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zPeaks & Atolls of French Polynesia

11 days

11 Day Luxury Pacific Expedition

Small Ship Adventures for our World Travelers

  • Snorkel, swim and look for colorful reef-fish, sea cucumbers, rays, and sea turtles.
  • A rich French Polynesian experience that takes you to islands off the well-worn Tahiti-Moorea-BoraBora tourist track.
  • Swim with sharks at Rangiroa.
  • Explore the large lagoon and old village at Fakarava.
  • Visit French painter Paul Gaugin’s grave at Hiva Oa.
  • Marvel at the spectacular peaks of the Marquesas Islands
  • Enjoy a traditional dance presentation and visit ancient Marae at Ua Pau.

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Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands

Embark Silver Discoverer and depart on your exciting 10-day Silversea Expedition. This evening, after settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and participate in a mandatory safety drill. Tonight we invite you to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.


Rangiroa, Tuamotu Archipelago

Rangiroa (“the big sky” in the Puamotu language), with its 42-mile-long by 16-mile-wide turquoise lagoon, is the largest coral atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago and the second largest in the world. The activity choices available during our day here are as varied and numerous as Rangiroa’s many islets and motus. The world-famous Tiputa Pass is one of French Polynesia’s top spots for drift diving and drift snorkeling. The day’s schedule will revolve around the incoming tides, allowing advanced swimmers to experience amazing encounters with three sharks species, barracuda, manta rays, eagle rays, dolphins and thousands of fish that follow this natural opening to the ocean. Dive Programme guests will experience two different dives today, exploring the drop-offs outside the reefs.

Close to the Tiputa Pass is an excellent reef called the “Aquarium” where there is no current, and where less advanced swimmers will find coral and fish that are just outstanding. The visibility is very good and the reef starts just below the water’s surface, dropping off gently to about 15 meters.

During our stay we also plan to visit a Pearl Farm where we will learn all about Polynesia’s famed black pearls.


Ahe Lagoon & Manihi, Tuamotu Archipelago

Today, we visit the Ahe Lagoon and Manihi in the Tuamaotu Archipelago. Upon arrival, we will be welcomed by the islanders with a traditional lei greeting who will proceed to demonstrate their local crafts and offer us tastings of the bountiful fruits this regions produces.

An underwater wonderland of colorful sea life and prized black pearls are the primary allure at this serene and lovely atoll located far off the beaten path. We will visit with the local community and witness the art of pearl grafting at one of the 54 pearl farms in the lagoon, and then don our swimwear for a splash in the picturesque turquoise lagoon. Guests who are scuba certified may use the ship’s equipment to explore the reef wall, and perhaps watch as Manta Rays glide through the waters at “The Circus” dive site.


At Sea

Become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board Silver Discoverer. Gather in the Lounge to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable experts in a variety of scientific fields present lectures and seminars, preparing you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the possible unscheduled adventures that may lie ahead.


Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands

Fatu Hiva (or Fatu Iva, as the locals spell it) is one of the most beautiful and scenic islands in the Marquesas. It is also the most southerly and the most isolated island in the Marquesas group. As a result of this, many cultural traditions are still practiced and are still a way of life in Fatu Hiva. We will visit Hanavave, set in lush valleys with dramatic caldera mountains all around. In the small town of Omoa, we will see an impressive Tapacloth demonstration. This cloth is made from the bark of the Paper Mulberry Tree, the Breadfruit Tree and the Banyan Tree, with each tree producing its own colour of Tapacloth. We will also learn about Umu Hei, a traditional flower bouquet that the local women wear in their hair, and perhaps even enjoy a guided tour of the local museum or church. Guests may choose to join a hike, where you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery. Birders will want to join the onboard ornithologist and together watch for the endemic White-capped Fruit-doves, Marquesas Reed-warblers, and Fatu Hiva Monarchs. At Hanavave, we will be greeted with a native dance performance, and then watch as islanders demonstrate the making of coconut oil, monoi, and the Aeu Pipi (Honeymooners Towel). Divers may choose to explore Fatu Hiva’s fantastic underwater caverns. This memorable day filled with nature’s beauty and fascinating cultural experiences concludes with cocktails on deck as the sun sets in picturesque Virgin Bay.


