Young man & woman each paddle a yellow paddleboard in turquoise water with palm trees behind on an Ancient Polynesia cruise.
Close up of man's neckline with tribal tattoos & a necklace made of bone & shell, seen on an Ancient Polynesia small ship cruise.
Aerial of Moorea and Tahiti in the South Pacific islands, French Polynesia with clouds above
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
Woman in tropical-print dress stands beside stone statues under a thatch roof during an Ancient Polynesia small ship cruise.
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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.



Itinerary

2023 Eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Itinerary

The eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands cruise operates round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, cruising east through the Tuamotu Archipelago to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands and ending with a charter flight back to Papeete.

Route map of Ancient Polynesia Tuamotu & Marquesas cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with visits to Rangiroa, Takaroa, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Nuka Hiva, Ua Huka & Hiva Oa.
Read More
Days 1 - 2
Arrive Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia & Embark

Depart on an overnight flight, land in Tahiti and proceed directly to embark the ship on Day 2. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as the ship crew prepares to depart. Alternatively, choose to walk around downtown Papeete and visit the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork and coveted black pearls. Join for lunch aboard 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)

Read More
Day 3
Rangiroa, Tuamotus

Today and tomorrow, visit the Tuamotu Archipelago. 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. 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
Takaroa Atoll

Today visit Takaroa Atoll, a remote island nearly 350 miles from Tahiti. Visit the main village and snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise lagoons and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 6
At Sea & Tahuata, 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 on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesan Islands. Choose to attend a local church service with stunningly beautiful music and spend some time exploring Vaitahu, the main village on the island. In the afternoon the ship repositions to nearby Hapatoni Bay where both land and sea excursions await.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Nuku Hiva

Start the day 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

Read More
Day 8
Ua Huka

Today is open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with the naturalists. Marvel at the rugged volcanic silhouettes of these legendary islands from the Zodiacs and kayaks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Fatu Hiva

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 enables a birdwatching foray deep into the Omoa Valley.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 10 - 12
Exploring, Disembark Hiva Oa, Fly to Papeete & Depart

This morning, let nature be the guide. Set out exploring one of the Marquesas’ remote, uninhabited islands. In the afternoon, arrive at Hiva Oa and visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by the team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites and photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia. On the last morning (Day 11), visit the village of Atuona before disembarking the ship and flying by charter aircraft back to Papeete. This evening, transfer to the airport for an overnight flight home (adding Day 12).

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion (day 10); n/a (days 11-12)

Meals

breakfast, lunch and dinner (days 10-11); n/a (day 12)

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Hiva Oa to Papeete ($495 per person in 2023 & 2024, subject to change); diving (advance reservations, certification and experience required-contact your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing prior to April 1, 2024:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,500 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.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). 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 eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands 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 in time for the onboard lunch on Day 2 of the itinerary. Following disembarkation, a charter flight brings guests back to Papeete ahead of evening flights home or to onward travel. Plan flights to depart Papeete no earlier than 11:30pm on Day 12. 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 Hiva Oa and Papeete is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book this flight for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these (as well as luggage weight limits) for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change. 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 Hiva Oa 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 swimming, snorkeling, diving (excluded), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, cultural visits, land treks, birding 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.

2024-25 Eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Itinerary

The eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands cruise operates round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, cruising east through the Tuamotu Archipelago to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands and ending with a charter flight back to Papeete.

Route map of Ancient Polynesia Tuamotu & Marquesas cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with visits to Rangiroa, Takaroa, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Nuka Hiva, Ua Huka & Hiva Oa.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia & Embark

Arrive in Papeete and transfer directly to the ship. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as the ship crew prepares to depart. Alternatively, choose to walk around downtown Papeete and visit the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork and coveted black pearls. Join for lunch aboard 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

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
Rangiroa, Tuamotus

Today and tomorrow, visit the Tuamotu Archipelago. 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. 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 3
Takaroa Atoll

Today visit Takaroa Atoll, a remote island nearly 350 miles from Tahiti. Visit the main village and snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise lagoons and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 4 - 5
At Sea & Tahuata, 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 on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesan Islands. Choose to attend a local church service with stunningly beautiful music and spend some time exploring Vaitahu, the main village on the island. In the afternoon the ship repositions to nearby Hapatoni Bay where both land and sea excursions await.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Nuku Hiva

Start the day 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

Read More
Day 7
Ua Huka

Today is open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with the naturalists. Marvel at the rugged volcanic silhouettes of these legendary islands from the Zodiacs and kayaks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Fatu Hiva

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 enables a birdwatching foray deep into the Omoa Valley.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 9 - 10
Exploring, Disembark Hiva Oa, Fly to Papeete & Depart

This morning, let nature be the guide. Set out exploring one of the Marquesas’ remote, uninhabited islands. In the afternoon, arrive at Hiva Oa and visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by the team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites and photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia. On the last morning (Day 10), visit the village of Atuona before disembarking the ship and flying by charter aircraft back to Papeete. This evening, transfer to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion (day 9); n/a (day 10)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Hiva Oa to Papeete ($495 per person in 2023 & 2024, subject to change); diving (advance reservations, certification and experience required-contact your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing April 1, 2024 onward:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more, inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate which only may be applied towards final payment on any future booking; the certificate does not expire.

