Tahitian cargo cruise line Aranui Cruises has added three itineraries to its 2021 program, taking guests to 11 new island destinations.
This includes the line’s maiden voyage to the Cook Islands, an expanded Pitcairn itinerary and the first dedicated Society Islands cruise.
The bumper program features 21 scheduled cruises around the South Pacific on Aranui 5 which is a mixed freight and passenger vessel.
The 2021 program begins with a fresh take on the new Pitcairn voyage which debuted in 2019 and has fast become one of Aranui’s most popular annual itineraries. The revamped cruise to the Tuamotu, Gambier and Pitcairn islands includes a new Tuamotu atoll – Hikueru – an overnight stay at Adamstown as well as the cruise line’s maiden visit to Pitcairn’s pristine Oneo Island, with picture-perfect white sandy beaches.
Aranui Cruises will offer its inaugural Cook Islands cruise on September 4, 2021, with the 13-day roundtrip cruise from Papeete sailing past Pointe Venus en route to Aitutaki and Rarotonga, and returning via Rurutu, Rapa and Raivave in the Australs, and Tuamotu atoll Anaa.
While the cruise line will continue to offer its classic itinerary to French Polynesia’s remote Marquesas islands where it has been delivering cargo and cruise passengers for more than 30 years, Aranui is offering its first foray into the famed Society Islands in 2021, with an exciting itinerary that combines Tahiti’s best-known islands with a few lesser-known gems.
The 12-day Society and Tuamotu cruise departs Papeete on May 8, 2021, and includes calls to Rangiroa, Fakarava and Makatea in the Tuamotus and the Society Islands’ Raiatea, Tahaa, Maupiti, Huahine, Moorea and Bora Bora, from $7,192 per person twin share.
When Aranui 5 anchors at Makatea on May 11, 2021, it will be almost 50 years since the cruise line’s last visit as a local inter-island trader during the island’s phosphate boom.
The tiny speck of an island – just 8km long and 5km wide with a population of less than 100 – has since become famous as the island where David Schwimmer and Anne Heche holidayed in 90s film Six Days, Seven Nights.
Most of Aranui Cruises’ departures in 2021 will be the cruise line’s original 13-day roundtrip cruise from Papeete to the Marquesas Islands, with cargo dispensed at remote island communities while guests disembark and explore a range of complimentary excursions including hikes, 4WD tours, local feasts and visits to archaeological sites at Hiva Oa, Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas; the Tuamotu ports of Rangiroa and Fakarava, and Bora Bora in the Society Islands.
The December 16, 2021, departure will feature an extended visit to Fatu Hiva for the biennial Marquesan Arts Festival.