Puamau, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands

Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
The largest of the southern Marquesas, mountainous Hiva Oa is a dramatic sight.
Early this morning we anchor in Puamau Bay where we visit the Meae Iipona archaeological site. Here, we will see the ruins of sacred ceremonial marae (meae in Marquesan) sites, the last chief’s grave, and the megalithic tiki statues including the eight-foot tall Takaii – the largest stone tiki in Polynesia and second in size only to those on Easter Island.

During lunch Silver Discoverer will reposition to Atuona.
Mount Temetiu rises to 1,213 meters (3,980 feet) above sea level, towering above Atuona on the southern side of the island. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and did some of his best work. As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, you’ll have sweeping views of the harbor. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903.

Hiva Oa is also the final resting place of folksinger Jacques Brel. Enjoy some free time to browse the town’s few handicraft shops and wander through the Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel cultural centers.


Day 7 - Ua Pou, Marquesas Islands

A performance by local musicians and dancers provides a wonderful welcome to Ua Pou, and the perfect beginning to a day of island activities. Once ashore, we will walk to the Cross View Point where we will be treated to a full view of the town with its beautiful backdrop of rugged volcanic mountains. Walking back down from the Cross, we will next visit Virgin Beach – a beautiful white sandy beach where we may be able to swim, if conditions and the current permit. In town, the market area is the perfect place to purchase an authentic souvenir of this lovely island. Choices range from wooden tikis and bowls to necklaces and tapacloth. Also for sale are Flower Stones, which are very rare and precious stones formed from the area’s volcanic rock. Stroll through this beautiful, clean and well-maintained town to visit the local church. The roads are bordered on either side with frangipani trees, breadfruit, mango and thousands of colorful flowers. The town is set at the base of some very dramatic volcanic mountains, creating an exotic backdrop for a performance by a local dance group.


At Sea

Relax on deck or peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library. Indulge in any of the special amenities offered aboard Silver Discoverer. Before turning in, take a stroll on deck and enjoy the solitude and splendor of a vast velvet sky strewn with shimmering stars.


Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago

Local musicians and dancers welcome us as we step ashore at Fakarava. Browse in the few shops for island attire and famous black pearls or join members of the Expedition Team for an exciting drift snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the northern Garuae Channel. Fakarava is known to have some of the best scuba diving in French Polynesia including the highly praised northern Garuae Pass. Dive Program guests are likely to encounter Napoleon wrasse, seapikes, damselfish, bigeyes, marbled groupers, manta rays, and at our second dive site - Shark Hole - dozens of grey reef sharks! In the afternoon, Silver Discoverer will re-position, and the Zodiacs will make landing upon an idyllic beach area with soft, white sand where guests can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and a barbecue luncheon.


Tikehau, Tuamotu Archipelago

Today we will get an early start to make the most of our day at this idyllic destination. The Silver Discoverer will anchor outside Tikihau’s lagoon and we will use our Zodiacs to visit Tuherahera, a small town lush with coconut trees, hibiscus and bougainvilleas. For guests that are keen birders, we will also visit Motu Puarua or “Bird Island” where thousands of nesting boobies, terns, Red-footed gannets, and Brown noddies will carry on their usual activities and behaviors despite our looking on. Tikihau’s seemingly endless amount of motus with soft pink sands and crystal clear waters provide a myriad of options for swimming and snorkeling. Plenty of shallow reef areas are perfect for beach combing walks to observe crabs and black tip reef sharks among a fascinating array of fish. Scuba divers may encounter graceful blue dolphins en route to today’s two Dive Program sites, and once underwater, will be astounded by the volume and variety of sea life including snapper, wrasse, Moray eel, anemones, clown fish, tuna, and grey or black tip sharks.

Shortly before sunset, Silver Discoverer will set sail for our final destination: Papeete.


Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands

We will arrive in port in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

Prices are per person, double occupancy, cruise only.