To make up for lost time and cancelled COVID cruises, French Polynesian cargo cruise line, Aranui will debut its most diverse program for 2023 featuring 25 voyages to 26 islands around the South Pacific.

The line’s Aranui 5, a 125-metre mixed freight and passenger vessel, will take guests to five Austral Islands on its inaugural 12-day cruise which will call at Raivavae, popularly known as Bora Bora of the south. It will also visit Tubuai, Rurutu, Rapa and a maiden call to the tiny, remote Rimatara. Scheduled to depart on September 9 2023, prices start from $8783 per person, twin share.

Aranui will also launch its first short, five-day cruise itinerary departing on April 28 with prices starting from $3485pp.

Crystal clear waters of South Pacific islands

In addition, the line will offer a Cook Islands cruise visiting Aitutaki, Rarotonga and the small, untouched island of Atiu via Raiatea and Bora Bora. The nine-day itinerary departs on April 17 and is priced from $6841pp.

There will be two Pitcairn voyages departing on February 18 and October 7 offering 11-day itineraries which will include an overnight at Pitcairn Island as well as calls to Hikueru, Anaa, Amanu, Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambier Islands. Prices start from $8477pp.

When sailing its traditional, 12-day roundtrip cruises from Papeete, Aranui 5 will deliver cargo to the six inhabited Marquesas Islands – Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa including Gauguin’s Atuona village and the valley of Puamau. Passengers will be able to explore the mystical Marquesas Islands on a range of complimentary excursions with hikes, 4WD tours, local feasts and visits to archaeological sites. Prices for this itinerary start from $7561pp.

Aranui will also offer a special extended 13-day itinerary to take in the Marquesas Festival of Arts where passengers will experience a visit to Kauehi, a picturesque atoll in the Tuamotus. Prices for the sailing which departs on December 15 start from $8280pp.

Aranui 5 at Raivavae

“The world is going to be different after COVID-19 so we’ve made some changes to our usual program to cater for the post-pandemic traveller. In addition to enhanced health protocols onboard, we are offering shorter and cheaper options to give more travellers the chance to enjoy a post-pandemic holiday in paradise,” said Laurent Wong, Aranui Cruises regional representative Australia and NZ.

As a sweetener, the line is offering discounts up to 15 per cent off certain voyages when booked before December 31 2021.

Aranui 5 has a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, library, swimming pool, spa, the first tattoo studio at sea and four bars including the popular Sky bar.

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