Home > Itineraries > MARQUESAS ARTS FESTIVAL - 2023

MARQUESAS ARTS FESTIVAL - 2023

From Thursday, December 14 2023 to Tuesday, December 26 2023

13 days / 12 nights

Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu and Society


Mythical and mystical. A land that has attracted explorers, writers, painters and artists. Breathtaking landscapes of mountains, valleys, plateaus and cliffs. A nation of former warriors, with their own language and culture. For more than 30 years, Aranui, as the main carrier of goods to the Marquesas, has maintained a vital link with its inhabitants and the outside world. For this special Marquesas Arts Festival cruise, the Aranui will make an extra day's stop in Nuku Hiva where our passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy superb cultural performances.

Day 1

THURSDAY – Departure from Papeete (Tahiti)

Depart from Papeete in the late afternoon, receive a warm welcome onboard from our crew and sail to the Tuamotu archipelago.

Day 2

FRIDAY – Fakarava 

Classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for the preservation of rare species, Fakarava is the second largest atoll in French Polynesia. After a breakfast buffet on board, the Aranui will disembark at the “Rotoava” pier. Passengers will have time to discover its small village, the church built out of coral, the local crafts and a demonstration of the many uses of the coconut. Enjoy a day of relaxation, sun and beach, swimming or snorkeling among colorful tropical fish. Possibility of scuba diving for certified divers only.
Optional activities: bike rentals, E-Bike, Quad, diving (sign-up at the reception). 

Day 3

SATURDAY – At sea

A day to relax on the Pool Deck or in the comfort of our air-conditioned Lounge. Or why not simply enjoy the view of the South Pacific Ocean as we sail to the fascinating Marquesas Islands. Lectures on the culture and history of the Marquesas Islands will take you back in time and give you a complete
overview of this ancient civilization. During the cruise, you will also have the opportunity to learn how to move your hips like a true Tahitian! The spirited Polynesian crew will proudly introduce you to their way of life and entertain you with Polynesian songs and rhythms on their ukuleles, guitars and drums.
Before you go to bed, set your watch 30 minutes ahead. We’re on Marquesas time. 

Day 4

SUNDAY –  Nuku Hiva (Taipivai – Festival)

While the Aranui is unloading, you can explore Taiohae, the small administrative capital of the Marquesas. Taiohae Cove is the place where writer Herman Melville, a 23-year-old sailor, and a friend jumped off a whaler in 1842. After breakfast, passengers will disembark and board the four-wheel drive vehicles that will be waiting for them for the day’s excursion. Our first stop will be a visit to Taiohae Cathedral. You can visit the cathedral or go to the market to buy handicrafts. Then we will visit the
archaeological site of “Tohua Kamuihei” with its giant banyans and petroglyphs. Your first introduction to traditional Marquesan cuisine will be served for lunch. The specialty here is the “umu”, an underground oven where food is cooked for hours. Local music during the meal will provide a great atmosphere. Your tour will continue south to Taiohae with its spectacular bay, a giant volcanic amphitheater dominated by towering cliffs dotted with waterfalls. Return to Taiohae village, where you will also find banks and stores. You can return to the ship from the village on foot or by car.
7 pm: Polynesian evening with a plancha buffet around the pool (Deck 7) or in the Restaurant (Deck 4) depending on the weather conditions.

Day 5

MONDAY – Nuku Hiva (Hatiheu – Festival)

An extra day in Nuku Hiva to attend cultural performances of the Marquesas Arts Festival.

Day 6

TUESDAY – Ua Pou (Hakahau)

From the decks, you’ll see the unique mountain spires of Ua Pou. As the crew unloads supplies, cement, sugar, and loads bags of copra (dried coconuts) and fruit, explore the picturesque village of Hakahau and its church with a hand-carved wooden platform. Meet the island’s talented carvers and artists, climb to the Cross for a breathtaking view of the mountains, lush valleys and main village. Another delicious Marquesan lunch will be served: breadfruit, a
Marquesan staple with curried goat (a specialty of the Marquesas Islands), raw fish marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk, taro and red bananas. Enjoy an excellent dance performance, including the traditional UA POU “bird dance”.

Day 7

WEDNESDAY – Ua Huka (Vaipe’e/Hane/Hokatu)

This island, which saw the construction of the first airstrip in the Marquesas in 1972, is largely arid and home to many wild horses, goats and pigs. In the early morning, the Aranui will perform an impressive maneuver, a 180 degree turn in the magnificent “Invisible Bay” of Vaipaee. A maneuver that requires all the dexterity of the captain and crew is not to be missed. On the dry land of Ua Huka, visit the small museum with exquisite replicas of Marquesan art where our guides will immerse you in this ancient civilization. Continue in your 4×4 to explore the island, stopping for breathtaking views, visit the arboretum born of the passion of the island’s former mayor, before reaching the beautiful village of Hane. Lunch will be served at a local family restaurant. Discover some of the island’s specialties, handicrafts, wood carvings, and engraved coconut shells. After lunch, return to the boat by 4×4. For the more spirited, a 2 mile walk back from the tree house awaits you. Be sure to be on deck as the Aranui will sail along the coast of Ua Huka for more great views.

Day 8

THURSDAY – Hiva Oa (Atuona) 

The Aranui will arrive at the pier in Hiva Oa where you will have plenty of time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in the Marquesas, traveling there by bus. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and created some of his works. You can visit the colonial store where he bought his bread, as well as a replica of his infamous “house of pleasure” and the museum. As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, you’ll have a great view of the motu Hanakee. Under a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903. Nearby is the grave of another famous European who also fell in love with Hiva Oa: the Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, who died in 1978.

Day 9

FRIDAY –

Hiva Oa (Puamau) – Tahuata (Vaitahu)

The Aranui is at anchor and passengers will disembark by tender at the Puamau pier. A 4×4 guided tour will take groups to the archaeological site “Te I’Ipona” with the largest Tiki in French Polynesia while others can spend free time in the village. Lunch will be served on board as Aranui sails to one of the villages of Tahuata, Vaitahu.

Tahuata is accessible only by sea, as it has no airport. On this leaf-shaped island, the air is thick with the scent of “Tahitian tiare”, frangipani and history. In 1595, Spanish explorers landed in the village of Vaitahu and opened fire on a crowd of curious islanders, killing about 200 people. Tahuata is also the site of the first French colony in the Marquesas in 1842. The large church built by the Vatican, is decorated with beautiful Marquesan sculptures and stained-glass windows representing the Virgin Mary. Tahuata is famous for its exquisite bone and helmet shell carvings. There will be much to choose
from in the village. 

Day 10

SATURDAY – Fatu Hiva (Omoa – Hanavave)

Fatu Hiva, the most lush and remote of the Marquesas Islands, is also a
Marquesan craft center. In the village of Omoa, the women will demonstrate how to make tapa by crushing the bark from mulberry, banyan or breadfruit trees, as well as how to make a floral bouquet, “Umuhei”, a mixture made from the island’s plants used to perfume their hair.
After visiting the village, the more athletic passengers can opt for a 10-mile hike that will take them from Omoa to Hanavave, offering breathtaking views of the high cliffs. A picnic lunch will be served at the mountain top. Non-hikers will sail aboard the Aranui from Omoa to Hanavave to the Bay of Virgins, considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Meet in the village for a demonstration of the making of coconut oil, “pani” and the scented towel, “aeu pipi”. During our departure, partake in the farewell ceremony on deck 7.

Day 11

SUNDAY – At sea

A day to recover from the emotions experienced in the Marquesas archipelago. During our crossing to the magnificent Tuamotu Islands, conferences and activities will be offered throughout the day. Before going to bed, set your watch back 30 minutes, back to Tahiti time.

