Aranui Cruises’ new ship, the 126 metre long freighter, Aranui 5, has arrived in her new home of Tahiti, receiving a traditional water jet welcome from local tug boats when she cruised into Papeete, with the dramatic peaks of Moorea in the distance.
Aranui 5 will spend a month in port making final preparations for her maiden voyage on 12 December 2015.
A custom built dual purpose vessel, Aranui 5 replaces Aranui 3, bypassing the number 4 as it is considered bad luck by the third generation Tahitian-Chinese family who owns the cruise company. The new vessel will continue to dispense cargo to ports across the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands while passengers disembark and explore the islands.
With capacity for 254 passengers, Aranui 5 offers a range of accommodation options, from the operator’s first single staterooms to new premium and deluxe categories, styled in a natural colour palette, with Polynesian flourishes including Marquesan inspired décor and Paul Gauguin prints. To cater to the demand for balcony cabins, more than half of the ship’s 60 cabins feature a private balcony, five times more than offered on Aranui 3.
The new cruise freighter also offers suites with king beds, air conditioned public spaces including a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, library, computer room, boutique, swimming pool with whirlpool, fitness room, spa and four bars, including the popular Sky bar.
The Marquesas Art Festival, held once every four years, coincides with Aranui 5’s inaugural cruise and provides guests with a rare double thrill of local ceremonies at each maiden port, as well as a spectacular celebration of Polynesian culture and tradition during the ship’s call to Hiva Oa.
Aranui’s Regional Representative Australia New Zealand, Laurent Wong, said he was thrilled Aranui 5 had arrived in time for the Arts Festival. “Guests travelling on our maiden voyage will truly have the trip of a lifetime as the first to enjoy the luxurious comfort of our new freighter as well as experiencing the Marquesas during a time of brilliant colour and activity. Aranui 5 has been a long time in the making and we are so excited that she has finally arrived in her new home.” Mr Wong said.
Aranui 5’s roundtrip cruises from Papeete will visit Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka in the Marquesas, Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus and the famed Society Island of Bora Bora. The freighter line dispenses a lifeline of food, fuel and other staples to remote island ports while passengers disembark and explore a range of complimentary excursions including hikes, 4WD tours, a visit to the Paul Gauguin museum and a picnic on a secluded beach in Bora Bora.