Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Depart:||Hanga Roa, Easter Island|
|Lodging:||16 nights aboard a 114-passenger vessel|
|Meals:||All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore|
|Activity:||Small Ship Cruising|
16-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, snorkeling
Such a fabulous place and the crew leaders were over the top!Lynda C.—Hermosa Beach, CA
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
With its dreamy, postcard-perfect scenery of palm-fringed beaches and azure lagoons, Polynesia is the very definition of paradise. From legendary Tahiti, we head to the Marquesas, with their sky-piercing volcanoes, lushly carpeted canyons, and chiseled bays. In the low-lying Tuamotu Archipelago, whose remote atolls—rings of coral dotted by tiny islets enclosing aquamarine lagoons—we experience some of the world’s most dazzling snorkeling. We step ashore on seldom-visited Pitcairn, witness the amazing birdlife of uninhabited Henderson and Ducie Islands, and conclude our adventure with a discovery of Easter Island.
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Day 1 , November 5, 2017
Depart USA / Papeete, Tahiti
Board your independent flight to Papeete. Arrive in the late evening and transfer to our hotel.
Day 2, November 6, 2017
Papeete / Embark Caledonian Sky
Relax during a morning at leisure, then join a tour of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia’s largest island. Pass by orchards of papaya as you drive along the stunning coast. Visit the renowned Gauguin Museum to learn about the life of the artist in the islands and the Museum of Tahiti, which traces the islands’ history. Embark the Caledonian Sky this evening.
Day 3, November 7, 2017
Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands
Though remote and sparsely populated, the far-flung Tuamotus comprise the world’s largest atoll chain. These venerable coral constructions rise just high enough above the water to be called land, and if it weren’t for their waving coconut palms, they might be entirely invisible from any distance. Step ashore on Rangiroa this afternoon, whose name translates into “vast sky.” The largest atoll in the Tuamotus, more than 400 motu—low-lying islets and sandbars—sit atop a ring of coral through which at least 100 channels flow. The dazzling lagoon is hailed as one of the world’s greatest dive destinations, and whether snorkeling or diving, you will be rewarded with unparalleled underwater vistas. Birders watch for blue lorikeets, red-footed boobies, and great frigatebirds, while a beach walk takes you to Tiputa village to meet locals who demonstrate energetic traditional dances.
Day 4, November 8, 2017
Attend informative lectures today as the Caledonian Sky cruises toward the legendary Marquesas Islands.
Days 5-7, November 9 - 11, 2017
Considered one of the most beautiful island groups in the South Pacific, the Marquesas lie farther from a continental coast than any other islands in the world. Unlike other Polynesian islands, the Marquesas have no surrounding reefs or placid lagoons. Their wide, deep bays are havens for vessels such as ours.
Spend three days exploring this dazzling collection of islands whose breathtaking vertical peaks reach into the clouds, while carpets of lush tropical vegetation drape cliffs and canyons that descend to sea-sculpted bays. Countless sooty, fairy, and bridled terns circle tiny, rocky pinnacle islets. Zodiacs bring you ashore on a variety of islands, to be greeted on some by dancers and drummers adorned in leis and tapa cloth, and welcomed to others by the blowing of large conch shells—the traditional pu greeting. On walks you may see petroglyphs or tiki figures—representing deified ancestors—flanked by banyan trees, fragrant plumeria, blooming orchids, and silvery waterfalls. Open-air craft markets display baskets, shell jewelry, and wooden carvings. Birders search for the endemic Nuku Hiva pigeon and Marquesan swiftlet. Though the islands lack fringing reefs, snorkelers and divers will discover many colorful fish against a backdrop of sheer walls and dramatic arches covered in soft corals.
Day 8, November 12, 2017
Puka Puka, Tuamotu Islands
Delightful music and dancing welcome you to this idyllic island—the first land sighted in the Pacific by Europeans. Visit the small village whose residents raise taro, bananas, and coconut palms for copra (dried coconut.) Birders search for Pacific reef-heron while snorkelers and divers explore the fringing reef.
Day 9, November 13, 2017
Coconut palms and breadfruit trees cover the beautiful islets that surround Puka Rua’s lagoon. Garland-bedecked dancers greet you in the tiny village whose 150 hospitable inhabitants earn a living selling copra. Witness the process of coconut drying, enjoy a local crafts market, or stroll along the lagoon shores watching crested terns circling overhead. Spend the afternoon exploring this lovely atoll’s underwater wonders.
