A girl and boy paddle a yellow kayak in crystal clear teal water front of a palm tree filled sandy island in Polynesia.
spiny red nudibranch on a white sandy ocean floor with turquoise water around it in french polynesia, pacific islands
school of white and yellow fish with deep blue water behind them on the French Polynesia beyond the postcard small ship cruise
scuba diver taking a picture of a large fish with a high tech camera setup in french polynesia pacific islands
vibrant green pacific island atop turquoise water and blue sky above
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Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora

On this 7-day cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, venture to the heart of Polynesian culture and wildness. Options abound on this highly immersive French Polynesia cruise. Choose to kayak, snorkel and swim. Connect with the people and islands on a personal level. Explore the historic ceremonial site, called a marae, on Raiatea where Polynesian seafarers would begin their bold expeditions sailing into the unknown—expeditions that would eventually lead to populating Hawaii and New Zealand. Sail among some of the 80 atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago, a string of tiny islands in an azure sea that hides thriving reefs to be explored while scuba diving and snorkeling.

The highlights on this French Polynesia cruise are many. See iconic and awe-inspiring landscapes like Bora Bora’s verdant Mount Otemanu, jutting 2,400 feet above turquoise waters; and Makatea’s steep cliffs, which drop straight to deserted beaches. Dive and snorkel in crystalline waters, experiencing an awe-inspiring undersea world of 16-foot manta rays, green sea turtles, black-tipped reef sharks and enormous schools of fish. Swim into an otherworldly grotto on Makatea and float in a hidden cave surrounded by stalagmites and stalactites. And learn about Polynesian history and culture at sites including Marae Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The 102-guest National Geographic 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 learn more about AdventureSmith’s Pacific Island cruises and Pacific Island trips.



Itinerary

Main Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora Itinerary

The main Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora cruise operates counterclockwise, embarking in Papeete, Tahiti, and disembarking in Bora Bora, Tahiti before concluding with a charter flight from Bora Bora back to Papeete.

Route map of Wild Polynesian Escape French Polynesia cruise from Papeete to Bora Bora with a flight back to Papeete.
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Day 1
Fly to Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia & Embark

Depart on an overnight flight to Tahiti. Arrive in the early morning on Day 2 and proceed directly to the ship for embarkation. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as preparations are made 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 back on board for lunch and be on deck as the ship sets sail from Tahiti toward the Tuamotu Archipelago. This afternoon meet the staff and fellow travelers and settle into island time.

Accommodations

n/a (day 1); National Geographic Orion (day 2)

Meals

n/a (day 1); breakfast, lunch and dinner (day 2)

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Day 3
Rangiroa

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. The ship passes between the islets to anchor inside the lagoon near the village of Tiputa with its local musician greeters. Visit the village, and kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Makatea

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 the expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Ra'iatea & Taha'a

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. Watch from on deck as the ship navigates lagoon channels en route to Taha’a. Then go ashore for a visit to a small, family-run vanilla plantation and spend time snorkeling in the crystalline lagoons with black-tipped reef sharks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
Disembark Bora Bora, Fly to Papeete, French Polynesia & Depart

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 the crew 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 the international overnight flight home (crossing the International Date Line and adding Day 7).

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch and dinner (day 6); n/a (day 7)

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Bora Bora to Papeete (cost TBA-inquire with your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a non-refundable deposit of $750 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.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The main Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora 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 midday onboard lunch on Day 2 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Papeete no earlier than 11:00pm on the final day. 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.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Bora Bora and Papeete is required on this trip’s itinerary; see this trip’s Exclusions. There is a strict luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage (maximum size under 150cm of combined length, width and height including wheels and handles) and 11 lbs (5 kg) cabin baggage (maximum size 45 x 35 x 20cm including wheels and handles) on the flight between Bora Bora and Papeete.

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 and agricultural 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. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; 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.

Reverse Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora Itinerary

The reverse Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora cruise operates clockwise, beginning with a charter flight from Papeete, Tahiti to embark the ship in Bora Bora, Tahiti and then cruising back to Papeete.

Route map of Wild Polynesian Escape French Polynesia cruise from Papeete to Bora Bora with a flight back to Papeete.
Read More
Day 1
Fly to Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fly to Bora Bora & Embark

Depart on an overnight flight to Tahiti. Arrive in the early morning on Day 2 and take a short charter flight to Bora Bora  to embark the ship. While in port, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin. This afternoon, choose to go ashore and explore Bora Bora’s main town or join the guides for a snorkel in the island’s crystal clear lagoon.

Accommodations

n/a (day 1); National Geographic Orion (day 2)

Meals

n/a (day 1); breakfast, lunch and dinner (day 2)

Read More
Day 3
Ra'iatea & Taha'a

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. Watch from on deck as the ship navigates lagoon channels en route to Taha’a. Then go ashore for a visit to a small, family-run vanilla plantation and spend time snorkeling in the crystalline lagoons with black-tipped reef sharks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Makatea

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 the expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Rangiroa

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. The ship passes between the islets to anchor inside the lagoon near the village of Tiputa with its local musician greeters. Visit the village, and kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 6 - 7
Disembark Papeete, French Polynesia & Depart

After disembarking, consider walking around downtown Papeete and visiting the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork and coveted black pearls. A hotel room will also be available for you to rest and refresh before the international overnight flight home (crossing the International Date Line and adding Day 7).

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch and dinner (day 6); n/a (day 7)

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Papeete to Bora Bora (cost TBA-inquire with your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a non-refundable deposit of $750 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.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora 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 early to connect with the charter flight to Bora Bora on Day 2 of the itinerary (inquire with your Adventure Specialist for details). Plan flights to depart Papeete no earlier than 11:00pm on the final day. 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.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Papeete and Bora Bora is required on this trip’s itinerary; see this trip’s Exclusions. There is a strict luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage (maximum size under 150cm of combined length, width and height including wheels and handles) and 11 lbs (5 kg) cabin baggage (maximum size 45 x 35 x 20cm including wheels and handles) on the flight between Bora Bora and Papeete.

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 and agricultural 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. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; 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

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

May 04 - May 09, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 6 days
From $6060USD
Per Person
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May 09 - May 14, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 6 days
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From $6060USD
Per Person
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Mar 29 - Apr 03, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 6 days
From $6060USD
Per Person
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Apr 03 - Apr 08, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 6 days
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From $6060USD
Per Person
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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 Chile, Tahiti and beyond.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires August 31st, 2022
Up To $1,200 Air Credit On Select National Geographic South Pacific Cruises

Book your South Pacific cruise and receive up to $1,200 in airfare credit with this special deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires August 31st, 2022
No Solo Premium on Select National Geographic South Pacific Cruises

Book your select National Geographic South Pacific cruise as a solo traveler and don't pay the premium in this special deal.

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

Bora Bora Extension is a 4-day pre-cruise stay in a stunning overwater bungalow at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. Choose to swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard or enjoy the stunning beach with included breakfast each morning at the resort before meeting fellow shipmates to embark on Day 4.

Add to Wishlist
17 Day Cruise
Azure Seas: From Tahiti to the Marquesas

On this 17-day Azure Seas adventure cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, visit the Marquesa Islands with expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $16870USD
May
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Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora

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