Have you ever dreamt of venturing off the beaten path, taking the road less traveled? Beyond Bora Bora and her overwater bungalows, lie within French Polynesia, some of the most remote islands in the world. Located nearly 1000 miles to the Northeast of Tahiti, The Marquesas Islands, known as “The Land of Men” by its inhabitants, is waiting to be discovered. Herman Melville wrote about it; Paul Gauguin painted of it; Jacques Brel sang of it.
A paradise lost and now found with the new custom- built Aranui 5. This upscale vessel, part passenger, part freighter, is the main supply line to this archipelago, providing passage in great comfort, to areas inaccessible by conventional methods.
For the past 30 years, the Aranui, with its Polynesian staff and crew, has been introducing these mystical islands to the outside world. You will discover what Tahiti looked like fifty years ago, visiting all 6 of the inhabited islands in the Marquesas, as well as Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus and Bora Bora in the Society Islands on this 14 day cruise.
Experience the richness of the Marquesas, from its people to its history and culture to its breathtaking scenery. This is soft adventure and cultural immersion at its best in French Polynesia.
Step out of the mundane and discover the extraordinary on the journey of a lifetime on board Aranui 5.
Day 1: Papeete. Early morning departure from Papeete to Fakarava.
Day 2: Fakarava. Morning arrival in Fakarava, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. You will have time to discover the village of Rotoava and afterwards enjoy a swim in the lagoon. Optional excursions (additional cost) such as snorkeling, diving and bird watching are available.
Day 3: At Sea. Spend the day unwinding and relaxing on the deck or in the comfort of the air-conditioned lounge. You can also spend the day taking part in lectures on Marquesan culture or learning to dance like a true Tahitian.
Day 4: Nuku Hiva (Taipivai • Hatiheu • Taiohae). Upon anchoring in Taipivai Bay, you will be able to disembark to meet the awaiting 4X4’s that will take you on a day’s excursion. Visit the archaeological site of Mea’e Kamuihei, hike to the nearby Paeke site, see a performance of the traditional Maquesan Pig Dance, visit the museum in Hatiheu and the village of Taiohae.
Day 5: Ua Pou (Hakahau • Hakahetau). As the crew onloads supplies, you will explore the village of Hakahau. You can also meet the island’s talented woodcarvers and artists as well as hike up the hill to the Cross for breathtaking views of the mountains, lush valleys and the main village.
Day 6: Hiva Oa (Puamau0) In Puamau, travel by 4WD to an incredible archaeological site for “tikis” (ancient, human-like religious stone sculptures) outside of Easter Island. In the afternoon, relax on the ship or on the beach where you can take a refreshing dip in hte Pacific Ocean.
Day 7: Tahuata (Vaitahu) • Hiva Oa (Atuona) In Tahuata, visit the church built by the Vatican. In the late morning, the ship will depart for Hiva Oa (Atuona) and you will arrive in time for lunch. After lunch, you will have plenty of time to explore Atuona and for the more active person, take a hike to a scenic viewpoint (Scale of difficulty: 7/10).
Day 8: Fatu Hiva (Omoa • Hanavave) Explore the tranquil village of Omoa where you will learn about “Tapa”, a traditional cloth. You will also get to meet skilled woodcarvers at the handicraft centre. Before lunch, the ship will sail to the other side of the island to Hanavave Bay. Athletic passengers may choose to take the ten-mile hike to the other side of the island where you will take in breathtaking views of towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls (Scale of difficulty: 8/10).
Day 9: Ua Huka (Vaipaee • Hane • Hokatu) The Aranui will arrive in Ua Huka early in the morning. You will want to see how the ship enters and positions itself in this small bay. Here you can visit the museum of Vaipaee as well as the island onboard 4WD’s. Lunch will be served in Hane and it’s here that you can take horseback riding, an optional excursion (additional cost). After lunch, discover the fishing village of Kokatu or relax on the beach.
Day 10: Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) • Ua Pou (Hakahau)Today is the final day in the Marquesas Islands. Once the ship docks in the Bay of Taiohae, you can take a local shuttle or walk to the town centre. In the afternoon, the ship will sail to Ua Pou and dock in the village of Hakahau. Here you can go on a hike, stroll around the village or spend the afternoon at the beach.
Day 11: At Sea. Enjoy the day onboard the ship as it heads for Rangiroa.
Day 12: Rangiroa. In Rangiroa, visit a working pearl farm and learn how Tahiti’s famed jewel of the sea is produced. You can enjoy the day at the beach or partake in various optional excursions (additional cost) like snorkeling and scuba diving. The ship will set sail for Bora Bora in the afternoon.
Day 13: Bora Bora. In Bora Bora, you can enjoy the day at the beach as well as go on a few optional excursions (additional cost) like a helicopter flight, 4WD off-road tour or shark and ray feeding.
Day 14: Papeete. Early morning arrival in Papeete.
- Welcome flower lei, assistance and luggage handling
- Airport transfers in Tahiti
- 2 nights in Tahiti (Pre and Post)
- All meals and shore excursions
- 14 days and 39 meals
- Handling fees
- All taxes except for the city tax
Always wanted to visit the South Pacific? Get in touch with our Travel Specialists who can help find the option so you can see the South Pacific with way you want to!