomed to others by the blowing of large conch shells—the traditional pu greeting. On walks you may see petroglyphs or tiki figures—representing deified ancestors—flanked by banyan trees, fragrant plumeria, blooming orchids, and silvery waterfalls. Open-air craft markets display baskets, shell jewelry, and wooden carvings. Birders search for the endemic Nuku Hiva pigeon and Marquesan swiftlet. Though the islands lack fringing reefs, snorkelers and divers can discover many colorful fish against a backdrop of sheer walls and dramatic arches covered in soft corals.

Day 8 Puka Puka, Tuamotu Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Delightful music and dancing welcome you to this idyllic island—the first land sighted in the Pacific by Europeans. Visit the small village whose residents raise taro, bananas, and coconut palms for copra (dried coconut.) Birders search for Pacific reef-heron while snorkelers and divers explore the fringing reef.

Day 9 Puka Rua

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Coconut palms and breadfruit trees cover the beautiful islets that surround Puka Rua’s lagoon. Garland-bedecked dancers greet you in the tiny village whose 150 hospitable inhabitants earn a living selling copra. Witness the process of coconut drying, enjoy a local crafts market, or stroll along the lagoon’s shores watching crested terns circling overhead.

Day 10 Expedition Stop

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, conditions permitting, explore one of the many uninhabited Tuamotu Islands and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or diving.  

Day 11 Mangareva, Gambier Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Go ashore to stroll along tidy streets flanked with colorful tropical vegetation in Rikitea and ascend the slopes of Mt. Duff for nature walks. Birders search for Christmas and tropical shearwaters. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving in the large lagoon.

Day 12 Pitcairn, Pitcairn Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Remote, enchanting, and tiny at six miles around, volcano-crowned Pitcairn was the fabled hideout of the HMS Bounty mutineers in 1790. Step ashore and visit with the 50 hospitable inhabitants of Adamstown, who are the direct descendants of the nine mutineers and 18 Polynesians. The anchor of the Bounty rests beside the courthouse and the ship’s Bible resides in the church.

Day 13 Henderson

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sheer limestone cliffs surround this elevated coralline island, a World Heritage Site, pockmarked by caves and blowholes. Henderson’s astounding natural selection has produced ten endemic flowering plants and four endemic species of land birds, including the Henderson Island crake and Stephen’s lorikeet. There is also an opportunity to snorkel or dive in the marinelife-rich waters.  

Day 14 Ducie

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This small, uninhabited, and rarely-visited atoll is rimmed in white sand beaches that in turn surround a crystalline lagoon. As you walk along the shore, witness a vast variety of seabirds—tens of thousands nest here, including Murphy’s and Phoenix petrels, masked boobies, frigatebirds, and red-tailed tropicbirds. Underwater forays bring you face-to-face with legions of rainbow-hued fish in the warm, clear waters.

Day 15-16 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Relax on deck and enjoy the ongoing lecture series as you cruise toward Easter Island, a World Heritage Site and one of the most mysterious places on earth.  

Day 17-18 Easter Island, Chile

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend two full days exploring Easter Island. Visit the ceremonial center of Ahu Vinapu where the monolithic stonework is reminiscent of the Inca civilization in Peru, contributing to the theory of contact between the islanders and South America. View the intriguing stone heads, moai, built on massive stone platforms at Tahai, along with nearly 400 monolithic statues in various states of completion at the spectacular volcanic tuff quarries. At Ahu Tongariki visit the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia—a five-year archaeological restoration project was completed in 1996. Drive to the Rano Kau volcano to view the giant caldera, its sprawling floor dotted with lakes and the ceremonial village of Orongo, dedicated to the fascinating “birdman” cult.    

Day 19 Easter Island | Disembark | Santiago

After breakfast disembark the Caledonian Sky and enjoy a short tour before heading to the airport for your afternoon flight to Santiago. From Santiago, board your flights home.

Caledonian Sky


Per person starting at
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.


- 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 80s°F, though high humidity can make it feel warmer, with cooler temperatures in the Pitcairns and Easter Island. Though this voyage occurs during the dry season, rainfall is always a possibility.

  • Daily activity options including 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

  • Airfare from your home city to Papeete and Easter Island to Santiago to 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, bar charges, and alcoholic beverages (other than listed above)
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges


  • 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 17 Dinners
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge

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