Cruise Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands

Cruise Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands

Join this incredible cruise of the tropical islands and turquoise waters of the South Pacific.

Our ship for this cruise, the Aranui 5, is a new custom-built, passenger/freighter that makes for a totally unique experience, with all of the comforts of a cruise liner. It is classified as a small vessel, accommodating about 250 passengers, offering a wonderfully intimate atmosphere.

We begin in Tahiti and sail to the stunning Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu and Society Islands in French Polynesia. In these remote islands the ship’s arrival is always met with great enthusiasm as it provides an essential link to the outside world. Copra, citrus fruit, fish and barrels of Noni are loaded and destined for Tahiti. The Aranui’s crew are descendants of the ancient Polynesians who settled these islands. You will get to know these lively and talented sailors as they assist you from ship to shore, on and off the tenders (smaller vessels for ship to shore transport). They perform their tasks like a tightly choreographed ballet, making this part of the attraction and charm of the voyage.

With 8 different guest decks, the interior decor of our ship reflects the Polynesian heritage of her owners and crew. All meals onboard are served in a casual setting. There are 2 lounges; 2 conference rooms where guest lecturers offer presentations on various topics related to the islands, 4 bars (including the Sky Bar with sweeping panoramic views), an outdoor pool, a boutique, a massage room and a gym.

Choose between an outside cabin with a porthole, an outside cabin with private outdoor balcony or a Suite with a private balcony and separate sitting area.

This is adventure voyaging at its best, with full amenities, seafaring stability, warm hospitality and a lifetime of unforgettable memories!

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Tahiti via Los Angeles.

Day 2: Papeete, Tahiti / Embarkation

We arrive in Tahiti and transfer to our cruise ship. Tonight is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Tuamotu Archipelago / Takapoto

We arrive in the small atoll of Takapoto, in the Tuamotu Archipelago. A short walk through the village brings us to a white sand beach, where we enjoy a delicious barbecue picnic, swim and snorkel in the translucent lagoon among the colourful tropical fish. Local crafts will be available at the beach for the perfect souvenir!

Day 4: At Sea

Relax on the sun deck or in the air-conditioned lounge and enjoy the views of the South Pacific Ocean. Lectures on Marquesan culture and history will be offered.

Day 5: Nuku Hiva

Be out on deck to appreciate our arrival into Taiohae’s spectacular bay - a giant volcanic amphitheater dominated by towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls. We will take a 4-wheel drive along winding mountain roads to the village of Hatiheu to visit the archaeological site of Kamuihei. Lunch will be the Tahitian specialty of “Hima’a” - cooked for hours in an underground oven. Then we travel to Taipivai Valley, an area dotted with stone tikis, sacred ritual sites and stone platforms on which the Taipi built their houses. Petroglyphs of birds, turtles and fish are carved on huge boulders.

Day 6: Ua Pou (Hakahau)

We explore the quaint village of Hakahau and its church featuring a hand-carved wooden dais. Meet the island’s woodcarvers, hike up the hill for breathtaking views of the mountains, lush valleys and the main village. After a delicious Marquesan lunch, enjoy an excellent dance performance including the traditional Bird Dance.

Day 7: Tahuata (Vaitahu) / Hiva Oa (Atuona)

We anchor off the island of Tahuata -site of the first French settlement in the Marquesas. Here the air is thick with the fragrant scent of tiare, frangipani and history. The church here is decorated with beautiful Marquesan carvings and a stunning stained glass window. Tahuata is famous for its exquisite bone and shell carvings. The village of Atuona is where artist Paul Gauguin lived and did his best work. Visit the colonial store where Gauguin shopped, the replica of the Impressionist’s infamous “House of Pleasure” and the adjoining museum. As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, enjoy sweeping views of the bay. Nearby, pay homage to another famous European who was seduced by Hiva Oa: Belgian singer-composer Jacques Brel, who died in 1978. There will be free time in the village.

Day 8: Fatu Hiva

The most lush and remote island of the Marquesas is accessible only by sea. In the village of Omoa you will see women pounding mulberry or breadfruit tree bark, which is then used as a painting canvas. Fatu Hiva is also known for its hand-painted pareos (sarongs) and monoi - coconut oil infused with “Tiare Tahiti” blossoms, vanilla or sandalwood. Later we sail to beautiful Hanavave Bay, known as the Bay of Virgins. The sunset here is a moment of pure bliss!

Day 9: Hiva Oa (Puamau)

In Puamau, we walk or drive to one of the world’s most incredible archaeological site for “tikis” (ancient, human-like religious stone sculptures). Guides will tell us stories of these haunting ancient statues. Surrounded by lush grounds, the site is overwhelming and has much of what Polynesians call “mana” (spiritual power). On the way back to the ship enjoy a swim at a beautiful black sand beach. This afternoon explore the quaint village of Hanaiapa, known for its colourful flowers and large variety of plants and trees.

Day 10: Ua Huka

We will enjoy some free time on this island. Those who wish may go to the fishing village of Hokatu and hike up to a viewpoint with the ship’s guides. Tonight enjoy a buffet dinner on deck for a Polynesian evening under the stars.

Day 11: Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) / Ua Pou (Hakahau)

We dock in the Bay of Taiohae, in Nuku Hiva. You may take the local shuttle or walk to the town center to explore. Later we sail to Ua Pou, and dock in the village of Hakahau. You may hike up the hill, stroll around the village, or laze on the beach.

Day 12: At Sea

Enjoy the various activities and lectures.

Day 13: Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands

From the deck, watch our approach into French Polynesia’s largest atoll and the second largest in the world. You may spot playful dolphins greeting the ship as we enter Tiputa Pass. The Tuamotu atolls, with their pristine environment and pure waters, offer the ideal conditions for pearl farming. We will visit a working pearl farm and learn how Tahiti’s famed jewel of the sea is produced. The small on-site store features a nice selection of loose and set pearls. Later we depart for mythical Bora Bora.

Day 14: Society Islands, Bora Bora

We arrive in Bora Bora’s world famous lagoon of opalescent blues and greens, and majestic Mount Otemanu - the island’s highest peak. We will enjoy the beach and another delicious picnic on a private islet surrounded by crystalline waters. There will also be several optional excursions offered to further explore the islands.

Day 15: Papeete, Tahiti / Disembarkation

We disembark our ship and enjoy a tour of Papeete. We visit the Marae Arahurahu - a sacred place which once served both religious and social purposes. Then we continue to the Spring Garden of Vaipahi, for some time to stroll in this heaven of tranquility and tropical plants. Our last stop is Venus Point, where many European explorers landed. Later we transfer to the airport.

Day 16: Home

We fly home via Los Angeles.


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Tour Dates & Prices
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Cost per person: $5197
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See what our value added tours include!
Home pick-up and drop-off (from most Canadian cities).

All airfare and all airport taxes.

Carefully selected accommodations).

All gratuities (for hotels, drivers, guides & cruise staff).

Most meals.
Insurance for cancellation and health while outside Canada.
Services of one of our cheerful experienced Tour Managers.

All prices guaranteed in Canadian funds.

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