Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and one of the largest in the world.

At first light this morning, National Geographic Orion utilized the tide window to pass through the narrow entrance into Rangiroa that is known as Tiputa Pass. The ship was escorted by an enthusiastic pod of bow-riding bottlenose dolphins.

With clear blue skies in the early morning, we set off towards Rangiroa straight after breakfast. We visited the nearby pearl farm to learn about the farming process and to witness the intricacies of the elaborate production.

After a tasty barbecue lunch, we spent the afternoon exploring the coral reefs of a popular snorkel site known locally as the Aquarium. The site gets its name from the abundance of diverse tropical fish that seem to have little fear of people sharing their space in the shallows.