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 guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). 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 eastbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands 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 in time for the onboard lunch on Day 1 of the itinerary. Following disembarkation, a charter flight brings guests back to Papeete ahead of evening flights home or to onward travel. Plan flights to depart Papeete no earlier than 11:30pm on Day 10. 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 Hiva Oa and Papeete is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book this flight for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these (as well as luggage weight limits) for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change. 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 Hiva Oa 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 swimming, snorkeling, diving (excluded), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, cultural visits, land treks, birding 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.

2023 Westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Itinerary

The westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands cruise operates round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, starting with a charter flight to meet the ship in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, before cruising west through the Tuamotu Archipelago to disembark back in Papeete.

Route map of Ancient Polynesia Tuamotu & Marquesas cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with visits to Rangiroa, Takaroa, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Nuka Hiva, Ua Huka & Hiva Oa.
Read More
Days 1 - 2
Arrive Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fly to Hiva Oa, Marquesas & Embark

Depart on an overnight flight to Tahiti. Arrive in the early morning on Day 2, take a charter flight to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, 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 the ship crew prepares to depart. Alternatively, choose to explore the town of Atuona. 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)

Read More
Day 3
Exploring & Hiva Oa

This morning, let nature be the guide. Set out exploring one of the Marquesas’ remote, uninhabited islands. In the afternoon, arrive at Hiva Oa and visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by the team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites and photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Fatu Hiva

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 enables a birdwatching foray deep into the Omoa Valley.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Ua Huka

Today is open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with the naturalists. Marvel at the rugged volcanic silhouettes of these legendary islands from the Zodiacs and kayaks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Tahuata, Marquesas

Begin today’s exploration on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesan Islands. Choose to attend a local church service with stunningly beautiful music and spend some time exploring Vaitahu, the main village on the island. In the afternoon the ship repositions to nearby Hapatoni Bay where both land and sea excursions await.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 7 - 8
Nuku Hiva & At Sea

Start the day 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. A relaxing day at sea brings everyone away from the Marquesas. Practice your photography from on deck.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Takaroa Atoll

Today visit Takaroa Atoll, a remote island nearly 350 miles from Tahiti. Visit the main village and snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise lagoons and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Rangiroa, Tuamotus

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. 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 11 - 12
Disembark Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Arrive in Papeete and choose to visit the downtown area or the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork and coveted black pearls. In the afternoon, disembark and check into a hotel room. This evening, transfer to the airport for an overnight flight home (adding Day 12).

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch and dinner (day 11); n/a (day 12)

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations, including a day room following disembarkation; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Papeete to Hiva Oa ($495 per person in 2023 & 2024, subject to change); diving (advance reservations, certification and experience required-contact your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing prior to April 1, 2024:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,500 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.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). 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 westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands 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 on Day 2 of the itinerary, as a charter flight to Hiva Oa follows. After disembarkation on the final day, guests will have 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 11. 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 Hiva Oa is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book this flight for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these (as well as luggage weight limits) for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change. 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 Papeete and Hiva Oa.

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 swimming, snorkeling, diving (excluded), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, cultural visits, land treks, birding 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.

2024-25 Westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Itinerary

The westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands cruise operates round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, starting with a charter flight to meet the ship in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, before cruising west through the Tuamotu Archipelago to disembark back in Papeete.

Route map of Ancient Polynesia Tuamotu & Marquesas cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with visits to Rangiroa, Takaroa, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Nuka Hiva, Ua Huka & Hiva Oa.
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Day 1
Arrive Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fly to Hiva Oa, Marquesas & Embark

Arrive in Papeete and take a charter flight to Hiva Oa, Marquesas, where you’ll proceed directly to the ship for embarkation. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as the ship crew prepares to depart. Alternatively, choose to explore the town of Atuona. This afternoon meet the staff and fellow travelers and settle into island time.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Exploring & Hiva Oa

This morning, let nature be the guide. Set out exploring one of the Marquesas’ remote, uninhabited islands. In the afternoon, arrive at Hiva Oa and visit the village of Puamau to explore a well-maintained Marquesan sacred site, a me’ae Iipona. Accompanied by the team and knowledgeable local guides, learn about religious rites and photograph one of the largest, most arresting ancient tikis in Polynesia.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Fatu Hiva

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 enables a birdwatching foray deep into the Omoa Valley.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Ua Huka

Today is open for exploration. Dive some of the incredible waters here and search for rare cetaceans with the naturalists. 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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Day 5
Tahuata, Marquesas

