The recently launched Aranui 5 deluxe passenger-freighter ship is increasing its scheduled departures for 2017 with two additional voyages to accommodate traveler demand. The 254-passenger Aranui 5 sails from Tahiti to the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands in French Polynesia on a 14-day all-inclusive itinerary.
The Aranui 5, which launched in December 2015, serves as a lifeline to the inhabitants of the Marquesas Islands, bringing supplies to each principal village and several remote valleys each voyage. The 2017 schedule includes the following travel dates:
January 10 - January 23
January 28 - February 10
February 16 - March 1
March 7 - March 20
March 25 - April 7
April 13 - April 26
May 2 - May 15
May 20 - June 2
June 8 - June 21
June 27 - July 10
July 18 - July 31
August 5 - August 18
August 24 - September 6
September 12 - September 25
September 30 - October 13
October 19 - November 1
November 7 - November 20
November 25 - December 8
December 14 - December 27
Guests traveling on the December 14, 2017 voyage (#19) will have the opportunity to experience the Marquesan Mini Arts Festival, where they will learn about the colorful history and rich culture of the Marquesas Islands.
Passengers board the ship in Papeete, Tahiti, for a 14-day voyage that visits Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, as well as Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas Islands.
The voyage includes shore experiences such as hikes past waterfalls and sacred ritual sites, encounters with local artisans, a visit to French artist Paul Gauguin's grave, snorkeling in the translucent waters of the atolls, on-island picnics and restaurant lunches featuring local food, a visit to a pearl farm and more.
The ship has 103 cabins, with additional common places to unwind with an interior decor reflecting the Polynesian heritage and more balconies in the suites and superior deluxe staterooms.
Travelers booking a stay aboard the Aranui 5 will be able to choose from eight different cabin categories with accommodations ranging from Premium exterior staterooms (more than 90 percent with a private balcony) and Standard exterior staterooms with a picture window or porthole to Class C shared dormitory style cabins with occupancy for four to eight people. Room categories are Presidential Suite, Royal Suite, Premium Suite, Junior Suite (without balcony), Superior Deluxe, Deluxe, Stateroom and Class C - each providing diverse room configurations.
Public areas on the Aranui 5 include a reception area, casual restaurant, four bars, including the Sky Bar with sweeping panoramic views, two conference rooms, two lounges, library, video and computer room, boutique, outdoor swimming pool with a whirlpool, fitness room and massage room. The ship also has air conditioning in all passenger areas and indoor public spaces, as well as two elevators onboard.
The cruise includes three meals daily with complimentary wine for onboard lunches and dinners, guided excursions as outlined in the itinerary, picnics and meals on shore. Optional excursions, such as scuba diving, horseback riding and fishing, are available for an additional charge. Prices for a 2017 Aranui 5 vacation start at $2,920 per person for a Class C dormitory style room and do not include port tax, cruise tax and tourism tax, which may total up to $248. Rates for a stateroom start at $4,678 per person, based on double occupancy, and taxes may cost up to $300 per person.
Aranui is offering a pre-summer special 10 percent discount for the June 8 - June 21, 2017, voyage. Seniors will also receive a 10 percent discount for the September 30 - October 13, 2017, cruise.