Cruise the Marquesas Islands

Cruise the Marquesas aboard the Aranui 5
from £3717 7, 10, 11 & 14 days | Year round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


On this remarkable South Pacific adventure, discover the intoxicating beauty of the remote, luxuriant and untouched Marquesas Islands. The custom-built vessel, the Aranui V, operates as a "freighter to paradise" delivering essential supplies to these remote islands.


  • Marvel at Nuku Hiva's spectacular bay, dominated by towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls
  • Enjoy the wonder of stargazing on the upper deck
  • Visit the cemetery of famous artist Paul Gauguin
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of the Marquesas and admire the work of local artisans
  • Visit Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world, and enjoy a picnic on its perfect coral beach

The Aranui V features spacious Polynesian themed suites and all cabins have windows. On the sweeping decks you can read, relax or take in the views of pristine lagoons and soaring mountains. Take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy fine French and Polynesian cuisine in the dining room with your fellow adventurers. Socialise in the lounge or learn about the rich Marquesan culture and history from on board experts.

Contact our Pacific Islands experts now

Discovering The Marquesas: Ua Pou

by Jo C, Polar Travel Specialist
Read the Blog

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: depart Papeete
This morning depart from Papeete, Tahiti, at 10:30 hours. (Boarding from 07:00-09:00 hours).
Day 2: Tuamotu Archipelago - Fakarava
Morning arrival in Fakarava. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, you will have time to discover the small village of Rotoava, the church, built of coral and the local arts and crafts. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing swim and snorkel in the translucent lagoon among the colorful ballet of tropical fish. Optional excursions, such as snorkeling or diving in the various passes or an outing to an islet for bird watching, are available at an additional cost. Return to vessel by 12:00pm.
Day 3: at sea
Relax on the sun decks and in the small pool. Soak up the immense beauty of the South Pacific. On warm tropical evenings perhaps read in the lounge/library or chat with one of the experts on Marquesan culture or archaeology.
Day 4: Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Taipivai) - Marquesas Archipelago
*Boarding day for the 7 day cruise

Sail into Taiohae's spectacular bay, the tiny administrative capital of the Marquesas. Wind up dirt mountain roads to the village of Hatiheu to visit an archeological site and enjoy lunch at the excellent Yvonne's Restaurant. Continue to the valley of Taipivai, dotted with stone tiki gods and sacred ritual sites. Return to the Aranui, anchored in the bay.
Day 5: Ua Pou (Hakahau – Hakahetau)
Whenever the Aranui stops, local villagers warmly greet it. As the crew unloads supplies, explore the tiny town of Hakahau with its church and hand-carved wooden dais. Walk up a hill for a breathtaking view of the distant cloud-covered mountains. At Rosalie's Restaurant, enjoy your first Marquesan lunch comprised of breadfruit, curried goat, barbecued rock lobster and more.
Day 6: Tahuata (Vaitahu) & Hiva Oa (Atuona)
There is plenty of time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in the Marquesas. Home to the famous artist Paul Gauguin, visit the colonial store where he shopped and enter a replica of the Impressionist's infamous "House of Pleasure". Walk up to the hilltop cemetery with its sweeping views of the harbour. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a gravestone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903.
Day 7: Fatu Hiva (Omoa - Hanavave)
This is the most lush and remote island as well as a centre of Marquesan crafts. In the village of Omoa, women are seen hammering mulberry, banyan or breadfruit bark on logs before drying then painting it with ancient Marquesan designs. Sail on to Hanavave in the Bay of the Virgins, one of the world's most beautiful bays. Some intrepid passengers may choose to make the 10 mile trip by foot.
Day 8: Hiva Oa (Puamau) - Tahuata (Kokuu)
Travel by foot or by jeep to the most important archaeological sites for tikis (ancient, human-like religious sculptures) other than those found on Easter Island. The trained guides will show you the mysterious jungle ruins of Puamau and tell the stories of these haunting statues of an ancient civilization. Bring plenty of camera film!
Day 9: Ua Huka (Vaipaee - Hane)
Visit a museum which houses exquisite replicas of Marquesan art before exploring the mountain landscapes, with heart-stopping views of the Pacific, by 4WD vehicle or on horseback. The wild horses (brought from Chile in 1856) thrive here, outnumbering the islands' 476 residents. Back on the Aranui, it is Polynesian night with dancing and a buffet dinner on the decks.
Day 10: Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) - Ua Pou (Hakahau)
*Disembarkation for the 7 or 10 day cruise.

