Come and explore the enchanting Marquesas Islands on the trip of a lifetime.
For more than 30 years our ships have been taking avid adventurers on one of the most fascinating voyages anywhere on the planet. Aranui 5, the crown jewel in our pursuit of the ultimate passenger-freighter, will take you to far-flung corners of French Polynesia where we resupply tiny communities living far from civilisation. Home to unspoiled beauty, warm and hospitable people and a vibrant culture, the Marquesas are ancient and majestic islands.
Aranui 5 is a true expedition ship with all the comforts of home: spacious cabins with private bathrooms, dining areas for every mood and occasion, a spacious sun deck with infinity pool, gym and spa facilities (including massage rooms), library… even a movie theater! The ship also boasts an experienced crew of over 100 dedicated professionals who will ensure your safety at all times while onboard.
Dining on board is an experience like no other.
Served in a casual, family-style setting, meals are prepared by our professional crew and served by the same friendly, attentive staff that will be taking care of you throughout your charter.
We take special consideration for medically prescribed diets into account, but please be sure to inform us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking or more than three weeks before your sailing date.
Designed to be a communal experience, our restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual, family style atmosphere. Breakfast is traditionally a buffet of varied assortments of hot and cold dishes, such as pastries, fresh fruit, eggs, cheeses and meats. Lunch and dinner consists of a three course plated service, featuring a fusion of French, Polynesian and Chinese cuisines, prepared by our French trained, mostly Marquesan chefs and kitchen staff. Three pastry chefs and a baker round out the team. They can accommodate special diets and dietary restrictions upon request. During the cruise, one or two dinner events will take place around the pool, bringing together all guests and crewmembers in a shared feast, followed by music and dancing under the stars.
The Pool Grill and Bar offers a less formal menu of quick bites, from cheeseburgers to salads, and more traditional Polynesian fare, like poisson cru or sashimi. As this is not included in the onboard meals, an additional cost applies.
Colorful and vibrant, the Veranda Bar is the main hub for evening gatherings and entertainment. The indoor/outdoor set-up is ideal to meet up and socialize with friends, old and new. Several times during the cruise, the Aranui Band, composed of staff and crew, will perform local music and songs here. On other nights, live music and dancing keeps it lively. The daily Happy Hour is a great way to end the day at sunset before moving on to dinner.
Featuring a 180 degree panoramic view from the highest deck, the Sky Bar provides a more subdued retreat to enjoy a relaxing drink, quiet conversion or simply admire the scenery ahead while at sea. Once in the islands, it offers the perfect spot to watch the well-choreographed activities below. From the bay of floor to ceiling picture windows, observe our Polynesian sailors perform Aranui 5’s primary purpose: the delivery of supplies to the small towns and villages of the Marquesas.
In keeping with the spirit of traditional Polynesian cultural immersion, most of the entertainment on board is local and casual. Singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or sometimes all three, are important elements to the Polynesians and their way of life. Talent abounds in the culture and Aranui 5 represents it well. The Aranui Band, consisting of staff and sailors, performs several times in the Veranda Bar throughout the cruise, serenading guests with local songs. If passengers find their foot tapping to the beat or feel like cutting a rug, even better. They have crossed to the other side. Live music during Happy Hour, a dance performance from a local Marquesan group at one of the island stops or dancing under the stars after a Polynesian Feast, these are some of the offerings on board.
Cultural enrichment classes are given throughout the cruise. Like the entertainment, they focus on various aspects of Polynesia. Guests can learn how to prepare Tahiti’s famous “poisson cru”, raw fish marinated in lime and finished in coconut milk similar to ceviche; the many ways to tie the versatile pareo, a cotton fabric commonly worn by women for every occasion; some of the local dances and songs, to be performed during the Polynesian Feast; how to weave palm fronds to create utilitarian objects; or occasionally, basic language classes as all five archipelagoes each have a distinct dialect. There will be much to discover about French Polynesia during the sailing.
Our spacious lounge hosts our guest lecturers, providing educational talks on various aspects of French Polynesia with a focus on the Marquesas, from its history and culture, to archeology or the navigational prowess of its people. It is a great place to curl up with a book or check emails. Several demonstrations, such as the many ways to tie a pareo, are done here. Coffee and tea stations can be found at the back of the lounge 24 hrs./day.
Pamper yourself with our relaxing spa treatments.
The Aranui Spa offers a variety of treatments by a fully trained wellness and massage therapist. Make your way to the spa for a facial, body scrub and massages using the traditional oils of French Polynesia. Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure or a relaxing foot massage — perfect after a day exploring.
