Experience an unforgettable 10-day journey around Ancient Polynesia aboard the National Geographic Orion. Behold 16-foot manta rays, colorful butterflyfish, whales, and other impressive marine life. Explore the sparsely populated Marquesas Islands, encounter moss-covered giant tikis on Hiva Oa, thousand-year-old petroglyphs on Nuku Hiva, the wild horses of Ua Huka, and lush rainforests with rare birds and rushing waterfalls. Join in the legacy of explorers, writers, and artists like James Cook, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Paul Gauguin in a region that embodies paradise in both the breathtaking landscapes of its islands and the abundant biodiversity of the surrounding sea.
Dive and snorkel in clear, warm waters in an extraordinary undersea world.
Learn about ancient Polynesian history.
Experience the world’s largest Marine Mammal Sanctuary.
Look out for amazing birds and endangered species.
Arrive in Tahiti and proceed directly to National Geographic Orion for embarkation. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as they prepare to depart. Alternatively, choose to walk around downtown Papeete and visit the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork, and coveted black pearls. Join us for lunch aboard and be on deck as we set sail from Tahiti toward the Tuamotu Archipelago. This afternoon meet the staff and fellow travelers and settle into island time.
Today and tomorrow, we visit the Tuamotu Archipelago. The atoll of Rangiroa is 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. Kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtle.
Today we’ll visit Takaroa Atoll, a remote island nearly 350 miles from Tahiti. We visit the main village and snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise lagoons and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.
A relaxing day at sea brings us to one of the most remote island groups on Earth, the Marquesas Islands. We begin our exploration of this archipelago on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesan Islands. Choose to attend a local church service with stunningly beautiful music, and spend some time exploring Vaitahu, the main village on the island. In the afternoon we reposition to nearby Hapatoni Bay where both land and sea excursions awaits.
Start the day at Hatiheu Bay, on the north shore of Nuku Hiva Island. Visit ancient petroglyphs and witness a spectacular dance performance at a Marquesan me’ae, or hike up the valley with the naturalists and local guides in search of rare birds and spectacular views. Later, sample local foods in the village, and peruse unique arts and crafts.
Today is open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with your naturalists. Marvel at the rugged volcanic silhouettes of these legendary islands from the Zodiacs and kayaks.
Be sure you’re on deck this morning to photograph the volcanic pillars of Hanavave Bay, as National Geographic Orion approaches one of the most storied shorelines in the entire Pacific. Visit a remote village where you’ll see displays of uniquely Marquesan arts and crafts. Choose a challenging hike to a remote waterfall, or take Zodiacs to the next bay where local transport takes you on a birdwatching foray deep into the Omoa Valley.
This morning, let nature guide us as you set out exploring one of the Marquesas’ remote, uninhabited islands. In the afternoon, arrive at Hiva Oa, where you’ll visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a mean Iipona. Accompanied by the team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites, and photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia.
On the last morning, visit the village of Atuona before disembarking the ship and flying by charter aircraft back to Papeete.
This evening, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
Please confirm embark/disembark locations before reserving flights, as this itinerary operates in reverse on alternating departures.
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
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Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
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Category 1 Single
Cat 1S #301, 322, 323. These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, except for #301 which has a double bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a roomy shower stall with a glass door.
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Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
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Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
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Category 3 Single
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
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Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities.
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Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor.
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Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a 'soaking tub with a view' in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity.
Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.
For full cancellation policy details, please contact us for a quote.
9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
9 Nights Accommodations
Accommodations as listed
Ground transportation as listed
Activities as listed
Meals as listed
Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
Use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits, and kayaks (where available)
Services of the expert expedition team and guest speakers
Shore excursions, sightseeing, entrance fees, and special access permits
Taxes, service charges, and tips (except for ship’s crew, at guests’ discretion)
Flight costs (please request a quote)
Additional excursions during free time
Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
Additional Hotel Nights
Air transportation (except when indicated in the itinerary, as included)
Passport, visa, and immigration fees
Special and unique excursions such as scuba diving, flightseeing, etc. (where offered)
Alcoholic beverages (alcohol is included on select ships)
Items of personal nature
Phone and Internet Service
Gratuity for ship’s crew, at guests’ discretion (crew tips are included on select ships
We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).