Follow art and literary legends
French Polynesia’s Marquesas Archipelago is one of the most remote island groups in the world. It lies 1400 kilometres northeast of Tahiti and around 4800 kilometres away from the west coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass. For the past 60 years, Aranui, which translates as ‘The Great Highway’, has maintained a vital lifeline between the remote Marquesas and the outside world.
In the 1980s, Aranui started taking passengers along for the ride offering the rare chance to walk in the footsteps of art and literary legends such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin. With a regular, sustainable, flow of tourists year-round, locals have had a reason to continue making traditional arts and crafts. These include intricate bone and stone carvings and hand-crafted jewellery. This practice helps to preserve ancient Polynesian customs for future generations.
Aranui’s traditional Marquesas Islands itinerary sails roundtrip from Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, to the Marquesas Islands via the Tuamotus and Bora Bora.
Where Bounty mutineers sailed
Aranui offers adventures to every corner of the vast South Pacific. From Adamstown to Aitutaki and all five of French Polynesia’s stunning archipelagos. During Discovery voyages (where no freight is delivered), guests can take the ultimate seafaring adventure. Follow in the footsteps of the Bounty mutineers to Pitcairn Island via Hikueru, Anaa and Amanu in the Tuamotus and Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambier Islands.
Special cruises south offer the chance to be among the first to explore French Polynesia’s beautiful up-and-coming southern archipelago, the Australs. Located almost 500 kilometres south of Tahiti, the seldom visited Austral Islands are the missing link in the evolution of the Polynesian Triangle. Aranui’s dedicated Australs cruise visits Rapa Iti, the little sister of Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island) as well as Raivavae – the Bora Bora of the south, Tubuai, Rurutu, and remote Rimatara. Aranui also offers itineraries to the Cook Islands via Raiatea and Bora Bora.