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Adventure cruise: Discover the most beautiful islands of French Polynesia


25/11/2022

Expedition cruises with Aranui offer adventure-seeking passengers a unique experience to discover the most beautiful islands of French Polynesia by the sea. The ship offers an authentic expedition to the mythical archipelago of the Marquesas, which it supplies with goods, but also to destinations such as the Tuamotu Islands, the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, Pitcairn, Gambier and Austral islands. 

Located at the end of the world, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn island is now home to a small community of about 50 inhabitants, who are descendants of the Mutineers of the Bounty. In the Tuamotu Islands, passengers can discover the elevated atoll of Makatea with its vertiginous cliffs, the authentic Mataiva and its spectacular “leopard” lagoon, Anaa and its green lagoon, Hikueru or Tautira, a charming fishing village with a superb bay on the Tahiti peninsula

The Austral Archipelago, the southernmost in French Polynesia, offers the unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in Rurutu and Tubuai, as well as the possibility to attend a demonstration of stone lifting, a traditional custom in the Austral Islands, or to visit a coffee cooperative, a tarodière, caves and archaeological sites.

In the Society Archipelago, passengers can visit the must-see islands of Bora Bora and Raiatea and their famous lagoon paradise, one of the most popular destinations in the world.

What is an adventure cruise?

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An adventure cruise is the promise of an exceptional discovery of the farthest reaches of the planet, unique destinations, isolated communities and their ancestral culture and traditions, such as the journey offered by the Aranui in the Marquesas archipelago, one of the best ways to visit it being by the sea. Some of the islands do not even have airports or docks and are only accessible by boat, making the trip unique.

Indeed, ships such as the Aranui sometimes use barges to disembark passengers in these destinations, a very unique expedition. During the sailings, lectures by experienced English, French and German speaking guides and briefings are held aboard every day, allowing passengers to learn exciting stories about the islands and destinations served as well as the sightseeing programmes offered during the cruises.

Our experience of adventure cruises

Aranui is a Polynesian shipping company that started out in 1954 as a freight-only vessel, then added passenger cabins in 1984 on the Aranui 1, creating the first mixed cargo adventure cruise in French Polynesia, at that time. 

Successive launches of the Aranui 2, 3 and 5 vessels have improved cargo and passenger capacity and comfort aboard, and today we operate solely on the Aranui 5, classified as a small vessel, which entered service in 2015. It is a company created by Polynesians and for the national economic benefit of Polynesians, especially Marquesans. 

For almost 40 years, the company has maintained a vital link between these inhabitants and the outside world, offering fully immersive expeditions. This creates a very special atmosphere, different from that on board other ships.

Why choose our company for an adventure cruise in Polynesia

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The unique itineraries of the Aranui, the friendly atmosphere on board, the activities and the discovery of the heart and soul of Polynesia in total immersion, aboard a modern and very comfortable mixed cargo ship, different from all other ships, makes this expedition unique and unforgettable.

The Aranui experience is unique in the world, very authentic, cultural and friendly. It is the trip of a lifetime. You will be day-dreaming of a new departure on the Aranui long time after your trip…

What can you expect on your adventure cruise with the Aranui?

When you embark, you’ll have no idea of the extraordinary human adventure that awaits you, close to Polynesian culture and traditions day by day. Passengers will make a 4,500 km journey and will enjoy a fascinating trip. 

A great number of passengers who had a travel experience cruising with our boat mention on top of their preferences the great itineraries to explore, the outstanding crew, the perfect organization of the tours on each island, the great view from the boat when arriving in a different port or on a breathtaking bay, the delicious meals, the comfort of the cabins, the onboard entertainment and many more. 

The Aranui offers its passengers great expeditions to some of the most isolated islands in the world, where they will be surprised by grandiose landscapes of unexpected wild beauty, such as the 6 inhabited islands of the Marquesas, located more than 1,500 km north-east of Tahiti. The Marquesas archipelago is divided into two groups: the northern islands (Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou and Ua Huka) and the southern islands (Hiva Oa, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva) which offer breathtaking landscapes, the northern islands being generally more arid while the islands in the south are more humid with luxuriant vegetation that looks like a film set.

Adventure cruise: how long is a stay on the Aranui?

The traditional expeditions of the Aranui to the Marquesas Islands, which have about 20 departures per year, lasts 12 days/11 nights. The special cruises take our clients to great unusual destinations in the other Polynesian archipelagos in the South Pacific and the duration of an itinerary can range from 5 days/4 nights for a short cruise to the Tuamotu Islands to 9 days/8 nights (Cook and Society Islands), 11 days/10 nights (Pitcairn and Gambier Islands) and 12 days/11 nights (Austral Islands), thus offering a varied choice of destinations in Polynesia, from Tahiti. 

What services are offered on your Aranui adventure cruise?

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The Aranui cruises offer an all-inclusive itinerary, including all meals, a bottle of wine at the table for meals on board the ship and the guided excursions on the programme. Coffee, tea and water are free aboard. The comfort on board the Aranui, a modern and comfortable boat, is equivalent to that of a 4* hotel. 

The Aranui offers a wide range of cabins, from dormitories, for travelers looking for an unusual expedition full of adventures, to royal, premium suites, for a comfortable cruise. The ship features 4 bars, 1 restaurant, an outdoor pool, a spa, a tattoo salon, a fitness room and a boutique. The ship also offers a laundry service, free of charge several times during the cruising.

During the days at sea, passengers have the opportunity to discover on the ship, various activities such as ukulele lessons, traditional dances, initiation to cooking, organized by the ship’s staff, to make you live unusual adventures, different from other cruise ships.
Interested in a cruise to French Polynesia? Check out our annual departures until 2023 to find the perfect opportunity and best itinerary for you.


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