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Sunset on Easter Island

Polynesia and Easter Island

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Le Boreal (CDP)
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Enjoy a delightful 14-day tropical adventure cruise aboard Le Boreal and explore the heart of the Pacific. Far from the major maritime routes, the Gambier Islands are one of Polynesia’s most unspoiled destinations. Stop in the small village of Rikitea, where Saint Michael’s Cathedral stands proudly, built entirely of coral and wood. Clear waters, abundant flora, and endemic fauna…sail to the Pitcairn Islands, an unspoiled subtropical environment whose capital, Adamstown, resembles a charming small village. Some 3,700 km away from the South American continent, reach intriguing Easter Island. Discover its famous wooden tablets called ‘Rongorongo’ and the Moai, or ‘walking statues’, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Papeete | Embark
Day 2 : Fakarava
Days 3-4 : At Sea
Day 5 : Rikitea (Gambier Islands)
Day 6 : Aukena (Gambier Island) | Sailing Around Temoe Atoll
Day 7 : At Sea
Day 8 : Adamstown (Pitcairn Islands)
Day 9 : Sailing along Ducie Island
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Days 12-13 : Hanga Roa
Day 14 : Hanga Roa | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit gorgeous Saint Michael’s Cathedral, built of wood & coral, in Rikitea
  • Explore one of the most renowned pearl farms at Mangareva
  • Admire Pitcairn's museum and its great collection of items from the Bounty
  • Tour the Ahu Tahai complex, composed of three important archaeological sites

Ship

Le Boreal (CDP)

Places Visited

  • South Pacific
  • Ducie Island
  • Fakarava
  • Papeete
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Society Islands
  • Tahiti
  • Tuamotu Islands

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sunset on Easter Island Crater Volcano in Easter Island Idyllic South Pacific Moai of Easter Island White-sanded Beach

Day 1 Papeete | Embark

Capital of French Polynesia, the city of Papeete is on the northwest coast of the island of Tahiti. Find a relaxed atmosphere here, where urban buzz combines with the legendary laid-back Polynesian lifestyle. Culture is not lacking. You can enjoy sites narrating the history of the archipelago, including the colonial cathedral and the Maison de la reine Marau. The Vaipahi public gardens win you over with their abundant plant life. The large municipal market offers local specialities: fresh fruit, spices, and all kinds of fish abound in their stalls.

Day 2 Fakarava

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Fakarava’s coral ellipsis is a narrow stretch of land sitting on a crystal-clear sea. Travelers here are surprised by the immensity of the lagoon, whose colors evoke an infinite palette. On land, beyond the white-sand beaches, Fakarava is home to pearl farms that are open to visitors. Here find the most stunning examples of the famous Tahitian pearls – black pearls with glints of color, also called tears of the gods.

Optional Excursions: 

Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Fakarava is an atoll known for its pristine beaches and wildlife. The island is a sanctuary for rare birds, plants, and crustaceans. Disembark by zodiac and arrive at the pontoon of the Veke Veke guesthouse, where you are greeted with flower leis and traditional music. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters, fluorescent corals, and warm waters of Fakarava. Snorkeling gear is distributed on board the ship.

Day 3-4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Day 5 Rikitea (Gambier Islands)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover the tall island of Mangareva, an unusual place nestling between sky and ocean, surrounded by a magnificent coral reef and boasting an abundance of vegetation. Located in the Gambier archipelago, it is the cradle of Catholicism in this part of the world and boasts an exceptional cultural heritage, as demonstrated by the vestiges of 19th-century religious buildings here. Nestled in the heart of this historic site with idyllic landscapes, do not miss the small village of Rikitea, where one of Polynesia’s wonders, Saint Michael’s Cathedral, stands proudly, entirely built from coral and timber. Renowned for the quality of its immaculate black pearls, this small corner of paradise gladly reveals its most beautiful treasures to you.

