Cruise the Marquesas Islands

Cruise the Marquesas Islands

from £4,006 excluding flights

  • 12 nights
  • Year round
01737 214 250
Closed today
Our opening hours are:
  • Monday – Friday
  • 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday
  • Closed
  • Sunday
  • Closed
Call us: 01737 214 250
Enquire Now nordic team doug kington bw

One of our specialists

Meet Doug
french polynesia marquesas ship in bay aranc

Cruise the Marquesas Islands

from £4,006 excluding flights

  • 12 nights
  • Year round

Customers rate Discover the World

Average score 4.8/5

Based on 969 reviews. Powered by

Highlights

In pictures
french polynesia marquesas bay view aran

Marvel at Nuku Hiva's bay, dominated by towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls

french polynesia marquesas traditional dancers aran5

Watch the spectacle of a traditional Marquesan Pig Dance

french polynesia marquesas ancient tikis astk

Listen to stories surrounding the ancient tiki sculptures

french polynesia rangiroa schoolfish istk

Visit Rangiroa with its stunning coral reef and tropical fish

french polynesia paul gauguins grave istk

See where Paul Gaugin lived and visit his tomb

bora bora aerial view of lagoon istk

Visit one of the world's most beautiful lagoons at Bora Bora

Why this trip...

canada british columbia haida gwaii islands sailing sunset ba style of vessel white

Style of vessel

This holiday is based on a ship ideally suited to the areas visited and the conditions

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska immersive exploration white

Immersive exploration

Immerse yourself in your surroundings on a true exploration of remote and spectacular areas

inukshuk sunset canada istk culture white

Culture

Experience local culture and heritage as part of this holiday

Overview

On this remarkable South Pacific adventure, discover the intoxicating beauty of the remote, luxuriant and untouched Marquesas Islands. Cruise aboard the custom-built vessel, the Aranui V, which operates as a "freighter to paradise" delivering essential supplies to these remote islands.

Set sail aboard through the little-visited outer islands of the Marquesas. One of the most beautiful archipelagos in the South Pacific, the islands jut from the cobalt-blue ocean, waterfalls plunging through rainforest to scalloped bays.

The Aranui V features spacious Polynesian themed suites and all cabins have windows. On the sweeping decks you can read, relax or take in the views of pristine lagoons and soaring mountains. Take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy fine French and Polynesian cuisine in the dining room with your fellow adventurers. Socialise in the lounge or learn about the rich Marquesan culture and history from on board experts.

cruising the marquesas route map

Accommodation

aranui v exterior view
french polynesia aranui5 reception
french polynesia aranui5 junior suite without balcony

Aranui V

The Aranui V has been carefully designed with added space for passenger comfort. The vessel is capable of carrying 254 passengers with a total of 103 cabins including 32 Suites, 31 Superior Deluxe staterooms and 40 standard staterooms. The Suites have a king size bed and a sofa bed. All guest rooms have private bathrooms with showers. There are berths for 24 passengers in the Class C dormitory, and these five rooms each have a bathroom and shower.

Read more

Itinerary

Day 1 depart Papeete

In the morning depart from Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, at 10:00 hours, boarding from 7am. Sail east from the Society Islands towards Fakarava atoll, a tiny speck in the South Pacific Ocean.

In the morning depart from Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, at 10:00 hours, boarding from 7am. Sail east from the Society Islands towards Fakarava atoll, a tiny speck in the South Pacific Ocean.

Day 2 Fakarava - Tuamotu Islands

Morning arrival in Fakarava. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, you will have time to discover the small village of Rotoava, the church, built of coral and the local arts and crafts. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing swim and snorkel in the translucent lagoon among the colourful ballet of tropical fish. Optional excursions, such as snorkelling or diving in the various passes or an outing to an islet for bird watching, are available at an additional cost. Return to vessel by 12:00pm.

Morning arrival in Fakarava. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the second largest atoll in French Polynesia, you will have time to discover the small village of Rotoava, the church, built of coral and the local arts and crafts. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing swim and snorkel in the translucent lagoon among the colourful ballet of tropical fish. Optional excursions, such as snorkelling or diving in the various passes or an outing to an islet for bird watching, are available at an additional cost. Return to vessel by 12:00pm.

french polynesia marquesas handicraft stall aran5

Day 3 at sea

Relax on the sun decks and in the small pool. Soak up the immense beauty of the South Pacific. On warm tropical evenings perhaps read in the lounge/library or chat with one of the experts on Marquesan culture or archaeology.

Relax on the sun decks and in the small pool. Soak up the immense beauty of the South Pacific. On warm tropical evenings perhaps read in the lounge/library or chat with one of the experts on Marquesan culture or archaeology.

Day 4 Nuku Hiva (Taiohae-Hatiheu-Taipivai)

Sail into Taiohae's spectacular bay, the tiny administrative capital of the Marquesas. Visit the archaeological site of Mea'e Kamuihei, with it's giant banyans and petroglyphs, before hiking to the nearby Paeke site where you will see a performance of the Marquesan Pig Dance. After enjoying a traditional Marquesan lunch, you will wind up dirt mountain roads to the village of Hatiheu to visit an archaeological site. You will have the chance to explore Taiohae before returning to the Aranui, anchored in the bay.

Sail into Taiohae's spectacular bay, the tiny administrative capital of the Marquesas. Visit the archaeological site of Mea'e Kamuihei, with it's giant banyans and petroglyphs, before hiking to the nearby Paeke site where you will see a performance of the Marquesan Pig Dance. After enjoying a traditional Marquesan lunch, you will wind up dirt mountain roads to the village of Hatiheu to visit an archaeological site. You will have the chance to explore Taiohae before returning to the Aranui, anchored in the bay.

french polynesia nuku hiva in marquesas islands ac

Day 5 Ua Pou (Hakahau – Hakahetau)

Whenever the Aranui stops, local villagers warmly greet it. As the crew unloads supplies, explore the tiny town of Hakahau with its church and hand-carved wooden dais. Walk up a hill for a breathtaking view of the distant cloud-covered mountains. Enjoy another delicious Marquesan lunch comprised of breadfruit, curried goat and more.

Whenever the Aranui stops, local villagers warmly greet it. As the crew unloads supplies, explore the tiny town of Hakahau with its church and hand-carved wooden dais. Walk up a hill for a breathtaking view of the distant cloud-covered mountains. Enjoy another delicious Marquesan lunch comprised of breadfruit, curried goat and more.

french polynesia marquesas ua pou landscape aran5

Day 6 Hiva Oa (Atuona) & Tahuata (Vaitahu - Hapatoni)

Aranui will arrive in Hiva Oa in the morning, where you will have plenty of time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in Marquesas. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and created some of his best work. You can visit the colonial store where he shopped, as well as a replica of his infamous “House of Pleasure” and the adjoining museum. As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, you’ll have sweeping views of the harbour. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903. In the afternoon, the ship will anchor off the small island of Tahuata. On this leaf-shaped island, the air is thick with the fragrant scent of tiare, frangipani and history. Tahuata is famous for its exquisite bone and helmet shell carvings.

Aranui will arrive in Hiva Oa in the morning, where you will have plenty of time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in Marquesas. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and created some of his best work. You can visit the colonial store where he shopped, as well as a replica of his infamous “House of Pleasure” and the adjoining museum. As you walk up the hill to the cemetery, you’ll have sweeping views of the harbour. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903. In the afternoon, the ship will anchor off the small island of Tahuata. On this leaf-shaped island, the air is thick with the fragrant scent of tiare, frangipani and history. Tahuata is famous for its exquisite bone and helmet shell carvings.

Day 7 Hiva Oa (Puamau) & Tahuata (Vaitahu)

In Puamau, travel by 4WD to the most incredible archaeological site for “tikis” (ancient, human-like religious stone sculptures) outside of Easter Island. Once you reach Mea’e Iipona, the knowledgeable guides will tell you the stories of these haunting statues of ancient times. Surrounded by beautifully lush grounds, the site is overwhelming and has a lot of what Polynesians call “mana” (spiritual power). Only a small part of the site has been restored and most of it is still buried under massive trees and rocks. After lunch on board, set sail for Tahuata, where you can enjoy a lazy afternoon relaxing at the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.

In Puamau, travel by 4WD to the most incredible archaeological site for “tikis” (ancient, human-like religious stone sculptures) outside of Easter Island. Once you reach Mea’e Iipona, the knowledgeable guides will tell you the stories of these haunting statues of ancient times. Surrounded by beautifully lush grounds, the site is overwhelming and has a lot of what Polynesians call “mana” (spiritual power). Only a small part of the site has been restored and most of it is still buried under massive trees and rocks. After lunch on board, set sail for Tahuata, where you can enjoy a lazy afternoon relaxing at the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.

french polynesia marquesas hiva oa tikis aran5

Day 8 Fatu Hiva (Omoa-Hanavave)

This is the most lush and remote island of the Marquesas, it is also the island of “tapa” and you will discover all about this traditional cloth. In the tranquil village of Omoa, you will see women pounding mulberry, banyan or breadfruit tree bark on logs. The bark is then dried and used as a canvas where the locals will paint ancient Marquesan designs. Fatu Hiva is also well-known for its hand-painted pareos (sarongs) and monoi, coconut oil infused with “Tiare Tahiti” blossoms, vanilla or sandalwood. You will meet skilled woodcarvers in the large handicraft centre. Before lunch, the Aranui will sail to the other side of the island, to jaw-dropping Hanavave Bay, also known as the Bay of Virgins where you may choose to make the trip on foot. On this unforgettable ten-mile hike you will take in breathtaking views of towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls. For hikers, a delicious lunch will be served at the top of the mountain (scale of difficulty 8/10). This evening the sunset in Hanavave Bay is a moment of pure bliss.

This is the most lush and remote island of the Marquesas, it is also the island of “tapa” and you will discover all about this traditional cloth. In the tranquil village of Omoa, you will see women pounding mulberry, banyan or breadfruit tree bark on logs. The bark is then dried and used as a canvas where the locals will paint ancient Marquesan designs. Fatu Hiva is also well-known for its hand-painted pareos (sarongs) and monoi, coconut oil infused with “Tiare Tahiti” blossoms, vanilla or sandalwood. You will meet skilled woodcarvers in the large handicraft centre. Before lunch, the Aranui will sail to the other side of the island, to jaw-dropping Hanavave Bay, also known as the Bay of Virgins where you may choose to make the trip on foot. On this unforgettable ten-mile hike you will take in breathtaking views of towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls. For hikers, a delicious lunch will be served at the top of the mountain (scale of difficulty 8/10). This evening the sunset in Hanavave Bay is a moment of pure bliss.

french polynesia marquesas islands towering cliffs at fatu hiva ac

Day 9 Ua Huka (Vaipaee-Hane-Hokatu)

Visit a museum which houses exquisite replicas of Marquesan art before exploring the mountain landscapes, with heart-stopping views of the Pacific, by 4WD vehicle or on horseback. The wild horses (brought from Chile in 1856) thrive here, outnumbering the islands' 476 residents. Back on the Aranui, it is Polynesian night with dancing and a buffet dinner on the decks.

Visit a museum which houses exquisite replicas of Marquesan art before exploring the mountain landscapes, with heart-stopping views of the Pacific, by 4WD vehicle or on horseback. The wild horses (brought from Chile in 1856) thrive here, outnumbering the islands' 476 residents. Back on the Aranui, it is Polynesian night with dancing and a buffet dinner on the decks.

Day 10 at sea

After an enchanting, enriching journey to the heart of Polynesian civilization, unwind or enjoy the various activities and lectures offered.

After an enchanting, enriching journey to the heart of Polynesian civilization, unwind or enjoy the various activities and lectures offered.

Day 11 Tuamotu Archipelago - Rangiroa

On lovely Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world, you will find some of the best diving in the world. "Rangi" is an underwater jewel box with stunning colours of coral and clouds of tropical fish and there are excellent snorkelling and scuba diving activities available for all levels. (Please note you will need to have a divers certificate to dive at Rangiroa). You will also have the opportunity to visit a working pearl farm and purchase the local pearls.

On lovely Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world, you will find some of the best diving in the world. "Rangi" is an underwater jewel box with stunning colours of coral and clouds of tropical fish and there are excellent snorkelling and scuba diving activities available for all levels. (Please note you will need to have a divers certificate to dive at Rangiroa). You will also have the opportunity to visit a working pearl farm and purchase the local pearls.

french polynesia sunset on rangiroa istk

Day 12 Society Islands - Bora Bora (Vaitape)

Reaching the Society Islands, anchor in the magnificent blue lagoon of Bora Bora. Passengers can spend the day on the pristine white sand beaches, perhaps snorkelling or enjoying a picnic. Other excursions are available today (at extra cost). These include a circle island tour by boat or bus, 4WD off-road tour, shark and manta ray feeding, or a helicopter tour.

Reaching the Society Islands, anchor in the magnificent blue lagoon of Bora Bora. Passengers can spend the day on the pristine white sand beaches, perhaps snorkelling or enjoying a picnic. Other excursions are available today (at extra cost). These include a circle island tour by boat or bus, 4WD off-road tour, shark and manta ray feeding, or a helicopter tour.

bora bora sea turle and school of fish istk

Day 13 disembark in Papeete

The ship docks this morning back in Papeete (approx 9.00am), at the end of your Marquesan adventure. Perhaps spend a few days exploring Tahiti or set off on the journey home.

The ship docks this morning back in Papeete (approx 9.00am), at the end of your Marquesan adventure. Perhaps spend a few days exploring Tahiti or set off on the journey home.

Prices and Departures

Price from £4,006 excluding flights

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, wine with on board meals (1 bottle per 4 passengers)
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • Cruise transportation
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

2021 Departures

From prices per person, based on 2 sharing a standard cabin with private bathroom

Departure Duration Vessel Twin Cabin Price (pp)
19 Jan 2021 * 12 nights Aranui 5 £3,767
06 Feb 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
06 Mar 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
08 Apr 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
24 Apr 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
22 May 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
10 Jun 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
26 Jun 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
15 Jul 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
05 Aug 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
21 Aug 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
18 Sep 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
07 Oct 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
23 Oct 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
06 Nov 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
27 Nov 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
16 Dec 2021 12 nights Aranui 5 £4,164

* this departure is for senior citizens aged 60+

2022 Departures

From prices per person, based on 2 sharing a standard cabin with private bathroom

Departure Duration Vessel Twin Cabin Price (pp)
22 Jan 2022 * 11 nights Aranui 5 £3,767
05, 19 Feb 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
19 Mar 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
02, 23 Apr 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
21 May 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
04, 18 Jun 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
02, 16, 30 Jul 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
13, 27 Aug 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
24 Sep 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
08 Oct 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
05, 19 Nov 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164
03, 17 Dec 2022 11 nights Aranui 5 £4,164

* this departure is for senior citizens aged 60+

These prices are a guideline and are subject to change depending on exchange rates. Please contact us for details of cabin upgrades and single occupancy.

Meet our expert

nordic team doug kington bw
One of our specialists
Meet Doug

You may also like

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.

Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.

How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
Enquire Now
Browse the website

Find a holiday idea or suggested itinerary that inspires you, then send an enquiry or call us

Personalised Quote

Your dedicated travel specialist will create a quote based on your preferences

Refine & Book

Together we’ll refine your itinerary until you’re happy and ready to book

You’re in safe hands

From the moment you book until you return home we’re here for you no matter what