Aranui Cruises’ Aranui 5 cruised into Papeete for the first time this week to a traditional water jet welcome from local tug boats.
Aranui 5 will now spend a month in port making final preparations for its maiden voyage on December 12. The 126-metre long freighter has capacity for 254 passengers, and offers a range of accommodation options, from the operator’s first single staterooms to new premium and deluxe categories.
The new cruise freighter also offers suites with king beds, air conditioned public spaces including a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, a library, a computer room, a boutique, a swimming pool with a whirlpool, a fitness room, a spa and four bars, including the Sky bar.
The dual-purpose vessel replaces Aranui 3 and will continue to dispense cargo to ports across the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands while passengers disembark and explore the islands. More than half of the ship’s rooms – 60 – feature a private balcony, which is five times more than on Aranui 3.
The inaugural cruise coincides with the Marquesas Art Festival as well as the celebration of Polynesian culture and tradition during the ship’s call to Hiva Oa.
Aranui’s regional representative Australia New Zealand Laurent Wong said: “Guests travelling on our maiden voyage will truly have the trip of a lifetime as the first to enjoy the luxurious comfort of our new freighter as well as experiencing the Marquesas during a time of brilliant colour and activity,” Mr Wong said.
“Aranui 5 has been a long time in the making and we are so excited that she has finally arrived in her new home.”