A single-ship cruise line, the Aranui 3 company offers 14-day itineraries through the Marquesas Islands from Tahiti, departing every other Saturday and returning two weeks later on Friday. The ship carries both cargo and passengers and provides a lifeline to the less-visited islands in the Marquesas. Additionally, it's the easiest and simplest way to visit a variety of these islands. It's a one-of-a-kind ship with a mostly local, Polynesian crew.
Although the fares are not cheap, they are relatively all-inclusive. Fares include meals (with wine) and excursions in ports, and they are comparable to a land-based vacation of similar length. Alcoholic beverages and the (usually) slow Internet service are not included in the cruise rates. The only real drawback to the cruise is that the cargo needs of the ship occasionally come before the passengers' needs, so you might have a short stay in a port in order to move more quickly to the next island that has more goods for delivery. 800/972–7268 or 650/574–2575. www.aranui.com.
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