Passage Through Polynesia (Island Sky)

Passage Through Polynesia (Island Sky)

From GBP £9,995

Description

The name Polynesia means ‘many islands’ and no one could argue with the suitability of this title. There are islands of low lying coral with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and contrasting volcanic mountainous structures of lush, incomparable beauty. On the more remote islands, villages are still composed of thatched houses, set amongst the shade of the breadfruit and coconut trees. Many islands are important nesting grounds for seabirds and sea turtles and the lagoons are breeding grounds for countless species of fish.

From the Polynesian paradise of Tahiti we travel to the Cook Islands and Tonga with visits to a number of the smaller islands such as Atiu, with only 560 residents, and uninhabited Tofua. Meet local villagers, learn about Polynesian culture and its many ancient rituals and experience a wide range of unique flora and fauna.

The only comfortable way to explore this intriguing region is by sea and we are fortunate in having one of the finest and best equipped expedition vessels in the world for our explorations. Helping us understand all the wonders we will encounter will be our expedition team who will accompany us ashore and enlighten us with their onboard talks. With our fleet of Zodiac landing craft we will explore inlets, lagoons and land in otherwise inaccessible places.

Trip Name
Passage Through Polynesia (Island Sky)
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 116  Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017 Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck. Services: World-Class Cuisine Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner Live Entertainment Complimentary Coffee/Tea station Voyage Photographer On-board MD and Facilities Dedicated Passenger Service Manager Pre-voyage hotel night Complimentary Expedition Jacket Facilities: Elevator serving all passenger decks Upgraded WIFI Internet Library with computers Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities DVD Movie Library Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck World-Class Cuisine: Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage. Accommodations: All Suites Feature: Exterior views Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds Sitting area with sofa and side chair Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player Telephone Independent temperature controls Mini-Bar Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries Hair dryer 220 square feet or more Sofa can be converted to bed for third person PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 - Tahiti.
Arrive this morning and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The afternoon and evening will be at leisure to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.
Day 2 - Day 2 - Tahiti.
After breakfast in the hotel we will embark on a full day tour of Tahiti. We will start at the Arahoho Blow Hole. This lava tube, designed by liquid lava flowing under cold and hard lava, has created a channel. When waves crash against the rocks and enter the channel the result is a powerful sea water geyser. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the Museum of Tahiti and her Islands. Later this afternoon we transfer to the MS Island Sky and sail tonight.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Raiatea & Taha’a.
Raiatea is recognised throughout Tahiti as its “Sacred Island”, the cultural heart of all Polynesia. Local Polynesian legends say Raiatea, formerly known as “Havai” was the island of origin of great voyaging canoes that took the people as far as Hawaii. This, the second largest Tahitian isle, was the centre of religion and culture over 1000 years ago and still lends enchantment to ancient legends told to this day. This morning’s island tour will include a visit to the Taputapuatea marae which dates back over 1000 years. This afternoon we sail over to the neighbouring island of Taha’a where we plan to visit a vanilla plantation. With the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, Taha’a offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians.
Day 4 - Day 4 - At sea.
Relax on board as we sail to the Cook Islands.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Atiu, Cook Islands.
Our first stop in the Cook Islands is the small island of Atiu. With only 560 residents we will be guaranteed a special welcome. There will be the chance to join the local expert “Birdman George” on a walking tour to search for the Rarotonga monarch, chattering kingfisher, Cook Island fruit dove and Atiu swiftlets. Alternatively, discover the island on a tour which will include James Cook’s landing site from 1777, the coffee plantations and a visit to some of the local houses. After lunch on board there will be the chance to return to Atiu for a relaxing afternoon exploring from the beach or maybe enjoy a taste of the local Tumunu, a traditional drink brewed from fermented oranges.
Day 6 - Day 6 - Aitutaki.
