Passage Through Polynesia: Papeete – Cook Islands – Nukualofa

Passage Through Polynesia: Papeete – Cook Islands – Nukualofa

From AUD $11,200


On our expedition from Tahiti to Tonga, enjoy a leisurely exploration of the Society Islands, the southern Cook Islands and the little-visited gems of tiny Niue and vibrant Tonga. The emerald mountains of Huahine and Raiatea welcome you and you will discover the sacred cultural home of Polynesia at the 1,000-year-old UNESCO-listed remains of Marae Taputapuatea. The Cook Islands, known for beautiful beaches and lagoons, are full of remarkable experiences. Known as the island of birds, Atiu Island is the perfect place to spot species such as the Rarotonga monarch, Cook Islands fruit dove, Atiu swiftlets and the chattering kingfisher. Taste a local brew made from fermented oranges, see Capt. James Cook’s 1777 landing site and enjoy the island’s untouched beaches. At Aitutaki, considered one of the South Pacific’s most beautiful lagoons with its palm-fringed atolls and translucent aqua water, diving, snorkelling, beachcombing and kayaking opportunities abound. Niue Island will charm you, as the locals welcome you excitedly to explore the remarkable limestone caves and natural swimming pools of this tiny nation. For a leisurely journey through some of the most beautiful islands in the world, look no further.

Trip Name
Passage Through Polynesia: Papeete - Cook Islands - Nukualofa
Vessel Type: Expedition Passenger Capacity: 120 Built: 2020 Expedition capabilities > Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers and facilitate comfortable shore excursions > Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration > Lecture lounge for daily expedition briefings and expert presentations > Small onboard library featuring books on destinations and wildlife > Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems allowing access to locations closed to large cruise ships Marine immersion > Navigator lounge in the bridge > Over 1000 square metres of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views > Engine room tours and a high level of crew interaction with guests Food and wine features > Single seating dining with communal table serves buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners > Showcase galley with viewing window creating fresh small-batch cuisine featuring Australian and local produce > Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the sundeck for sunset drinks > Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds Guest comfort > All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; the majority have a private balcony > Active stabilisers to dampen sea motion > Well-equipped gym > Passenger elevator > Wi-Fi available in all guest areas