Optional Excursions:

Rikitea, Natural and Cultural Gem: Rikitea is the largest village on the island of Mangareva. It is also the chief town of the Gambier Islands. Mangareva hosts some pre-European remnants of marae and other cultural witnesses of the past, and is renowned for its fascinating religious 19th-century heritage. It was entirely hand made out of coral (carved and rubble stones) and wood. The interior is decorated with wood works and the altar is finely inlayed with mother of pearl seashells. The quality of artwork is remarkable, let alone the efforts and courage of these builders at the edge of the world to achieve this feat while facing the many technical difficulties at the time.

Other Laval constructions can be found in the village, including the coastal watchtowers and the turret which are all that remain of the 'palace' that Laval built for the island's last king, Maputeao. At the instigation of Laval, Maputeao changed his name to Gregoria Stanislas, and there's a memorial to him in the Cemetery of St. Peter. The eerily beautiful remains of Rouru Convent, which once housed 60 nuns, stand south of the cemetery. It's said that Laval hid the entire female population of the island.

Day 6 Aukena (Gambier Island) | Sailing Around Temoe Atoll

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located 5 kilometers southeast of Mangareva, Aukena is today the 4th largest of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia, with a population of around thirty inhabitants. This port of call is an opportunity for you to dive into the past, to the era when Aukena was discovered by the sailor James Wilson in 1797. There are several remnants of this missionary period, such as the watchtower serving as a landmark on the southwest of the island or the Church of St. Raphael, constructed in 1839. These buildings, nestling in the forest, lead to sumptuous white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Take the time to explore this island in the Gambier archipelago, and get a taste of French Polynesia’s gentle way of life.

Sailing around the Temoe Atoll is breathtaking. Trapezoidal in shape, it is the most easterly atoll in French Polynesia. In administrative terms, it belongs to the Gambier Islands and has been uninhabited since 1838, when missionaries moved all the inhabitants to Mangareva. There are several ancient Polynesian remains and archaeologists are attempting to preserve the integrity of the former heritage of the atoll by faithfully rebuilding certain coral monuments. In the waters around the atoll, it is common to see shoals of tuna or sea bream following the coastlines: a unique and marvelous spectacle.

Optional Excursions: 

Aukena, Pearl Farm Visit: Today you have the privilege to visit one of Aukena's farms. This is out of the usual touristic road, so it is a very authentic experience. Guests are asked to meet directly at the farm to start the tour. It is an approximate 700m walk from the northwest side beach of Aukena where the zodiacs land. Your local guide explains the process of pearl farming and shows you around the different stages of cultivation. Learn about the chronology and evolution of the industry, and how oysters are selected, grown, and then grafted for production. Grafting is the key element, as this requires a skilled craftsman to perform precise surgery on each oyster. 

Day 7 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 8 Adamstown (Pitcairn Islands)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If you’ve got a taste for adventure and you love discovering wild, remote lands, you’ll definitely be won over by the Pitcairn Islands. This tiny British territory is mainly composed of atolls right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Rimmed by steep cliffs several hundreds of meters high, volcanic Pitcairn Island is to be explored on foot. In Adamstown, the only village on this 5-square-kilometer land, meet the 50 sole inhabitants of the entire archipelago. The call to Pitcairn is subject to weather and sea conditions.

Day 9 Sailing along Ducie Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This lost atoll in the heart of the Pacific Ocean merits special attention. It was discovered by the British Captain Edward Edwards in 1791. He named it after Baron Francis Ducie, a captain in the British navy. Located around 500 kilometers from Pitcairn Island, it is one of the most remote islands in the world. Very few ships have approached it, and it has apparently never been permanently inhabited. Sailing away from this coral atoll, you can admire from afar the volcanic island of Pitcairn, whose summit culminates at 330 meters and which has around fifty inhabitants. 

