Itinerary Overview

Find paradise on remote islands rich in ancient culture and astonishing marine life


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. 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 Nuka Hiva, the wild horses of Ua Huka, and lush rain forests with rare birds and rushing waterfalls. 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.

Highlights

  • Dive and snorkel in clear, warm waters in an extraordinary undersea world of melon-headed whales, 16-foot manta rays, green sea turtles, and vast schools of pelagic fish.
  • Experience the world’s largest Marine Mammal Sanctuary, where 20 species of whales and dolphins include resident spinner dolphins, nomad sperm whales, and migrating humpback whales.
  • Learn about Polynesian history on visits to an eight-foot tiki and ancient petroglyphs.
  • Connect with island residents through a cultural dance performance at a me-ae (sacred site), sampling local foods, and attending a church service.
  • Appreciate the skilled artisanry of tapa (cloth made from tree bark), carvings in bone and rosewood, and oils and perfumes crafted from local natural sources like the tiare flower.
  • On hikes and excursions in kayaks and Zodiacs, be on the lookout for birds including endangered ultramarine lorikeet, zebra doves, manikins, and fairy terns.

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