Aranui – A Unique Journey of Discovery with Turquoise Holidays

Transfer and international flights included

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Known as the ‘Freighter to Paradise’, the Aranui 5 is surely one of the most unique and unforgettable journeys in the world. A cruise unlike any other, the Aranui is a cargo vessel, which carries supplies – and a limited number of passengers – to the most remote group of islands on earth – the wild and mystical Marquesas!

The 12 day round-trip voyage begins and ends in Papeete and makes its first stop in the small atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Islands before continuing on to the far-flung Marquesas. The return journey includes a sojourn in Rangiroa, one of the world’s largest atolls. The enchanting Marquesas Islands are so remote that the Aranui is their lifeline to the outside world – the ship visits all six inhabited islands in the archipelago, delivering supplies and picking up copra, dried coconut and noni fruit. Visitors are very rare, but very welcome in this part of the world – you will be warmly greeted by the friendly locals on each island who await the Aranui’s arrival with anticipation.

Time seems to have stood still in the Marquesas, where roads and cars are few and far between. Their beauty lies in the welcoming people, the wild horses which roam freely, the mysterious tiki statues and of course – the awe-inspiring scenery. This is a land where nature runs wild, towering volcanic mountain peaks dominate the landscape, and majestic waterfalls await your discovery.

Whilst supplies are being unloaded, you have plenty of time to explore these spectacular islands. Led by experienced guides, you will be able to explore by 4WD or horseback, hike to ancient archaeological sites, or visit charming villages where Marquesan artists will delight in opening their studios for you. There will also be time for swimming and relaxing on the black sand beaches.


Itinerary Details


Day 1

Depart Papeete at 10.00am (board between 7am and 9am) and set sail for the Tuamotu Islands.

Day 2  – Fakarava

Spend time relaxing on a beautiful white sand beach in this small Tuamotu atoll. Explore the village of Rotoava and its church built of coral. Enjoy a delicious picnic and spend time swimming and snorkelling in the crystalline lagoon before continuing the journey to the Marquesas archipelago in the afternoon.

Day 3 – at Sea

Relax on one of the sun decks, swim in the pool or simply gaze out at the vast South Pacific ocean and allow your mind to wander without a care in the world. Spend balmy evenings on deck with new friends, relax in the lounge with a good book, learn about Marquesan culture and archaeology from an on-board expert and soak up the sounds of the Islands of Tahiti as the crew sing and dance to Tahitian rhythms.

Day 4 – Nuku Hiva

Sail into Taiohae Bay, a volcanic ampitheatre with towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls. Once ashore, explore Taiohae – the tiny administrative capital of the Marquesas. Visit an archaeological site in the beautiful village of Hatiheu and enjoy lunch at one of the archipelago’s best restaurants – the speciality is pig bak

ed in an underground oven!

Day 5 – Ua Pou

Ua Pou provides a dramatic first impression of the Marquesas, with its soaring mountain spires. Meet talented woodcarvers and hike up a hill for a breathtaking view of the distant mountains. Savour the flavours of a Marquesan lunch with breadfruit, curried goat, barbecued rock lobster, poisson cru, taro and sweet red bananas.

Day 6 & 7 – Hiva Oa / Tahuata

Discover Tahuata, the site of the first French settlement in the Marquesas in 1842. Then sail to Hiva Oa and explore Atuona, the second largest village in the Marquesas, where artist Paul Gauguin lived and created some of his best work.

Day 8 – Fatu Hiva

The most remote and lush of all the islands – and the centre for Marquesan crafts – Fatu Hiva is home to Hana Vave, a small village only accessible by boat, overlooking one of the most stunning bays in the world – the Baie es Vierges (Bay of Virgins).

Day 9 – Ua Huka

Explore the island’s mountainous landscape by 4WD – or the more adventurous can ride the famed Marquesan horses (the wild horses thrive here, outnumbering the islands 476 residents).

Day 10 – at Sea

Day 11 – Rangiroa

Swim and snorkel in the vast turquoise lagoon of the world’s largest atoll and enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach.

Day 12 – Arrive Papeete

Legal notice:

Tahiti Tourisme is not affiliated with any Tour Operator, and its collaboration with any Tour Operator does not create any particular agency or partnership.


Marquesas Islands, Rangiroa

Locate on the map

Duration of stay

12 days


Cruise Packages

7347 £ per person

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