Aranui 5

Aranui 5 Review and Specifications

Specifications of Aranui 5

Year built2015  /  Age : 3
Flag state French Polynesia
BuilderHuanghai Shipbuilding Co (Weihai, Shandong China)
Classcargo cruise ship
OwnerCPTM (Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime)
OperatorAranui Cruises
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)126 m / 413 ft
Beam (width)21 m / 69 ft
Gross Tonnage7500 gt
Passengers206 - 256
Passengers-to-space ratio45
Decks with cabins8

Review of Aranui 5

MV Aranui 5 is a cargo cruise ship (freight and passenger vessel) which started operations on December 12, 2015. The cargo cruise itinerary route is between Tahiti and Marquesas Islands. The ship is homeported in Papeete (Tahiti, French Polynesia). Aranui 5 replaced Aranui 3 (launched in 2002). The new Aranui ship, just like its predecessor, is registered as "passenger vessel" under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), allowing it international shipping operations.

Aranui 5 ship (cargo cruise vessel)

The shipowner CPTM is a 3rd generation maritime shipping company that operates in French Polynesia exclusively. Established in 1954 by the Wong family (Tahiti), initially the company was named "Wing Man Hing". its cargo vessels serve French Polynesia for over 6 decades. Originally, the company serviced Tuamotus and Gambiers Archipelagos, conducting freight shipping between the islands and Tahiti.

In 2016, the shipowner CPTM officially replaced the old Aranui 3 with the new Aranui 5. There are only two Aranui ships. The names "Aranui 2" and "Aranui 4" were not used due to superstitious reasons. The new Aranui ship is taller and slightly wider. It has 2 additional decks that add more cruise staterooms and public spaces. The length of both ships is similar - approx 125 m (410 ft). Their smaller size allows safe navigation in the small harbors of the South Pacific islands.

Aranui 5 ship (cargo cruise vessel)

Aranui 5 was built in China, and on November 9, 2015 the vessel arrived in its homeport Papeete Tahiti. Apart from supplying cargo to the 6 ports in Marquesas Islands, this cargo cruise ship also operates a passenger shipping and tourist service as part of a 14-day roundtrip Papeete itinerary. Aranui 5 also stops at the islands of Takapoto and Rangiroa in Tuamotus before returning on day 13 to Bora Bora Island.

Among the tour options offered to Aranui cruise passengers ashore is the chance to get traditional Polynesian tattoos done by native artists. In the local culture, tattoos are important and symbolize major life events, social status, prowesses, family identity. The traditional tattoo process involves using wooden tools and serrated combs made of fish bone. For Aranui passengers’ tattoos, local artists use modern equipment and adhere to highest safety standards.

Other popular Aranui cruise excursion options include hiking, visiting sacred ritual sites, local artisans, pearl farms, the Paul Gauguin’s grave, also snorkelling in the atolls and beach picnics.

Aranui 5 cruise itinerary

Next is shown Aranui 5's 14-day roundtrip Tahiti cruise itinerary map.

Aranui 5 cruise itinerary map

Follows the list of ports of call (scheduled day visits) on the ship's 14-day roundtrip cruise itinerary.

  • DAY 1 - embarkation in port Papeete at around 10 am. Activities include "Welcome Aboard" party with fruit punch and Marquesan dance show by the swimming pool.
  • DAY 2 - Takapoto Atoll (Tuamotus Islands) - activities include swimming, lagoon snorkelling, scuba diving.
  • DAY 3 - At Sea
  • DAY 4 - Nuku Hiva Island. Activities include stops in ports Taiohae, Hatiheu, and Taiohae, cathedral tour, Kamuihei (archaeological site, sacred dance performance), ahore lunch at Yvonne’s Restaurant (traditional dish is Hima’a / pig cooked in underground oven), meae (sacred ritual sites, sacred dance performance), paepae (huge stone boulders), optional hiking (trail to Paeke site).
  • DAY 5 - Ua Pou Island (Hakahau-Hakahetau). Activities include stop in port Hakahau, the ship's crew unloads here supplies (including cement and sugar) and loads copra (dried coconut meat), Hakahau town exploration (handicrafts center, stone carvings shopping, church visit, ashore lunch at Rosalie’s Restaurant (special dishes are bread fruit, island staple, curried goat, and the poisson cru / raw fish marinated in lime and coconut milk, also fei / red bananas, and fruit poe). Dining includes traditional Bird Dance performance.
  • DAY 6 - Tahuata Island, and Hiva Oa Island. Activities include stop in port Vaitahu (Tahuata), visiting handcrafts center (bone carvings, shell carvings), stop in port Atuona (Hiva Oa), visiting Paul Gauguin burial site, ashore lunch at Hoa Nui Restaurant, visiting the “House of Pleasure” and museum, optional hiking tour.
  • DAY 7 - Fatu Hiva Island. Activities include stops in ports Omoa and Hanavave, demonstration (local women make tapa), demonstration (kumuhei making / herbal bundles used by local women as perfume), visiting arts-crafts center (tapa, carvings, monoi coconut oil), optional hiking (16 km / 10 ml from Omoa to Hanavave), ashore lunch.
  • DAY 8 - Hiva Oa Island. Activities include stops in ports Puamau and Hanaiapa, guided tour visiting Meae Ipona (archaeological site) and Puamau ruins.
  • DAY 9 - Ua Huka Island. Activities include stops in ports Vaipaee, Hane, and Hokatu, optional (4x4 or horseback riding) tour, visiting a museum, gardens, ashore lunch, visiting woodcarving workshops black and white coconuts carvings), onboard "Polynesian Night" (themed events, traditional dancing and chanting lessons, buffet dinner on pool deck, themed entertainment).
  • DAY 10 - Nuku Hiva  Island. Activities include morning stop in port Taiohae (arts-afts center), afternoom stop in Hakahau (Marquesan souvenirs shopping).
  • DAY 11 - At Sea
  • DAY 12 - Rangiroa Atoll. Activities include lagoon swimming-snorkeling-scuba diving, visiting pearl (pearl and shell jewelry shopping).
  • DAY 13 - Bora Bora Island ( Society Islands). Activities include white-sand beach, snorkeling, picnic lunch (with traditional Tahitian dishes), optional excursions (scuba diving, outrigger boat tour, swimming with sharks and manta rays, helicopter tour over  Bora Bora Lagoon).
  • DAY 14 - disembarkation in port Papeete at around 9:30 am.

Aranui 5 cruise prices for the 14-day itinerary start from EUR 2,530 (class C cabin / no kids under 16 years) and from EUR 3,890 (standard double cabin, double occupancy rates). Aranui deals are inclusive of all taxes, all meals, wine (during onboard meals), pre-scheduled shore excursions, onboard enrichment (expert lecturers / guides).

Aranui 5 wiki

  • For 2019, the Aranui 5 vessel had scheduled a total of 20 cruise departures. Among the highlights were 2 itineraries visiting Pitcairn Island (Adamstown). These special 13-day voyages (departures January 10 and March 21) were the company's first ever itineraries visiting a new destination. Both departures are from Papeete, along with Adamstown also visit Tuamotus Islands (Anaa, Amanu), Gambier Islands (Mangareva, Aukena) and Austral Islands (Raivave, Rapa). Traditionally for Aranui Cruises, the remaining voyages are 13-day all-inclusive itineraries out of Papeete to Fakarava, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka.

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