Day 10, November 14, 2017
Today, conditions permitting, explore one of the many uninhabited Tuamotu Islands and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or diving.
Day 11, November 15, 2017
Mangareva, Gambier Islands
Go ashore to stroll along tidy streets flanked with colorful tropical vegetation in Rikitea and ascend the slopes of Mt. Duff for nature walks. Birders search for Christmas and tropical shearwaters. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving in the large lagoon.
Day 12, November 16, 2017
Pitcairn, Pitcairn Islands
Remote, enchanting, and tiny at six miles around, volcano-crowned Pitcairn was the fabled hideout of the HMS Bounty mutineers in 1790. Step ashore and visit with the 50 hospitable inhabitants of Adamstown, who are the direct descendants of the nine mutineers and 18 Polynesians. The anchor of the Bounty rests beside the courthouse and the ship’s Bible resides in the church. After your island visit, the warm and inviting waters are perfect for a swim, snorkel, or dive.
Day 13, November 17, 2017
Sheer limestone cliffs surround this elevated coralline island, a World Heritage Site, pockmarked by caves and blowholes. Henderson’s astounding natural selection has produced ten endemic flowering plants and four endemic species of land birds, including the Henderson Island crake and Stephen’s lorikeet. In the afternoon, snorkel or dive in the marine-life-rich waters.
Days 14, November 18, 2017
This small, uninhabited, and rarely-visited atoll is rimmed in white sand beaches that in turn surround a crystalline lagoon. As you walk along the shore, witness a vast variety of seabirds—tens of thousands nest here, including Murphy’s and Phoenix petrels, masked boobies, frigatebirds, and red-tailed tropicbirds. Underwater forays bring you face-to-face with legions of rainbow-hued fish in the warm, clear waters.
Days 15-16, November 19 - 20, 2017
Relax on deck and enjoy the ongoing lecture series as you cruise toward Easter Island, a World Heritage Site and one of the most mysterious places on earth.
Days 17-18, November 21 - 22, 2017
Easter Island, Chile
Spend two full days exploring Easter Island. Visit the ceremonial center of Ahu Vinapu where the monolithic stonework is reminiscent of the Inca civilization in Peru, contributing to the theory of contact between the islanders and South America. View the intriguing stone heads, moai, built on massive stone platforms at Tahai, along with nearly 400 monolithic statues in various states of completion at the spectacular volcanic tuff quarries. At Ahu Tongariki visit the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia—a five-year archaeological restoration project was completed in 1996. Drive to the Rano Kau volcano to view the giant caldera, its sprawling floor dotted with lakes and the ceremonial village of Orongo, dedicated to the fascinating “birdman” cult.
Days 19-20, November 23 - 24, 2017
Easter Island / Disembark / Santiago, Chile / USA
After breakfast disembark the Caledonian Sky and enjoy a short tour before heading to the airport for your afternoon flight to Santiago; arriving in the USA November 24.
2016 Cruise Collection
We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.
What the Trip is Like
The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Zodiac landing crafts are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries, scenic nature areas, and local towns and villages. There are also ample opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.
Nov 5-24, 2017
Prices are for 2017
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
Single/Category 4: $31,380
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: 25%
of trip cost
130 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*
Minimum fee: $750 per person
120-180 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
60-119 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
59 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
- Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 240 square feet and have three portholes.
- Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 230 square feet with large picture windows.
- Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 220 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 220 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 240 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
- Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 215 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 45 square feet.
Trip Cost Includes:
- Accommodations in our hotels and on board Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary
- All meals onboard the ship and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner (alcohol is non-premium brands)
- Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
- Services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows
- All group activities and excursions
- Landing and port fees
- All gratuities
- Pre-voyage extensions include all of the above
Trip Cost Does Not Include:All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; travel insurance; passport and/or visa fees; scuba diving equipment where required; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges.
A valid passport is required for this trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after the conclusion of your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.
No visa is required for US Citizens traveling to French Polynesia or Chile (Easter Island).
We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov should you have any international health concerns.
No inoculations are currently required for entry into French Polynesia or Chile (Easter Island).
The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, library, and gym. Outside decks feature a rear sun deck where meals are served in pleasant weather, and the promenade deck is available for scenic photography as well as wildlife and seabird viewing. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en-suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. Wireless internet access is available throughout the ship. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs for excursions ashore.