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An Expedition To Pitcairn Island | Pape'ete - Pitcairn - Tuamotus - Pape'ete | 20 Nights

Tuamotus, Pitcairn & The Austral Islands

20 Nights | Departing Pape’ete 19 November 2021 | Arriving Pape’ete 9 December 2021 | Onboard Coral Geographer

This unusual expedition will take you to some of the most remote outposts of the Pacific – the Pitcairn Island Group.  Pitcairn Island, the last hiding place and settlement for the Bounty mutineers, is also the only island to be designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. You will also cruise through the 80 islands and atolls of the Tuamotu island chain where palm-fringed beaches encircle low-lying atolls and snorkel the aquarium-like lagoon of Fakarava Atoll, which teems with vibrant marine life. In the far-flung Austral Islands, sheer mountains plummet into verdant valleys and cliffside caves conceal archaeological remnants and long-ago burial grounds. Here, the local inhabitants will share remarkable skills, including traditional outrigger construction. Equally remote, the Gambier Islands are home to treasures such as the 19th century neo-gothic Cathedrale St-Michel with its ornately decorated mother of pearl interior, including an altar encased in black pearl.  This is an extraordinary voyage that will create the memories of a lifetime.

Article: Discover The Mysteries of Pitcairn Island

View Brochure       Snorkelling & Scuba Diving Information

 

Expedition Highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of the Bounty mutineers to Pitcairn Island, and stargaze at the only island that is an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
  • Step ashore on uninhabited UNESCO-listed Henderson Island, one of the world’s best remaining examples of an elevated coral ecosystem
  • Snorkel, dive and kayak at Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • On mountainous Mangareva, considered the cradle of Catholicism in Polynesia, visit the Cathedrale Saint Michel and see it’s stunning alter with inlaid pearl.
  • Visit the southernmost inhabited island in French Polynesia – Rapa Iti in the Austral Archipelago, whose inhabitants have close ties to Easter Islanders.
  • Step back in time on Raivavae, the Bora Bora of the Australs and considered the most beautiful island in the Pacific, and marvel at the untouched ecosystem, the traditional outrigger building, and the remnants of the past such as a laughing tiki.
  • See the stunning limestone cliffs of Rurutu, which is known throughout Polynesia for the exceptionally fine quality woven products produced here.

Fares

CORAL GEOGRAPHER TWIN SHARE PER PERSON SOLE USE*
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $33,800 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony $26,400 $39,600
Promenade Deck $21,800 $32,700
Coral Deck $17,800 $26,700

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.

Included in your fare are one night’s hotel accommodation and welcome function prior to your cruise.

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Small Islands of The World - Pape'ete Trip 2 Map

Destinations

Embark: Board at 8:00 am at Pape’ete, Tahiti, on 19 November 2021
Disembark: Arrive at 7:30 am and disembark at 9:00 am at Pape’ete, Tahiti, on 9 December 2021

Included in your fare is one night’s hotel accommodation and welcome function prior to your cruise.

Pape’ete > Tuamotus: Fakarava, Makemo and Amanu or Hao > Mangareva (Gambier Islands) > Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn, Henderson Island and Oeno > Aukena (Gambier Islands) > Rapa Iti (Bass Islands) > Austral Islands: Raivavae, Tubuai or Rimatara and Rurutu > Pape’ete

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- 20:

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.

Tuamotus: Fakarava, Makemo & Amanu Atolls

Begin your exploration of the Tuamotus at Fakarava Atoll, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Fakarava, meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘superb’ in Tahitian is indeed superb, with fluorescent corals, schools of brightly coloured fish, multitudes of reef sharks and crystal clear warm water. The infinite shades of blue of the lagoon are enthralling – the French painter Henri Matisse claimed the colours set one free when he spent three months in Tahiti in 1930.  Let the beauty of Fakarava sooth your soul.

Be welcomed with festive dances to the village of Rotoava and discover the coral stone church and local arts and crafts. Explore the island and enjoy a leisurely day of relaxation ashore, or enter the glistening lagoon for a famous drift snorkel, diving, or kayaking the palm-fringed shores.

At Makemo Atoll, you will step ashore to discover sand that is a blend of pink and red, coloured by microorganisms that develop in the warm water. Makemo is one of the Tuamotus most unspoiled destinations. Here we will swim in the natural pools and lagoon which shimmer with every shade of blue, scuba dive or enjoy sunset drinks on the deserted islet of Motu Napahere.

At Amanu Atoll, go ashore to the charming village of Ikitake for a Tahitian welcome. The local crafts here, often using seashells, will intrigue you. There will be time to relax and explore the small island, discovering the old lighthouse and coral-stone ‘town hall’. Later, enjoy a lunch of island specialities in the town square, accompanied by local musicians.

