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DescriptionShip InfoItineraryDepartures & Rates
The Aranui 3 is a mixed passenger/cargo ship that operates between Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Discover lush untouched islands, far away from the beaten track. This custom built freighter was specially designed to provide added space and comfort for those seeking a unique adventure in relative luxury. At the same time the ship retains a remarkably friendly atmosphere with an experienced and attentive crew. Join this unforgettable Tahiti adventure as the ship calls at far away and exotic islands and ports.


This state of the art ship offers tasteful, spacious suites. On the sweeping decks, read, relax or take in the views of the pristine lagoons and soaring mountain peaks. Take a dip in the sparkling outdoor swimming pool or use the on-board facilities for fishing, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. In the expanded dining room, savour fine French and Polynesian cuisine with fellow adventurers from around the world. Lose calories in the gym or exercise your mind in the library. Socialise in the lounge or learn about the rich Marquesan culture and history from the onboard experts.

The Ship

Length: 386 feet Cabins: 86
Beam: 58 feet Max passengers: 200
Cruising speed: 15 knots Dead Weight: 3,800 tons


14 Suites: Large outside cabin with one queen size bed, air conditioned,TV, fridge, private bathroom with shower over bathtub, most with balcony (2 suites are without balcony). Located on Star and Sun decks.

9 Deluxe: Large outside cabin with one queen size bed, air conditioned, TV, fridge, private bathroom with shower over bathtub ( one cabin has a shower only). Located on Star and Sun decks – cabin with shower only is located on Navigation Deck.

63 Standard A: Outside cabin with two lower berths , air conditioned, TV, and private bathroom with a shower. Located on Main, A and B decks.

18 Class C: Dormitory style with upper and lower berths, air conditioned shared bathroom facilities.


The spacious cabins are tastefully designed with windows, queen or twin beds, bathrooms with showers, personal safes, mini-bars, and are fully air-conditioned. Deluxe cabins and Suites are larger and feature additional amenities and picture windows. The Suites have balconies with your own private panorama. The large, family-style dining room offers views as varied as the menus. Relish the ever-changing scenery and the imaginative chefs’ French and Polynesian cuisine with new friends from all over the world.

Life on Board

On board, time passes quickly. There are two charming bars, two lounges and a full programme of activities. You’ll learn about Marquesan history, culture and art from the guest lecturers and the spirited crew will teach you to weave hats, wear the national dress, the pareo and dance the tamure.
In the library you can read how Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thor Heyerdahl described these alluring islands. Their words and the Gauguin prints on the walls will spring to life when you dock.


Meals are served in an informal, family-style setting in the dining facilities. Depending on the number of passengers booked per voyage, there may be two settings per meal scheduled. Special consideration for medically prescribed diets must be requested at the time of booking or not less than three weeks in advance of sailing date. Three meals per day are provided with a complimentary glass of wine for scheduled on board lunches and dinners.

Local Time

The Marquesas are half an hour ahead of Tahiti. This when it’s noon in Tahiti, it is 12:30pm in the Marquesas.

Climate and Packing Suggestions

Clothing which is informal, comfortable and easily washable is the most practical to pack for the ship. In addition to shorts, jeans and slacks, T-shirts and a bathing suit, a rain poncho or coat and warm sweat shirt or light sweater for chilly evenings are recommended. Comfortable shoes are essential for walking ashore over the coral reefs. Running/walking shoes or sandals are recommended. For women, the native “pareo” or sarong, made of colourful fabric which can be wrapped in a variety of styles, is a versatile choice.

Ship’s Boutique

The ship’s boutique sells a variety of supplies including mosquito repellent, sundries, clothing and local souvenirs.

Electrical Current

Each cabin is equipped with 220volt, 50cycle AC (European style connection)

Emergency Telephone

In an emergency, it is possible to place telephone calls through the shipboard communications and to contact the vessel through CPTM’s office in Tahiti.


Washing and drying machines are available on board: dry cleaning is not available


There is a doctor on board the vessel. If any person has or is suffering from a serious ailment or condition, they should seek the advice and consent of their personal physician prior to embarking the vessel. The right is reserved to refuse passage to anyone in such a state of health or physical condition as to be unfit to travel or whose condition, for whatever reason, might be dangerous to the individual or other passengers.

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 to a day or more.
While shore excursions may be available at some ports of call, CPTM neither owns nor operates nor exercises any control of shore excursions arranged at any port of call. The company, its agents and servants do not assume any responsibility in connection with the operations of said programs. The company accepts no responsibility or liability for the failure of any operator to perform any said program and/or for any injury, damage or loss however caused or arising there from.

Travel Funds

Traveller’s cheques and credit cards may be used to pay for shipboard expenses. American Express, Visa and Mastercard will be accepted. Traveller’s cheques can be cashed on board, personal cheques cannot.


Lock boxes are available on board, however CPTM cannot accept responsibility for passengers’ money or other valuables while on board the vessel.


You’ll board the Aranui 3 in Tahiti and sail almost 1,300 kilometres to the most spectacular and remote islands in French Polynesia and where the Aranui 3 is the only link to civilisation for the inhabitants. The first stop on this 14 day voyage starts with the remote Tuamotu Islands, where you’ll see pearl farmers harvest rare black pearls from giant oysters in the crystal clear lagoons. Aranui 3′s regular itinerary is dictated by tidal conditions and the specific freight needs of the individual ports, as such the order of ports can change at short notice. Your cruise director will keep you advised of any changes.

