Aranui 5 to the Marquesas Islands
By far, our most popular cruise is the Aranui 5 voyage to The Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. There is something about this cruise that appeals to Kiwis and Australians. Perhaps it’s the down-to-earth nature of the cruise that combines both freight delivery as well as leisure cruise facilities. Perhaps it’s that the voyage takes you away from the tourist traps to islands that are so remote you can only get there by boat. Or perhaps it’s getting back to nature with shore excursions involving beautiful walks and incredible natural vistas rather than built up cities that appeals to us?
Whatever it is, Aranui Cruises seem to tick the boxes! You won’t find glitzy reception halls with chandeliers and sparkly balustrades, or rooms jingling with the sounds of pokie machines. You won’t find white-gloved butlers or dance troupes, multi-level theatres or floors of glamorous shops.
Instead, you’ll be welcomed aboard by a friendly crew who you’ll see serving drinks one day and unloading cargo the next. You’ll find functional, yet comfortable public spaces complete with pool, bars, lounges and more. Evening entertainment is more likely to be the crew picking up some guitars for a sing-song or Polynesian women teaching guests traditional dance moves. It’s this unaffected simplicity that makes cruising on the Aranui 5 such a treat.
In port, there are organised shore visits (all included in the price) but many guests enjoy watching the supplies being loaded and unloaded from the ship. Everything from fruit and vegetables to cars, household goods and more is delivered this way. For the people living on these remote islands, the Aranui 5 is their lifeline, their main connection to the outside world.
The ship sails throughout the year with 11 night voyages starting and ending in Papeete, as well as a handful of alternative itineraries to the Austral or Gambier Islands and Pitcairn Island. With just 103 cabins, 5 of which are dormitories, it doesn’t take long to fill up. Our tip for the day – book in advance and secure yourself a Deluxe or Superior Deluxe with Balcony!