Begin today’s exploration on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesan Islands. Choose to attend a local church service with stunningly beautiful music and spend some time exploring Vaitahu, the main village on the island. In the afternoon the ship repositions to nearby Hapatoni Bay where both land and sea excursions await.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
Nuku Hiva & At Sea

Start the day 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. A relaxing day at sea brings everyone away from the Marquesas. Practice your photography from on deck.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Takaroa Atoll

Today visit Takaroa Atoll, a remote island nearly 350 miles from Tahiti. Visit the main village and snorkel or dive stunning healthy reefs. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise lagoons and walk pristine beaches beneath coconut palms.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Rangiroa, Tuamotus

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. 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

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Day 10
Disembark Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Arrive in Papeete and choose to visit the downtown area or the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, artwork and coveted black pearls. In the afternoon, disembark and check into a hotel room. This evening, transfer to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations, including a day room following disembarkation; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Papeete to Hiva Oa ($495 per person in 2023 & 2024, subject to change); diving (advance reservations, certification and experience required-contact your Adventure Specialist); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing April 1, 2024 onward:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more, inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate which only may be applied towards final payment on any future booking; the certificate does not expire.

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 guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). 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 westbound Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands 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 on Day 1 of the itinerary, as a charter flight to Hiva Oa follows. After disembarkation on the final day, guests will have 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 10. 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 Hiva Oa is not included in the cruise price, but is arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book this flight for you on the scheduled charter flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these (as well as luggage weight limits) for you in their proposal and on your invoice. See Exclusions for sample airfare rates, subject to change. 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 Papeete and Hiva Oa.

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 swimming, snorkeling, diving (excluded), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, cultural visits, land treks, birding 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 14 - May 25, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 12 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon brown diver icon depicting diving activity
From $12110USD
Per Person
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May 24 - Jun 04, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 12 days
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From $12110USD
Per Person
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Feb 08 - Feb 17, 2025
National Geographic Orion • 10 days
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From $12110USD
Per Person
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Feb 18 - Feb 27, 2025
National Geographic Orion • 10 days
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From $12110USD
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, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires January 13th, 2023
No Solo Premium On Select South Pacific Cruises

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

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Offer expires January 13th, 2023
Up To $1,500 Air Credit On Select Nat Geo South Pacific Cruises

Book your South Pacific cruise and receive up to $1,500 in airfare credit with this special deal.

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Groups Save 5% On National Geographic Expeditions

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Save 10% On Two Consecutive National Geographic Expeditions

Save 10% when you book two consecutive cruises aboard a National Geographic expedition ship.

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

In conjunction with these Tuamotu Islands cruises, the following pre- and post-cruise option is available for a seamless land-and-sea group travel experience with National Geographic guides and fellow passengers. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for pricing.

The Brando, Tetiaroa Extension is a pre- or post-cruise stay (minimum 2 nights) at a luxurious, private beachfront villa. Enjoy one excursion daily per person (kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, biking, kite surfing, natural history walks, etc.), plus access to two restaurants that are under the guidance of a Michelin-starred chef. Take advantage of a spa offering holistic treatments during this private island experience on land purchased by Marlon Brando.

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10 - 12 Day Cruise
Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands

On this Tuamotu and Society Islands cruise aboard 102-guest National Geographic Orion, swim, snorkel, dive, paddle, hike and connect with locals alongside expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $12110USD
Feb Mar Jun
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5 - 7 Day Cruise
Wild Polynesian Escape: Tahiti to Bora Bora

On this compact Wild Polynesian Escape, cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion and explore French Polynesia's crystalline waters, deserted beaches and welcoming cultures with expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $6060USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr May
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13 - 15 Day Cruise
Rites & Relics: From The Solomon Islands to Fiji

Visit The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji aboard 102-guest Nat Geo Orion for art, culture and wildlife. On this South Pacific cruise, hike, swim, snorkel, dive and paddle amongst verdant shores and palm-fringed beaches, with expert guides to enhance the experience.

Special Offer
From $13380USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr May
More to Explore

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15 - 17 Day Cruise
Tahiti to Fiji: Reefs, Lagoons & Volcanic Isles Cruise

Cruise between Tahiti and Fiji on 102-guest National Geographic Orion to uncover the tropical beauty and important cultural history of the South Seas.

Special Offer
From $15610USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Jun
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19 - 20 Day Cruise
Easter Island to Tahiti: Tales of the Pacific

Cruise from Tahiti to Easter Island on this voyage aboard the 102-guest Nat Geo Orion, with stops along the way at the Pitcairn Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago, joined by expert National Geographic guides.

Special Offer
From $21280USD
Apr May
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16 - 18 Day Cruise
Under The Southern Cross: New Zealand to Melanesia

Follow in the wake of Captain Cook on this cruise between New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. Board 102-guest Nat Geo Orion for an itinerary full of native cultures, historic sites and stunning nature.

Special Offer
From $15610USD
Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov Dec
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Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Cruise

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