Asia / Pacific Pacific Islands Cruise

Polynesian Discovery: Exploring Tahiti, Bora Bora & The Tuamotus

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

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

The 102-guest National Geographic Orion acts as floating basecamp during the voyage. This small expedition ship is technologically advanced and equipped with a full set of exploration tools, including an ROV and enough kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and Zodiacs to send all guests out exploring at the same time. Additionally, select cabins offer private balconies for special moments taking in the awe-inspiring wilderness. The National Geographic Orion features a nearly 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio, ensuring that your trip to paradise comes with attentive service.

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