Aranui - A Unique Journey of Discovery
Known as the ‘Freighter to Paradise’, the Aranui 5 is surely one of the most unique and unforgettable journeys in the world. A cruise unlike any other, the Aranui is a cargo vessel, which carries supplies – and a limited number of passengers – to the most remote group of islands on earth – the wild and mystical Marquesas!
The 12 day round-trip voyage begins and ends in Papeete and makes its first stop in the small atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Islands before continuing on to the far-flung Marquesas. The return journey includes a sojourn in Rangiroa, one of the world's largest atolls. The enchanting Marquesas Islands are so remote that the Aranui is their lifeline to the outside world – the ship visits all six inhabited islands in the archipelago, delivering supplies and picking up copra, dried coconut and noni fruit. Visitors are very rare, but very welcome in this part of the world – you will be warmly greeted by the friendly locals on each island who await the Aranui’s arrival with anticipation.
Time seems to have stood still in the Marquesas, where roads and cars are few and far between. Their beauty lies in the welcoming people, the wild horses which roam freely, the mysterious tiki statues and of course – the awe-inspiring scenery. This is a land where nature runs wild, towering volcanic mountain peaks dominate the landscape, and majestic waterfalls await your discovery.
Whilst supplies are being unloaded, you have plenty of time to explore these spectacular islands. Led by experienced guides, you will be able to explore by 4WD or horseback, hike to ancient archaeological sites, or visit charming villages where Marquesan artists will delight in opening their studios for you. There will also be time for swimming and relaxing on the black sand beaches.
Where you'll be staying
The Aranui is not a luxury cruise ship, her magic lies in the islands you will visit on her voyage, most of which simply can not be visited in any other way! The essence of the Aranui journey combines authenticity, spirit of adventure and immersion into Marquesan life. Accommodation is provided for up to 254 passengers in 103 smart and stylish ensuite cabins offering a mix of portholes and balconies. We highly recommend booking early to secure one of the popular suites with their own balcony – ideal for relaxing and enjoying the stunning panoramas!
There is a swimming pool and fitness room on board, as well as two spacious guest lounges, four bars, a shop and massage room. The ship also has two lifts. A programme of talks by onboard lecturers provides a fascinating insight into the rich culture and history of the islands. Meals are served in the restaurant – and in the evenings, the crew will often provide entertainment by singing and playing the ukulele. The dress code is informal, so bring comfortable, island-style clothing. There is a washing machine and dryer onboard.
Where you'll be travelling
Aranui Route Options
Choose between the Marquesas route, as detailed above, or the unique Pitcairn Route, departing Papeete on 17th February 2024.
This special cruise will head south to Pitcairn Island via the Gambier Islands. Following in the footsteps of the famous Bounty Mutineers, the Aranui 5 will take you to the most beautiful and unspoiled islands of the region, via three Polynesian archipelagos.
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