White-sand beach with bright green palm trees beside turquoise water under a blue sky, seen on the Under The Southern Cross cruise.
Underwater scene of bright yellow school of fish swimming over top of turquoise coral seen on a New Zealand to Melanesia cruise.
Aerial view of a verdant green volcano with smaller green mountaintops in the foreground, seen on Under The Southern Cross cruise.
Group of Pacific Islanders dressed in native garb dance atop grass on the Under The Southern Cross: New Zealand to Melanesia cruise.
Male diver photographs a large white fish in deep blue water on the Under The Southern Cross: New Zealand to Melanesia cruise.
View Photos
Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Roots of the Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia

On this island-hopping journey, follow in the wake of Captain Cook by sailing between New Zealand’s North Island and the Solomon Sea. Delve into a fascinating history of intrepid explorers, convicts and traders, and learn about the rich cultures of the Maori and the Melanesians. Examine traditional carved houses and ancient caves and meet villagers on some of the most remote islands of the South Pacific. Along the way, don a snorkel and fins to discover incredible coral reefs and lagoons.

Encounter an impressive diversity of cultures from the Maori of the Bay of Islands to the spear dancers of the Solomons, and delve into their artistic and spiritual traditions. Venture to the former penal colony of Norfolk Island, now a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting the unusual trees called Norfolk Island pines. See the stunning limestone geology of New Caledonia at Isle of Pines and visit a cave filled with primitive tree ferns. Visit important World War II sites, including the wreck of the S.S. President Coolidge and the Battle of Guadalcanal. Go ashore at Tikopia to meet the local chiefs of the traditional villages and learn about the cyclone that almost devastated the island in 2002—without any loss of life. And see the fantastic fishing canoes of the people of Utupua, and take a Zodiac ride along their mangrove-studded lagoon.

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 island-hopping trip comes with attentive service.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Pacific Island cruises and Pacific Island vacations.



Itinerary

Main Roots of The Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia Itinerary

The 16-day main, northbound Roots of The Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia itinerary embarks in Auckland, New Zealand, travels north through New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, disembarks in Honiara and ends with a charter flight to Nadi, Fiji for an overnight before departing.

Route map of northbound Roots of the Pacific New Zealand to Melanesia cruise from Auckland, New Zealand to Nadi, Fiji, with visits to the islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu & The Solomons.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand and transfer to the group hotel. Join the group for a welcome briefing this evening to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Explore Auckland & Embark

Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour of this vibrant city center. Stop for lunch midday before embarking the ship in the late afternoon.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is an area encompassing more than 140 subtropical islands, boasting an abundance of wildlife and fascinating history. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a place of immeasurable cultural, spiritual and historical significance, and learn of the historical events for which these grounds are remembered.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 4 - 5
At Sea

Spend the next 2 days at sea enroute to the island nation of New Caledonia. Visit the Bridge to study your route on the navigational charts, and attend talks by the onboard experts.

As the ship makes her passage to Melanesia, enjoy life on board. Unwind with a massage in the spa or a session in the fitness center, get lost in a book in the library, or simply soak up the views from the rooftop observation deck. Learn about the area from your onboard historians, naturalists and photographers, and savor delectable dining options.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 6 - 7
New Caledonia

Visit this vibrant French overseas territory and experience the New Caledonian islands of Maré and Lifou, known for their outstanding beauty, unique geography and incredible coral diversity. You will be welcomed by local villagers, join your naturalists for a birding walk through dense canopy of the forest and go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Moso, Vanuatu

Arrive at Moso and spend the day snorkeling or diving at one of the most incredible locations you will experience on this voyage. The crystal clear waters around Havana Harbor reveal colorful corals and an undersea world that is rich with an abundant marine life.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Ambrym

Ambyrm is known for its active volcanoes, black-sand beaches, mystery and magic. Arrive ashore to witness the striking Rom dance, traditionally a secret event. Involving incredible masks and elaborate outfits that represent spirits, this is a cultural experience specific only to this island.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Espiritu Santo

Captain James Cook named the islands of Vanuatu the “New Hebrides” because they reminded him of the rugged isles off Scotland’s coast. On the main island of Espiritu Santo, experience one of the best wreck dives in the world: the S.S. President Coolidge, a luxury cruise liner used as a troop carrier during World War II, or enjoy a serene canoe paddle to the Riri Blue Hole, a jewel-blue freshwater source surrounded by jungle.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Lo Island, Torres Group