This lovely lagoon is famous for its fascinating coral formations and bountiful brightly hued tropical fish. After a lively welcome this morning, join an island drive which will explore the sleepy village of Arutanga seeing the oldest church in the Cook Islands. We will see the lush forest of Nikaupara and from the top of Mount Piraki will view the bunkers built during World War II. From the top of Maunga Pu we are treated to breathtaking views of the island and lagoon. Alternatively, you may wish to join our naturalists for cruise and snorkel in the lagoon. We sail after lunch and enjoy an afternoon on board as we cruise to our next island.
Day 7 - Day 7 - Palmerston.
The engaging history of the William Masters family comes alive as we meet the descendants of this eccentric 19th century Englishman who took three native brides. We will be welcomed by the local officials before enjoying a walk through the village. Extremely fine handicrafts are made on this island and here the birdwatchers could catch sight of the red-tailed tropic birds. This afternoon we will have a chance to swim or snorkel from the beach where large coral blocks team with goatfish, boxfish, groupers, stingray and turtles.
Day 8 - Day 8 - Day at sea.
Relax on board, join a lecture in the lounge or simply find a spot on deck and watch the world go by.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Niue.
Niue is one of the smallest independent nations on earth at just 260 square kilometres with a population of just 1200 people. Populated since the 10th century, the first European to sight Niue was Captain Cook in 1774 but his attempts to land were refused by the inhabitants. Today we will visit the capital, Alofi Village, and stop at the Philatelic Bureau, where some of the world’s most sought-after stamps may be purchased. We will continue to Matapa Chasm, a secluded cleft in the sea cliffs, where we discover the perfect swimming hole. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea.
Day 10 - Day 10 - Vava’u, Tonga.
After crossing the International Date Line (so it is now 27 April), we arrive this morning in the Vava’u islands, part of the kingdom of Tonga and the pretty port of Neiafu. Spend the morning independently exploring the town, maybe visit the local market or enjoy a drink in a harbourside cafe.
Day 11 - Day 11 - Ha’apai Islands.
Today we arrive at the Ha’apai group which consists of 62 islands comprising of lagoons, barrier reefs and active volcanoes. The islands have a rich maritime history with Abel Tasman being the first European to visit the islands in 1643 whilst Captain James Cook visited twice in the 1770s. However, the most famous event was Mutiny of the HMS Bounty which occurred between the islands of Lifuka and Tofua. It was on the island of Tofua that Captain William Bligh landed after being cast off from the Bounty with limited provisions and nautical equipment. A hostile reception from the islanders meant they quickly fled to sea again. Tropical forests grow along gentle slopes here and at the centre of the island is the volcanic crater, with a clear blue lake at its base. During the morning we hope to offer a Zodiac cruise to explore the coastline of this historic island.
Day 12 - Day 12 - Fulaga, Fiji.
Our first call at a Fijian island will be on Fulaga, famous for its woodcarving and the making of large outrigger canoes. Over 100 tiny islands in the Fulaga Lagoon have been undercut into extraordinary mushroom shapes and the surrounding waters are tinged with striking colours by the dissolved limestone. On arrival we hope to meet with the village elder to welcome us to the island before spending the morning using our Zodiacs to explore the rocks or find a suitable beach to land for swimming, snorkelling or beachcombing.
Day 13 - Day 13 - Levuka & Honeymoon Island.
The island of Levuka and the town of Ovalau has a special place in Fijian history as it was here in 1874 that the Fiji Islands were ceded to the British and also where in 1970 Fiji was declared independent again. The town is unlike any other Fijian town having retained the colonial buildings which made it the first Fijian site to be granted UNESCO status. Join a walking tour around Nasova village on the shores of the bay and visit the museum and Cession Monument, the site where Chief Cakobau signed the deed ceding Fiji to Great Britain. This afternoon we will relocate to Honeymoon Island where we can relax on the beach or join an organised snorkelling trip.
Day 14 - Day 14 - Disembark in Fiji
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your the continuation of your journey
Day 15 - Please Note:
Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £9,995Magellan Suite
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £10,295Columbus Deck Superior
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £10,595Marco Polo Deck Premium
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £10,895Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £11,695Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £11,895Explorer Owners Balcony
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £13,495Magellan Suite Sole
17-04-202001-05-2020GBP £13,795Columbus Deck Superior Sole

Inclusions

    • Visit Raiatea that is recognised throughout Tahiti as its “Sacred Island”, the cultural heart of all Polynesia
    • Enjoy the small island of Atiu. With only 560 residents we will be guaranteed a special welcome
    • Discover Niue
    • one of the smallest independent nations on earth

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