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Lagoon of Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Between the storied islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora lies the coveted diving destination of Rangiroa, the steep volcanic cliffs and remarkable grottoes of Makatea, and the ancient Polynesian cultural site of Marae Taputapuatea on Ra'iatea. On a six-day expedition to one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans, dive and snorkel in clear, warm water with rays, sea turtles, sharks, and whales; see paradise come to life in the iconic landscapes of jagged green peaks, pristine beaches, and the bluest of blue waters; and connect with local culture with visits to Polynesia’s most significant ancestral site and a family-run vanilla plantation.
An amazing sunset over Bora BoraSnorkel with a variety of sealife in TahitiThe mountainous island chain of TahitiSnorkel the clear waters of TahitiSaying goodbye to Taha'aLagoon of Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Highlights
  • See iconic and awe-inspiring landscapes at Bora Bora
  • Dive and snorkel in crystalline waters in an awe-inspiring undersea
  • Swim into an otherworldly grotto on Makatea
  • Discover Polynesian history and culture at sights
Places Visited
  • South Pacific
  • Tahiti
  • Bora Bora
  • French Polynesia
  • Makatea
  • Oceania
  • Papeete
  • Polynesia
  • Raiatea
  • Rangiroa
  • Society Islands
  • Taha'a
  • Tuamotu Islands
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 we prepare to depart. Alternatively, choose to walk around downtown Papeete and visit the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, art 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 turtles.

Day 3: Makatea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An uplifted coral atoll, the island of Makatea is one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. A makatea is a raised coral atoll that is tilted due to plate tectonics and appears much different than the other islands in the region, containing spectacular, vertical cliffs. This specific island of Makatea gives its name to all other uplifted coral atolls worldwide. Spend the day exploring the island’s limestone caves and grottos with your expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds

Day 4: Ra’iatea/Taha’a

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Encircled by a single fringing reef, and sharing a common lagoon, Ra’iatea and Taha’a are islands well worth exploring. One of the most important cultural sites in the Polynesian world, Marae Taputapuatea was a center for Polynesian seafarers and the location from which they set out for Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Hawai’i and New Zealand. Our afternoon is spent at Taha’a where we’ll visit a family-run vanilla plantation and spend time snorkeling in the crystalline lagoons where we’ll encounter black-tipped reef sharks.

Day 5-6: Bora Bora/Disembark/Papeete/Home

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be on deck at sunrise this morning to take in one of the South Pacific’s most iconic images: the angular crags of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu. Spend the morning exploring Bora Bora and then join us for lunch aboard. In the afternoon, take a short flight back to Papeete where a hotel room will be available for you to rest and refresh before your international overnight flight 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

Per person starting at
$5,880
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

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

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
  • 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
  • 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)

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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