By wind, wave and star the ancient people of Polynesia ventured to the farthest reaches of the South Pacific. Isolated by miles of ocean over thousands of years, these, the world’s first island cultures, developed a pantheon of gods, myths and legends. This voyage tells the story of Polynesia and uncovers its history and legends as we sail through the South Seas and visit the captivating islands.
The real age of European exploration did not take place until the 18th century and many of the islands we will visit have changed little since that time. Their sheer isolation has been their saving grace and apart from an influx of missionaries in the late 19th century, western culture has made few inroads into most of the islands. The natural beauty of these islands is mesmerising. You are invited to join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky to explore the Pacific in all its vastness, diversity and warmth. To experience the description-defying beauty of its islands, its culture and its ambience which have attracted generations of adventurers, explorers and travellers to its magical shores.
Nomads of the Wind itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON HEATHROW TO LOS ANGELES.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to Santa Monica for an overnight stay.
Day 2 - LOS ANGELES TO TAHITI.
After a morning at leisure in Santa Monica we transfer to the airport for the scheduled overnight flight to Tahiti.
Day 3 - TAHITI.
Arrive this morning and transfer to a local hotel where day rooms have been reserved for your convenience. Take time to relax before a late afternoon transfer to the Caledonian Sky.
Day 4 - RAIATEA & TAHA’A, SOCIETY ISLANDS.
Raiatea is recognized throughout Tahiti as its “Sacred Island” the cultural heart of all Tahiti Polynesia. It is believed by historians that Raiatea was the main stopover point for early Polynesians newly arrived from Hawaii. This, the second largest Tahitian isle, was the centre of religion and culture over 1000 years ago and still lends enchantment to ancient legends told to this day. This morning’s island tour will include a visit to the celebrated Mt. Temehani. This afternoon we move over to the neighbouring island of Taha’a.With the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, Taha’a offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians.
Day 5 - BORA BORA, SOCIETY ISLANDS.
One of the most stunning islands on the planet, Bora Bora’s interior is crowned by majestic eroded volcanic formations and a distinctive black basaltic peak. A tour of the island will take you past colourful villages, archaeological sites and World War Two relics endng with a cocktail at the infamous Bloody Marys bar. This afternoon explore independently or alternatively take a chance to snorkel in the clear waters.
Day 7 - ATIU & TAKUTEA, COOK ISLANDS.
Our first stop in the Cook Islands is the small island of Atiu. With only 560 residents we will be guaranteed a special welcome. There will be the chance to join the local expert “birdman George” on a walking tour to seacrh for Rarotonga monarch, chattering kingfisher, Cook islands fruit dove and Atiu swiftlets. Alternatively discover the island on a tour to include James Cooks landing site from 1777 and the coffee plantations and visit some of the local houses. This afternoon sail over to Takutea for an afternoon snorkelling where we hope to sight turtles, white tip reef shark, Pacific steephead parrotfish and the rare and strange looking humpnose unicornfish.
Day 8 - AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS.
This lovely lagoon is famous for its fascinating coral formations and bountiful brightly hued tropical fish. There will be time to explore the sleepy village of Arutanga and visit the oldest church in the Cook Islands.
Day 9 - PALMERSTON, COOK ISLANDS.
The engaging history of the William Masters family comes alive as we meet the descendants of this eccentric 19th century Englishman who took three native brides. Extremely fine handicrafts are made on this island and here the birdwatchers should catch sight of the red-tailed tropic birds. There will also be a chance to snorkel from the beach where large coral blocks team with goatfish, boxfish, groupers, stingray and turtles.
Day 11 - NIUE.
We will explore Alofi Village and stop at the Philatelic Bureau, where some of the world’s most sought after stamps may be purchased. At Matapa Chasm, a secluded cleft in the sea cliffs, we will discover the perfect swimming hole.
Day 12 - NIUATOPUTAPU, TONGA.
After crossing the International Date Line (so it is now 14th January), we arrive in Niuatoputapu in the kingdom of Tonga, a lovely untouched island where tourists are still a rarity. There are wonderful beaches, sheltered lagoons and, at the other end of the island, pounding surf.
Day 13 - NIUAFO’OU, TONGA.
Niuafo’ou is the most northerly island in the kingdom of Tonga. The island is a volcano located on an underwater ridge 190 kilometers west of the line of all the other volcanoes of Tonga and we have the opportunity to explore the lava flows on nature walks and enjoy some excellent snorkelling. Also look out for the megapode, a rare bird endemic to this island.
Day 14 - WALLIS ISLAND.
Well off the beaten track,Wallis Island, part of the smallest of France’s three South Pacific territories, sits on the threshold of Polynesia and Melanesia and is isolated from its neighbours geographically, culturally and politically. This morning we will explore the interior of the island visiting Mata Utu Cathedral, the crater lakes of Mt Lulu Fakahega and the recently excavated fort at Talietumu.
Day 15 - FUTUNA.
This morning we land at Futuna where we will discover the famous Church of Pierre Chanel, a peculiar church with a stepped tower erected to honour Polynesia’s first and only Catholic Saint. Later we will take nature walks on the beaches to take in the amazing scenery and wildlife.
Day 16 - TAVEUNI, FIJI.
Today we visit the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’. Explore Lake Tagimaucia which occupies a volcanic crater at analtitude of 800 metres and look out for the rare tagimaucia flower. Alternatively visit the Tavoro Forest Reserve and see the waterfalls. On guided nature walks we hope to discover some of the indigenous animals and birdlife of the island. In the afternoon we will head to one of the neighbouring islands for some fantastic snorkelling opportunities.
Day 17 - SAVUSAVU, VANUA LEVU.
Often referred to as Fiji’s hidden paradise, Savusavu is much the same as it was 30 years ago. It was originally established as a centre for sailing ships trading in sandalwood and copra. It is a small bustling town with an interesting heritage and the surrounding landscape is stunning.
Day 18 - FIJI TO LONDON.
Disembark in Lautoka and enjoy an island tour including lunch before transferring to the airport for your indirect flight to London.
Day 19 - LONDON HEATHROW.
Arrive this morning.
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.