Day 10-11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Day 12-13 Hanga Roa

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The main town of legendary Easter Island, Hanga Roa is also its only urban area. Bathed by the Pacific Ocean, this picturesque Chilean town is an excellent base for exploring the island's spectacular treasures, particularly the moai, the famous enigmatic monumental statues. The Polynesian Hanga Roa culture and its traditional houses are a sheer delight. As evening approaches, wend your way to the charming fishing port where, weather permitting, you can admire the captivating light of the setting sun.

Optional Excursions: 

Rapa Nui Culture & Orongo Ceremonial Site: Depart from the quay towards the impressive Ahu Tahai, located just 1.25 miles outside Hanga Roa town beside the cemetery. Ahu Tahai is the name of a complex constituting 3 different ahu sites: Ahu Ko Te Riku, Vai Ure, and Tahai. Continue towards the Sebastian Englert Museum, located in the town of Hanga Roa. This anthropological museum was named on behalf of the Bavarian missionary, Fr. Sebastian Englert, being founded in 1973. Next, drive up to the Ceremonial Village of Orongo, one of the most significant archaeological sites in Rapa Nui National Park and the most visited place on Easter Island. It was the center of the birdman cult established in the 18th and 19th centuries in an attempt to restore the society after the collapse of the moai culture. Finally, drive down via the same road towards Hanga Piko quay but with a final stop at a lookout point to observe the impressive crater lake of the Rano Kau, being the second oldest volcano on the island dating back over 2.5 million years. It is known because of its cliff and for its huge caldera (1.5 km at its base) containing one of the island's three freshwater lakes. After the stop, return to the quay and your ship.

Hanga Roa Highlights & Moai's Mystery: The tour begins heading towards Ahu Akivi located 15 km north, one of the main sites of this island. In contrast to the monumental statuary at other sites on the island, the moai at Ahu Akivi faces the ocean. It is inland and has a commanding view of the western part of the island. Its 7 moai, all about 14 feet tall and approx. 12 metric tons each, are remarkably similar. From this site, the tour continues towards Huri a Urenga. This is one of the few inland Ahus of the Island. The inland ahus are generally thought to have astronomical significance. The four hand single moai here faces the sun as it rises behind a hill (Poike) at the winter solstice. Finally continue towards Hanga Roa Village, where you have time at leisure to explore the village independently discovering its church, which is decorated with spectacular carved wooden statues, a syncretic vision of Christianity and indigenous spirituality. Also you may visit the colorful handicraft market before joining your tour vehicles to drive back to the quay of Hanga Piko to be tendered back to the ship.

Easter Island and Rapa Nui Folkloric Presentation: Depart from Hanga Piko quay towards the restored Ahu Tongariki. This magnificent platform is the largest on the island and holds fifteen moais. This site was completely destroyed by a tsunami in 1960. Today you can find 394 statues in various stages of completion. For those wanting to explore deeper, follow a second steep trail independently up to the crater of the volcano, where you find a quarry where the locals extracted the hard volcanic rock to create nearly all of the existing, immense moais. The volcano crater has an interior of more than 164 ft in depth. Its high walls, measuring 200 meters, constitute a natural reservoir used throughout time by the island's inhabitants. It conserves an enclosed garden of priceless Polynesian and native species that constitutes an appropriate microclimate for the main preserve of flora on the island.

Afterwards continue towards Anakena Beach, located on the northeast coast, 25 km from Hanga Piko quay. Enjoy your lunch surrounded by palm trees with a Rapa Nui folkloric performance. If time allows, you may take a bath at the beach before heading back to the quay. A stop is made in Hanga Roa Otai point should you wish to visit downtown independently.

Day 14 Hanga Roa | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast and continue your independent journey back home.

Le Boreal (CDP)

Per person starting at
$5,260
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Prestige or Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
Deck 4, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
Deck 5, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
Deck 6, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suites
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
1 suite, 484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone.

Notes

Please Note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

Please Note: Optional Excursions are NOT included in the price. Contact us for details.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Airport taxes (other than the ones included)
  • Port and safety taxes
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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