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Discover the Marquesas Islands Arts Festival on a special cruise aboard Aranui 5 


12/04/2022

Save 400 euros per person this summer during your cruise in Polynesia and discover the festival of the Marquesas Islands.

marquesas islands arts festival
special cruise aboard aranui 5
polynesian culture

The Marquesas Islands Arts Festival is taking place on the French Polynesian island of Fatu Hiva from July 7 to 10, 2022. Passengers travelling aboard Aranui 5, the part cargo, part cruise ship on their Polynesian cruise, on the voyage departing 2 July 2022, will have the unique opportunity to participate in elements of the festivities, and become immersed in this colourful event as the sounds of rhythmic drum and spectacular dance performances permeate deep into the night. 

Passengers aboard this cruise and all departures travelling between 7 May and 27 August 2022 also have the added bonus of saving between 400 – 800 Euros per person, depending in their choice of cabin, and benefit from a range of flexible booking conditions*, which can be found in the tour details on the official Aranui website.

This is the 13th edition of the arts festival, and this year’s theme is ‘Te ‘Eo Taetae Tupuna’ (‘Language, an ancestral heritage’). The festival is organised every two years as a way for the island’s Tuhuka ‘wise men’ to pass on their knowledge of traditional dances, songs, food, tattoos, sculptures, and sports to the island’s youth in order to preserve these unique features of their culture.

Fatu Hiva is the lushest of the island in the Marquesas archipelago. It is the home of ‘tapa,’ a traditional fabric produced from the bark of the Banyan or breadfruit tree that is dried to form a canvas with lavishly designed Marquesan themes. The island is also renowned for its hand-painted ‘pareo’ (wraparound skirts) and ‘monoi,’ a sweet-smelling coconut oil infused with flowers.

Passengers will be able to join the festival celebrations on Saturday 9th July with a series of culinary and craft activities. The day begins with a parade of dancing, including the well-known Haka, between the main festival site and the typical Marquesan underground ovens where the festival lunch will be prepared. After a lunchtime feast of slow roasted pork, passengers will see demonstrations of Tapa making as well as stone carving and the creation of ‘umu-hei’, the Marquesas’ traditional floral headdresses. 

Passengers will also be able to explore the island’s towering cliffs on a tour inland and will round off the day with a moment of pure happiness as the sun sets over the UNESCO World Heritage, Bay of Virgins.

Further highlights of the 12-day cruise include visits to the other inhabited islands in the archipelago with an exploration of the stone tikis and rock art in the Taipivai Valley on Nuku Hiva; a 4×4 tour in the mountains of Ua Huka to see the famed Marquesan horses that roam freely on the island; and a hike to the ‘Cross’ on Ua Pou’s ‘Cathedral Island,’ with its 12 mighty basalt summits rising to 3,745 feet.

For historians and art lovers the cruise offers the chance to discover the stories of conquistadores, missionaries and French settlers who shaped the history of Tahuata, the smallest inhabited island. Whilst on Hiva Oa there is a visit to the former home of the artist Paul Gauguin, plus a visit to his grave and a replica of his ‘House of Pleasure.’ 

The itinerary also includes a new stop at the fascinating island of Makatea (on 2 and 16 July and 17 December 2022) and at Fakarava, the Tuamotus’ second largest atoll on all other voyages, with time for snorkelling in its crystal-clear waters to find multi-coloured fish in its coral reef or the opportunity to explore inland on an e-bike.

The 12-day Discover the Marquesas Cruise on board Aranui 5 costs from Euros 4,363 pp (excluding the discount of 400 Euros). Price includes accommodation in a Double Stateroom with obstructed view, (based on two sharing), all meals (incl. wine with meals), taxes and scheduled excursions. Excludes international flights.

On board the Ship

The cargo ship Aranui 5 accommodates 230 guests in 103 comfortable suites, staterooms, and dormitory-style rooms, some with balconies. An onboard programme of insightful talks about life in the Marquesas takes place in the two spacious lounges, and there are also four bars – including the panoramic Skybar for relaxation. Meals are served in the dining room, where after the three-course dinners, the Aranui band performs. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, spa, tattoo parlour and boutique. 


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