Join us in paradise on a leisurely passage through the South Seas to an area long associated with Captain Cook, Captain Bligh and the Bounty, as well as Gauguin. We can promise you an unforgettable voyage to a corner of the world which has lured adventurers and romantics alike ever since Magellan first sailed to these waters in 1521.
From Easter Island, blessed with an extraordinary collection of remarkable archaeological sites, we embark on our exploration of the South Pacific’s islands and atolls. From coral reefs teeming with life to powerful legends that shaped history, each island is unique, each culture distinct. On the more remote islands, villages are still composed of thatched houses, set amongst the shade of the breadfruit and coconut trees. Many islands are important nesting grounds for seabirds and sea turtles and the lagoons everywhere are breeding grounds for countless species of fish.
We embark our vessel, the MS Caledonian Sky, in Easter Island. Lying some 2300 miles off the coast of Chile, it is the most remote inhabited island in the world. Easter Island, a tiny volcanic triangle was aptly named ‘Navel of the World’ by its early settlers. Surrounded by the vast Pacific, over 1200 miles from the nearest inhabited land, the island is an archaeological treasure. From here our island hopping adventure begins. Highlights of our cruise are numerous, but for many it will be the Pitcairn Islands, final destination of the Bounty. The mix of islands and cultures is a fascinating journey where we can discover the range of lifestyles, traditions, people and landscapes of some of the most remote islands on earth.
With our fleet of Zodiac landing craft we can explore inlets, bird sanctuaries and land in otherwise inaccessible places and although we set sail with a set itinerary, it is often the unscheduled events that become the highlight. We will be joined onboard by an expert expedition team including naturalists, marine biologists and ornithologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst onboard.
Arrive this morning and transfer to your comfortable hotel for an overnight stay. Rooms have been pre-booked so we can check in on arrival this morning. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax and explore independently.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Easter Island. On arrival transfer to Hanga Roa Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay. This afternoon we explore Rano Kau, the second oldest volcano on the island. Its huge Caldera (1.5 kilometres at its base) contains one of the island’s three fresh water lakes. From the look-out at the rim of Rano Kau we continue on to the ceremonial village of Orongo, best known for the birdman cult ceremonies. The site was restored in 1974 and within the village you will see 47 restored houses. Continue to Ahu Tahai, another restored ceremonial site and one of the oldest, dating back to the 6th century. Return to the hotel for dinner this evening.
Today we enjoy a full day tour, visiting many of the different areas where moais (statues) can be found. We will see the volcano of Rano Raraku, the site where 95% of all moais were carved and today you will find nearly 400 statues in various stages of completion. A hike to the top of the volcano’s crater will not only reveal many statues but also a beautiful fresh water lake. We continue our exploration of the island with Ahu Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia restored in 1996 and Ahu Akivi where we find seven maoi built around 1460B.C and which face out to sea. Lunch will be a specially arranged barbecue on Anakena beach, home of Easter Island’s ancient paramount chiefs and one of the prettiest coves in the South Pacific. In the late afternoon we transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and sail this evening.
Enjoy time relaxing on deck and joining the lectures from our experts onboard.
After a morning at sea we will experience expedition cruising at its finest as we land on one of nature’s wildlife sanctuaries. A remote coral atoll with superb snorkelling and birding, Ducie Island is so remote that no threats to its native wildlife exist, and it is one of the rare places in the world where wildlife is relatively unaffected by man’s presence. Our expedition team will lead a series of walks on the island.
We arrive at Henderson Island at lunchtime. This upraised former coral atoll has fascinating eroded rock formations, with giant blowholes flinging up tremendous sea spray. Very rare birds inhabit the island, including the Henderson Island rail and Stephen’s Lori. Numerous underwater ravines and crevices support a great diversity of fish and whilst walking on the island we will come across a profusion of coconut crabs.
