Passage to Easter Island

Passage to Easter Island

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Join us in paradise on a leisurely passage through the South Seas to an area long associated with Captain Cook, Captain Bligh and the Bounty, and Gauguin. We can promise you an unforgettable voyage to a corner of the world which has lured adventurers and romantics alike ever since Magellan first sailed to these waters in 1521. During our expedition we will explore four island groups; the Tuamotus, Marquesas, Gambier and Pitcairn Islands.

We will embark the MS Island Sky in Tahiti and set sail for our exploration of the South Pacific’s islands and atolls. From coral reefs teeming with life to powerful legends that shaped history, each island is unique, each culture distinct. 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 everywhere are breeding grounds for countless species of fish. Our expedition ends on Easter Island, which, lying some 2300 miles off the coast of Chile is blessed with an extraordinary collection of remarkable archaeological sites which we will explore.

With our fleet of Zodiac landing craft we will explore inlets, bird sanctuaries and land in otherwise inaccessible places accompanied by an expert expedition team including naturalists, marine biologists and ornithologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst on board.

Trip Name
Passage to Easter Island
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.


Day 1 - Day 1 London to Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Tahiti.
Arrive today and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the evening is free to enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.
Day 3 - Day 3 Tahiti.
After breakfast in the hotel, we will enjoy a morning excursion including a visit to the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands. After lunch at a local restaurant we will transfer to the MS Island Sky.
Day 4 - Day 4 Rangiroa.
As one of the world’s largest coral atolls, Rangiroa has a magnificent lagoon surrounded by small islets or motus, stretching as far as the eye can see. Today, a variety of activities await. There will be a chance to tour a black pearl farm, enjoy free time in the enchanting local village of Avatoru or enjoy a snorkel or swim. After lunch on board we spend a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 5 - Day 5 At Sea.
Relax on board as we make our way to the Marquesas Islands.
Day 6 - Day 6 Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands.
After a morning at sea we arrive in the Marquesas Islands, far removed from the rest of the South Pacific in everything from language and culture to geology. Our afternoon will be spent on Nuka Hiva, the largest of the islands and the island group’s economic capital. Today we will immerse ourselves in local culture and geography. Traditional Marquesan dancers welcome us to their village. We will visit the archaeological centres at Kamuihei and Hikoku’a and see the temples, petroglyphs and tiki. Meanwhile a series of island walks will investigate the nature of the island whilst there will also be a chance to swim from the beaches.
Day 7 - Day 7 Hiva Oa.
At first light we arrive at volcanic Hiva Oa. We will anchor off Atohuna where if we are lucky we may find manta rays before heading ashore. Our morning will be dedicated to Gauguin, the iconic artist of the South Pacific. We will visit his museum and make a pilgrimage to his final resting place, soaking up the landscape that inspired him to leave it all behind and go native. This afternoon we reposition the ship to Puamau and visit the Oipona me’ae temple, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in French Polynesia and home to the eight foot tall Tiki Takali. On our return to the ship you may wish to enjoy a swim from the beach.
Day 8 - Day 8 Fatu Hiva.
With a landscape of spectacular pinnacles towering over the cobalt Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva is one of the most floral and pristine islands. Villagers will perform their traditional dances and demonstrate their handicrafts of wood carvings and tapa making. Afterwards our expedition team will run a series of nature walks either climbing to the view point, searching for birds with our ornithologist or a nature walk to the waterfall. Meanwhile a snorkel platform will be set up for those who wish to swim.
Day 9 - Day 9 Pukapuka, Tuamotus Islands.
After a morning cruising, this afternoon we visit Pukapuka. To honour their guests, the islanders proudly decorate their tidy village with green palm fronds and flowers, and welcome us with a fragrant flower lei and entrancing dances. Sample traditional coconut treats and watch a demonstration of how copra (the dried meat of the coconut) is prepared for its various uses. Travel to the centre of the island past coconut plantations to swim in the turquoise waters of the inner lagoon.
Day 10 - Day 10 Pukarua.
Located on the outer fringes of French Polynesia, Pukarua faces thousands of miles of open ocean. Onshore, its small population lives in a spirit of cooperation and friendship, living largely on coconuts and the bounty of the sea. As we visit this small community, we will be enthusiastically greeted with genuine friendliness and lively music. Arriving after lunch we will have the chance to walk through the village or enjoy a swim in the lagoon.
Day 11 - Day 11 Expedition Day.
