Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas

On this 17-day Marquesas and Tahiti cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, encounter cetaceans—potentially the rare melon-headed whales—and dive among manta rays while exploring the remote and enigmatic Marquesas Islands that belong to the past. The isolation of some of these islands has given way to a proud people whose unique Marquesan dialect is a direct link to the ancient Polynesian language of Maohi. Indeed, it is believed locally that the spirits of the ancient Maohi live among the islands’ saw-toothed peaks and lush, verdant valleys, and the limestone caves and grottoes explored on this trip. Herman Melville penned his indulgent novel Typee based on his time on Nuku Hiva and established himself as the man who lived among the cannibals, and Robert Louis Stevenson landed here aboard his yacht Casco in the late 19th century.

Highlights of this expedition include in-depth exploration of the Marquesas, one of the most remote and culturally unique island groups on Earth, both on land and by sea; seeing ancient stone sculptures, including one of the largest tikis in Polynesia, on Hiva Oa; hiking to a remote waterfall in search of rare birds on far-flung Fatu Hiva; and diving or snorkeling the stunning reefs of Fakarava, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The 102-guest Nat Geo Orion acts as floating basecamp during the voyage. This small expedition ship is technologically advanced and equipped with a full set of exploration tools, including an ROV and enough kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and Zodiacs to send all guests out exploring at the same time. Additionally, select cabins offer private balconies for special moments taking in the awe-inspiring wilderness. The National Geographic Orion features a nearly 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio, ensuring that your trip to paradise comes with attentive service.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Pacific Island cruises.