The Aranui will dock in the morning. There is an option to take "Le Truck" back to the town centre for some free time there. At noon, the ship will sail to Ua Pou, returning to the first stop of the trip in the Marquesas, Hakahau. This is your last chance to buy local Marquesan crafts.
Day 11: at sea
Day 12: Tuamotu Archipelago - Rangiroa
On lovely Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world, tuck into a picnic on a golden beach. Here you will find some of the best diving in the world and there are excellent snorkelling and scuba diving activities available for all levels. (Please note you will need to have a divers certificate to dive at Rangiroa). "Rangi" is an underwater jewel box with stunning colours of coral and clouds of tropical fish. You will also have the opportunity to purchase black pearls from local pearl farmers.
Day 13: Society Islands - Bora Bora (Vaitape)
Today the Aranui anchors in the magnificent blue lagoon of Bora Bora. Passengers can spend the day on the pristine white sand beaches, perhaps snorkelling or enjoying a picnic. Other excursions are available today (at extra cost). These include an island tour of the lagoon, swimming with manta rays and small sharks, or a helicopter tour.
Day 14: arrive in Papeete
The ship docks this morning back in Papeete (approx 9.30am), at the end of your Marquesan adventure. Depart from Papeete on your onward flight.
  • Please note the itinerary is subject to change due to weather/sea conditions.
  • Combine your cruise with pre and / or post accommodation on Tahiti, Moorea or Bora Bora.
  • 13 night cruises Passengers board and disembark in Papeete.
  • 10 night cruises Passengers board in Nuku Hiva on Day 4 and disembark in Tahiti on day 14.
  • 9 night cruises Passengers board in Tahiti on Day 1 and disembark in Nuku Hiva on Day 10.
  • 7 night cruises Passengers board in Tahiti on Day 4 and disembark in Nuku Hiva on Day 10.


Accommodation Options

Aranui V

  • Grade: Standard Full board
  • Type: Expedition Ship

Beautifully designed with added space for passenger comf…

Prices & Dates

Aranui 5 - 2018

 Twin Share

Price based on the 14 day cruise - Standard double cabin

Price Includes
Cruise transportation and accommodation on board • All meals (including wine during meals on board – 1 bottle per 4 passengers) • All excursions featured in the itinerary

Price Excludes
International or domestic flights and airport taxes • Transportation between airport and the vessel or vice versa, unless specified • Travel insurance (cancellation insurance is strongly recommended) • Shipboard purchases • Liquor • gratuities • Port taxes other than those specifically provided for • Other personal items

2018 Departures


Jan 13*
Feb 01 & 20
Mar 10 & 29*
Apr 17
May 05 & 24
Jun 12* & 30
Jul 19
Aug 07 & 25
Sep 13
Oct 02** & 20
Nov 08 & 27
Dec 15

* 10% saving on these departures in 2018
** special senior discount of 10% for seniors over 60 years on Oct 2nd 2018 departure

Both offers subject to availability at the time of booking and exclusive of taxes.

Please note standard cabins and dormitory are not available on the 6, 9 or 10 night cruises.

All holidays and prices are subject to availability. These prices are a guideline and are subject to change depending on exchange rates. Prices quoted are based on 2 people sharing a Standard double Cabin.

Additional Information

Schedule and extra cost provision

  • If, due to weather or other unavoidable reasons, you are required to spend one or more extra nights, please note that you will be responsible for your own hotel and meal costs. In addition, because the primary function of vessels in the service of Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime is to carry freight, their departure dates, ports of call and duration of cruises may be subject to variation both prior to departure and en route.
  • Freighter passengers should have a flexible time schedule and be aware of these possibilities.
  • While we will do everything possible to inform and assist our clients, neither CPTM nor its agents will assume any additional expenses, hotel or meal costs associated with delays or changes in itinerary and schedules.


  • Stateroom luggage will be accepted on the day at boarding time only.
  • All personal luggage is to be stored in the passengers' cabin and cannot be stored elsewhere on board.
  • Passengers should clearly label all luggage with their name, vessel, cabin number or deck assignment number and date of sailing. Valuables should be hand carried on board.


  • All meals during the cruise are included (with wine during meals on board, 1 bottle for 4 passengers).
  • Meals are served in an informal, family-style setting on board. Depending upon the number of passengers booked per voyage there may be two settings per scheduled meal.
  • Special consideration for medically prescribed diets must be requested at the time of booking or not less than three weeks in advance of the sailing date.
  • Dressing for dinner means a pareo (sarong-like wrap around skirt) or shorts, sandals and a white tiare (hibiscus blossom) behind the ear.

Shore visits

  • Visits ashore are limited to the time required by cargo operators and port restrictions. Port time may range from just a few hours a day to more.
  • While shore excursions may be available at some ports of call, Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime neither owns nor exercises any control of shore excursions.


Marquesas Islands Cruise: SAVE 10% on selected 2018 voyages

Save 10% on 13 day cruises on board the Aranui 5 …

How to book

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So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

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