At sea, you'll have access to a licensed Marquesan tattooist. He'll help you design a personalised tattoo using traditional Marquesan symbols to represent the story you wish to tell. Tattooing is done in a clean and sterile environment using modern equipment. A tattoo is the ultimate souvenir from the Marquesas.
Our library on Deck 6 is the perfect place to curl up with a book. You can choose from a selection of novels and history books in French, English, and German.
Aranui Cruises Ship's Boutique is the place to go for all your shipboard needs. You'll find everything from mosquito repellent and sun lotion to sundries, clothing, and local souvenirs.
Aranui Cruises offers a wide variety of shore excursions, but all are limited to the time required by cargo operators and port restrictions. Port time may range from just a few hours to a day or more. While some ports offer shore excursions with an additional fee, Aranui Cruises does not own, operate or exercise any control over those excursions. The company, its agents and employees do not assume any responsibility in connection with the operations of said programs. The company accepts no responsibility of liability for the failure of any operator to perform any said program and/or for any injury, damage or loss however caused or arising therefrom.
At each island stopover, as part of the cruise fare, an excursion is included as per our daily itinerary. On our Marquesas cruises only, where freight is carried, our guides will escort guests ashore while supplies are unloaded and goods destined for Tahiti are loaded. Each excursion has been designed and developed between Aranui and the local islanders to maximize the exploration and discovery of an individual island, focusing on highlights and points of interest.
A 4x4 excursion from town to the Cathedral Notre Dame, known for its stonework and wood sculptures; the Tohua Kamuihei in Hatieu, and archeological site; the valley of Taipivai, where a traditional Marquesan lunch will be served. Stops at scenic viewpoints on the return, with time in the town of Taiohae in the late afternoon.
Following a morning hike to a hill overlooking the bay below and surrounding valleys for breathtaking views, visit of the village, arts and crafts center and local fruit tasting. A dance performance featuring the Bird Dance before a Marquesan lunch at one of the island’s restaurants.
A 4x4 excursion from Vaipaee to the villages of Hokatu and Hane, with stops at the botanical garden, 3 museums, featuringreplicas of Marquesan artifacts, ancient maritime objects and petroglyphs, woodcarvers studios and a hike to an open air temple with red tuff tikis, followed by a traditional Marquesas lunch.
In the main village of Atuona, visit to the Calvary cemetery, where the painter Paul Gauguin is buried, the Gauguin and Jacques Brel museums and an arts and crafts center. In the north, in the village of Puamau, visit of the Mea’e Iipona, an archeological site featuring the second largest tikis in the world after the ones in Easter Island.
Visit of the Catholic Church built by the Vatican and decorated with beautiful carvings and a stained glass window with the Marquesan cross. An arts and crafts center featuring some of the finest bone carvings, for which the island is known.
Visit of the village of Omoa in the morning, with demonstrations of the making of tapa, a cloth from the bark of various trees and the kumuhei, a floral bouquet unique to this island and worn by women to perfume their hair. A 10 mile hike to the next village of Hanavave is offered. For those who do not wish to partake, the ship will reposition to Hanavave, where guests can disembark for a visit and a dance performance.
At each island stopover, an excursion is included as per our daily itinerary. On our Marquesas cruises only, where freight is carried, our guides will escort guests ashore while supplies are unloaded and goods destined for Tahiti are loaded. Each excursion has been designed and developed between Aranui and the local islanders to maximize the exploration and discovery of an individual island, focusing on highlights and points of interest. These range from visits to archeological sites, villages, museums, botanical gardens and arts and crafts centers, to hikes featuring breathtaking scenery, while traveling by 4-wheel drive or on foot.
Various optional excursions are offered as well, depending on the selected itinerary.
Some of the best diving in the world can be found here. The three different topographies offer a different experience each time, with diving available on six islands: Fakarava, Rangiroa, Hiva Oa, Tahuata, Tubuai and Bora Bora.
Due to its remoteness and isolation in the South Pacific and with an abundance of marine life, the Marquesas is a fisherman’s paradise. Mokai Nui 2, a four-person boat, offers deep sea fishing outings at four different ports.
In Ua Pou, guests will have the opportunity to explore in greater depth either the eastern or western coasts of the island on a half day 4 wheel-drive tour. As there are fewer available vehicles on this small island, space is limited. In Fatu Hiva, for those who do not wish to make the 10 mile hike between the villages of Omoa and Hanavave, there is a three hour crossing by 4 wheel-drive as an option. Discover some of the most spectacular scenery in the Marquesas, including a view from above of the Bay of Virgins.
For those who don’t dive or snorkel, enjoy the extraordinary underwater world of Rangiroa’s blue lagoon on a glass bottom boat tour. Discover the colorful coral and tropical fish that call the atoll home with the chance of a cameo from a shark or ray.