We arrive this morning on the island of Pitcairn, famous as the final destination of the Bounty in the late 18th century. Meet the Anglo-Tahitian descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty, who arrived here 200 years ago and see the ship’s anchor outside the courthouse. We will have time to explore this inspiring island setting and visit with islanders who display memorable stamps and handicrafts. Enjoy a Pitcairn welcome in the Town Hall before exploring the capital of Adamstown. The expedition team will also plan some walks to explore more of the island’s highlights. We will stay overnight or if weather permits will sail to Oeno Atoll, three uninhabited islands situated around 75 nautical miles from Pitcairn, and spend a morning. It is an important bird area due to the colony of 12,500 pairs of Murphys petrels that nest here alongside sooty tern and brown noddy. (Please note that access to the Pitcairn Islands is very weather dependent).
Mountainous Mangareva is capital of the Gambier group of islands and home to the remarkable St Michael’s cathedral with a stunning mother-of-pearl altar. During our afternoon call, we will have the chance to join island nature walks, take an energetic hike up the 440 metre Mount Duff, named after the first European vessel to visit the island in 1797, or you can simply wander around the small village.
We have a day at sea to enjoy the continuing lecture programme or find a spot on deck to relax.
Located on the outer fringes of French Polynesia, Pukarua faces thousands of miles of open ocean. Onshore, its small population lives in a spirit of cooperation and friendship, living largely on coconuts and the bounty of the sea. Arriving in the morning, we visit the small community and are enthusiastically greeted with genuine friendliness and lively music. We will have the chance to walk through the village or enjoy a swim in the lagoon before enjoying an afternoon at sea.
This morning we visit Pukapuka. To honour you and fellow guests, the islanders proudly decorate their tidy village with green palm fronds and flowers, and welcome you with a fragrant flower lei and entrancing dances. Sample traditional coconut treats and watch a demonstration of how copra – the dried meat of the coconut – is prepared for its various uses. We plan to travel to the inland lagoon where you can swim or snorkel to discover a bounty of vibrant corals and iridescent reef fishes in the warm waters. Relax on deck in the afternoon as we sail to our next island.
After a morning at sea we arrive in the Marquesas Islands far removed from the rest of the South Pacific in everything from language and culture to geology. With a landscape of spectacular pinnacles towering over the cobalt Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva is one of the most floral and pristine islands. Villagers will perform their traditional dances and demonstrate their handicrafts of wood carvings and tapa making. Afterwards our expedition team will run a series of nature walks either climbing to the view point, searching for birds with our ornithologist or a nature walk to the waterfall. Meanwhile later in the afternoon a snorkel platform will be set up for those who wish to swim.
At first light we arrive at volcanic Hiva Oa. We will anchor off Atohuna where if we are lucky we may find mantarays before going ashore. Our morning will be dedicated to Gauguin, the iconic artist of the South Pacific. We will visit his museum and make a pilgrimage to his final resting place, soaking up the landscape that inspired him to leave it all behind and go native. This afternoon we reposition the ship to Puamau and visit the Oipona me’ae temple, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in French Polynesia and home to the eight foot tall Tiki Takali. On our return to the ship you may wish to enjoy a swim from the beach.
Our last day in the Marquesas will be at Nuka Hiva, the largest of the Islands and the island group’s economic capital. Today we will immerse ourselves in local culture and geography. Traditional Marquesan dancers welcome us to their village. We will visit the archaeological centres at Kamuihei and Hikoku’a and see the temples, petroglyphs and tiki. Meanwhile a series of island walks will investigate the nature of the island whilst there will also be a chance to swim from the beaches.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea as we cruise to the Tuamotu Islands.
After a morning at sea we arrive back in the Tuamotus. On the atoll of Takapoto we will be welcomed by the local population and treated to local fruits and demonstrations. We will enjoy walks with our expedition team and see the local church and swim in the lake. For those who prefer the underwater world a snorkelling platform will be set up with our Zodiacs.
As one of the world’s largest coral atolls, Rangiroa has a magnificent lagoon surrounded by small islets or motus, stretching as far as the eye can see. Today, a variety of activities await. There will be a chance to tour a black pearl farm, enjoy free time in the enchanting local village of Avatoru or have a last chance to snorkel or swim.
Disembark today and continue with your onward plans.
The Premium Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a spacious wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower (cabins 431 and 432 feature a bathtub) and a large window.
Balcony Suites The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6
Promenade Premium Balcony
The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)
Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012
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.