Guests on Zodiac in front of the National Geographic Orion small ship in Fiji, South Pacific on a sunny day
Tropical island with rocky peaks & palm trees, seen during a pink sunset on the Pearls of The Pacific Society & Tuamotu Cruise
Sharks swim just below the surface in clear turquoise water with tropical islands behind on a Society & Tuamotu Islands cruise.
School of black & orange tropical fish swim above a green coral reef in blue-green water, seen on a Society Islands cruise.
Aerial view of Zodiac zooming past tropical islands & bright coral reefs on a Society & Tuamotu Islands small ship cruise.
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Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands

On this Tuamotu and Society Islands cruise aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, experience the renowned biodiversity and untouched beauty of bucket-list island destinations. From snorkeling with sea turtles and sharks to swimming into a hidden grotto and dining on a private motu, this Bora Bora cruise is an adventure in paradise.

Highlights of this Tuamotu and Society Islands cruise include diving and snorkeling among whales, manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles; learning about Polynesian history and culture at Ra’iatea’s Marae Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a private beach BBQ with live music in Bora Bora; and exploring a grotto with stalagmites and stalactites. Topping the list are Fakarava, whose flora and fauna are so diverse that its breathtaking reefs and other habitats are protected by UNESCO; Makatea’s sheer volcanic cliffs; Bora Bora’s jagged Mount Otemanu; and the tall green peaks of Mo’orea that complement the underwater Gardens of Eden that surround these remarkable remote tropical islands.

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

Pearls of The Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands Itinerary

The Pearls of The Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands itinerary cruises round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, focusing on the Tuamotu Archipelago and uniquely visiting the Society Islands, including Bora Bora.

Route map of Pearls of The Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands cruise, operating round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti with visits to Mo'orea, Ra'iatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora, Makatea, Fakarava, Tahanea, Faaite & Anaa islands.
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Day 1
Embark Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Arrive in Papeete and transfer 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 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

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Days 2 - 3
Tuamotu Archipelago

Spend two days exploring some of the nearly 80 islands and atolls in the Dangerous Archipelago, a corner of Polynesia that is as rich with marine life as it is vast. With crystalline lagoons fringed by white beaches and lush coconut groves, the Tuamotus are a tropical dream, both in the water and ashore. Meet the locals on sparsely inhabited Anaa and learn of their unique traditions. Discover the abundant marine life on a snorkel or dive, or learn to stand up paddleboard in the calm lagoon of one of the many pristine atolls in the archipelago.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 4 - 5
Fakarava

Today arrive at Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This coral atoll is home to many rare species of birds, plants and crustaceans, and the opportunity exists to snorkel its protected reefs and ride the current into the lagoon on a world-famous drift dive. Spend time exploring Rotoava, the main village on Fakarava. Take a leisurely bike ride, visit a pearl shop or stroll along the turquoise waterfront with a fresh coconut.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
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

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Day 7
Taha'a & Bora Bora

Arrive in picture-postcard Taha’a and spend the morning snorkeling alongside black-tipped reef sharks. Or choose to go ashore and visit a family-run vanilla farm. Enjoy lunch aboard while sailing to nearby Bora Bora and be on deck as the iconic crags of Mount Otemanu come into focus. This afternoon, explore Bora Bora either on land or in the water and join for a barbecue dinner and music on a private motu this evening.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Ra'iatea

Take in the sunrise on deck as the ship sails to Ra’iatea in the early morning light. This morning we visit one of the most important cultural sites in the Polynesian world. Marae Taputapuatea is a center for Polynesian seafarers and the location from which they set out for Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Hawai’i and New Zealand. Visit the marae and learn of its significance in Polynesian history. Join a scenic lagoon cruise around the island while sailing toward the village of Uturoa. Taste local Polynesian specialties over lunch at a local beachside restaurant and spend the afternoon swimming, snorkeling or stand-up paddleboarding from the beach in Ra’iatea’s calm lagoon waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Mo'orea

Wake up to views of Moorea’s tall, green cliffs as the ship anchors in stunning Opunohu Bay. Spend the morning discovering all that the island has to offer: hike through a pineapple plantation, explore the island’s interior on horseback, or choose to snorkel in the island’s crystalline lagoon. Have lunch on deck and take in views of the island while cruising toward Cook’s Bay, stopping point for the rest of the day. Join an afternoon excursion to Moorea’s newest museum and enjoy the golden light of the late afternoon from ashore.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Mo'orea & Disembark Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

This morning, choose to stretch the legs with an early walk into Mo’orea’s caldera interior, or opt to discover marine life beneath the surface of the lagoon on a leisurely snorkel excursion. Join on board for lunch as the ship casts off for Tahiti. In the afternoon, disembark in Papeete and check into a hotel room for the afternoon. In the late 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 as 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; 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

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 Pearls of The Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu 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. 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.

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, horseback riding, cultural and plantation 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.

Jan 29 - Feb 07, 2025
National Geographic Orion • 10 days
From $10910USD
Per Person
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Feb 28 - Mar 09, 2025
National Geographic Orion • 10 days
From $12856USD
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

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Offer expires June 27th, 2024
Solo Travelers Save On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Cruises Worldwide

Solo travelers! Take your pick from a variety of destinations to cruise and receive a discounted rate on your single cabin.

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Offer expires June 27th, 2024
Kids Save $500 On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Cruises Worldwide

Save $500 per kid under 18 when you book your 2024 or 2025 departure from a variety of National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

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Offer expires June 27th, 2024
Groups Save 5% On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Cruises Worldwide

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on a variety of 2024 or 2025 National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

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Offer expires June 27th, 2024
Solo Travelers Save Up To 33% On Select Nat Geo South Pacific Cruises

Book your select South Pacific cruise as a solo traveler and receive up to 33% off the single cabin rate.

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 - 10 Day Cruise
Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotu & Marquesas Islands Cruise

On this Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands cruise on 102-guest National Geographic Orion, find paradise on remote islands rich in ancient culture and astonishing marine life.

Special Offer
From $12488USD
Feb May Jun
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13 - 13 Day Cruise
Rites & Relics: Fiji Firewalking, Vanuatu Volcanoes & Beyond

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 $11362USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr May
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