Easter Island was given its name by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered the island on Easter Sunday, 1722. Although a Polynesian island in southeastern Pacific Ocean, it is an overseas territory of Chile. Easter Island is famous for its mysterious, monumental statues, called moai, created by the Rapanui people. A total of 887 monolithic stone statues have been inventoried. The native islanders who carved them used only stone hand chisels, mainly basalt toki, which still lay in place throughout the island.

Port: Easter Island
Experience

Easter Island

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  • Easter Island Panorama

    Compare the vastly different styles of moai statues at two archaeological sites, while taking in Easter Island's hauntingly beautiful landscape along the way.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive through Hanga Roa, the island's sole town. Before long, you'll arrive at Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.

    Next, you'll visit a handicraft market in the area, where you might purchase wooden and shell crafts made by the islanders. The most popular items include miniature moais and reproductions of rongorongos, which are tablets filled with mysterious inscriptions.

    Continuing on, you'll explore Ahu Akivi, the site of seven moais that were erected around 1,400 AD and represent the seven ambassadors sent by the legendary King Hotu Matua to Easter Island. The statues are the only ones on the island facing the ocean and overlook a village that's now in ruins. Over time, the moais also fell into a state of disrepair, and it wasn't until 1960 that Mulloy and his archaeological team restored them to their original places using a stone ramp and wooden levers.

    Afterwards, you'll enjoy a scenic drive back to the pier, stopping for photos at Ahu Poukura, a moai site that has yet to be restored.

    Please note: This tour includes just over 1-hour of easy to moderate walking/standing. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. The only restroom facilities are at the handicraft market. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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  • Easter Island Mystical Moai Statues & Highlights

    Trace the origins of Easter Island's mysterious moai statues by visiting the quarry were they were carved and various sites where the statues were painstakingly transported.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive through Hanga Roa, the island's sole town. Before long, you'll arrive at Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.

    Like most of the statues on the island, these were made at the quarry at Rano Raraku and then transported to their eventual resting place. A visit to the quarry reveals all sorts of stone-faced moais in various stages of production. Some are half carved, others are broken, and still others seem to have been abandoned in mid-transport. It's a fascinating peek at the past.

    A short drive away is Tongariki, where fifteen of the statues ended up and where they stood until 1960, when a massive tidal wave swept them hundreds of yards inland. They have since been restored to their original sites, allowing visitors to view them in their intended location.

    Finally, you'll visit Anakena Beach. It is here where the island's first settlers are thought to have landed. Six moais, several decorated with red volcanic rock topknots, overlook this idyllic setting. You'll have time here to capture some photos before it's time to transfer directly back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes nearly 2-hours of mostly moderate walking/standing. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate. At Rano Raraku, there is a slope and uneven dirt paths which can be challenging. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. The only restroom facilities are at Anakena Beach. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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  • An Easter Island Cultural Journey

    Learn the ways of Easter Island's first inhabitants, whose ancestors will demonstrate their ancient customs in the shadow of a mysterious moai statue site.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive through Hanga Roa, the island's sole town. Before long, you'll arrive at Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.

    Following your exploration of Tahai, you'll take a short walk to the coast where you'll meet your hosts, some may actually be descendants of the first settlers who arrived approximately 1,700 years ago from Polynesia. Today, the Rapa Nui people who live on Easter Island enjoy sharing with you their traditional culture and ancient ways. During the course of your visit, you'll discover all sorts of fascinating details about their history. Your hosts will also demonstrate typical dances and tell cultural stories using "kai kai," a form of string-figure artwork, to illustrate the essential points. If you're feeling adventurous, you can volunteer to have your body painted with "kie'a," a natural red pigment that was used in ancient ceremonies on Easter Island.

    Following this rare and fascinating cultural experience, you'll walk to the close-by restored hanga kio'e, before re-boarding your bus and and traveling through the village to the church which has some interesting woodcarvings. Afterwards, you'll transfer directly back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. There is no restroom availability on this tour. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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  • Ancient Cultures of Easter Island

    Delve into the history of Easter Island at several ceremonial locations, including a village on the edge of an extinct volcano where a mysterious cult flourished.

    Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive to Tahai, a ceremonial site with five moais that vary in scale and shape, unlike most of the moais on Easter Island. The two largest figures may represent a mother and father or symbolize different leaders of the indigenous people. Their exact meaning remains a mystery, despite the efforts of American archaeologist William Mulloy, who excavated the site and is now buried nearby.

    Following your exploration of Tahai, you'll drive to Rano Kau, an extinct volcano with a crater lake and marshes at its bottom. Set on the sea and sheltered from the winds that dry much of the island, it's one of Easter Island's most naturally beautiful sites. Almost a mile across, the crater has its own microclimate, where figs and vines flourish. It's also a source of obsidian, a glass-like stone that could be easily fractured to make sharp blades.

    Next, you'll visit Orongo, a ceremonial village on the edge of the Rano Kau volcano. It consists of more than 50 stone houses that were inhabited until the mid 1800s, when diseases brought by European explorers devastated the population.

    The birdman cult once held festivities at Orongo, in which they prayed for success in the annual Sooty Tern egg hunt, held on a tiny islet just offshore. As you're exploring Orongo, you may see numerous petroglyphs of the birdmen who gathered the eggs. Following your exploration of Orongo, you'll re-board your transportation and drive back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour approximately 90-minutes of mostly moderate walking. At Tahai, there will be uneven ground and dirt paths to negotiate and at Orongo, there is a slope and some uneven dirt paths that can make the walking strenuous in places. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. There is only a limited restroom facility at Orongo on this tour. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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  • Trekking to Terevaka Mount

    Climb to the top of Easter Island's highest volcanic peak for an amazing view of the surrounding terrain and upon descending explore a collection of giant moai statues.

    Depart from the pier and drive toward the center of the island, a grassland that was a sheep ranch in the 19th century. Here, you'll leave your van behind and begin your ascent of Ma'unga Terevaka, a volcanic peak that rises 1,969 feet above sea level. Formed approximately 240,000 years ago by a series of eruptions, it's the youngest volcano on Easter Island.

    Your trek to the top will take about an hour and a half, including stops for photos. The higher you climb, the more spectacular the views. From the top, you can see the three corners of triangular-shaped Easter Island and several other dormant volcanic peaks. The sea stretches uninterrupted in every direction, as the island is one of the most remote on earth, lying 2,000 miles west of the Chilean coast.

    The trek down is a bit faster and brings you to Ahu Akivi, the site of seven towering moai statues that were erected around 1,400 AD. The statues are the only ones on the island facing the ocean and overlook a village that's now in ruins. Over time, the moais also fell into a state of disrepair, and it wasn't until 1960 that American archaeologist William Mulloy restored them to their original places using a stone ramp and wooden levers. Following your exploration of Ahu Akivi, you'll drive back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2.5 hours of hiking with 90-minutes of it being a steep uphill gradient. The surfaces will be uneven dirt paths. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, sturdy walking or hiking shoes are recommended. Guests should bring plenty of water from the ship as none is available during the excursion. There is no restroom availability on this tour. Several vehicles of differing sizes are used as transportation on this tour and only one guide goes with the group so there is no commentary on board the vehicles. However, at each stop, the guide will provide commentary for the entire group. Littering or touching the statues is strictly prohibited on Easter Island. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.

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