Aranui 3 Review

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  • Aranui 3


Cruise Ship Overview

The Aranui 3 offers 2-week itineraries from Papeete to the Marquesas year-round. As a combination of passenger and cargo ship, it's the lifeblood of the many small islands where it calls. Wine is included with both lunch and dinner. While the ship is comfortable, it's also very casual and even includes one dorm-like multi-passenger cabin.

The Aranui 3 is a mixed passenger-cargo vessel operating between Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. While the ship has most of the facilities of a typical mainstream cruise ship (restaurant, pool, gym, lounge, and library), it's the experience of being part of the lifeblood of these distant islands that makes the journey unique. The Aranui 3 calls at ports with names few have ever heard and would be hard-pressed to find on a map: Hakahau, Taiohae, and Atuona, and the tiny settlements on the islands of Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva, and Hiva Oa. And there are half-dozen more little known ports on the itinerary. As the cargo is being unloaded at each port—and the Marquesan crew is loading on the copra, pearl shells, and other island produce—passengers are free to wander around the town or take excursions to villages where the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Herman Melville lived more than a century before. There are visits to ornate churches, artisans' workshops, and the former house and grave of artist Paul Gauguin who spent his last years on the island of Hiva Oa. Entertainment is provided by the ship's Polynesian musicians, and an expert on Marquesan history, anthology, art, or some other specialty subject accompanies each cruise.


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