THE UNIQUE HISTORY OF OUR MOST POPULAR CRUISE
Nearly 60 years ago, the Wong family began operating a cargo service that ferried supplies to the Tuamotu-Gambier Islands. It became the first regular contact that inhabitants of these remote islands had with the outside world, as well as being a lifeline in regards to access to supplies.
To start, the ship was purely cargo with just a handful of Tahitian passengers travelling between islands. However, the Wong family sensed that this unique trip to the isolated islands could appeal to adventure-minded tourists. Twenty years later, in the early 1980’s, they began modifying the freighter to add 12 cabins, a dormitory, a new galley and a new dining room to cater for a soft adventure cruise experience.
On November 22, 1984, the Aranui I departed from Papeete with 24 guests on board – both locals and international guests. It proved a resounding success. Over the ensuing 35 years, the company catered to increasing demand by replacing the Aranui I with bigger ships with more passenger accommodation and facilities.
Today, the specially-designed Aranui 5 operates the 12 day itinerary. The basis of the voyage remains unchanged – Aranui Cruises is still the supply ship for the Marquesas and guests have the opportunity to watch the ship’s crew in action in each port as they load and unload supplies. Guests, however, can now enjoy even better facilities on-board with more guest space than on previous ships.
Demand for this unique experience continues to grow however as more and more people are heading off-the-beaten-track for a more authentic experience. As cruising continues to grow in popularity, the Aranui voyage to the Marquesas is ticking a lot of the boxes for more and more people. The atmosphere on-board is relaxed and down-to-earth which appeals to Australians and New Zealanders.
Unfortunately, Antipodeans are notoriously slow to book and prefer to book just a few months out from departure. With half of the guests coming from Europe and the US, Australians and Kiwis often miss out on the special deals or the cabins offering verandahs. That’s why we always recommend securing your cabin as soon as you can – especially if you want one with your own balcony as these are always first to go.