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  • Writer's pictureDEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD

French Polynesia to Easter Island Expedition

Join us on this exciting adventure sailing October 27 - November 9, 2023 on the Ponant's Le Boreal featuring just 199 guests, all backed by A&K’s 30 years of incomparable experience in Luxury Expedition Cruising.


Embark on an adventurous expedition into the heart of French Polynesia and its unique history, spectacular marine environments and UNESCO-designated gems. Led by A&K’s celebrated Expedition Team, snorkel the sapphire waters of the Tuamotu Archipelago and experience the Pitcairn Islands and their shared legacy with the HMS ‘Bounty.’ You also trace Polynesian culture to its roots in magnificent Easter Island, which you explore for multiple days.

South Pacific Expedition Highlights:
  • Cruise for 13 nights from Tahiti to Easter Island on an exclusively chartered A&K expedition aboard ‘Le Boreal,’ featuring a maximum capacity of just 199 guests

  • Experience an exciting enrichment program led by A&K’s renowned Expedition Team, who join you for every adventure and lead a fascinating onboard lecture series

  • Explore the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia’s most remarkable islands and the largest chain of atolls in the world

  • Enjoy authentic and inspiring island welcome ceremonies when you visit French Polynesia’s Fakarava Atoll and UNESCO-designated Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island

  • Step back in time with a landing in the legendary Pitcairn Islands, where you discover the fascinating story of the infamous mutineers of the HMS ‘Bounty’

  • Spend multiple days exploring Easter Island, discovering its ruins and moais, lagoons and volcanos, and extraordinary culture

  • Enjoy opportunities to snorkel in the pristine waters of rare marine environments, including the wildlife haven of UNESCO-designated Henderson Island

Featured Expedition Guest Experts:

MICHELLE VALBERG

Photographer, Nikon Ambassador

An award-winning photographer who has travelled to every continent, Michelle is a Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Canadian Geographic Photographer-in-Residence and the author of four books.


COMMANDER SUSAN KILRAIN

Guest Lecturer

A distinguished aerospace engineer, Navy test pilot and one of only three women to pilot the space shuttle, Susan’s first mission was tied to Easter Island, also home to an emergency landing runway for NASA.



French Polynesia to Easter Island Expedition daily itinerary:

October 27, 2023 - ARRIVE PAPEETE, TAHITI

Arrive early this morning in lively Papeete, abuzz with its cafes and markets. Guests arriving early transfer to the InterContinental Resort Tahiti for access to a day room before lunch and a scenic tour of the island. Visit the James Norman Hall Home, a memorial museum replica of the famed writer’s home, as well as Point Venus, the landing spot of the European explorers who discovered these islands. Next, drive up to Tahara’a “One Tree Hill” for impressive views over Matavai Bay. This afternoon, board your luxury expedition ship and home for the next 13 nights.


October 28, 2023 - FAKARAVA ATOLL | STUNNING TUAMOTUAN ATOLL

Located about 230 nautical miles east of Tahiti, the extensive Tuamotuan chain stretches for 600 miles and represents the oldest, and arguably dreamiest, islands of French Polynesia. Today, explore Fakarava, its second-largest atoll with a population of approximately 700 inhabitants. After a leisurely breakfast and relaxing morning on your ship, join your Expedition Team on excursions to shore via Zodiacs (sturdy inflatable boats), where you are treated to a welcome ceremony at Rotoava. Enjoy exploring the village with its quaint streets, churches, local shops, town hall and school. Time permitting, set off on a scenic Zodiac excursion with your Expedition Team to discover Fakarava’s blue lagoon and picturesque landscape. Conditions permitting, you may also enjoy a landing and beach time.


October 29, 2023 - MAROKAU ATOLL | PEARL OF THE TUAMOTUS

A vast contrast from Fakarava, tiny Marokau is home to just over 90 inhabitants and was once a primary destination for collecting pearls in the Tuamotus’ lagoons. Soak in its breathtaking scenery during a relaxing morning on your luxury ship before setting off on Zodiacs for an afternoon of exploration. Choose to join your Expedition Team for activities ranging from birding walks to snorkeling as well as beach combing and swimming. Return to your ship late this afternoon, with time to relax and participate in fascinating lectures led by your experts. After dinner, cocktails out on deck under starry French Polynesian skies are in order.


October 30, 2023 - AT SEA | CRUISING THE TUAMOTU ARCHIPELAGO

Cruise through the southern Tuamotu Archipelago as your Expedition Team offers presentations on the sights that surround you and prepare you for your next stop in the Gambier Islands.


