Aranui Cruises (Small Cruise Lines)
Aranui 6 Review and Specifications
Specifications of Aranui 6
|Year built||2022 new ship|
|Builder||Huanghai Shipbuilding Co (Weihai, Shandong China)|
|Class||Ro-Pax cargo cruise ship|
|Ferry route / homeports||Hong Kong (China)|
|Building cost||XPF 7 billion (USD 65 million / EUR 58 million)|
|Owner||CPTM (Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime)|
|Speed||17 kn / 31 kph / 20 mph|
|Length (LOA)||140 m / 459 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||14500 gt|
|Decks with cabins||5|
Review of Aranui 6
MS Aranui 6 is a cruise ship currently under construction in China and planned to start passenger shipping operations in late-2021 - early-2022. The vessel class and design are untraditional for Aranui Cruises (CPTM-owned subsidiary and travel brand) as the shipowner company (CPTM) specializes in "cargo cruises" in French Polynesia, on the itinerary route between Tahiti Island (homeport Papeete) and Marquesas Islands.
During the inaugural cruise season, Aranui 6 will be homeported in Hong Kong China. Details on its itineraries and call ports are yet to be announced. What is known so far is that when deployed in the South Pacific Ocean, the ship will be homeported in Papeete and could be visiting Pitcairn Island (UK) and Cook Islands.
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 (freight-passenger ship launched in 2002) with Aranui 5 (2015-built cargo cruise ship). The ship names "Aranui 2" and "Aranui 4" were never used due to superstitious reasons. The new Aranui 6 cruise ship is bigger (as size and GT-tonnage) and differently designed in comparison to Aranui 5. Aranui 6 is designed as cruise liner" - without the fore-located cargo decks, with a large Sun Deck (with retractable roof cover, swimming pool, 2 jacuzzis, grill-bar, shaded seating and sunbathing areas) and Helideck (midship-topdeck located helipad used in cases of emergency). Both Aranui ships are smaller sized (in comparison to most South Pacific Ocean-based cruise liners) and with smaller draught (just 5,2 m / 17 ft) which allows them to safely navigate in smaller ports and shallow harbor waters.
Aranui 6's builder is Huanghai Shipbuilding Co Ltd at company's shipyard in Weihai (China's Shandong Province). Apart from supplying cargo to the 6 ports in the Marquesas Islands, the Aranui cruise company also operates passenger shipping (ferry) and land excursions/tour service as part of a 14-day roundtrip Papeete itinerary. Aranui ships also stop in Tuamotus (at the islands Takapoto and Rangiroa) before returning to Bora Bora Island on Day 13.
Shipboard facilities and amenities
Aranui 6's signature shipboard facilities include an outdoor theater (with an open-air stage for live performances), main dining room (full-capacity complimentary restaurant), steakhouse (specialty BBQ restaurant), swimming pool with 2 whirlpools and poolside bar-grill, tax-free shopping mall, conference center (group meeting room), indoor children's playground, library, wellness complex (indoor fitness/gym room, spa treatment rooms for massages, beauty salon), bar lounge, indoor theater (main show lounge), casino (gaming lounge with bar). The cruise ship has 4 elevators (passenger lifts) and provides a 5-star luxury level of hotel services.
Over 50% of all cruise staterooms (cabins and suites) are with private step-out balconies (accessed from the cabin via floor-ceiling sliding door windows). In-cabin amenities and furniture include large HDTV, double bed (most convertible to twins), headboard, premium bedding, bedside tables (2-door nightstands), wall-mounted reading lamps, pillow menu, LED lighting (ceiling-mounted lights), mirrored vanity (writing desk with chair), lounge area (with sofabed for 3rd/4th passenger), coffee table, sideboard, en-suite bathroom (toilet, glass-enclosed shower, large mirror, single-sink vanity with under-sink storage), individually controlled air-conditioning. The larger-sized suites additionally have a 4-seat dining table.
All balcony cabins (including all suites) are fitted with deck chairs and tables.
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Unlike the fleetmate Aranui 5 (cargo-passenger vessel), the new Aranui 6 is a modern cruise ship designed by SDARI and currently built in China (by Huanghai Shipbuilding Co Ltd). SDARI (Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute, 1964-founded) is one of CSSC's (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) three R&D (research and development) companies specializing in marine and offshore engineering projects - together with MARIC (Marine Design and Research Institute of China, 1950-founded) and GUMECO (Guangzhou Marine Engineering Corporation, 1974-founded).
CSSC is one of China's two largest shipbuilding corporations - together with CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation). Both were founded in 1999 and headquartered in Beijing China. While CSSC's shipbuilding activities are in eastern and southern China, CSIC's shipbuilding operations are in northern and western China.
The Aranui 6 shipbuilding order was officially signed on August 22, 2019. The newbuild will be classed by Bureau Veritas SA (1828-founded international marine certification agency headquartered in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris City, France). Aranui 6 is registered as "passenger vessel" under the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea), allowing it to operate international cruise shipping services. The vessel also complies with the SOLAS regulation SRtP (Safe Return to Port) which was adopted by IMO (International Maritime Organization) in 2010.
CPTM's Aranui 6, like the 2015-launched Aranui 5, will be French Polynesia-flagged. The cruise ship has endurance 6000 nautical miles (6900 mi / 11100 km), max passenger capacity 280 (plus 119 crew), electric propulsion system based on 4 diesel-generator sets (driving 2 full-slewing propellers). The vessel is equipped with a fully submerged cabin water mist system - a technology that replaces the traditional CO2 firefighting and stationary water mist systems.
Aranui 6's shipbuilding cost is ~XPF 7 billion (French Pacific Francs), or ~USD 64,5 million (~EUR 58 million). On July 31, 2019, French Polynesia's council of ministers granted local tax exemption for XPF 3,3 billion (USD 30,4 M / EUR 27,3 M) to the Aranu 6 project.
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