Dazzling marine life, endemic birds, & a stunning array of flora
Choose any of our five itineraries on National Geographic Orion and you’ll be astounded by the profusion, diversity, and visual wonder of Polynesian wildlife. With 90 different varieties of birds found on the various islands there will be numerous chances to spot species in their natural environment and learn about their captivating behaviors alongside your naturalist. We’re likely to see plenty of seabirds such as fairy terns, Tahitian petrels, tropicbirds, frigatebirds, and red-footed boobies. Exploring each island we’ll also search for rare endemic species like the brilliantly hued, white-capped fruit dove on The Marquesas. The islands’ flora, lush and luxurious as a dream, is equally intriguing. No matter where we visit you’ll be hypnotized by the multitude of colors and sweet aromas of tropical flowers—Tiare Tahiti (gardenia), orchids, frangipani, bougainvillea, porcelain roses, and many more.
But the true draw lies beneath the islands where a kaleidoscopic world unfurls among pristine, colorful coral reefs. The list of discoveries in the undersea here is endless—bright blue needlefish, lemonpeel angelfish, schools of vibrant parrotfish, striped surgeonfish, Moorish idols, Titan triggerfish, giant clams, colossal Humphead wrasse. Along with fish there will be other marine life encounters with sea turtles, gentle manta rays, dolphins, and several shark species including blacktip, whitetip and grey reef sharks, silvertip sharks, and hammerheads. Each island will reveal new undersea surprises and there will be frequent opportunities to dive, or simply snorkel or swim among the ocean’s most dazzling denizens in places that are at the top of the planet’s pantheon of dive locations.