Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||18 nights aboard 114-guest luxury vessel, 1 night hotel|
|Meals:||All meals and house wine, beer, and soft drinks included with meals aboard ship|
|Activity:||Small Ship Cruising, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Walking|
Cultural exploration, walking tours, snorkeling
- Easter Island, with its enigmatic moais, ceremonial sites, and volcanic craters
- Pitcairn Islands, with their coral atolls, eroded rock formations, and historical importance as the final destination of the Bounty
- The enchanting isles of French Polynesia, including the atolls of the Tuamotus, Rangiroa’s magnificent lagoon
- The Marquesas Islands, one of the most remote island groupings in the world
- Fantastic snorkeling excursions, beach walks, village visits, expert guest lecturers
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.
Join us for an unforgettable adventure in a South Seas paradise, a corner of the world that has lured adventurers and romantics ever since Magellan first sailed these waters in 1521. Our voyage aboard the 114-guest MS Caledonian Sky brings us from Easter Island, home to the famed moais of mysterious origin and visited by Captain Cook in 1774 on his second voyage of exploration, to the Pitcairn Islands, renowned as the final destination of the mutineers of the Bounty, to the enchanting isles of French Polynesia, including the remote and culturally-rich Marquesas Islands, beloved by the artist Paul Gauguin. All along the way we experience the traditional hospitality of friendly islanders in villages set amid the shade of breadfruit and coconut palms, snorkel the rich coral reefs and crystal-clear lagoons that shelter astounding marine life, from brilliantly-hued parrotfish to giant clams, and enjoy the expertise of our handpicked expedition team of naturalists, marine biologists, and ecologists who share their enthusiasm and knowledge during our shore excursions and while aboard the ship.
Arrive this morning and transfer to your comfortable hotel for an overnight stay. Rooms have been pre-booked so you can check in on arrival this morning. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax and explore independently.
Santiago to Easter Island
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Easter Island. On arrival transfer to Hanga Roa Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay. This afternoon, explore Rano Kau, the second oldest volcano on the island. Its huge Caldera (nearly a mile 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. Return to the hotel for dinner this evening.
Easter Island / Embark
Today, enjoy a full day tour, visiting many of the different areas where moais (statues) can be found. You 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. Continue our exploration of the island with Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia restored in 1996 and Ahu Akivi where you find seven maoi built around 1460 B.C 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. In the late afternoon, transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and sail this evening.
Experience expedition cruising at its finest as you spend two days at sea en route to the Pitcairn Islands. Lectures from your onboard naturalists, historians, and anthropologists enhance your understanding of this fascinating realm.
Ducie Island, Pitcairn Islands
After a morning at sea you will experience expedition cruising at its finest as you land on one of nature’s wildlife sanctuaries. A remote coral atoll with superb 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. Your expedition team will lead a series of walks on the island.
Henderson Island, Pitcairn Islands
Arrive at Henderson Island at lunchtime. 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 and while walking on the island, come across a profusion of coconut crabs.
Pitcairn Island, Pitcairn Islands
Arrive this morning 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. You will have time to explore this inspiring island setting and visit with islanders who display memorable stamps and handicrafts. Enjoy a Pitcairn welcome in the Town Hall before exploring the capital of Adamstown. The expedition team will also plan some walks to explore more of the island’s highlights.
You will stay overnight or if weather permits will sail to Oeno Atoll, three uninhabited islands situated around 75 nautical miles from Pitcairn, and spend a morning. It is an important bird area due to the colony of 12,500 pairs of Murphys petrels that nest here alongside sooty tern and brown noddy. (Please note that access to the Pitcairn Islands is very weather dependent).
Mangareva, Gambier Islands / At Sea
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. During your afternoon call, you will have the chance to join island nature walks, take an energetic hike up the 1,400-foot Mount Duff, named after the first European vessel to visit the island in 1797, or you can simply wander around the small village.
On Day 11, you have a day at sea to enjoy the continuing lecture program or find a spot on deck to relax.
Puka Rua, Tuamotus
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. Arriving in the morning, visit the small community and are enthusiastically greeted with genuine friendliness and lively music. You will have the chance to walk through the village or enjoy a swim in the lagoon before enjoying an afternoon at sea.
This morning we visit Pukapuka. To honor you and fellow guests, the islanders proudly decorate their tidy village with green palm fronds and flowers, and welcome you 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. Plan to travel to the inland lagoon where you can swim or snorkel to discover a bounty of vibrant corals and iridescent reef fishes in the warm waters. Relax on deck in the afternoon as you sail to your next island.
Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands
After a morning at sea, arrive in the Marquesas Islands far removed from the rest of the South Pacific in everything from language and culture to geology. 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 your 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 later in the afternoon a snorkel platform will be set up for those who wish to swim.
Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
At first light, arrive at volcanic Hiva Oa. You will anchor off Atohuna where if you are lucky you may find mantarays before going ashore. Your morning will be dedicated to Gauguin, the iconic artist of the South Pacific. You 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, take 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 your return to the ship you may wish to enjoy a swim from the beach.
Nuku Hiva / At Sea
Your last day in the Marquesas will be at Nuka Hiva, the largest of the Islands and the island group’s economic capital. Today immerse yourself in local culture and geography. Traditional Marquesan dancers welcome you to their village. Yo 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 while there will also be a chance to swim from the beaches. Spend Day 17 at sea to the Tuamotu Islands.
After a morning at sea, arrive back in the Tuamotus. On the atoll of Takapoto you will be welcomed by the local population and treated to local fruits and demonstrations. Enjoy walks with your expedition team and see the local church and swim in the lake. For those who prefer the underwater world a snorkelling platform will be set up with Zodiacs.
Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands
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 have a last chance to snorkel or swim.
Papeete, Tahiti / Depart
Disembark and transfer to the airport in Papeete, Tahiti for the return indirect scheduled flights home.
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 21-Dec 11, 2017 Caledonian Sky
Prices are for 2017
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
|Standard Suite Forward||$13,295|
|Deluxe Balcony Suite||$16,900|
|Premium Balcony Suite||$17,850|
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: 10%
of trip cost
100 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*
Minimum fee: 10% of trip cost
70-89 days prior to departure: 40% of trip cost
50-69 days prior to departure: 60% of trip cost
30-49 days prior to departure: 80% of trip cost
15-29 days prior to departure: 90% of trip cost
14 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
- Standard Suites (Forward) on Castle Deck with two or three portholes, en suite bathroom with shower. 244 sq. ft. Suites 250, 252.
- Standard Suites on Castle Deck with two, three, or four portholes, en suite bathroom with shower. 244 sq. ft. Suites 254-262.
- Superior Suites on Caledonian Deck with large window, en suite bathroom with bathtub and shower (except for suites 329-331 that feature only a shower). 233 sq. ft. Suites 329-348.
- Premium Suites on Promenade Deck with one or two windows, en suite bathroom with shower (suites 431 and 432 feature a bathtub and shower). 217 sq. ft. Suites 431-434.
- Deluxe Balcony Suites on Bridge Deck with walk-in wardrobe, en suite bathroom with bathtub and shower, and a private balcony measuring 45 sq. ft. 215 sq. ft. Suites 505-512.
- Premium Balcony Suites on Promenade Deck with walk-in wardrobe, en suite bathroom with shower, and a private balcony measuring 60 sq. ft. (suites 418-419 have a normal glass door rather than sliding door to the balcony). 217 sq. ft. Suites 416-428.
- Owner’s Corner Suites on Promenade Deck with walk-in wardrobe, en suite bathroom with shower, two forward-facing portholes, and a private balcony measuring 60 sq. ft. 243 sq. ft. Suites 414-415.
Trip Cost Includes:
- accommodations aboard the MS Caledonian Sky
- one night's accommodation at hotel on Easter island, with breakfast
- All meals and house wine, beer, and soft drinks included with meals aboard ship
- services of an experienced cruise staff
- 24-hour room service
- entertainment and educational programs
- use of the ship’s sporting equipment
- port and handling charges
- Zodiac and tender transfers
- access to the ship’s library of CDs/DVDs
- government fees and taxes
- gratuities to shipboard personnel
- airport transfers on Easter Island and Tahiti
Trip Cost Does Not Include:International airfare, visa and passport fees, optional half-day excursions, baggage, cancellation and accident insurance, any items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, shopping onboard, bar expenses for drinks other than at meals, hairdressing and massage treatments, medical services, telephone and internet charges.
Built in 1991 as a private yacht, the Caledonian Sky has been completely refurbished to become an elegant expedition vessel. Each of the 57 spacious suites offers ocean views, sitting area (some with a private balcony), well-appointed bathrooms, flat-screen TV, telephone, personal safe, hairdryer, and mini-fridge. The ship also has a dining room, two bars, library, lounge with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, a medical clinic and doctor, small gym and salon, ample outdoor decks, and an elevator that serves all decks. The vessel carries the latest safety, navigation, and communications equipment, along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. The captain’s open-bridge policy allows passengers onto the bridge at most times. A fleet of Zodiacs allows landings at remote locations.