Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced a variety of new itineraries to French Polynesia and the South Pacific in 2018. The National Geographic Orion will offer one and two week voyages from March through August 2018 to areas only accessible by expedition ship and Zodiac.
To celebrate the new itineraries, guests who book any of the French Polynesia and South Pacific departures by March 31, 2017, will receive complimentary international economy class airfare from Los Angeles. In addition, guests who book two or more voyages will receive 10 percent off their next voyage.
The National Geographic Orion is described as part research vessel, part grand hotel, outfitted with myriad exploration tools like snorkeling gear for all guests, a scuba program accommodating up to 24 divers at a time, two dive masters, a glass bottom boat, kayaks, paddle boards, a remote operated vehicle (ROV) reaching depths up to 1,000 feet and a fleet of Zodiacs. The new itineraries were designed with the Orion in mind, picking destinations suitable for the unique vessel. The five new itineraries include:
Easter Island to Tahiti: Tales of the Pacific – Departing March 27 and August 30, 2018, this 18 day itinerary will follow the paths of early Polynesian navigators to the farthest reaches of Oceania. Guests will sail from Easter Island to the historical Pitcaim Islands through the low islands of the Tuamotu Archipelago and on to Tahiti. Travelers can dive or snorkel at Fakarava, part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, or explore Henderson Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its unusual geology and endemic bird species. Rates begin at $17,990.
Azure Seas from Tahiti to the Marquesas – This 16-day, in-depth exploration of the Marquesas departs June 21 and August 16, 2018. Guests of this trip can also explore the Fakarava, as well as explore verdant, saw-toothed basalt pinnacles which hide waterfalls and craggy limestone waterline caves and grottos. Travelers will learn about the areas indigenous people and their Marquesan dialect, which is a direct link to the ancient Maohi language of Polynesia and their belief in the ancient Maohi spirits, as well as explore island locations predominant in local culture. Rates start at $15,860.
Epic Polynesia: Cook Islands to Fiji – Guests will explore the western reaches of Polynesia from the verdant crags of Tahiti to the reefs of Fiji, plus the tropical islands that sit in between. For 16 days travel the Aitutaki waters and experience Polynesian welcomes throughout Samoa. Guests will learn new techniques for photographing their trip, visiting local markets and Fijian villages and kava ceremonies. The itinerary will visit reefs of five different pacific nations – French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna and Fiji. Departing May 10 and May 24, 2018, rates for this trip start at $15,680.
French Polynesia: Beyond the Postcard – With multiple sailing dates available from April through August, 2018, this nine-day venture explores the heart of Polynesian culture by providing guests opportunities to kayak, stand-up paddle board or take bike rides through the islands of French Polynesia. Guests will explore Marae Taputapuatea on Raiatea and sail among the 80 atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago. The ship will navigate through the Tiputa Pass into the lagoon at Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world. Rates begin at $7,690.
Isles, Atolls and Pristine Corals: Southern Line Islands – This expedition will take guests from Rangiroa’s lagoon to the Tahitian neighbor of Moorea. Guests will snorkel and dive in the Southern Line Islands at one of the healthiest reefs in the world, virtually untouched by humans and identified by the National Geographic Prestine Seas project as one of the few places researches can study and see how reefs formed before human contact. Zodiacs will offer guests rides through reef passages and the ability to snorkel over large beds of giant clams, to hike forest trails or visit ancient archeological sites on Moorea. Sail dates are available from April through August, 2018, with rates starting at $7,960.
All rates for itineraries are quoted per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin, which includes all activities, bar tabs and staff gratuities.
For reservations or additional information, agents and travelers should visit www.expeditions.com or call 1-800-397-3348 for more.