Today aboard National Geographic Orion, we visited our first atolls in the Tuamotus of French Polynesia. Here the water is clear, palm trees dominate the landscape, and the islands only rise a few feet above sea level. It is the tropical paradise we all pictured when we were children, no matter where we grew up.

We visited Fakarava for some exploring and a little shopping. A band welcomed us ashore with music. Some guests purchased black pearls while others spotted nurse sharks from the shore.

After lunch, we shifted gears and relocated to Toau, another atoll just a short distance away. Here we had an amazing snorkel. The site was filled with coral pillars littered with giant clams, and small reef sharks swam in and around them. We even spotted a six-foot-long moray eel. What a great day on National Geographic Orion