After a morning on board National Geographic Orion, we were itching to get off the ship. We spent the afternoon snorkeling, standup paddle boarding, and kayaking within the turquoise waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon.
Jamie is from England. He grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, yet somehow decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and...
Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and one of the largest in the world. At first light this morning, National Geographic Orion utilized the tide window to pass through the narrow entrance into Rangiroa that is known as Tiputa Pass. The ship was escorted by an enthusiastic pod of bow-riding bottlenose dolphins. With clear blue skies in the early morning, we set off towards Rangiroa straight after breakfast. We visited the nearby pearl farm to learn about the farming process and to witness the intricacies of the elaborate production. After a tasty barbecue lunch, we spent the afternoon exploring the coral reefs of a popular snorkel site known locally as the Aquarium. The site gets its name from the abundance of diverse tropical fish that seem to have little fear of people sharing their space in the shallows.
No trip to the Tuamotus Archipelago of French Polynesia is complete without visiting the uplifted coral atoll of Makatea. While we cruised along with the rolling swell over deep oceanic waters, we caught our first glimpses of this unique island at sunrise. We spent our morning ashore, traversing across the island. We enjoyed impressive views of the landscape, sightings of endemic birds, and a refreshing visit to a beautiful grotto. After a delicious barbecue lunch, we headed out for an afternoon of exploring, including scuba diving, snorkeling, and Zodiac cruising. The coral reef ecosystem around Makatea Island is as peaceful as it is diverse, and we are always incredibly fortunate to explore here.
A “double island day” was enjoyed by guests aboard National Geographic Orion . We had the privilege to visit the spiritual heart of Polynesia today and the sacred marae of Taputapuatea on Ra’iatea Island. Hikes around the surrounding area and photography-centered walks were offered as well. In the afternoon, the ship repositioned to Taha’a Island. A tour of a vanilla farm was offered. Local growers explained the science of cultivation as well as the struggles currently facing vanilla production, like youth disinterest, a shifting economy, and climate change.