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Following in the footsteps of Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thor Heyerdahl, a voyage aboard the Aranui 5 offers a unique opportunity to explore the enchanting Marquesas islands, set in the distant reaches of French Polynesia and the most remote set of islands in the world.
Setting sail from Tahiti on a 2,500 mile journey, the Aranui 5 visits all six of the inhabited islands of the Marquesas, as well as Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Islands and Bora Bora in the Society Islands.
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Overnight flight from London to Los Angeles with Air New Zealand. (N)
Fly from Los Angeles to Papeete with Air Tahiti Nui. On arrival transfer to the Hotel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort managed by Sofitel. (N)
Board the Aranui 5 this morning in the capital of Tahiti and begin your 12-night cruise. (L,D)
Arrive this morning into Fakarava, designated as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve and the second largest atoll in French Polynesia. There will be the opportunity to visit the small village of Rotoava where a church has been built out of coral. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing swim and snorkel in the translucent lagoon among tropical fish before setting sail this afternoon. (B, L, D)
Today relax onboard your vessel and enjoy the views of the endless South Pacific Ocean on your way to the captivating Marquesas Islands. Lectures on Marquesan culture and history will provide an insight into this ancient civilization (B, L, D)
Today stop at Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands and home to the administrative capital of the Marquesas. As the Aranui 5 unloads its goods to the locals, enjoy a full day tour. Visit the Cathedral of Taihoae, the petroglyphs at the archaeological site of Mea'e Kamuihei and take a hike which finishes with a traditional Marquesan Pig Dance performance. After a lunch featuring Marquesan cuisine, continue south to Taiohae with its spectacular bay, a giant volcanic amphitheatre dominated by towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls. (B, L, D)
Watch the soaring mountain spires as you arrive into Ua Pou. Explore the quaint village of Hakahau and meet the island's talented artisans or take a hike to gain views over the mountains, village and valleys. At lunch, sample local delights such as curried goat, sweet red bananas and poisson cru, a dish made from raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. Before departing there will be a dance performance including the Bird Dance, a routine traditional to the island. (B, L, D)
The Aranui 5 will arrive in Hiva Oa this morning, where there will be time to explore Atuona, the second largest village in Marquesas. This is where Paul Gauguin lived and created some of his best work. Return to the ship for lunch while sailing to Koku'u beach where guests can swim and snorkel. (B, L, D)
On arrival into Puamau on Hiva Oa travel by 4-wheel drive to one the most impressive archaeological site for "tikis" outside of Easter Island. Only a small part of the site has been restored and whilst here, learn the stories of these haunting statues. After lunch onboard, enjoy the afternoon in the small village of Vaitahu as the ship anchors off the island of Tahuata. Tahuata is where the French first settled in the Marquesas in 1842. The island is famous for its exquisite bone and helmet shell carvings. (B, L, D)
Today's stop will be at Fatu Hiva, the most lush and remote island of the Marquesas which can only be accessed by sea. Learn about "tapa" (traditional cloth) in the tranquil village of Omoa and meet skilled woodcarvers. Before lunch, sail to the other side of the island to the scenic Hanavave Bay, where adventurous guests can take a 10 mile hike for breathtaking views of towering cliffs and waterfalls. Witness the stunning sunset in Hanavave Bay and then enjoy a Polynesian evening under the stars with a buffet dinner served out on deck. (B, L, D)
Arrive early morning into Ua Huka for a full day tour of the island. View exquisite replicas of Marquesan art at the small museum of Vaipaee and explore the island by 4-wheel drive. Lunch will be served at a local family restaurant. Continue discovering the island by visiting the fishing village of Hokatu, or hiking up to one of Hane's viewpoints. (B, L, D)
Today will be spent on board. (B, L, D)
You may see dolphins playing in the water as you approach the world's second largest atoll, Rangiroa.
The Tuamotu atolls, with their pristine environment and pure waters, offer the ideal conditions for pearl farming. Today will provide an opportunity to visit a working pearl farm and learn how Tahiti's famed jewel of the sea is produced. (B, L, D)
The final stop for the cruise will be Bora Bora, famous for its idyllic turquoise lagoon. Today you can enjoy a day at the beach in this island paradise or pay to join an optional excursion such as a circle island tour by boat, a helicopter flight, or feed reef sharks and rays. This evening depart for Papeete. (B, L, D)
Disembark the Aranui 5 in Papeete this morning. You will be transferred to the Hotel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort managed by Sofitel for an overnight stay. (B)
Transfer to the airport this evening and fly home via Los Angeles. (N)
As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
The transfers and excursions relevant to the cruise are operated as a group with other passengers who may or may not be Cox & Kings clients.
Cox & Kings is acting as an agent on behalf of Aranui 5 and its cancellation conditions apply.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
CDC2019: 14 Nights
Papeete is the capital and commercial hub of French Polynesia, located on...