Aranui Cruises has launched its new vessel, Aranui 5 – a new cruise-freighter ship that will offer voyages in the South Pacific.
A keel-laying ceremony was held at the Huanghai shipyard in Shandong province, where members of Aranui Cruises’ owners, the Wong family, were on hand to oversee proceedings.
The ship is scheduled to commence sailing in the waters of the South Pacific in January 2016, when it will replace the existing Aranui 3 vessel.
With a capacity of 256 passengers, Aranui 5 will feature new accommodation options including an increase to 62 balcony suites and the operator’s first superior deluxe, presidential and royal suites.
Aranui offers 14-day round-trip cruises around the islands of French Polynesia, travelling from the capital Papeete, on the island of Tahiti, to the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands, including Bora Bora.
As a freighter, the ship will also transport food, fuel and other supplies to remote island ports while passengers embark on land excursions.
Aranui explained that the ship names have jumped from Aranui 3 to 5, as the number four is considered unlucky by the Tahitian-Chinese family that owns the cruise company.