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Aranui 5

Freighter to Paradise

2016 cruise only schedule | 2016 Air/Sea Package details
Typical Itinerary

The name "Aranui" means "the great highway" in Maori. The 13-night round trip voyages of the ARANUI 5 out of Papeete to the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands are possibly the most unusual cruises that a passenger-carrying cargo ship of this generation makes. Since 1984, the previous three Aranuis have been taking passengers on a journey to these enchanting Polynesian islands, which are accessible by few other means. These are the same islands that inspired Paul Gaughuin, Herman Melville, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thor Heyerdahl, among others, in the past.

The 410-foot Aranui 5 begins her inaugural season in 2016, carrying up to 254 passengers per trip. This new vessel offers a selection of accommodations ranging from spacious suites with private balconies to economical dormitory style shared cabins. There are 30 Suites and 28 Deluxe and Superior Deluxe Staterooms with balconies; two Junior Suites and three Superior Deluxe without balconies; and 40 Standard Staterooms, with either king size or two single beds and portholes. The shared Class C accommodations consist of interior space with 4 or 8 bunks each, bathroom with shower, sitting area, and wardrobe. Staterooms and Suites all have bathrooms with shower and hair dryer, wardrobe, flat screen TV, desk, and safe; all except Standard also have a small refrigerator. All accommodations are air-conditioned.

The public areas, also air-conditioned, include a large, family-style dining room, large lounge, four bars, library, and boutique. There is an outdoor swimming pool and spacious outdoor decks. Washing and drying machines are available on board. Dress is informal. The Aranui is registered in France and is owned and operated by Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime.

Unlike most passenger-carrying freighter routes of today, this unusual itinerary has only two days at sea. Also, with the exception of a few sightseeing options, the majority of the shore excursion activities are provided to passengers at no additional charge. Below is a day-by-day account of a typical Aranui passenger's ship and shore experience.

TravLtips Air-Sea-Land Package

2016 will be our 20th year of operating this popular program. While the Aranui's unique itinerary is appealing to many, the uncertainties of arranging air transportation to and from Papeete and hotel accommodations can be a hassle as well as expensive. Our inclusive package arranges everything for you except for your travel to and from Los Angeles airport.

The package includes round trip air from Los Angeles via Air Tahiti Nui, a three-night hotel stay in Papeete, and all transfers between the airport, hotel, and ship in Papeete. Additional hotel nights and add-on excursions to Moorea and Bora-Bora can easily be added if desired.

Prices are for a Standard Stateroom (porthole with two lower beds or king size bed and private facilities) and a standard category hotel in Papeete. Air taxes, port charges, Tahiti VAT, and tourism taxes are additional.

Package prices are subject to change without advance notice. Your package price will be confirmed once air reservations are booked and confirmed to you. Because air flights can often be sold out far in advance of a departure date, it is important that interested clients book as early as possible.

The package price includes pre- and post-voyage hotel nights at the Manava Suite Resort, a waterfront property on Tahiti's west coast and about ten minutes from Papeete's center.

Please note: Offers valid for U.S. & Canadian citizens only.

What Members Say about the Aranui

The overwhelming majority of Aranui passengers that write to us after their return tell us that they were "more than satisfied" with their voyage. Some are quite enthusiastic in their comments:

Read about a Travltips member's trip on the Aranui 3

"We've just completed a marvelous trip on the Aranui!"

"Loved every day - a 'once in a lifetime' experience."

"Although our expectations were very high - it far exceeded them."

"Sometimes when you look forward to something, the actuality is a disappointment-not true in this case. This trip was all that I could ask it to be."

"We fell in love with the Marquesas and Tuomotus -so much so, in fact, that we're saving up for another trip."

"I do want to thank TravLtips for making this kind of travel so easily accessible for those of us who love going 'off the beaten track'."

We know, however, that the Aranui is not ideal for all travelers. The ship is extremely casual with no glamour or glitz to be found. Some passengers have commented that excursions were "rugged," and that the meals are "not gourmet." Yet some of the same passengers that have written to us confirming these facts have also said that they would not have missed the experience for the world.

For reservations, a brochure, and/or additional information about this unusual travel opportunity, please call TravLtips travel consultants: toll free in U.S. & Canada: 800-872-8584 or email

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Download the information sheet (pdf). Please contact us for the latest rates as they are subject to change.