Day 1 - Day 1: Depart Pape’ete
Enjoy a welcome function and one-night accommodation in Pape’ete, before boarding Coral Geographer at 8:00 am for a 9:00 am departure. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.
Day 2 - Days 2 - 14: Cruising Remote Regions of South Pacific
These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximise the guest experience. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.Society Islands: Huahine, Taha’a, Raiatea & Bora BoraHuahine, one of Tahiti’s best-kept secrets, offers the slower pace of old Polynesia. Only eight villages are scattered across the island, but Huahine was once the home of Tahitian royalty and has the highest density of ancient temples, marae, hidden in the lush forests. Surrounded by a deep and clear lagoon, Huahine also boasts stunning white-sand beaches. Here we will explore the lush shoreline of the lagoon by snorkelling or kayaking, visit the archeological site at Maeva Village with local guides, or take a nature walk into the forest to encounter sacred blue-eyed eels.The second largest of the Society Islands, Raiatea means ‘bright sky’ in Tahitian. Regarded as the centre of ancient Polynesia, it is likely that the organised migrations to Hawai’i and New Zealand started here. Raiatea is home to rare flora and fauna species such as the Tiare ‘apetahi’ flower, which is found nowhere else in the world. Here we will have the privilege of visiting the sacred site of Taputapuatea Marae, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the world of the living intersected with the world of the gods. Considered the religious and central temple of Eastern Polynesia. The Marae was established over a thousand years ago as a place of learning where knowledge of navigation and the origins of the universe were shared. Human sacrifices were also performed here, and the chiefs of Ra’iatea were invested here. We will explore the site and learn about the ancient knowledge and religious practices of the Tahitian people, and how they voyaged from Raiatea to the far corners of the Polynesian islands. This afternoon cross to neighbouring Taha’a to visit a fragrant vanilla plantation and soak up the tranquil traditional lifestyle.Bora Bora, in the Leeward Group, is a bucket list destination for many travellers. The iconic landscape of white beaches and sparkling turquoise lagoon, backed by the distinctive peak of Mt Otemanu is as beautiful as you imagined. Here you will have free time to enjoy the atmosphere of this remarkable place, or enjoy walking or hiking expeditions, a tour of the WWII historical sites and enjoy swimming and snorkelling amongst the tropical fish and reef sharks in the lagoon.Cook Islands: Atiu, Aitutaki, & Palmerston IslandAtiu is known as the ‘land of the birds’. The island, which lies in the southern Cook Islands, is home to around 400 proud warrior people. A true expedition location, Atiu boasts untouched beaches, remarkable limestone caves, and a genuine insight into island living. Here we will disembark to a traditional welcome with the blowing of the Triton’s trumpet shell and warrior’s challenge. Enjoy birdwatching tours to spot the rare kakekori, Cook Islands fruit dove and Atiu swiftlet, which we find in the Anatakitaki Caves, where they nest and use echolocation clicks to navigate the darkness.Aitutaki, known for a bright blue lagoon and beaches lined with palm trees, is one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Here, we will enter the lagoon by zodiac, and step over sacred stones to be greeted by a warm Polynesian welcome. Here, we will experience the traditional food and culture of the village – Cook Islanders are known for their gift of communal singing and dancing. We may also visit the oldest church in the Cook Islands at Arutanga. Later, you may relax or join a snorkel in the aquarium-like lagoon, teeming with tropical fish.Palmerston Island, uninhabited when Cook discovered it in 1774, was settled by William Marsters in 1863, who arrived with Polynesian wives. The inhabitants of Palmerston Island are his descendants, and this is the only island in the Cook Islands where English is the native language. This fascinating history comes alive as we go ashore and meet the local people. Be welcomed by the leaders of the community before touring the village. Enjoy the taste of fresh coconut, and if time permits a swim and snorkel in the lagoon.Niue: Arrive Pape’eteNiue or ‘the Rock’, is one of the world’s largest ‘coral islands’. The centre of the island, a plateau rising 200 feet above sea level, is surrounded by cliffs and terraces with slopes down to the sea. Many limestone caves pepper the coastline. Here we will visit Alofi Village, the capital. The stamps here are the most sought after in the world, and you may purchase one at the Philatelic Bureau, before exploring the limestone caves and finding a remarkable swimming location at Matapa Chasm.Kingdom of Tonga: Va’vau, Ha’apai & ‘EuaTonga, meaning ‘southwards’ is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia. Not a tourist destination, Tonga in an authentic island kingdom where life progresses as its own pace. The Va’vau Group of islands is one of Tonga’s most popular destinations, particularly during the humpback whale migration of July to October. Here, it is believed that the demi-god Maui created the islands by pulling them up from the bottom of the sea with his magic hook. Here we will snorkel and dive over the brilliant reefs and explore the coastal limestone caves by zodiac or visit the charming village and nearby vanilla plantation.In the Ha’apai group, we remember the history of the Bounty mutiny, which occurred near Tofua on 28 April 1789. The 62 islands in the Ha’apai group comprise of lagoons, barrier reefs, and active volcanoes. Here we will discover the history of the region, relax on the white sand of the beaches, and explore the coastline by snorkelling and zodiac.‘Eua, often called the forgotten island of Tonga, is windswept and mountainous, perched on the edge of the deep underwater Tongan Trench. It is hilly, with hidden caves and cliff-top lookouts perfect for discovering on walks with our guides. ‘Eua (pronounced ‘a-wah’) is home to endemic plants and the koki or red shining parrot. Enjoy a taste of laid-back Tongan life on the small and little-visited island as you conclude your journey through Polynesia.
Day 3 - Day 15: Arrive Nuku’alofa
Arrive in Nuku’alofa to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00 am.
Day 4 - Please Note:
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of this wildlife on the day.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-06-2020AUD $0-
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $11,200Coral Deck
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $13,860Promenade Deck Stateroom
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $16,800Coral Deck
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $17,500Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $20,790Promenade Deck Stateroom Solo
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $22,260Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
24-12-202108-01-2022AUD $26,250Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom Solo
04-06-2020AUD $0-


    • Explore the lush jungles of Huahine to find sacred marae with cultural experts before kayaking the crystal clear lagoon.
    • Admire Bora Bora’s striking mountainous landscape and enjoy free time to explore its French Polynesian culture and marine wonderland.
    • Visit the ‘sacred heart of Polynesia’, UNESCO-listed Marae Taputapuatea, an ancient place of learning and sacrifice. This centre of religion and culture over 1000 years ago was the departure point for the voyaging canoes that reached as far as Hawaii.
    • See the Kopeka birds at Atiu in the Cook Islands, who use echolocation to navigate the island’s caves.
    • Swim, snorkel and dive amongst a myriad of tropical fish at Aitutaki’s turquoise lagoon in the southern Cook Islands.
    • Meet the descendants of eccentric 19th century Englishman William Marsters, the sole residents of Palmerston Island.
    • Explore the limestone caves and swimming holes at Niue, one of the smallest independent nations on earth.
    • Snorkel and dive the brilliant reefs, explore limestone caves, and discover the stories of Vava’u Islands in the Kingdom of Tonga.
    • Learn about maritime history at the Ha’apai Group, where Captains William Bligh, James Cook, and Abel Tasman spent time.