National Geographic Orion

(1.15 p.m. AEST) -- Lindblad Expeditions has made the difficult decision to cut short its Trans-Pacific voyage aboard National Geographic Orion due to severe storm activity.

With all ports between Pitcairn Island and Easter Island closed, the 17-night cruise through French Polynesia has been terminated and efforts made to disembark passengers. Despite strong winds, passengers were able to be put ashore at Marokua Atoll where the remote community greeted their first ever tourists.

Since September 7, the ship has been safely sheltering in a lagoon at Mangareva Island in the Gambier Group.

As all airlinks are suspended, Cruise Critic understands National Geographic Orion will return to Papeete, Tahiti, to disembark the passengers.

Lindblad has been contacted for comment.

--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor