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Aranui Cruises celebrates 40 years of travelling to the world’s most isolated islands

There is no better way to experience authentic French Polynesia than by visiting its remote island communities on a working ship helmed by a crew of locals. It’s what Aranui Cruises has been doing since 1984, and it’s what they do best.

Aranui Cruises, home to the unique passenger-freighter Aranui 5, has been carrying cargo and cruise passengers to the far-flung Marquesas Islands for 40 years this year. The family-owned boutique cruise operator has played a vital role in sustainable tourism, bringing a small and steady flow of tourists to the remote region year-round.

Aranui 5 at Nuku Hiva_Aranui Cruises
Aranui 5 at Nuku Hiva

Supporting local communities

Aranui’s familiar presence in the islands has led locals to call the ship the ‘seventh Marquesan island’ and given them a reason to continue making traditional arts and crafts such as intricate bone and stone carvings and hand-crafted jewellery, helping to preserve ancient Polynesian customs for future generations.

With its local crew, cuisine, and culture, Aranui 5 is the most authentic way to explore French Polynesia. Guests are welcomed into the ways of Polynesia through ‘insider’ tours and onboard enrichment, including learning how to weave, dance, wrap a pareo, play the ukulele, make poisson cru (raw fish salad), or practice the local lingo.

There is also the opportunity to get the ultimate souvenir onboard – a Tahitian ‘tatau’ – as the tradition of tattoo originated in the Marquesas and Aranui has long been home to the first tattooist at sea.

© Gregoire le Bacon

Celebrating 40 years of Aranui Cruises

To mark the 40th anniversary and offer an insight into life on some of the most isolated islands in the world, Aranui Cruises worked with Australian-based filmmaker Guido Pezzimenti to create a short film that captures the spirit of Aranui and the people who call the Marquesas home.

This article was produced with content supplied by Aranui Cruises and is a Signature Luxury Travel & Style digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter.