Tahiti to the Marquesas French Polynesia Adventure
French Post-Impressionist Gauguin painted some of his most famous work here, Melville penned his first book, Typee, after an island visit, a highly romanticized account of his life among Polynesians. Gauguin spent his last days in the islands and died in 1903 at Hiva ‘Oa. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery, the main cemetery in Atuona, Hiva ‘Oa, French Polynesia. It is located on a hillside on the eastern edge of town, overlooking the anchorage on Atuona Bay. The cemetery is also the final resting place of Belgian singer and poet Jacques Brel. They both rest facing Taaoa’s Bay under the sweet fragrance of frangipani trees.
Lindblad-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 reach out-of-the-way islands and other places where large cruise ships cannot go.
Barefoot casual luxury is the operating phrase on this 10-day cruise from Tahiti to remote islands. Revel in idyllic islands and the allure of the high seas. We will follow in the path of early Polynesian navigators on this epic voyage. From the aquamarine atolls of the Tuamotu Islands to the lush volcanic peaks of the mysterious Marquesas, visiting some of the most remote and compelling sites in the far reaches of French Polynesia.
• Venture into the lush tropical forest and discover ancient Polynesian sacred sites on the verdant island of Hiva Oa.
• Snorkel or dive in the Tuamotus and see abundant fish and thriving coral reef ecosystems.
• Learn stand-up paddle boarding in gorgeous turquoise lagoons.
• Watch on deck as National Geographic Orion navigates into dramatic Hanavave Bay.
The Expedition Team includes, dive-masters, guest speakers, naturalists, expert photo instructors, naturalists, cultural specialists, in total 16 learned professionals to teach and inspire guests. One of the team members is Tua Pittman, a Cultural Specialist. Internationally acclaimed as a traditional master navigator, Tua has navigated canoes across the great oceans of our planet from the coastlines of Asia through to the shores of the Americas for more than 30 years, without the use of modern instruments. This Cook Islander, also of New Zealand Maori and Tahitian bloodlines, uses an ancient navigational system based upon careful observation of celestial bodies—sun, moon, and stars—as well as using ocean swells, flight patterns of birds, and other natural markers. I’m certain he can explain the midnight skies and point out the Southern Cross.
In preparation, I’m re-reading Melville’s ‘Typee’, his tale of deserting Acushnet, a whaling ship in 1846 when landing at the Marquesas Islands. He believed he had found a South Sea paradise in the mysterious chain of islands, after he and his fellow seaman,Toby, abandoned ship and roamed the deep green valleys. Welcomed by the locals, he then began to suspect his new islander friends were cannibals and he might end up as the entrée in an upcoming feast. As a particularly witty friend advised: don’t accept an island dinner invitation as you may be dinner.
Infinite shades of azure. Secluded atolls.The sultry perfume of Tiare Tahiti (gardenia). To this day French Polynesia and the South Pacific conjure up the romantic notions brought back by the legendary European explorers who discovered it hundreds of years ago. Lindblad-National Geographic has been exploring the “Pearl of the Pacific” since the 1980s and this South Pacific cruise experience is key to helping you truly “get lost” in this tropical paradise.
The Marquesas are so remote that some are untouched since the era of European explorers. A land of dewy and majestic 1,000-foot waterfalls cascade down volcanic cliffs and craggy peaks disappear into the brilliant white clouds hovering above the turquoise seas.
Paradise indeed, Epic Lindblad-National Geographic Journeys deliver comfort, beguiling scenery and deep knowledge on exhilarating authentic adventures. Linblad perfected escapades and the National Geographic alliance is the perfect collaboration of world-renowned scientists, naturalists, and researchers while sailing on a high comfort expedition ship.
I understand first bell is at 7.30 am, exploits are on the horizon every day, this isn’t a snooze escape!