NEW YORK, NY, January 2017 --- Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced that they will be taking National Geographic Orion to French Polynesia & the South Pacific in 2018. The five new itineraries will offer one week and two week voyages from March through August 2018. From stunning coral reefs to jubilant welcome ceremonies, guests will discover secluded atolls with some of the world’s most unspoiled undersea, outstanding wildlife, and a wealth of culture - with unmatched access to spectacular landscapes, towering waterfalls and shore landings only accessible by expedition ship and Zodiac. Lindblad’s history in the region and network of friends ensures peak experiences in remote locations, a rich encounter with the geography, and the opportunity to truly “get lost” in paradise.
These are going to be remarkable expeditions to extraordinary locations, and guests will have ample opportunity to dive and snorkel some of the world’s most pristine seas and renowned scuba sites. Part research vessel, part grand hotel, the 102-guest National Geographic Orion is outfitted with a roster of exploration tools including snorkeling gear for all guests, a SCUBA program that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time with two dive masters, a glass bottom boat, kayaks, paddleboards, a state of the art remote operated vehicle (ROV) that reaches depths of up to 1,000 feet, and a fleet of Zodiacs.
Guests who book any of the French Polynesia & South Pacific departures by March 31, 2017 will receive complimentary international economy roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles.
Whether it’s Pacific culture or nature that you seek, these new in-depth expeditions offer it all. The rates quoted below are per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin, and include all activities, bar tab and staff gratuities. Plus, book 2 or more voyages and get 10% off.
Easter Island to Tahiti: Tales of the Pacific, 18 days: Following in the wake of early Polynesian navigators, this voyage takes you to the farthest reaches of Oceania. From remote and enigmatic Easter Island, to the historically significant Pitcairn Islands through the “low islands” of the Tuamotu Archipelago to Tahiti, you’ll visit islands that are virtually inaccessible and untouched. Dive or snorkel the stunning reefs of Fakarava, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the Pitcairn Islands, identified as one of most unspoiled reef systems in the world by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala. Trace the legend of the ill-fated H.M.S. Bounty from Tahiti to Pitcairn Island, where descendants of its mutineers still live today. Explore the unusual geology and wildlife of Henderson Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and look for endemic bird species. Delve into the intriguing lost culture of Easter Island, and examine ancient burial sites and towering moai with an archaeologist. Departs March 27 and August 30, 2018. Rates begin at $17,990.
Azure Seas from Tahiti to the Marquesas,16 Days: In-depth exploration of the Marquesas, one of the most remote and culturally unique island groups on Earth, some virtually untouched since the era of European exploration. A proud people whose unique Marquesan dialect is a direct link to the ancient Polynesian language of Maohi, belief in the spirits of the ancient Maohi live among the islands’ saw-toothed peaks and lush, verdant valleys, and the limestone caves and grottos that will be explored. Discover the verdant, saw-toothed basalt pinnacles of the Marquesas that hide waterfalls so high the water evaporates before hitting the ground. Explore craggy limestone waterline caves and grottos, search for rare colorful birds on the coastline, and venture further inland to see ancient stone sculptures. Dive or snorkel the stunning reefs of Fakarava, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Departs June 21 and August 16, 2018. Rates begin at $15,680.
Epic Polynesia: Cook Islands to Fiji, 16 days: Embark on a sweeping adventure to the western reaches of Polynesia and explore from the verdant crags of Tahiti to the vibrant reefs of Fiji—plus tropical islands and reefs that few others will ever see. Immerse yourself in Aitutaki’s warm turquoise waters, and experience genuine Polynesian welcomes throughout Samoa. Learn new techniques for photographing colorful markets and friendly faces, as you are welcomed into Fijian villages with traditional kava ceremonies. Snorkel and dive colorful reefs in five different Pacific nations—French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna and Fiji. Marvel at elaborately decorated cathedrals in Wallis & Futuna, a tiny, difficult to reach, Pacific island nation. See firsthand how the village of Waitabu created Fiji’s most successful marine park, as you snorkel or dive the pristine reef. Departs May 10 and May 24, 2018. Rates begin at $15,680.
French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard, 9 days: Venture to the heart of Polynesian culture and wildness on this highly immersive expedition where options abound. Choose to kayak, stand-up paddleboard in gorgeous turquoise lagoons, or take a bike ride for independent exploration and to connect with these people and islands on a personal level. Visit one of the most important cultural sites in the Polynesian world, Marae Taputapuatea on Raiatea, where Polynesian seafarers would begin their bold expeditions sailing into the unknown—and 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 we’ll explore while scuba diving and snorkeling. Watch on deck as the ship navigates Tiputa Pass into the lagoon at Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world. Departs April 12, April 26, June 7, July 5, July 19, and August 2, 2018. Rates begin at $7,690.
Isles, Atolls, and Pristine Corals: Southern Line Islands, 9 days: Discover that the idealized notion of tropical paradise is alive and well—as are some of the world’s best dive and snorkel sites—on an expedition from Rangiroa’s sparkling lagoon to the verdant peaks of Tahiti’s neighbor, Moorea. This compact voyage maximizes your time in some of the most vibrant undersea sites in the world. Plus, there’s time to stroll pristine beaches, kayak peaceful coves, and experience true Polynesian hospitality. Dive or snorkel in the Southern Line Islands and see diverse coral, clouds of tropical fish, and healthy predator populations. It is one of the healthiest reef systems in the world and a rare place virtually unmarred by the touch of humans, which is why it was identified by the National Geographic Pristine Seas project as one of the few places researchers can study to see how reefs and undersea ecosystems looked before humans. Ride Zodiacs through reef passes, snorkel over beds of giant clams; hike tropical forest trails or visit ancient Polynesian archaeological sites on Moorea. Departs April 19, May 3, June 14, July 12, July 26, and August 9, 2018. Rates begin at $7,690.
For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel agent.
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