Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns

October 29, 2015 - November 18, 2015

Activity Level

For most activities a moderate level of exertion is required. Participants should be in good general health. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs and tenders for diving and snorkeling activities and excursions ashore. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over beaches and sometimes rough terrain. Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of your departure.

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Climate

Generally the climate should be similar throughout the many South Pacific islands on our voyage—warm, sunny, and humid with occasional, cooling tropical showers. Average daily temperatures will range from the low to upper 60s°F to upper 80s°F, though high humidity can make it feel warmer. This voyage occurs during the dry season, but rainfall is always a possibility.

If you wish to do your own research on the region’s climate, you may want to check local weather conditions on the Internet or the Weather Channel and Accuweather shortly before departure.

The following are average high/low temperatures in October and November for selected locations on our itinerary:

 

High

Low
Papeete, Tahiti

87º

70º
Puka Puka, Marquesas Islands 85º 73º
Pitcairn, Pitcairn Islands 73º 65º
Easter Island 71º 62º

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Currency

The US dollar is the standard currency on board the Caledonian Sky. However, most guests will pay via credit card at the end of their stay. Please note that a financial transaction fee may occur on some cards. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations.

The currency of French Polynesia and Tahiti is the French Pacific franc (XPF), Niue, Cook Islands, Pitcairn Islands is the New Zealand dollar (NZD), and Easter Island is the Chilean peso (CLP).

As of April 2014 the exchange rates are as follows:

$1 US dollar (USD)

1.84 Fijian dollar (FJD)

$1 US dollar (USD) 86.65 French Pacific franc (XPF)
$1 US dollar (USD) 1.16 New Zealand dollar (NZD)
$1 US dollar (USD)

559.15 Chilean peso (CLP)

Money can be exchanged into local currency at banks during business hours only at our hotel in Papeete. While major credit cards are accepted at some shops, they will not be useful on the more remote islands. ATMs can be a good option for obtaining local currency if you have a VISA or MasterCard debit or credit card, but access to ATMs, again, varies greatly from island to island. Please have some cash available as back-up. Also ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs. Please note that some vendors require your credit card PIN in lieu of a signature.

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Documentation

You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, a complete packing list, reading list, and gift certificates—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior.

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Electricity

The Caledonian Sky is equipped with North American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110V.

In French Polynesia, the electrical current is 220-240V with flat, slanted, 3-prong plugs or 110V with flat North American-style, vertical 2-prong plugs. In Chile it is 220V with round European-style, 2-prong plugs. If you are bringing standard, North American appliances with you to use while in French Polynesia, you will need a converter and an adapter.

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Extending Your Stay

Interested in extending your stay? Speak with one of our Expedition Advisors to find out how easy it is for you to stay an extra night or two. Or, our Private Travel department is available to design customized extended stays for individuals, families, and groups of friends—the same horizon-broadening adventures and life-changing experiences as our group expedition, but on a flexible, intimate, and personalized scale. Call 800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 for more information.

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Flight Information

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights.

You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Papeete and Easter Island/Santiago/ home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.

Airlines change flight times frequently. We will send you any updates as they are received from the carrier for flights booked through Zegrahm Expeditions. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.

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Internet and Phone

For Internet access, the Caledonian Sky has Wi-Fi access available on two desktop computers in the Panorama Lounge. Due to the remoteness of this itinerary, however, Internet availability may be intermittent and in some cases, unavailable. Rates will be provided with your final documentation, along with contact information for the ship, including phone and fax numbers, as well as email address.

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Local Time

Following is a sample of local times during this expedition when it is 7:00A.M. on the North American west coast:

7:00a.m.

Seattle, WA (PDT)

10:00a.m. New York, NY (EDT)
4:00a.m. French Polynesia - Tahiti and Tuamotu Islands
4:30a.m. French Polynesia - Marquesas Islands
6:00a.m. Pitcairn Islands
9:00a.m. Easter Island, Chile

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Meals

Polynesian cuisine offers a great variety of seafood dishes. Menus also prominently feature the tropical fruits and vegetables common in the region, including coconut, pineapple, and yams. The culture of foreign settlers on the more populated islands of Polynesia is also reflected in the cuisine, with many ethnic restaurants and dishes containing French, Chinese, and other influences.

Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form included with the Pre-Departure packet, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately kosher meals cannot be accommodated.

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Packing Suggestions

Clothing On Board

The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended.

Typically there are two occasions on board when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate, dressy attire, and men, possibly a jacket and tie. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.

Clothing Ashore

Sporty summer-weight clothing is a good basis for your wardrobe. Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts made of natural fibers are recommended. The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats, and use sun block as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two while touring.

Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking and possibly hiking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the often-rough terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.

Sport sandals with a sturdy sole are the best type of footwear for frequent wet landings, especially where there are rocky and/or coral covered beaches. They provide excellent protection and dry quickly. Other footwear you may wish to bring include Teva-type sandals and/or canvas sneakers that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. You will want to wear pants that are easy to roll up, shorts, or a sarong for wet landings.

You will receive a complete Packing List with your Pre-Departure Packet, approximately five months prior to departure.

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Snorkeling and Diving

There will be several opportunities for diving and snorkeling on this expedition. Although there is a supply of masks, fins, and snorkels on board, we recommend you bring your own equipment for best comfort and fit. Where we plan on diving and snorkeling, the sea temperatures range from 77-86°F. Depending on personal tolerances to water temperatures, the base recommendation for divers is to bring a full 1-2mm wetsuit. For snorkelers, we strongly recommend bringing a lightweight wetsuit, or if you do not get cold quickly, a quality Lycra or PolarTec suit may be adequate.

For those interested in scuba diving, Zegrahm requires Advance Open Water (AOW) certification or comparable, and you must complete two open water dives within 12 months prior to the expedition’s departure. Required forms including a Physician’s Certificate, Diving History, and Release from Liability Agreement are available on request. Please note they must be completed and returned to us no later than eight (8) weeks prior to departure date. Further diving details for this expedition, including the equipment available on board and items you will need to bring with you, are outlined in these forms. Diving is limited to 16 Advanced Open Water (AOW) certified scuba divers and will be on a first come, first served basis, based on the return of all completed forms.

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With Our Compliments

We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. Gift certificates to our Zegrahm Store and Longitude Books will offer you the opportunity to choose one of several specially selected items from our store along with books or maps suggested in the highly recommended titles sent. The certificates will be sent in your Pre-Departure Packet approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificates for more details.

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