Gambier Islands: Mangareva & Aukena

The Gambier Islands, a remote group lying southeast of Tahiti, are considered to have been lifted up from the ocean floor by Maui, the demi-god of Polynesian mythology. The mountainous islands rise majestically from the surrounding lagoon. Mangareva was once the centre of Catholicism, and there are many churches here. Explore the Cathedral of Saint Michel, the oldest and largest, build in 1848, with a remarkable pearl-shell inlaid altar. We may also tour a pearl farm to discover the beautiful black pearls that are cultured here and enjoy snorkelling on the fringing reef to discover colourful corals and large reef fish.

On Aukena Island, the pristine lagoon is also host to pearl farms, which we will visit this afternoon. Enjoy time to stroll on the island, visit the first church made of stone in French Polynesia, the tiny Saint-Raphael Church, and later enjoy a barbeque on the sweeping sand beach overlooking the lagoon.

Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn, Henderson & Oneo

The legendary last home of the Bounty mutineers, Pitcairn Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world. Before the mutineers, led by Fletcher Christian, arrived with their Tahitian wives, Pitcairn and the surrounding islands of Oeno, Henderson and Ducie were uninhabited. There is evidence of Polynesian habitation from the 11th century, but those residents had long since departed, leaving the islands to the wind and sea.

It was an ideal hiding place – difficult to find and difficult to go ashore. The Anglo-Tahitian descendants who now live there, a population that has dwindled to 50, are descendants from the mutineers. We will go ashore at Adamstown to meet the locals and discover the remarkable stories of the islands, see the relics of the HMS Bounty such as the anchor and ship’s Bible. There will also be the opportunity to take guided walks – we may have the opportunity to visit the historic church, Fletcher Christian’s cave and see relics from the earlier Polynesian civilisation on the islands. Pitcairn Island is also a designated Dark Sky Sanctuary, and here we will enjoy a stargazing session as the night sky sparkles above.

The remote coral atoll of Henderson Island, uninhabited and untouched, is as isolated from the world as you can be. Sadly, even on this island, the work of man might be seen in plastic debris that the ocean deposits from time to time!  See the remarkable eroded blowholes and rock formations, with the flying sea spray as the ocean continues to carve and erode the coastline. A World Heritage site, the island is also home to four endemic bird species. We will enjoy nature walks to discover coconut crabs and birds.

If weather permits, we will visit uninhabited Oeno Atoll, a little island inside a stunning blue lagoon. Oeno Atoll is an Important Bird Area and supports seabirds such as Murphy’s Petrels and Brown Noddies. The island is a holiday destination for Pitcairn Islanders.

Austral Islands: Rapa Iti, Raivavae, Tubuai & Rurutu

The Austral Islands are located 600 km south of Tahiti and are a mysterious land with sheer mountains, deep valleys and high plains. There are many intriguing archaeological sites on the islands, telling us a fascinating history of the ancient Polynesians.  The remoteness of the islands makes them a perfect location for humpback whale calving, while the friendliness of the locals and their colourful villages will enchant you.

Our first stop is at Rapa Iti, where a ring of mountains protects a central bay. This island is only accessible by sea and is home to many fortresses and ancient ruins. This island ‘small Rapa’ has a profound connection to Easter Island, ‘big Rapa’, and legends say that the people of Rapa Iti were the settlers of Rapa Nui. Here we will enjoy unique dances and hikes to discover some of the ancient history and natural beauty of this unusual island.

Raivavae, ‘the open sky’, is a magnificent island surrounded by a glowing turquoise lagoon. Considered to be the most beautiful island in the Pacific, Raivavae shelters four villages and amazing historical artefacts such as a laughing tiki. The islanders are very welcoming and keep their island untouched. You will see remarkable crafts, including the sewn outriggers which are still made here.  Enjoy snorkelling in the remarkable crystal-clear lagoon, surrounded by reef fish.

We may also visit the islands of Tubuai and Rurutu, beautiful islands created by ancient volcanic activity. Fertile and lush, the islands support farming and fishing, and the landscape is perfect for exploring with panoramic views, limestone caves, maraes, and magnificent cultural handicrafts.

Day 21: Arrive Pape’ete

Arrive in Pape’ete at 7:30 am to disembark the Coral Geographer at 9:00 am.

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.

November 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
19 November 2021 19 Nov 2021 09 December 2021 09 Dec 2021 $17,800 to $33,800 $17,800 to $33,800 Coral Geographer Available Book

December 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
19 November 2021 19 Nov 2021 09 December 2021 09 Dec 2021 $17,800 to $33,800 $17,800 to $33,800 Coral Geographer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • The services of an expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • An authentic, flexible expedition itinerary
  • All daily guided excursions
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines and beer with lunch and dinner service
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access
  • 24-hour coffee and teas
  • Use of all onboard facilities, including a reference library

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

Tipping not required

Our friendly reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Contact our team on 1800 079 545 during business hours in Australia or email explore@coralexpeditions.com

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

 

Additional Information: