Why choose aranui ?


The aranui experience: a mixed cargo ship your polynesian cruise

The year 2024 marks the company's 40th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, Aranui Cruises unveils a magnificent video that tells the story of the company and the Marquesas Islands. Click here to discover this never-before-seen documentary.

Come and explore the enchanting Marquesas Islands on the trip of a lifetime. For 40 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.
During our 12-day cruise to the Marquesas, we provide all your meals and scheduled excursions, and our modern and comfortable vessel will be your home as you discover the magic that attracted Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thor Heyerdahl and Jacques Brel to this remote region. Our gracious staff and crew, many of whom have been with us for many years and are from the islands we visit, will welcome you as family and delight in introducing you to their centuries-old customs. They join our knowledgeable, multilingual lecturers and guides in sharing the French Polynesian culture with you as you explore these captivating islands.
Accommodating just 230 passengers, Aranui 5 offers the same relaxed and friendly atmosphere as her predecessors. Meet new friends at the bar, and relax on the deck, or by the pool as the islands float by. If you seek privacy, retreat to your balcony in a suite or deluxe stateroom. Every evening presents a new opportunity to watch the infinite colours of the sunset dance in the sky and reflect in the sea as another day draws to a close in the South Pacific. After a three-course dinner, the lively Aranui Band will introduce you to Polynesian rhythms and teach you to swivel your hips to the infectious beat of the Tamure.

The aranui atmosphere: a polynesian crew

From its inception to the present day, and through successive Aranui ships, the concept of Aranui Polynesian Cruises has remained the same: a traditional and authentic Polynesian offering by Polynesians for the benefit of Polynesia. In that spirit, nearly all the staff and crew are Polynesian, hailing from islands across the five archipelagos. It is their insider’s perspective and how openly they introduce their home to the outside world that creates an atmosphere unlike any other cruise line sailing these waters. Whether in the public spaces, at special dinner events, as part of the onboard entertainment or assisting you from ship to shore on our tenders, you will become well acquainted with our lively and talented crew members. Though some can be a little shy at first, once you strike up a conversation, you will discover why they are an integral part of the Aranui experience.

Aranui & the marquesas: an unwavering bond

Since the launch of our passenger-freighter in 1984, Aranui has become not only the primary source in terms of freight and cruises to the Marquesas, but also an unfailing link between Papeete and the Land of Men. Beyond the commercial aspect inherent with all shipping companies, Aranui has set a course of action and an obligation to support these remote islands.



Aranui ensures the distribution of Marquesan goods carried in her holds whether in raw form (most notably agriculture) or manufactured (arts and crafts). With the transport of people, travel professionals or tourists as well as essential infrastructure supplies for the islands and its services, Aranui is a major economic player in the archipelago.


The Marquesas are remote and isolated. So are Marquesan youths. This is why Aranui provides financial assistance in collaboration with other organisations and free transport for all school materials needed for education including school bags, books, various school supplies and computer equipment for the students as well as the educational centres of the Marquesas. Additionally, Aranui provides financial assistance to young athletes or promising students to help with their travel and housing expenses during sporting or school competitions. This is especially the case for the Va’a Marquesan League during the Hawaiki Nui outrigger competition.


During the cruises, experts from the Marquesas and other lecturers contribute to the cultural quality of the trip, while also promoting a better knowledge of the archipelago’s history. Cultural events also receive assistance from the company, which helps guarantee the quality of Marquesan festivals. Cultural organisations receive preferential fares for their passage and the transport of their goods, especially during the Marquesan Expo in Papeete.


The transport of people, products or works of art produced in the different islands of the Marquesas contributes to the promotion of the archipelago. Through Aranui’s international sales network, the Marquesas are well promoted across the globe. It is also due to Aranui’s ongoing visits to the Land of Men that the essence of the Marquesas culture is shared with the world.


Aranui’s cruises are built on three strong pillars: comfort, security and protection of the environment. Comfort cannot exist without the highest security. For this reason, the company has implemented the International Security Management (ISM) to optimise its security policies and standards for passengers and the protection of the environment.

The vessel is up to MARPOL standard : International Rules on Marine Pollution. From the management of the airconditioning system onboard, to the sorting of trash, to the treatment of ballast waters and the LED lighting on-board, Aranui aims to minimize the ship’s carbon footprint out of respect for the ocean, the islands and the people that inhabit them.


In 2022, Aranui Cruises received the certification to the Green Marine Europe Environmental Program whose main goals are:

  • to reduce marine industry’s environmental footprint and pollution potential
  • exceed regulatory compliance
  • strengthen environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement

Aranui Cruises also obtained the “Company protecting biodiversity” certification and is collaborating with the Polynesian ornithology association to fight against rats in the Marquesas Islands in order to save the endemic birds. In addition to the measures taken to prevent the spread of invasive exotic species from Tahiti to the archipelagos it supplies, the company familiarizes its staff with these invasive species and raises passenger awareness through informative displays in the public areas on board about its programs.

For more information, please consult our detailed document on this link.

The aranui history: from 1954 to now

Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime, also known as C.P.T.M, is a third-generation maritime company which operates the Aranui, a passenger/freighter vessel in French Polynesia. Founded in 1954 by the patriarch of the Wong family of Tahiti, first as Wing Man Hing and subsequently as C.P.T.M., their ships have been plying the waters of French Polynesia for over six decades. Originally, the company serviced the Tuamotu and Gambier Archipelagos, supplying and conducting trade between these islands and Tahiti.

In 1978 the commercial line to the Marquesas Islands was added to C.P.T.M’s shipping route, and in 1984, the Aranui I was converted to accommodate passengers, creating Aranui Cruises. At the time of its first sailing and for many years after, the Aranui was the only ship to take tourists to the Marquesas, putting these far-flung islands on the map and creating global interest in this little-known archipelago. 

With a knowledgeable and expert Polynesian crew, many of whom have been with the company for over 30 years, this soft adventure and cultural experience truly represents the journey of a lifetime. The launch of the latest Aranui – Aranui 5 – in December 2015 has once again redefined cruising in French Polynesia.

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