travelers on a covered zodiac skiff atop turquoise water of the pacific islands on a sunny day with a small white sand beach in the background
piece of land full of palm trees sticking out into crystalline waters of the pacific islands on a sunny day
lone dock sticking out in the ocean in the pacific islands on a cloudy day with a vibrant rainbow in the distance
group of reef sharks swimming in clear shallow water above the reef in the pacific islands
looking at water level in the pacific islands seeing both underwater at the sea floor as well as above water with 2 islands full of palm trees and sunny skies
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Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas

Follow in the path of early Polynesian navigators on this epic 10-day voyage aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion. From the aquamarine atolls of the Tuamotu Islands to the lush volcanic peaks of the mysterious Marquesas, visit some of the most remote and compelling sites in the far reaches of French Polynesia. Afterwards, consider the post-cruise extension option to continue on board on a relaxing 7-day sea voyage, as the ship traces the path of master Polynesian navigators and makes its way across the equator to Hawai’i for 2 days of exploration.

Highlights of this expedition include venturing into the lush tropical forest and discovering ancient Polynesian sacred sites on the verdant island of Hiva Oa; snorkeling or diving in the Tuamotus, with their abundant fish and thriving coral reef ecosystems; stand-up paddleboarding in gorgeous turquoise lagoons; and watching on deck as the ship navigates into dramatic Hanavave Bay.

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

French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas Itinerary

Route map of French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas Pacific Islands small ship cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti with visits to Makatea & Fakarava, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva,
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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

Arrive in Papeete, Tahiti early this morning and check into your room at the tropical InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. Spend the day adjusting to island time and enjoying the resort’s many amenities, or join the group for a leisurely afternoon excursion. This evening, connect with fellow travelers at the welcome cocktail party.

Accommodations

InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

Meals

n/a

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Day 3
Embark Papeete

Today, join an island tour and have lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the ship.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 4 - 5
Tuamotu Archipelago: Makatea & Fakarava

Spend two days exploring this idyllic archipelago. Experience with all the senses while learning the geological distinction between volcanic islands, atolls, and uplifted coral atolls, like the stunning island of Makatea, one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. See the spectral remains of a mining operation while hiking through a primeval landscape with the expedition team, to discover an incredible limestone grotto. Birders might add endemics such as the imperial pigeon or the Makatea fruit dove to their lists. Snorkelers will revel in the protected reefs of gorgeous Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Conditions permitting, ride the current into the vast lagoon on a world-famous drift dive or snorkel.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
At Sea & Fatu Hiva, Marquesas

A relaxing day at sea ends at one of the most remote and historic island groups on Earth, the Marquesas. One never forgets the first sight of lovely Hanavave Bay, fronting one of the world’s most soul-stirringly beautiful islands—Fatu Hiva. Be sure to be on deck and camera-armed for the arrival at one of the most storied shorelines in the entire Pacific. Enjoy a warm Polynesian welcome on a visit to a remote village where you’ll see displays of well-made, uniquely Marquesan arts and crafts. Choose a challenging hike through landscapes studded with sculptural granite and stunning flora to a remote waterfall, or Zodiac to the next bay where local transport takes you birdwatching deep in the Omoa Valley.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Hiva Oa, Marquesas

At Hiva Oa, hope to land at Atuona. Stop for a fresh-baked French baguette before a short visit to Calvary Cemetery and the gravesites of French artist Paul Gauguin and Belgian Jacques Brel, both revered on the island. Visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by the expedition team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites and get the chance to photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 9 - 10
Disembark Nuku Hiva, Marquesas & Fly to Papeete

If you read Herman Melville’s Typee in preparation for your voyage, then you’ll thrill doubly to the green-mantled, rugged silhouette of Nuku Hiva, the largest and most imposing of the Marquesas. Choose to end your Polynesia adventure here, and fly back to Papeete to connect to your flight home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast and lunch (day 9); n/a (day 10)

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; alcoholic beverages (except premium brands); excursions; services of expedition 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; one-way charter flight from Nuku Hiva to Papeete (from $425 per person, subject to change); personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD etc.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,000 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 French Polynesian Discovery: 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. Embarkation and disembarkation times may vary based upon arrival of group flights from Los Angeles, California (LAX). The suggested group flight arrives into Papeete at 5:00am on day 2 of the itinerary, and departs at 11:45pm on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Nuku Hiva, Marquesas and Papeete, Tahiti, is required on this trip’s itinerary; see this trip’s Exclusions (Rates & Dates tab) and inquire with an Adventure Specialist for pricing. There is a strict luggage limit of 1 checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs (23 kg) and 1 carry-on bag weighing up to 11 lbs (5 kg).

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), 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
No Solo Premium On French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas Cruises

Book your French Polynesian cruise as a solo traveler and don't pay the premium in this special deal.

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Complimentary Flights On French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas Cruises

Book your French Polynesia cruise and receive complimentary flights or a $1,500 air credit 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

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French Polynesian Discovery: Tahiti to the Marquesas

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