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An amazing sunset over Bora Bora

Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotus and Marquesas Islands

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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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.
The mountainous island chain of TahitiVisit the beautiful MarquesasBeautiful LagoonSaying goodbye to Taha'aWelcome to Tahiti Iti!An amazing sunset over Bora Bora
Highlights
  • 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.
Places Visited
  • South Pacific
  • Tahiti
  • Fatu Hiva
  • French Polynesia
  • Hiva 'Oa
  • Marquesas Islands
  • Nuku Hiva
  • Oceania
  • Papeete
  • Polynesia
  • Rangiroa
  • Society Islands
  • Tahuata
  • Tuamotu Islands
  • Ua Huka
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia | Embark

 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.

Day 2: Rangiroa, Tuamotus

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.

Day 3: Takaroa Atoll

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.

Day 4-5: At Sea | Tahuata, Marquesas

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.

Day 6: Nuku Hiva

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.

Day 7: Ua Huka

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.

Day 8: Fatu Hiva

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.

Day 9-10: Hiva Oa / Disembark / Papeete / Home

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.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Orion

Keep in shape in the exercise room aboard the National Geographic Orion
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
The lovely National Geographic Orion

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

Solo Adventure Savings 24720
Calling independent travelers! 

Book by June 27, 2024, and save up to 33% on solo cabin prices for trips to destinations like Antarctica, New Zealand, and more. If solo cabins are fully booked, opt to share a double occupancy cabin with another guest, and pay discounted solo cabin rate. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, may not be combined with other offers, and is not applicable on airfare or extensions. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applicable to select 2024 and 2025 departures.

Per person starting at
$12,363 2-3 travelers

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.
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
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.
Your  Category B Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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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.
A Category A Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 2
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.
A lovely category 3 suite on the National Geographic Oion
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Category 3
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.
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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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.
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
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.
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
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.
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
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.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.
Included
  • 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
  • Assistance by the onboard National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Access to the OM System Photo Gear Locker with the latest gear to try out on loan (aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet) 
  • Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are available aboard the ship. Additionally, a selection of super premium wines and liquors is offered for purchase.
  • Crew gratuities
  • Complimentary Starlink-enabled Wi-Fi internet is available to all guests aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, enabling email, messaging, and social media.
  • Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
  • Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
  • Guidance and company of leading expedition staff
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
  • Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic  where available
  • Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
  • 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces 
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)
  • 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
  • Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers (except when indicated as included)
  • Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees 
  • Enhanced and premium Wi-Fi plans, which may enable video chat, web browsing, and streaming (connectivity permitting)

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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).
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