Between the storied islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora lies the coveted diving destination of Rangiroa, the steep volcanic cliffs and remarkable grottoes of Makatea, and the ancient Polynesian cultural site of Marae Taputapuatea on Ra’iatea. On a five-night expedition to one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans, dive and snorkel in clear, warm water with rays, sea turtles, sharks, and whales; see paradise come to life in the iconic landscapes of jagged green peaks, pristine beaches, and the bluest of blue waters; and connect with local culture with visits to Polynesia’s most significant ancestral site and a family-run vanilla plantation. FREE BAR TAB AND CREW TIPS INCLUDED
- Pricing from
Book by October 31, 2022, and we will WAIVE THE SOLO PREMIUM on this departure. New bookings only. Not applicable on extensions and may not be combined with other offers.
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
May 9, 2023 - May 14, 2023
Featuring 53 cabins, the gracious and intimate National Geographic Orion takes travelers to little-known waters and isles in the South Pacific, Australia, and Indonesia to experience each location’s natural and cultural wonders up close. With her high ice-class rating, National Geographic Orion is strong enough to explore the polar regions, yet her elevated maneuverability allows for navigation of inshore waters, secluded bays, and sinuous rivers—practically anywhere accessible by sea.
At the helm of National Geographic Orion is an expert crew, capable of handling intricate operations that large cruise ships could never attempt. The ship features modern navigational equipment and technological abilities that allow her to navigate safely, even in uncharted waters. She currently holds the distinction of having sailed further south than any other vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet.
National Geographic Orion offers guests a spirited, almost clubby environment onboard. Of her many amenities and features, the most appealing is her outdoor deck space, which beckons in the balmy reaches of the South Pacific and beyond and offers a range of panoramic views of the region’s rich avian and marine life.
PRE-TRIP – Bora Bora Pre-Extension
Transport yourself to one of Bora Bora’s tranquil and picturesque outer motus and fall into island time at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
Check into a stunning overwater bungalow, surrounded by turquoise waters and lush tropical gardens, and explore as much (or as little) as you choose during this three-night stay. Discover the resort’s pristine beaches, browse the treatment menu in the resorts renowned spa, or luxuriate in the comfort of your own private bungalow, all while taking in the incredible views of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu.
Day 1 – Papeete, Tahiti / Bora Bora
Arrive on an international flight into Tahiti early this morning and connect to a one-hour inter-island flight to Bora Bora (flight not included). Transfer via hotel motorboat to the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and check in immediately to your villa.
Day 2-3 – Bora Bora
Discover the resort’s many amenities—choose to swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, or enjoy the stunning beachfront as you settle into island time. (B)
Day 4 – Bora Bora / Embark
Spend the morning at your leisure and enjoy breakfast with a view of the turquoise lagoon. Have lunch before joining your fellow travelers for embarkation on the National Geographic Orion mid-afternoon. (B)
Costs & What’s Included
Double Occupancy – $3,960 pp
Single Occupancy – $6,990
3 nights’ accommodation in an overwater bungalow plus late check in or early check out dependent on itinerary, water taxi between airport and hotel and ship and hotel at the start and end of the program, breakfast daily, $150 per room resort credit.
Book by October 31, 2022 and receive a $1,200 per person air credit. New bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable to extensions, and may not be combined with other offers.
Lindblad standard cancellation policy is available at expeditions.com/cancellation-policy. This cancellation policy applies to expeditions, additional services, and most extensions. Please inquire or refer to the detailed extension itinerary for the specific cancellation policy of each extension. The effective date of a cancellation will be the date on which your cancellation notice is received. Any revisions you make within the cancellation penalty period, such as departure date or choice of voyage, are subject to cancellation fees. The cancellation policy for certain longer voyages and Holiday departures may vary due to high demand for these voyages, and the cancellation policy for certain voyages may differ from our standard cancellation policy due to promotional offers. Should the voyage’s cancellation policy differ from our standard cancellation policy, the cancellation policy as printed on your reservation invoice shall govern.
Depart U.S. / Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia / Embark
Depart the US on an overnight flight to Tahiti. Arrive in the early morning on Day 2 and proceed directly to National Geographic Orion for embarkation. While in port this morning, take some time to freshen up and settle into your cabin as we prepare to depart. Alternatively, choose to walk around downtown Papeete and visit the central market where vendors sell fresh fruit, pareos, art and coveted black pearls. Join us for lunch aboard and be on deck as we set sail from Tahiti toward the Tuamotu Archipelago. This afternoon meet the staff and fellow travelers and settle into island time. (Day 2: B,L,D)
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. Kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive in the rich waters here, home to large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles. (B,L,D)
An uplifted coral atoll, the island of Makatea is one of the most unique landforms in the Pacific. A makatea is a raised coral atoll that is tilted due to plate tectonics and appears much different than the other islands in the region, containing spectacular, vertical cliffs. This specific island of Makatea gives its name to all other uplifted coral atolls worldwide. Spend the day exploring the island’s limestone caves and grottos with your expedition team and local guides, or search for endemic fruit doves and myriad seabirds. (B,L,D)
Ra’iatea / Taha’a
Encircled by a single fringing reef, and sharing a common lagoon, Ra’iatea 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), Hawai’i and New Zealand. Our afternoon is spent at Taha’a where we’ll visit a family-run vanilla plantation and spend time snorkeling in the crystalline lagoons where we’ll encounter black-tipped reef sharks. (B,L,D)
Bora Bora / Disembark / Papeete
Be on deck at sunrise this morning to take in one of the South Pacific’s most iconic images: the angular crags of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu. Spend the morning exploring Bora Bora and then join us for lunch aboard. In the afternoon, take a short flight back to Papeete where a hotel room will be available for you to rest and refresh before your international overnight flight home. (Day 6: B,L,D)
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