Arrive to the small village of Lo Island by Zodiac, meandering along a beautiful mangrove lagoon. Meet the lovely villagers and experience some of the local kastom dances. Hike across the island to a cave and look for wildlife along the way. If conditions permit, snorkel along the beautiful fringing reef of the island.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Fenualoa, Solomon Islands

Visit Fenualoa, which is part of the Reef Islands in the northwestern province of Temotu. On shore, be greeted by the local islanders and enjoy a tour of their village before snorkeling or swimming in the brilliant blue waters of the reef.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Utupua

Located in the Santa Cruz Island group, Utupua is a high volcanic island surrounded by a lagoon and a fringing coral reef. Zodiac to the village of Nimbau for a welcome song and dance performance. Take a walk through the village with the locals and see a display of their fantastic fishing canoes. Take a Zodiac ride along the shores, lined with dense mangroves and boasting a variety of wildlife.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 14
Owaraha Island

On the tiny isle of Owaraha (formerly known as Santa Ana), be greeted with a traditional dance performed by villagers in elaborate costumes, body paint and masks. Walk across the small island to Nafinotoga to see Spirit Houses containing the skulls and bones of ancient chiefs of the Snake Clan and the Turtle Clan.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 15
Disembark Honiara, Solomon Islands, Fly to Nadi, Fiji & Overnight

Your expedition concludes in Honiara, a former U.S. supply depot and a strategic World War II battleground. Tour around the outskirts of the city to see sites well known from the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942–1943. See the shores of Red Beach and the vital airbase at Henderson Field. Visit the hills above Honiara, where some of the fiercest battles took place. Then transfer to the airport for your flight to Nadi, where you overnight at a local hotel. Breakfast and lunch are included today; dinner is on your own.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Day 16
Depart Nadi, Fiji

Transfer this morning to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals as indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; basic WiFi (enhanced and premium packages available for purchase). Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight between Honiara, Solomon Islands, and Nadi, Fiji (your Adventure Specialist can provide pricing during the booking process); 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 

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, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation, and which may only be applied towards final payment on any future booking. 

(For expeditions booked prior to May 1, 2023: Please refer to your invoice for your payment and cancellation terms.) 

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 main, northbound Roots of the Pacific cruise begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and ends in Nadi, Fiji (NAN). 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 Auckland by 4:00pm on Day 1. Disembarkation in Honiara, Solomon Islands is after breakfast on Day 15 of the outlined itinerary, followed by a charter flight to Nadi, Fiji (NAN). Plan flights to depart Nadi no earlier than 12:00pm Noon on the final day of the outlined itinerary. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Honiara, Solomon Islands and Nadi, Fiji 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. There is a strict luggage limit of one checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs (23 kg), and one carry-on bag weighing up to 18 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, swimming, snorkeling, birding, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, cultural performances, and diving (added cost). Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography 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 Roots of The Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia Itinerary

The 15-day reverse, southbound Roots of The Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia itinerary begins with an overnight in Nadi, Fiji, followed by a charter flight to embark in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The ship travels south through Vanuatu and New Caledonia before disembarking in Auckland, New Zealand.

Route map of southbound Roots of the Pacific New Zealand to Melanesia cruise from Nadi, Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand, with visits to the islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu & The Solomons.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Nadi, Fiji

Arrive in Nadi and transfer to the group hotel. Join a welcome briefing this evening to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Fly to Honiara, Solomon Islands & Embark

The expedition begins with a charter flight to Honiara, a former U.S. supply depot and strategic WWII battleground. Tour the city before embarking the ship.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Owaraha Island

On the tiny isle of Owaraha (formerly known as Santa Ana), be greeted with a traditional dance performed by villagers in elaborate costumes, body paint and masks. Walk across the small island to Nafinotoga to see Spirit Houses containing the skulls and bones of ancient chiefs of the Snake Clan and the Turtle Clan.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Utupua

Located in the Santa Cruz Island group, Utupua is a high volcanic island surrounded by a lagoon and a fringing coral reef. Zodiac to the village of Nimbau for a welcome song and dance performance. Take a walk through the village with the locals and see a display of their fantastic fishing canoes. Take a Zodiac ride along the shores, lined with dense mangroves and boasting a variety of wildlife.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Fenualoa, Solomon Islands

