The Aranui 5 is a curious cross-breed of a traditional cruise liner (with good on-board facilities) and a working freighter ship. She offers a comfortable passage to remote corners of French Polynesia, including the largely undeveloped Marquesas Islands. While she goes about her work delivering cargo to these isles, passengers can venture ashore and take part in various cultural visits.
A small vessel, the Aranui 5 has a real expedition feel. You’ll visit some of the most inaccessible and untouched islands in French Polynesia – the mountainous and green Marquesas Islands, and the pancake-flat sandbars of the Tuamotu Islands. On board you’ll find simple, unfussy decor (with nods to Polynesian design) and good facilities, including a pool and lounges. Each evening, you can attend lectures about aspects of French Polynesia, from its arts to its nautical history. Shore visits have a cultural focus and many (save one demanding hike) allow you to observe community life, or even try your hand at age-old Polynesian crafts.
Cabins range from suites to staterooms, but only the suites and deluxe rooms have an outdoor balcony, and it can be very pleasant to sit here at sunrise. All rooms save the dormitories (which we don’t recommend) have private bathrooms. Decor is all clean lines with splashes of Polynesian prints.
- Breakfast served, buffet-style, in the dining room.
- Lunch and dinner served in the dining room in either one or two seatings.
- For shore visits, packed lunches are provided, or lunch in a local restaurant.
- Four bars serving a variety of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
- Complimentary wine served at lunch and dinner.
- French Polynesia — 12-night circular route, Tahiti to Tahiti, via Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands.
- Educational talks and lectures
- Traditional Polynesian dance and music performances
- Two lounges
- Two lecture rooms
- Four bars, one with panoramic views
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Massage room