October 31, 2023 - MANGAREVA ISLAND | STAR OF THE GAMBIER ISLANDS

North of the Tropic of Capricorn and some 1,025 miles southeast of Tahiti, find the largest of the Gambier Islands. Dubbed the “Floating Mountain” by Polynesian inhabitants, Mangareva boasts a singular village, a distinctive cathedral and exciting terrain. This morning, discover the beauty of the island with a local guide and your Expedition Team, beginning with an excursion to the Cathedral of St. Michael. Completed in 1848 and featuring twin towers, this historic church can accommodate 1,200 people — more than the population of the island today. Alternatively, you may visit a pearl shell-carving school, enjoy a hike to Mt. Duff with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet or set out on a guided walk in search of birds and wildlife. Conditions permitting, snorkeling may be offered to complete today’s adventures.


November 1, 2023 - AT SEA | SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea as well as continued lectures and conversations with your Expedition Team. You may also take advantage of the ship facilities, including its panoramic decks and full-service spa.


November 2, 2023 - PITCAIRN ISLAND | LEGACY OF THE HMS ‘BOUNTY’

After the infamous mutiny on the HMS ‘Bounty’ in the South Pacific Ocean on April 28, 1789, acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers sought refuge on Pitcairn Island on January 15, 1790. Today, this namesake island of the Pitcairn Island Group is home to roughly 56 inhabitants — all descendants of the mutineers and the Polynesians who accompanied them — making Pitcairn the least populous national jurisdiction in the world. Today, set foot on the island and back in time to discover its fascinating history. Join local guides in small groups and explore Pitcairn on a variety of walks, including an uphill trek to Adamstown. Bring your passport for the rare opportunity to have it stamped “From the Middle of Nowhere” at the museum and post office, one of the most remote in the world. Later, return to your luxury ship for recaps led by your experts and great conversations over dinner.


November 3, 2023 - HENDERSON ISLAND | WILD, UNTOUCHED TREASURE

Part of the Pitcairn Island Group and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Henderson measures just over 14 square miles yet boasts remarkable diversity. Today’s expedition stop offers you the opportunity to explore this uninhabited island with your Expedition Team. Set your sights on gloriously desolate beaches. Join guided walks in search of the island’s rare flora and fauna, which include 10 endemic flowering plants and four endemic species of land birds, such as the Henderson crake and Henderson lorikeet. Sheer limestone cliffs surround this elevated coralline island — one of the last two in the world unaffected by human contact. Conditions permitting, enjoy another chance to snorkel, this time amid Henderson’s brilliant waters.


November 4, 2023 - DUCIE ISLAND | BIRDER’S PARADISE

Also in the Pitcairn Group, Ducie is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, including masked boobies, various petrels and frigate birds. The island is also remote and rarely visited, making today’s expedition stop a unique opportunity for discovery. Set off on Zodiacs with your Expedition Team to experience birding colonies in the thousands, a walk on rarely touched sand and the opportunity to snorkel along Ducie’s outer reef.


November 5 + 6, 2023 - AT SEA | THE VOYAGE TO EASTER ISLAND

As your ship sails east toward Easter Island, enjoy the next two days at sea to recharge from recent days of adventure. Engaging lectures are ongoing and shed compelling insights on the mythical speck of land you will soon have the privilege to explore.


November 7 + 8, 2023 - EASTER ISLAND, CHILE | RAPA NUI NATIONAL PARK

Known as Rapa Nui to native Polynesians, Easter Island is set over 2,300 miles from mainland Chile and considered the most remote inhabited island on the planet. The greatest concentration of its culture spans UNESCO-designated Rapa Nui National Park, a vast protected wildlife area and open-air museum showcasing the island’s iconic moai statues. Explore it as part of a multi-day immersive experience that begins with a lively welcome ceremony. Visit the ruins of the sacred city of Orongo with its low, sod-covered buildings and explore an internal lagoon. In the late afternoon, witness a wonderful sunset with a cocktail at the archaeological complex of Ahu Tahai. The next day, choose to rise early to see the sun rise at Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial ground on Easter Island complete with fifteen moais, including one that weighs 86 tons. Later, travel to Rano Raraku Volcano, one of the most impressive sites on Easter Island. Continue to Anakena Beach to enjoy a BBQ lunch followed by time at leisure to soak in this beautiful beach peppered with palm trees and moais. You might also enjoy meetings with local Rapa Nui who teach the traditional art of body painting and ancient stone carving. Return every evening to the comforts of your luxury expedition ship and stateroom, taking in the island’s endlessly compelling views from your own private balcony.


November 9, 2023 - DEPART EASTER ISLAND

Bid farewell to your Expedition Team before disembarking your ship. Visit the Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum, which houses 20,000 artifacts from the island. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on A&K’s post-tour extension.

Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted at the sole discretion of the Captain due to weather and sea conditions, medical emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances beyond A&K’s control.

Interested in learning more?

FrenchPolynesiatoEasterIslandExpedition2023
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Ready to book and be part of this extraordinary expedition? Click here to set up a consultation.

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.



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