Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||16 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.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
Day 1, October 15
Arrive at Easter Island and transfer to a local hotel for an overnight stay. In the afternoon we visit 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 lookout at the rim of Rano Kau we continue to the ceremonial village of Orongo, best known for the birdman cult race in which contestants vied to be the first to bring back the egg of a sooty tern from the offshore islet of Motu Nui. The site features 47 restored houses. We continue to Ahu Tahai, another restored ceremonial site and one of the oldest, dating back to the 6th century. We return to the hotel for dinner and overnight...D
Day 2, October 16
After breakfast in the hotel we enjoy a full day tour, visiting many of the areas where the mysterious moais (statues) are found. We explore the volcano of Rano Raraku, the site where nearly all moais were carved (today almost 400 statues remain in various stages of completion). A hike to the top of the volcano’s crater reveals not only many statues but also a beautiful fresh water lake. We continue our explorations at Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia, restored in 1996. Lunch is a specially arranged barbecue on Anakena Beach, one of the prettiest coves in the South Pacific and home of Easter Island’s ancient paramount chiefs. After lunch we return to town before transferring to the MS Caledonian Sky, and tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner on the ship. All meals included aboard the MS Caledonian Sky.
Days 3-4, October 17-18
We experience expedition cruising at its finest as we spend two days at sea en route to the Pitcairn Islands. Lectures from our onboard naturalists, historians, and anthropologists enhance our understanding of this fascinating realm.
Day 5, October 19
Ducie Island, Pitcairn Islands
A coral atoll offering superb snorkeling and birding, Ducie Island is so remote that no threats to its native wildlife exist, and this sanctuary is one of the rare places in the world where wildlife is relatively unaffected by man’s presence. On a snorkeling excursion, we view bright-hued parrotfish feeding off the coral beds, while giant tridacna clams display mantles of purple, green, and blue.
Day 6, October 20
Henderson Island, Pitcairn Islands
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 such as soldier fish, butterfly fish, and goatfish, and we will enjoy searching for them as we snorkel these beautiful waters.
Days 7-8, October 21-22
Pitcairn Island, Pitcairn Islands
We arrive on Pitcairn Island itself, famous as the final destination of the Bounty in the late 18th century. We enjoy a Pitcairn welcome in the Town Hall before setting out to explore the capital of Adamstown. Accompanied by our expedition staff, we visit the island’s highlights including St. Paul’s Pool and Christian’s Cave, 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. (Please note that access to Pitcairn is very weather dependent.)
We stay overnight or, if weather permits, sail to Oeno Atoll, three uninhabited islands located about 75 nautical miles from Pitcairn. This important bird area has a colony of 12,500 pairs of Murphys petrels that nest here alongside sooty tern and brown noddy. We will have the morning to explore the island or swim off the beautiful beaches.
Days 9-10, October 23-24
Mangareva, Gambier Islands / At Sea
Mountainous Mangareva is home to a remarkable cathedral with a stunning mother-of-pearl altar. Built under the malevolent order of a tyrannical priest, the building of this church cost the lives of many islanders. Today Mangareva is a peaceful place, as we discover during our island explorations, which include nature walks, a hike up Mount Duff, or simply strolling around the small, fruit tree–fringed village of Rikitea. The following day is at sea en route to the Tuamotus.
Day 11, October 25
Puka Rua, Tuamotus
Located on the outer fringes of French Polynesia, Puka Rua faces thousands of miles of open ocean. Its small island population lives in a spirit of cooperation and friendship, subsisting 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. We may also have a chance to swim or snorkel off the island’s lovely beaches.
Day 12, October 26
Puka Puka, Tuamotus
Arriving on Puka Puka, the friendly islanders welcome us with fragrant flower leis and entrancing dances. We have a chance to sample traditional coconut treats and watch a demonstration of how copra, the dried meat of the coconut, is prepared for various uses. Snorkelers will find a bounty of vibrant corals and iridescent reef fishes in the warm waters, while beach walkers can investigate the inter-tidal zone with our naturalists.
Day 13, October 27
Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands
After a morning at sea we arrive in the Marquesas Islands, far removed from the rest of the South Pacific, 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 of the islands. It is the only one in French Polynesia where they still make tapa, beaten bark cloth. Villagers will perform their traditional dances and demonstrate their handicrafts for us.
Day 14, October 28
Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
This 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 visit Puamau and the Oipona me’ae temple and the eight-foot-tall tiki, Takaii, the largest stone tiki in French Polynesia. We also watch ancient Polynesian culture brought to life in a special performance by the villagers.
