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Isles, Atolls, and Pristine Corals: Southern Line Islands

  • Trip Type: Small Ship
  • 10 Days | Round-trip Papeete
  • Group Size: Max 102

Expedition Details


From Rangiroa’s sparkling lagoon to the verdant peaks of Tahiti’s neighbor, Moorea, immerse yourself in tropical paradise amid some of the planet’s most vibrant underwater realms. This voyage features an incredible opportunity to snorkel or dive the far-flung reefs of Kiribati, chosen as part of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project.

Trip Highlights

  • Watch for dolphins and humpback whales from the decks of the National Geographic Orion, and anchor in Moorea’s Opunohu Bay, to hike in the tropical forest.
  • Spend three days exploring the Southern Line Islands, identified as one of the healthiest reef systems in the world by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala.
  • Ride Zodiacs through reef passes, snorkel over beds of giant clams, or dive the atolls’ outer reefs in the Southern Line Islands.
  • Examine ancient Polynesian sacred sites on Moorea with an archaeologist.

Itinerary - 10 Days

Day 1 — Depart U.S.

Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Tahiti.

Day 2 — Papeete/Rangiroa

Arrive in Papeete, Tahiti, early this morning and take a short flight to Rangiroa. Embark National Geographic Orion in the afternoon.

Days 3 through 7 — At Sea/Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

A day at sea brings us to the far-flung Southern Line Islands, where we’ll snorkel or dive some of the most remote and pristine coral reefs on Earth. Marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala researched these islands as part of the Pristine Seas project and identified them as one of the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean. Spend three full days exploring these seldom-visited atolls: navigate the intricate channels of their lagoons by Zodiac or kayak, see nesting boobies and tropicbirds on shore, and swim above colorful tropical reefs.

Day 8 — Moorea, French Polynesia

Approach the verdant island of Moorea this morning, and anchor for the day in Opunohu Bay on the island’s north shore. Spend the day hiking tropical forest trails or exploring ancient Polynesian sacred sites with an archaeologist.

Days 9 & 10 — Papeete/Home

Disembark in Papeete this morning and tour Tahiti before transferring to the airport for your overnight flight home.
(Day 9: B, L)

Related Trips

Special Offer

Complimentary Airfare

Book by December 31, 2017 and receive complimentary round-trip international airfare between Los Angeles and Papeete. We will also cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew. Book two or more South Pacific voyages aboard National Geographic Orion and save 10% on each expedition.

Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. Please call for details.

National Geographic Expert

Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.

Chris Rainier

Chris RainierNational Geographic Explorer and acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specializes in documenting indigenous cultures around the world. Chris was co-founder of the Society’s All Roads Photography Program; serves as a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler magazine; and was a co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, which documented vanishing languages and cultures. He is the director of the Global Program for Traditional Knowledge and Sustainability at Arizona State University’s Global Institute for Sustainability, and he also directs the Last Mile Technology Program, which empowers endangered cultures to save their ancient traditions through modern technology. His numerous awards include the Lowell Thomas Award, given by the Explorers Club. He was recently elected a fellow at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Chris will join the following departure:

Aug 09 - 18, 2018


Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Apr 19 - 28, 2018
  • May 03 - 12, 2018
  • Jun 14 - 23, 2018
  • Aug 09 - 18, 2018

Expedition Cost

Category 1 $7,690
Category 2 $9,380
Category 3 $10,990
Category 4 $11,990
Category 5 $14,520
Category 6 $16,840
Solo Suite A $11,540
Solo Suite B $16,490

Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.

Airfare to/from Papeete and between Papeete and Rangiroa is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Papeete and Rangiroa is $250 (subject to change).

View Ship/Deck Plan

Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.