Day 12

MONDAY – Rangiroa

From the open decks, watch our approach and arrival into the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second largest in the world. We enter Tiputa Pass, one of Rangiroa’s passes. Glass bottom boat and scuba diving excursions are available (sign-up at the reception). Scuba diving here is rated as one of the best in the world (certified divers only). If you decide not to visit, enjoy Rangiroa’s white sand beach and translucent lagoon. The “mamas” stands will have an excellent display of shell necklaces, chains and key chains and other small souvenirs for sale on the beach. Lunch will be served on board. Enjoy your afternoon at the public beach.

Day 13

TUESDAY – Return to Tahiti (Papeete)

This is the end of our journey. It’s time to say Nānā! (Goodbye) to your travel companions, to the Polynesian staff and Aranui guides.

Choose your base fare :

PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

Area : 440 sq.ft (41 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 to 3 adults

Situation : Sky Deck - 9.

Consisting of 3 individual rooms, approximately 440 sq. ft. (41 sq.m) of interior space and a 130 sq. ft. (12 sq.m) private balcony, this exterior cabin offers a separate bedroom with a king size bed, a sitting room with a sofa bed, a lounge with a built-in bar, two bathrooms with shower and hair dryer, a walk-in closet, refrigerator and safe.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

12 780 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

ROYAL SUITE

Area : 240 sq. ft. (22 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 to 3 adults

Situation : Sun Deck - 8, Pool Deck - 7, Veranda Deck - 6.

With 240 sq. ft. (22 sq.m) of interior space and a 100 sq. ft. (9 sq.m) private corner balcony, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king size bed or twin beds and a sitting room with a sofa bed, divided by a decorative filigree screen, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

10 087 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

ROYAL SUITE WITH OBSTRUCTED VIEW

Area : 240 sq. ft. (22 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 to 3 adults

Situation : Boat Deck - 5.

With 240 sq. ft. (22 sq.m) of interior space and a 100 sq. ft. (9 sq.m) private corner balcony, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king size bed or twin beds and a sitting room with a sofa bed, divided by a decorative filigree screen, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe. In this category, the view of the windows is obstructed.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

9 661 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

PREMIUM SUITE

Area : 200 sq.ft (19 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 to 3 adults

Situation : Pool Deck - 7, Veranda Deck - 6.

With approximately 200 sq. ft. (19 sq.m) of interior space and a 45 sq. ft. (4 sq.m) private balcony, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king size bed or twin beds and a sitting room with a sofa bed, divided by a decorative filigree screen, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

9 234 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

JUNIOR SUITE WITHOUT BALCONY

Area : 200 sq.ft (19 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 persons

Situation : Veranda Deck - 6.

With 200 sq. ft. (19 sq.m) of interior space, without balcony but with picture windows, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king bed or twin beds, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe.

LAST CABINS AVAILABLE

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

8 856 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

SUPERIOR DELUXE

Area : 160 sq.ft (15 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 persons

Situation : Sky Deck - 9, Sun Deck - 8.

With 160 sq. ft. (15 sq.m) of interior space and a 45 sq. ft. (4 sq.m) private balcony, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king size bed or twin beds, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

8 381 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

DELUXE

Area : 140 sq.ft (13 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 persons

Situation : Sky Deck - 9, Sun Deck - 8, Pool Deck - 7.

With approximately 140 sq. ft. (13 m²) of interior space and a 45 sq. ft. (4 m²) private balcony, this exterior cabin offers a bedroom with a king size bed or twin beds, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer, refrigerator and safe.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

7 760 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

DOUBLE STATEROOM

Area : 11 m²

Capacity : 2 people

Situation : Boat Deck - 5, Main Deck - 3, Lower Deck - 2.

With 120 sq. ft. (11 sq.m) of interior space and a porthole or a picture window, this exterior cabin offers, either, a king size or two single beds, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

6 480 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

DOUBLE STATEROOM WITH OBSTRUCTED VIEW

Area : 120 sq.ft (11 sq.m)

Capacity : 2 adults

Situation : Boat Deck - 5.

With 120 sq. ft. (11 sq.m) of interior space and a picture window with an obstructed view, this exterior cabin offers either, a king size or two single beds, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

6 163 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

SINGLE STATEROOM

Area : 100 sq.ft (9 sq.m)

Capacity : 1 person

Situation : Lower Deck - 2.

