Cruise the Marquesas Islands

Cruise the Marquesas Islands

from £4,006
excluding flights *
12 nights Year round


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


  • Marvel at Nuku Hiva's bay, dominated by towering cliffs and majestic waterfalls
  • Stargaze on the upper deck
  • Visit the cemetery of famous artist Paul Gauguin
  • Immerse yourself in local craft and culture
  • Visit Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the world and picnic its coral beach

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, wine with on board meals
  • Excursions as per itinerary

Full description

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.

Contact our French Polynesia specialists now
nordic team doug kington bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers
Discovering The Marquesas: Ua Pou
Read our blog
There is something about French Polynesia and the Marquesas which really touch your heart and your soul. From the welcoming, smiling faces to the beautiful Polynesian dancing, to the tropical paradise turquoise water to the majestic mountains, it is easy to fall in love with these islands and very hard to leave them
, Tailor Made

Prices & Dates *

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

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
20 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+

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 »
These prices are a guideline and are subject to change depending on exchange rates. Prices quoted are based on 2 people sharing a Standard double Cabin - please contact us for details of cabin upgrades and single occupancy.

Itinerary & Vessels

Itinerary & Vessels

Day 1: depart Papeete

This morning depart from Papeete, Tahiti, at 10:00 hours. (Boarding from 07:00-09:00 hours).

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 colorful ballet of tropical fish. Optional excursions, such as snorkeling 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 harbor. Beneath a huge frangipani tree is a tombstone with the simple words: Paul Gauguin 1903. In the afternoon, the Aranui 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, Aranui will set sail for Tahuata, where you can enjoy a lazy afternoon relaxing at the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.

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 center. 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. Athletic passengers 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.

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.

Day 10: at sea

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.

Day 12: Society Islands - Bora Bora (Vaitape)

Today the Aranui anchors 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.

Day 13: arrive in Papeete

The ship docks this morning back in Papeete (approx 9.00am), at the end of your Marquesan adventure. Depart from Papeete on your onward flight.


The itinerary above is based on Saturday departures in 2021. The Thursday 2021 departures vary slightly, and the 2022 departures are 12 days in duration; please contact us for full itinerary details.

Please note cruise itineraries are subject to change due to sea and weather conditions.

Aranui V

French Polynesia

Grade: Standard

Type: Expedition Ship

Aranui means ‘The Great Highway’ in the Tahitian language. This freighter to paradise carries passengers and essential cargo to the culturally diverse and fascinating Marquesas Islands, one of the most remote archipelagos in the world.

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