The 12 day cruise is a unique voyage where you can experience life on-board a working freighter as the crew deliver essential supplies to isolated villages.  Watching the dexterity of the crew as they unload food, electrical goods and even cars is simply fascinating!

Whilst the Aranui 5 is a freighter, the Aranui 5 has been purpose-built for this destination and provides plenty of passenger space and spacious and comfortable accommodations.  With two lounges, four bars, conference rooms, swimming pool, massage room, gym and more, the Aranui 5 takes freighter cruising to a whole new level.

Let the magic of the Marquesas captivate you - this truly is a cruise of a lifetime!

Package Inclusions

Your Aranui 5 Tahiti cruise package suits those looking for soft adventure and is fully inclusive of:

  • return economy class airfares ex Auckland to Papeete
  • transfer from Papeete airport to accommodation
  • 6 nights pre/post cruise accommodation
  • transfer from accommodation to wharf
  • 11 night Aranui 5 freighter cruise ex Papeete
  • all meals on board including glass of wine with lunch and dinner
  • shore excursions throughout

PLUS Ultimate Cruising guests also receive chauffeur driven luxury car transfers from your home to the airport return (within 35m)

Ask us about the latest special offers on selected Aranui sailings!

Cruise Highlights

According to legend, Hiva Oa is the main beam of God’s “big house.” Today, it is commonly named the “Garden of the Marquesas” thanks to its fertile and lush land. The island features endless untouched nature: green, invading, and bright. Roads and houses are rarely seen. The island’s rugged landscapes blend sharp ridges, peaks and valleys scattered with archaeological sites and ruins, and is home to the largest tiki statues of French Polynesia. Hiva Oa is lined with black sand beaches and sharp cliffs diving in to the Pacific Ocean. The island’s main village, Atuona, is nestled at the end of Taaao Bay and overlooked by the highest mountains (Mount Temetiu – 4,186 ft. and Mount fe’ani – 3,366 ft.). This is also the place where two famous artists chose to live their lives: the French painter Paul Gauguin and the French poet, singer and actor Jacques Brel.

Fatu Hiva symbolizes the roof of Gods’ house: a small but stunning island. Arriving by sea, passengers are greeted by sheer landscapes and pristine vegetation. Fatu Hiva will mesmerize visitors. In 1937, Thor Heyerdahl and his wife, in their search for a genuine return to nature, set foot on the island to live as if at the dawn of the new world. Not much has changed. Today, most local people live around the village of Omoa where they make traditional and renowned tapa out of tree bark. The village of Hanavave is sheltered within an amazing bay: the Bay of the Virgins, probably one of the most beautiful bays on Earth, especially at dusk when the light illuminates the volcanic peaks turning the landscape into an unreal and unforgettable scene.

Ua Pou symbolizes the entrance pillars to God’s house. Huge basaltic columns reach the sky and hold the names of legendary warriors: Poutetaunui and Poumaka. In 1888, they inspired poet Robert Louis Stevenson, who mentioned them as “volcanic arrows looking like a church bell tower.” They proudly overlook the bay of Hakahau village, the main village on the island.


Ua Huka symbolizes the “food basket” at God’s house and features more untouched beauty and is renowned for its dry soil and landscapes. Wild horses gallop as far as the eye can see around this desert-coloured land. Goats climb up on the island’s high plains. Peaceful and mystical, Ua Huka invites the traveller to discover a secluded universe, where the island’s ancestors are not just a part of the past but still very much part of the islander’s everyday life.

If God had a “big house” symbolizing the Marquesas Islands, the largest of them – Nuku Hiva – would represent the top of the framework. The vertiginous volcanic peaks and amazing slopes blend with the blue of the Pacific Ocean. A special universe opens its doors. The starting point of your adventure is Taioha’e, the archipelago’s regional capital, opening at the end of a large bay holding the same name. Outstanding landscapes, an incredible archaeological history, great stories and a rich culture are all to be discovered alongside a friendly population.

Tahuata symbolizes “sunrise” or “the enlightening home” at God’s house: a poetic image expressing reality so well. Small, Tahuata is only accessed by sea from Hiva Oa. The island offers charming discoveries to the privileged traveller. From its fertile valleys to its crystal-clear bays, Tahuata is an exquisite haven of peace, a place of history and creativity. Most inhabitants make a living out of their remarkable fine artwork, such as bone and rosewood – or miro (Thespesia populnea) carving. Mono’i is made following the scents of traditions and secrets, like an invitation to a mesmerizing perfume beautifully named “love potion” by the islanders.




Should you wish to extend your stay and add a stop in Moorea or one of the other islands, we are most happy to assist.  Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Departure Dates & Pricing

Click here to see the 2022 Sailing Schedule and pricing. 

2023 Schedule:

21 Janaury 2023
04 February 2023
04 March 2023
18 March 2023
01 April 2023
06 May 2023
20 May 2023
03 June 2023
17 June 2023
01 July 2023
15 July 2023
29 July 2023
12 August 2023
26 August 2023
23 September 2023
21 October 2023
04 November 2023
18 November 2023
02 December 2023
15 December 2023 (Marquesan Arts Festival)

It is essential to book well in advance for this cruise, as with limited capacity and huge popularity (check out some previous passengers thoughts here), the voyages sell out months in advance.     


Cruise Category
  • Freighter
  • Purpose Built
  • Soft Adventure
  • Meals + Wine
  • On-Board Lecturer
  • Pool &/or Spa
  • Shore Excursions
  • Solo Traveller Friendly
Bonus Offer

Includes complimentary chauffeur driven luxury car transfers to/from your nearest international airport (within 35 km)

Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

Embark Aranui 5
Kauehi or Fakarava
At Sea
Nuku Hiva
Ua Pou
Ua Huka
Hiva Oa
Hiva Oa / Tahuata
Fatu Hiva
At Sea

Technical Details

  • Tonnage 3200
  • Built Date 2015
  • Capacity 256
  • Length 126M

Cruise Category

  • Freighter Style
  • Purpose Built Vessel
  • Soft Adventures

Aranui 5

Aranui Cruises' Aranui 5 is totally unique being designed and purpose-built as a mixed passenger and freighter cruise ship operating between Tahiti and the Marquesas. Elegantly appointed with a distinctly Tahitian decor, the Aranui 5 offers two lounges, four bars, conference rooms, swimming pool, massage room, gym and more, taking freighter cruising to a whole new level.