Day-By-Day

Making the most of your time & interest in the South Pacific


Our expedition seeks to reveal as many wonders as possible during your week with us. Our hallmark is flexibility—allowing us to take advantage of events, like wildlife sightings, as they occur to give you the richest, most dimensional experience. Here is a representation of the activities you’ll engage in on a French Polynesia holiday:   

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  • DAY 1: Depart U.S.

    Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Tahiti.
  • DAY 2: Papeete, French Polynesia/Embark

    Arrive in Papeete, Tahiti early this morning, check into dayrooms and take a brief tour of the island before embarking National Geographic Orion. (L,D)
  • DAY 3: Bora Bora, Society Islands

    Begin your voyage with a view of one of the South Pacific’s most iconic images, the angular crags of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu. Explore the island’s interior by 4WD, for unparalleled views of the island’s turquoise lagoon, then snorkel, dive, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard from one of the motus on the outer reef. (B,L,D)
  • DAY 4: Raiatea/Tahaa

    Encircled by a single fringing reef, and sharing a common lagoon, Raiatea and Taha’a are islands well worth exploring. One of the most important cultural sites in the Polynesian world, Marae Taputapuatea was a center for Polynesian seafarers and the location from which they set out for Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Hawaii and New Zealand. Spend the morning on Raiatea exploring this recently named UNESCO World Heritage site, then refresh yourself with a swim in warm turquoise seas. Watch from on deck as we navigate lagoon channels en route to Taha’a, then go ashore for a visit to a small, family-run vanilla plantation. (B,L,D)
  • DAY 5: Huahine

    One of Polynesia’s best-kept secrets, Huahine is well off the beaten path. Once the home of Tahitian royalty, Huahine maintains the highest density of ancient marae in French Polynesia. Visit these sites with cultural experts and archaeologists who bring them to life. Venture into the lush interior of the island on a bicycle, then explore the verdant shoreline by kayak, stand-up paddleboard or Zodiac. Finish the day with a swim in the island’s crystal-clear lagoon. (B,L,D)
  • DAY 6-7: Tuamotu Archipelago

    Spend two days exploring some of the nearly 80 islands and atolls in the “Dangerous Archipelago.” Fakarava is one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Snorkel the protected reefs or ride the current into the lagoon on a world famous drift dive. An uplifted coral atoll, the island of Makatea is one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. Spend the day exploring limestone caves and grottos with your expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds, then snorkel and dive among clouds of colorful fish on the nearby reef. (B, L, D)
  • DAY 8: Rangiroa

    The atoll of Rangiroa is a ring of slender islands known for some of the best diving and snorkeling in French Polynesia. The turquoise lagoon at its center is the second-largest in the world. Our ship passes between the islets to anchor inside the lagoon near the village of Tiputa, where local musicians greet us. Visit the village, and kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and hammerheads. (B,L,D)
  • DAY 9-10: Rangiroa/Disembark/Papeete/Home

    Disembark this morning and take a short flight back to Papeete, where you’ll connect to international overnight flight home. (Day 9: B,L)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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