As we make our way across the Pacific we will pass by the Acteon Group of islands. These remote uninhabited atols were named after the HMS Acteon who sighted the islands in 1837. Landing on the islands is very weather dependent but we hope that we can spend time on Tenararo which, whilst small, is an important habitat for Tuamotu sandpipers, curlews and Murphy’s petrel which are not threatened by predators. We may also have the chance to snorkel or swim from the beach.
Day 12 - Day 12 Mangareva, Gambier Islands.
Mountainous Mangareva is capital of the Gambier group of islands and home to the remarkable St Michael’s Cathedral with a stunning mother-of-pearl altar. On a full day call, we will have the chance to join an island nature walk, take a hike up the 440 metre Mount Duff, named after the first European vessel to visit the island in 1797, or to simply wander around the small village. If weather permits we may also set up a snorkelling platform on the surrounding coral reef.
Day 13 - Days 13 & 14 Pitcairn Islands.
We have factored a day and a half around Pitcairn Island. If weather permits we will sail to Oeno Atol, an important bird area due to the colony of 12,500 pairs of Murphy’s petrel that nest here alongside sooty tern and brown noddy. We then have a full day on the island of Pitcairn, famous as the final destination of the Bounty in the late 18th century. Meet the Anglo-Tahitian descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty, who arrived here 200 years ago and see the ship’s anchor outside the courthouse. We will have time to explore this inspiring island setting and visit with islanders who display memorable stamps and handicrafts. We will have a Pitcairn welcome in the Town Hall before exploring the capital of Adamstown. We will set up a number of walks with our expedition staff to explore the islands highlights. Please note that access to the Pitcairn Islands is very weather dependent.
Day 14 - Day 15 Henderson Island.
We arrive at Henderson Island over breakfast and will look for a suitable landing place. This upraised former coral atoll has fascinating eroded rock formations, with giant blowholes flinging up tremendous sea spray. Very rare birds inhabit the island, including the Henderson island rail and Stephen’s lori. Numerous underwater ravines and crevices support a great diversity of fish whilst on walks on the island or along the beach we will come across coconut crabs. Return to the ship and spend the afternoon at sea.
Day 15 - Day 16 Ducie Island.
This morning we will experience expedition cruising at its finest as we hope to land on one of nature’s wildlife sanctuaries. A remote coral atoll with good snorkelling and birding, Ducie Island is so remote that no threats to its native wildlife exist, and it is one of the rare places in the world where wildlife is relatively unaffected by man’s presence. Our expedition team will lead a series of walks on the island. Return to the ship for lunch as we sail this afternoon and start our journey to Easter Island.
Day 16 - Days 17 & 18 At Sea.
We have two days to spend relaxing on deck or to perhaps join the lectures from our experts on board.
Day 17 - Days 19 & 20 Easter Island, Chile.
We have a day and a half scheduled for Easter Island to explore the highlights. Arriving in the afternoon we explore Rano Kau, the second oldest volcano on the island. Its huge caledera (one and a half kilometres at its base) contains one of the island’s three fresh water lakes. From the look-out at the rim of Rano Kau we continue on to the ceremonial village of Orongo, best known for the birdman cult ceremonies. The site was restored in 1974 and within the village you will see 47 restored houses. Continue to Ahu Tahai, another restored ceremonial site and one of the oldest, dating back to the 6th century. On a full day tour we will view many of the different areas where moais (statues) can be found. We will see the volcano of Rano Raraku, the site where 95% of all moais were carved and today you will find nearly 400 statues in various stages of completion. A hike to the top of the volcano’s crater will not only reveal many statues but also a beautiful fresh water lake. We continue our exploration of the island with Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia restored in 1996 and Ahu Akivi where we find seven maoi built around 1460 BC and which face out to sea. Lunch will be a specially arranged barbecue on Anakena beach, home of Easter Island’s ancient paramount chiefs and one of the prettiest coves in the South Pacific.
Day 18 - Day 21 Easter Island to Santiago.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Santiago. On arrival transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day and evening are free for independent exploration.
Day 19 - Day 22 Santiago to London.
After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for the scheduled flight to London.
Day 20 - Day 23 London.
Arrive this afternoon.
Day 21 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Combine the culture of Easter Island, the history of Pitcairn Island and the remote natural wonders of the islands that dot the ocean providing refuge for indigenous birds and sea creatures or the beauty of the Marquesas that so inspired Paul Gaugin.
    • Our journey covers over 3000 nautical miles and many of the places we visit can only be accessed by small groups with the use of the ship’s nimble Zodiacs meaning that once we have landed on a remote beach, we will be the only guests ashore.