The Single Stateroom has 100 sq. ft. (9 sq.m) of interior space with a porthole, a single bed, a bathroom with shower and hair dryer.

FULLY BOOKED

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

8 971 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

DORMITORY

Area : 140 sq.ft (13 sq.m) to 285 sq.ft (27 sq.m)

Capacity : 4 to 8 persons

Situation : Upper Deck - 4.

The dormitory has 5 units: four units of 140 sq. ft. (13 sq.m) each which can accommodate four passengers per unit with two lower and two upper berths, one bathroom with shower and hair dryer and a unit of 285 sq. ft. (27 sq.m) of shared interior space with four lower and four upper berths, a sitting area, two bathrooms with shower and hair dryer. This category can be mixed.

LAST CABINS AVAILABLE

Availability for reference only, to be confirmed by the Reservations Department

4 141 USD
Price per person

+ 140 USD
Fuel surcharge to be added

What's included

RATES INCLUDE

Cruise transportation and related taxes (tourist tax, port tax, fuel, TDC), shipboard accommodation, 3 meals per day, a bottle of wine to share among 4 passengers for scheduled onboard meals, lunches in local restaurants, planned guided shore excursions to remote villages and archaeological sites, cultural dance shows, lecturers onsite and onboard.  Rates are per adult, in double or single occupancy. These fares are correct at the time of printing and are subject to change; with or without notice.

RATES DO NOT INCLUDE

The fuel surcharge, per person, of 125€ / 140 $ US / 190 $ AUS / 200 $ NZD / 15 000 XPF.

Shipboard purchases, liquor, gratuities, port taxes other than those specifically provided for, and other personal items. Rates quoted at the time of printing are based on current costs and are subject to change up to and including the date of sailing.

SCHEDULE & EXTRA COST PROVISION

If, due to weather or other uncontrollable reasons, you are required to spend one or more additional nights, you will be responsible for your own hotel and meal costs. In addition, because the primary function of vessels in the service of Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime is to carry freight, the departure dates, ports of call, and duration of cruises may be subject to variation both prior to departure and en route. Freighter passengers should have a flexible time schedule and anticipate the foregoing possibilities. While we do everything possible to inform and assist our clients, neither CPTM nor its agents will assume additional expenses, hotel or meal costs associated with delays or changes in itinerary and schedules.

ITINERARY CHANGES

Routes and activities are indicative and can be modified according to weather conditions or availability. CPTM pledges to make every effort to operate all cruises as advertised. CPTM reserves the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, ports of call or conveyances as deemed necessary.

Speakers

Guest lecturers who specialise in the Marquesas and other fields related to French Polynesia such as history, culture, art or archaeology, will share their knowledge and insights as part of a series of onboard lectures throughout the year. Lectures are held in conference rooms.

Optional excursions

At every port, guests can enjoy an array of included excursions.  For a bit more adventure, there are plenty of optional activities to choose from. The following can be booked onboard and at an additional cost.

FISHING

Due to its remote location in the South Pacific, the Marquesas have an abundance of marine life, making these islands a fisherman’s paradise. Mokai Nui 2, a four-person boat, offers deep sea fishing outings with a seasoned crew at four different ports. Tuna, wahoo and bonita are some of the types of fish that can be found here. Experience the thrill of catching your dinner, which our chef will turn into a delicious dish for you and your friends.

DIVING

Some of the best diving in the world can be found in French Polynesia. The three distinct topographies offer a different experience, with diving available on five islands. While Fakarava, Rangiroa and Hiva Oa are available to advanced certified divers only, all levels are welcome in Tahuata and Bora Bora. From sharks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles and whales, depending on the island and time of year, to an abundance of colourful tropical fish and coral, French Polynesia is a diver’s playground.

GLASS BOTTOM BOAT

For those who don’t dive or snorkel, enjoy the extraordinary underwater world of Rangiroa’s blue lagoon on a glass bottom boat tour. You will discover the colourful coral, tropical fish, sharks, rays and turtles that call the atoll home without getting wet.