Days 15-16, October 29-30
Nuku Hiva / At Sea
Our last morning in the Marquesas will be at Nuka Hiva, the largest of the islands and the island group’s economic capital, where we will immerse ourselves in local culture and geography. Traditional Marquesan dancers welcome us to their village and we will learn about their native way of life. We will visit the archeological centers and view the temples, petroglyphs, and tiki. We return to the ship for lunch and set sail. The following day is at sea as we head to Rangiroa.
Day 17, October 31
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 down its length of nearly 45 miles. We have a chance to tour a black pearl farm, enjoy free time in the enchanting local village of Avatoru, or do a final snorkel or swim from the local beaches.
Day 18, November 1
We disembark after breakfast. Most homeward-bound flights depart in the evening, and you may wish to book a day room at a nearby hotel, or stay on in Tahiti, the neighboring isle of Moorea, or other islands for a few extra days.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
2015 Cruise Collection Brochure
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.
Future dates have not been set for this itinerary. Please contact us if you would like to be notified of trip dates once they are available.
Prices are for 2014
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
|Superior Suite (SOLD OUT)||$12,595|
|Premium Suite (SOLD OUT)||$12,895|
|Deluxe Balcony Suite (SOLD OUT)||$14,395|
|Premium Balcony Suite (SOLD OUT)||$14,995|
|Corner Suite (SOLD OUT)||$15,595|
Single accommodation in Deluxe Suite: $20,195
- Standard Suites on Castle Deck with four portholes, en suite bathroom with shower. 244 sq. ft. Suites 254-262. Standard Suites (Forward) 250, 252 have two portholes.
- 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 Decks with large window, en suite bathroom with bathtub and shower (suites 431 and 432 feature a bathtub). 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. 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.
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*
More than 90 days prior to departure: 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.
Arrival & Departure Information
Arrival & Meeting Place
Easter Island, Chile
Date: Day 1, October 15, 2014
Suggested arrival time: anytime
Suggested Arrival Airport
Easter Island (airport code IPC)
Upon arrival in Easter Island, you will receive a group transfer from the airport to the group hotel.
Date: Day 18, November 1, 2014
You will disembark the Caledonian Sky on November 1 at approximately 9:00 am and embark on a full day tour of Tahiti. US-bound flights usually depart Papeete in the late evening. You should make your return flight from Papeete, Tahiti (PPT) after 6:00 pm.
Suggested Airport for Departure
Papeete Airport (airport code PPT)
International Air Travel
You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to Easter Island via Lima, Peru (LIM) or Santiago, Chile (SCL), and the return flight from Papeete, Tahiti. You will need to book different airlines for the outbound and return portions as no airlines have service to both destinations. You will need to check with the airlines or an online booking service such as Expedia or kayak.com for the best fares. Airlines with the most convenient schedules for this trip include:
Air Tahiti Nui
Depending on your routing, it may be necessary to depart from the US at least one day prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary (all hotel nights en route or return are at your own expense). You will be traveling at peak travel times and possible bad weather conditions in the US. We suggest you allow an extra day in Santiago, Lima, or Easter Island as a cushion.
The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US.
Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been reviewed and purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can arrange the appropriate airport transfers. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for the trip. Although non-refundable tickets often offer price advantages, we highly suggest you consider booking less restrictive fares in case you need to change your dates or cancel your reservation. Please note that you are responsible for any change or cancellation fees once your air tickets are issued.
Reconfirm your international flights 72 hours prior to departure to verify check-in and departure times and to learn of any last minute changes. We suggest you check your luggage all the way through from your hometown to your final destination.
If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact the airlines immediately to rearrange your flight schedule. Once rescheduled, please contact our office at (800) 368-2794 or (510) 558-2488 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Time, or leave a message after hours). Detailed information with local contacts will be included in your Final Documents.
Should you wish to give family and friends an emergency contact number, please have them call our office. As it may be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to contact you for short periods (especially when you are traveling in remote regions), this should only be used in cases requiring your early return or an immediate phone call.
Wilderness Travel: (800) 368-2794 or (510) 558-2488.
Built in 1991 as a private yacht, the MS Caledonian Sky has been completely refurbished to become an elegant expedition vessel providing 5-star comfort in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Each of the 57 spacious suites offers ocean views, sitting area (some also offer a private balcony), well-appointed bathroom, flat-screen TV, telephone, personal safe, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, hairdryer, and mini-fridge. The MS Caledonia Sky also features a dining room, two bars (one has a 24-hour tea and coffee station), library, lounge with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, medical clinic and doctor, small gym and salon, ample outdoor decks, and an elevator that serves all decks. The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation, and communications equipment, along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times. A fleet of Zodiacs are available for landing at remote locations.