Visit Fenualoa, which is part of the Reef Islands in the northwestern province of Temotu. On shore, be greeted by the local islanders and enjoy a tour of their village before snorkeling or swimming in the brilliant blue waters of the reef.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Lo Island, Torres Group

Arrive to the small village of Lo Island by Zodiac, meandering along a beautiful mangrove lagoon. Meet the lovely villagers and experience some of the local kastom dances. Hike across the island to a cave and look for wildlife along the way. If conditions permit, snorkel along the beautiful fringing reef of the island.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Espiritu Santo

Captain James Cook named the islands of Vanuatu the “New Hebrides” because they reminded him of the rugged isles off Scotland’s coast. On the main island of Espiritu Santo, experience one of the best wreck dives in the world: the S.S. President Coolidge, a luxury cruise liner used as a troop carrier during World War II, or enjoy a serene canoe paddle to the Riri Blue Hole, a jewel-blue freshwater source surrounded by jungle.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Ambrym

Ambyrm is known for its active volcanoes, black-sand beaches, mystery and magic. Arrive ashore to witness the striking Rom dance, traditionally a secret event. Involving incredible masks and elaborate outfits that represent spirits, this is a cultural experience specific only to this island.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Moso, Vanuatu

Arrive at Moso and spend the day snorkeling or diving at one of the most incredible locations you will experience on this voyage. The crystal clear waters around Havana Harbor reveal colorful corals and an undersea world that is rich with an abundant marine life.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
New Caledonia

Visit this vibrant French overseas territory and experience the New Caledonian island of Maré known for its outstanding beauty, unique geography and incredible coral diversity. You will be welcomed by local villagers, join your naturalists for a birding walk through dense canopy of the forest and go snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
At Sea

As the ship makes her passage to Norfolk Island, enjoy life on board. Unwind with a massage in the spa or a session in the fitness center, get lost in a book in the library, or simply soak up the views from the rooftop observation deck. Learn about the area from your onboard historians, naturalists and photographers, and savor delectable dining options.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Norfolk Island, Australia

Explore Norfolk Island, discovered by Captain Cook in 1774. Covered in dense forests of pines, it was initially valued as a ready source of shipbuilding lumber. Later, it became a British penal colony and then a settlement for Pitcairn Islanders, who themselves were descendants of the mutineers from the famous Bounty. Explore the ruins of the prison and enjoy walking around the main settlement at Burnt Pine. Later, take a long nature hike in Norfolk National Park to look for the endemic tree ferns and land birds. While leaving, look for large groups of seabirds alongside the dramatic island scenery.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
At Sea

Spend today exploring New Zealand’s East Coast. Your captain and expedition leader will decide whether to spend the day at sea, exploring places ashore, or doing a combination of both. Visit the Bridge to study your route on the navigational charts, and attend talks by onboard experts.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 14
Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Bay of Islands is an area encompassing more than 140 subtropical islands, boasting an abundance of wildlife and fascinating history. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a place of immeasurable cultural, spiritual and historical significance, and learn of the historical events for which these grounds are remembered.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 15
Disembark Auckland, New Zealand

After breakfast, disembark the ship and join a tour of this vibrant city center. Stop for lunch midday before arriving to Auckland airport in the late afternoon for onward flights.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals as indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; basic WiFi (enhanced and premium packages available for purchase). Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight between Nadi, Fiji, and Honiara, Solomon Islands (your Adventure Specialist can provide pricing during the booking process); 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 

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, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation, and which may only be applied towards final payment on any future booking. 

(For expeditions booked prior to May 1, 2023: Please refer to your invoice for your payment and cancellation terms.) 

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 reverse, southbound Roots of the Pacific cruise begins in Nadi, Fiji (NAN), and ends in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL). 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 Nadi by 4:00pm on Day 1. Disembarkation in Auckland, New Zealand is after breakfast on Day 15 of the outlined itinerary, followed by a city tour and lunch. Plan flights to depart Auckland anytime in the evening on the final day of the outlined itinerary. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Nadi, Fiji and Honiara, Solomon Islands 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. There is a strict luggage limit of one checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs (23 kg), and one carry-on bag weighing up to 18 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, swimming, snorkeling, birding, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, cultural performances, and diving (added cost). Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography 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.

Oct 09 - Oct 23, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 15 days
arrows going opposite directions
From $12994USD
Per Person
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Dec 21 - Jan 05, 2025
National Geographic Orion • 16 days
From $13786USD
Per Person
Read More
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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.

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.

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