Beautiful white sand beach with palm trees jutting out over turquoise water in the Pacific Islands
lone beachside hut overlooking calm ocean with a gorgeous vibrant sunset in the pacific islands
reef snapper swimming out from behind a coral head sitting atop a large colorful pacific islands reef
smiling indigenous pacific islands women wearing leaf and flower necklaces and head dresses
Aerial of Moorea and Tahiti in the South Pacific islands, French Polynesia with clouds above
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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.



Itinerary

Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas Itinerary

Route map of Azure Seas From Tahiti to the Marquesas small ship cruise operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti with visits to islands along the Tuamoto Archipelago. including Farakava & Raroia, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva & Makatea.
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Day 1
Fly to Tahiti

Depart on an overnight flight to Tahiti. Savor the anticipation of traveling to a place with infinite shades of azure, secluded atolls and the sultry perfume of Tiare Tahiti (gardenia). Expert National Geographic guides will soon guide you through the Pearl of the Pacifica tropical paradise.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Arrive Papeete, Tahiti & Embark

Arrive in Papeete early this morning and check in to dayrooms at the InterContinental Tahiti. Take a brief tour before embarking the ship.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 5
At Sea & Tuamotu Archipelago: Farakava & Raroia

Begin the voyage with an exploration of the Dangerous Archipelago at Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Learn about the island’s pearl industry and walk its pristine beaches. Snorkel the protected reefs or ride the current into the lagoon on a world famous drift dive. Continue to Raroia, one of the easternmost atolls in this chain and the site where Thor Heyerdahl’s famous Kon-Tiki raft made landfall in 1947.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
At Sea & Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

A day at sea brings the ship to one of the most remote island groups on Earth, the Marquesas Islands. Begin exploration of this archipelago 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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Hiva Oa, Marquesas

At Hiva Oa, stop for a fresh-baked French baguette in the village of Atuona before a short visit to Calvary Cemetery and the gravesites of French artists Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel. Visit the village of Puamau to see the stunning Marquesan me’ae lipona, and photograph one of the largest tikis in Polynesia.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Fatu Hiva, Marquesas

Be sure to be on deck this morning to photograph the volcanic pillars of Hanavave Bay, as the ship approaches one of the most storied shorelines in the entire Pacific. Visit a remote village to 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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 10 - 12
Exploring More Marquesas Islands & At Sea

The last two days in the Marquesas are open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with the naturalists and marvel at the rugged volcanic silhouettes of these legendary islands from the Zodiacs and kayaks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 13 - 14
Tuamotu Archipelago

Let nature be the guide for these days, while exploring some of the more than 80 islands and atolls that make up this seldom-visited archipelago. Snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs, kayak and stand-up paddleboard on turquoise lagoons, and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Makatea

An uplifted coral atoll, the island of Makatea is one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. Spend the day exploring limestone caves and grottos with the expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds, then snorkel and dive among colorful fish on the nearby reef.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 16 - 17
Papeete, Tahiti & Disembark

Disembark in Papeete this morning and tour Tahiti before your overnight flight home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast and lunch (day 16); n/a (day 17)

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; alcoholic beverages (except premium brands); excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; gratuities to ship’s crew.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; insurance of any kind; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD etc.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas cruise begins and ends in Papeete, Tahiti (PPT)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Papeete prior to the 11:45am hotel lunch meeting on day 2 of the itinerary. Following disembarkation and a tour of Papeete, Tahiti on day 16, guests will have lunch and a day room (true hotel room) before being transferred to the airport in the late evening (around 9:30pm) for the flight home. Plan flights to depart Papeete no earlier than 11:30pm on day 16. Group flights via Los Angeles have an included transfer upon arrival and departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include snorkeling, diving (included), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, cultural visits, land treks and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Contact us for current rates and availability. See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Orion

102-guest National Geographic Orion is one of the most sophisticated vessel in its class. Small ship cruises aboard the Orion offer a luxurious exploration of Antarctica, Chile, Tahiti and beyond.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Complimentary Flights On Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas Cruises

Book your French Polynesia cruise and receive complimentary flights in this special deal.

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Available Close To Departure on 2020 & 2021 National Geographic Expeditions

Book or re-book 2020 & 2021 travel aboard the National Geographic fleet of ships with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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10 Day Cruise
French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard

On this 10-day French Polynesian adventure cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, focus on the Society Islands with expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $8360USD
Apr May
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10 Day Cruise
French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas

On this 10-day French Polynesian adventure cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, visit the Society and Marquesa Islands with expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $8360USD
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Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas

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