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Polynesian Island

French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard

At a glance

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights

Coverage: Papeete, Tahiti to Rangiroa

From: $7,690

Season: April, June - August

Activities: Culture, History, Wildlife

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Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic

Discover the authentic culture behind the infinite blue and green beauty

Venture to the heart of Polynesian culture and wildness on this highly immersive French Polynesia vacation where options abound. Choose to kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or take a bike ride for independent exploration and to connect with these people and islands on a personal level. Explore the historic ceremonial site, called a marae, on Raiatea where Polynesian seafarers would begin their bold expeditions sailing into the unknown—expeditions that 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.

Expedition Highlights

  • Visit one of the most important cultural sites in the Polynesian world and a recently named UNESCO World Heritage site, Marae Taputapuatea.
  • Snorkel or dive some of the healthiest reefs of the Pacific in the Tuamotu Archipelago.
  • Learn stand-up paddle boarding in gorgeous turquoise lagoons.
  • Watch on deck as National Geographic Orion navigates Tiputa Pass into the lagoon at Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world.

This expedition seeks to reveal as many wonders as possible during your week with Lindblad Expeditions. LIndblad's hallmark is flexibility—allowing them to take advantage of events, like wildlife sightings, as they occur to give you the richest, most dimensional experience.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Days 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 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)

Days 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)

Days 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)

French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard itinerary map

Dates & Rates

Dates Direction 1 2 3 4 5 6 1S 3S
Jun 7, 2018 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Jul 5, 2018 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Jul 12, 2018 Rangiroa to Papeete $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Jul 19, 2018 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Jul 26, 2018 Rangiroa to Papeete $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Aug 2, 2018 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,690 $9,380 $10,990 $11,990 $14,520 $16,840 $11,540 $16,490
Apr 18, 2019 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,960 $9,690 $11,370 $12,390 $14,990 $17,420 $11,940 $17,050
May 9, 2019 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,960 $9,690 $11,370 $12,390 $14,990 $17,420 $11,940 $17,050
May 16, 2019 Papeete to Rangiroa $7,960 $9,690 $11,370 $12,390 $14,990 $17,420 $11,940 $17,050

Ships

National Geographic Orion

National Geographic Orion

National Geographic Orion is a state-of-the-art expedition ship, designed to safely explore the remote regions of the planet. Orion carries 102 guests in 53 cabins, nine of them with balconies. She is equipped with a full complement of cool tools to explore the environment, including kayaks, Zodiacs, an ROV, and the capacity to accommodate Scuba divers. Her size and nimbleness offer the perfect combination of safety and the ability to go to the out-of-the-way islands of the South Pacific and other places where large cruise ships cannot go. View ship details...