A maiden voyage to the Cook Islands, an expanded Pitcairn itinerary and a first dedicated Society Islands cruise are part of Aranui Cruises’ new 2021 programme.

A total of 21 scheduled cruises around the South Pacific on Aranui 5, a 125-metre mixed freight and passenger vessel, are on sale now. The Pitcairn voyage, which debuted in 2019, has become one of Aranui’s most popular, with the revamped 2021 cruise to the Tuamotu, Gambier and Pitcairn islands including a new Tuamotu atoll – Hikueru, an overnight stay at Adamstown as well as a maiden visit to Pitcairn’s pristine Oneo Island.

Aranui’s inaugural Cook Islands cruise on 4 September 2021 is a 13-day roundtrip from Papeete sailing past Pointe Venus en route to Aitutaki and Rarotonga, and returning via Rurutu, Rapa and Raivave in the Australs, and Tuamotu atoll Anaa. Aranui’s first foray to the Society Islands in 2021 is the 12-day Society and Tuamotu cruise departing Papeete on 8 May with calls to Rangiroa, Fakarava and Makatea in the Tuamotus and the Society Islands’ Raiatea, Tahaa, Maupiti, Huahine, Moorea and Bora Bora.

It’s priced from $7925 per person twin share. When Aranui 5 anchors at Makatea on 11 May 2021, it will be almost 50 years since the cruise line’s last visit as a local inter-island trader during the island’s phosphate boom. Just eight kilometres long and five wide, the island has a population of less than 100.

Most (18) of Aranui Cruises’ departures in 2021 will be the line’s original 13-day roundtrip cruise from Papeete to the Marquesas Islands. While cargo is dispensed at remote island communities, guests partake in a range of complimentary excursions including hikes, 4WD tours, local feasts and visits to archaeological sites. Marquesas Islands cruises are priced from $7864 per person twin share.

The 16 December 2021 departure will feature an extended visit to Fatu Hiva for the biennial Marquesan Arts Festival.

(Source: TRAVELink MEMO 13 August 2019, issue 2025)

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