Sample Itinerary*



Departure from Papeete at 10:30am


Fakarava atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago


At sea


Nuku Hiva ( Taiohae / Taipivai ), Marquesas


Ua Pou (Hakahua / Hakahetau), Marquesas


Hiva Oa (Atuona), Marquesas


Fatu Hiva (Omoa / Hanavave), Marquesas


Hiva Oa (Puamau / Hanaiapa), Marquesas


Tahuata (Vaitahu / Hapatoni), Marquesas


Ua Huka ( Vaipaee / Hane / Hokatu), Marquesas


Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) – Ua Pou (Hakahau), Marquesas


At sea


Rangiroa atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago


Arrival back in Papeete around 9:30am
* This itinerary is subject to last minute changes


The Marquesas’ six inhabited islands are so remote that the Aranui 3 is their lifeline to the outside world, bringing supplies and picking up copra dried coconut and noni fruit. You will make many stops, so there is plenty of time to explore. Little has changed in these untouched islands, which have few roads or cars. Visitors are very rare and very welcome.


The first view of the Marquesas is the mountain spires on Ua Pou. “Volcanic needles like the spires of some ornate church” as Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in 1880. Whenever the Aranui III docks, villagers gather on the pier to greet the ship. As the muscular crew unloads supplies – from cement to sugar – and loads sacks of copra (dried coconut meat), the on board multilingual guides take you to meet traditional artists and on breathtaking hikes to hidden jungle ruins.


You’ll never forget sailing into Nuka Hiva’s spectacular bay, a giant volcanic amphitheatre dominated by towering cliffs streaked with majestic waterfalls. There are dramatic dive sites or heart-stopping views by helicopter. A decade before he wrote Moby Dick, 23-year-old Herman Melville jumped his whaling ship here in 1842. We’ll retrace his escape route on a spectacular Jeep safari over the mountains to a mysterious jungle river valley, still much the same as Melville described it in his autobiographical first novel – Typee. Hidden amidst the bamboo and vanilla vines, you’ll see stone tiki gods, sacred ritual sites and enigmatic petroglyphs of birds, fish and sacred turtles and fish carved on boulders.


Hiva Oa is where Paul Gauguin’s search for an unspoilt island ended. This artist with a lust for life painted his final masterpieces here. In the hilltop cemetery where Gauguin is buried is the gravestone of another European who was also seduced by these islands – singer-composer Jacques Brel. Our guides will show you mysterious jungle ruins – the largest stone tiki outside theEasterIslands. Once used for religious rites, these human-like stone sculptures are reminders that a great civilisation flourished here before the Europeans invaded.


Even though Fatu Hiva is a centre of Marquesan culture, Aranui passengers are usually the only visitors to this remote, verdant island. You’ll see artists painting ancient designs on tapa cloth, making pareos (sarongs) and monoi, coconut oil scented with tiare blossoms. You’ll see woodworkers carving intricate bowls and spears. Afterwards, hike past towering cliffs with dizzying views of majestic waterfalls.


On Ua Huka, the wild horses outnumber the 600 residents. Explore by horse or by jeep – either way you’ll have magnificent views. Along the way you’ll enjoy bounteous Marquesan buffets: poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and soaked in coconut milk), curried goat, breadfruit, taro and sweet red bananas.

2014 Departures




11 January 2014*


01 February 2014*


22 February 2014


15 March 2014


05 April 2014


26 April 2014


17 May 2014


07 June 2014*


28 June 2014


19 July 2014


09 August 2014


30 August 2014**


20 September 2014


11 October 2014


01 November 2014


22 November 2014


13 December 2014


*Promotional special (10% discount)

**Senior Special (10% discount)

Discounts are not applicable for dormitory berths. Discounts do not apply to port charges and taxes.

2014 rates (14 day cruise):


1 Jan – 31 Dec 2014

Suite with Balcony (E, F, K, G) – Single Occupancy


Suite with Balcony (E, F, K, G) – Twin Share

$8,575 pp

Suite with Balcony (A, B, C, D,1,2,3,4) – Single Occupancy


Suite with Balcony (A, B, C, D, 1,2,3,4) – Twin Share

$8,266 pp

Suite NO Balcony (H, J) – Single Occupancy


Suite NO Balcony (H, J) – Twin Share

$7,730 pp

Deluxe Cabin with bath – Single Occupancy


Deluxe Cabin with bath – Twin Share

$7,189 pp

Deluxe Cabin No. 14 (with shower) – Single Occupancy


Deluxe Cabin No. 14 (with shower) – Twin Share

$6,529 pp

Standard Cabin A – Single Occupancy


Standard Cabin A – Twin Share

$6,072 pp

Class C (Dormitory)

$3,538 pp

Child (3-14yrs) in parent’s Standard cabin

$3,160 pp

Prices include: All Port and Cruise taxes, all meals (including wine during meals onboard – 1 bottle for 4 pax) and all the excursions planned in the program.



Book an Aranui 3 package & receive complimentary chauffeur-driven return airport transfers in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane!


*Offer available in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane only. Maximum of 2 passengers. Pick up / drop off address must be within a 25km radius of the international airport. One pick up / drop off address per booking. Transfers available for packages including deluxe cabins and above.