Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Cruise

On an expedition to some of the world’s most remote islands, volcanic peaks rise dramatically from turquoise lagoons, 20 species of whales and dolphins thrive in protected waters, and welcoming villagers share their ancient cultural traditions. Join the legacy of explorers, writers and artists like James Cook, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Paul Gauguin who crossed oceans seeking distant primordial landscapes and distinct ways of life in a region that embodies paradise in both the breathtaking landscapes of its islands and in the abundant biodiversity of the surrounding sea.

Begin in the renowned diving destination Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where 16-foot manta rays, colorful butterfly fish, whales and sea turtles flourish in pristine, nutrient-rich waters. Exploring the sparsely populated Marquesas Islands, encounter moss-covered giant tikis on Hiva Oa, thousand-year-old petroglyphs on Nuku Hiva, the wild horses of Ua Huka, and lush rainforests with rare birds and rushing waterfalls.

Highlights of this Marquesas cruise include diving and snorkeling among whales, manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles; connecting with island residents over dance and food; learning about about Polynesian history on visits to an 8-foot tiki and ancient petroglyphs; experiencing the world’s largest marine mammal sanctuary; taking in the artistry of the region; and birding in search of endangered ultramarine lorikeet, zebra doves, manikins and fairy terns.

The 102-guest Nat Geo Orion acts as floating basecamp during these Tuamotu Islands cruises. 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.