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Coral grouper, diver, & school of fish

Austral and Society Islands

2022 - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Aranui 5
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Explore the beautiful landscapes of the Austral and Society Islands while aboard the Aranui 5 on this 11-day cruise. Off the beaten track, the Australs are an untouched and mysterious land where white sand clashes with the intense blue of the lagoons. Breathtaking landscapes, from sheer mountains to valleys, these islands are famous for their farming activities. The Austral and Society islands will certainly offer a memorable and unique experience. This ship, the crown jewel in pursuit of the ultimate passenger-freighter, will take you to remote areas as it resupplies these tiny communities so far from civilization.
Idyllic South Pacific
Highlights
  • Admire the intricate works of arts and crafts of locals
  • Join a hike on the island of Rapa
  • Explore the “Vanilla Island”, Tahaa
  • Visit Raivavae, the “Bora Bora of the Austral Islands”
Places Visited
  • South Pacific
  • Tahiti
  • Austral Islands
  • French Polynesia
  • Oceania
  • Papeete
  • Polynesia
  • Raivavae
  • Rurutu
  • Society Islands
  • Taha'a
  • Tubuai
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Papeete, Tahiti | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Embark on the Aranui 5 in the morning, receive a warm welcome from the crew and begin the long journey to the Austral Islands.

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take advantage of this day at sea to relax by the ship’s pool or participate in one of the lectures or an activity organized by the guides.

Day 3: Rurutu, Austral Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the largest raised atolls in French Polynesia, the island formation of Rurutu is not what one expects to see in the South Pacific. Basaltic and limestone cliffs dotted with caves where the islanders once lived, a volcanic interior with a lush tropical jungle, white sand beaches and beautiful bays, all create a stunning sight. The island’s fertile soil and cooler climate are ideal for growing cabbage, lettuce and potatoes as well as coffee and taro.

Archeological digs have uncovered habitation sites, council platforms and marae temples in the village of Vitaria, showing man’s presence around 900 A.D. Rurutu is known throughout Polynesia for the quality of its woven products, including magnificent hats, bags and baskets, or mats from pandanus leaves and other natural materials. From August to October each year, humpback whales can be seen and heard in Rurutu, where they come south to mate and give birth. 

Day 4: Tubuai, Austral Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tubuai is the largest island of the archipelago and is the administrative and economic capital of the Australs. The huge lagoon, nearly twice as large as the island itself, offers 33 sq. mi. (85 km²) of pure aquatic fun. The mild climate also makes these islands ideal for farming. The first explorers were struck by the island’s beauty. Toward the end of the 19th Century, explorers Wallis and Cook took a liking to the lush vegetation and crystal clear water of the island. However, the area did not look appropriate for good anchorage given the large barrier reef around the coast. This disadvantage turned into an incredible advantage in the eyes of the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty.

Day 5: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a day at sea to relax by the ship’s pool or participate in one of the lectures or an activity organized by the guides.

Day 6-7: Rapa, Austral Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you approach Rapa, only accessible by sea, the Captain may announce: “Welcome to Rapa. Next stop Antarctica”. As the southernmost inhabited island of French Polynesia, this crescent shaped land mass — with a fjord-like coastline deeply indented by 12 bays —is as remote as it gets. Rapa-Iti, or “small Rapa” as the island is also called, has a strong cultural connection to Easter Island, known as Rapa-Nui or big Rapa to the Polynesians. Legend tells of the settlement of Rapa-Nui by the people of Rapa-Iti. Once home to fierce warriors who lived in fortified settlements built on terraces among volcanic peaks, the islanders now live off farming and fishing. During your visit, you will be greeted by the unique dances of Rapa. You may choose one of two different hikes offered. The first goes from the village of Area around the stunning bay to the main village of Ahurei and the second ends at the remnant of an old mountaintop fort. A traditional lunch will be served on shore.

Among the other activities on offer during your one and a half day stopover in Rapa, you will visit Ahurei, the main village of the island, explore ancient fortresses, visit an agricultural production centre, discover local arts and crafts, meet the inhabitants of this isolated island, and share a ma’a over a wood fire in the village.

Day 8: Raivavae, Austral Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Raivavae’s white sand beaches, large emerald lagoon and 28 motus encircling the lush green main island, have earned it the title of the “Bora Bora of the Austral Islands”,. Giant stone tikis, including an unusual smiling tiki, resembling those in the Marquesas and on Easter Island, wood sculptures, an open air marae temple and Polynesian canoes are some of the archaeological elements you will discover during a circle island tour. If you wish to relax on one of the motus and swim in the crystal clear lagoon, an excursion by speed boat is available. A beach barbecue featuring local dishes will be served for lunch.

Day 9: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a day at sea to relax by the ship’s pool or participate in one of the lectures or an activity organized by the guides.

Day 10: Tahaa, Society Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Across from Raiatea lies the sister island of Taha’a. Enclosed by the same coral reef, it is believed that it once was a single island. Known as the “Vanilla Island” due to its many plantations and the fragrant scent of the bean permeating the air, Tahaa is an idyllic paradise of white sand beaches, a crystal clear lagoon and beautiful coral gardens. Less visited than its more famous neighbor to the north, Taha’a has maintain its traditional Polynesian charm. Enjoy the authentic charm of the Vanilla Island during a picnic and visit a vanilla plantation to learn all about this black gold.

Day 11: Papeete, Tahiti | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark at Papeete, Tahiti bringing with you the experience of a lifetime and memories to treasure.

Photo Gallery

Coral grouper, diver, & school of fish Idyllic South Pacific Golden beachside Women wearing traditional dress of the South Pacific. Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific South Pacific port on Aranui 5 cruise

Map

Ship/Hotel

Aranui 5

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$3,432
Select a Date
Class C
Approx. 135 sq. ft. and 285 sq. ft. Dormitory style accommodations, with two lower and two upper berths or four lower and four upper berths, porthole, one or two private bathroom with shower, wardrobe, sitting area.
Regular Stateroom aboard the Aranui 5
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Regular Stateroom
Approx. 120 sq. ft. Exterior cabin with one double bed or two twin beds, one bathroom with a shower, desk, one flat screen TV, and safe.
Select a Date
Deluxe
Approx. 140 sq. ft. + 45 sq. ft. balcony. Exterior cabin with one double bed or two twin beds, one bathroom with a shower, make up table, desk, wardrobe, one flat screen TV, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.
Select a Date
Superior Deluxe
Approx. 160 sq. ft. + 45 sq. ft. balcony. Exterior cabin with one double bed or two twin beds, one bathroom with a shower, make up table, desk, wardrobe, one flat screen TV, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.
Junior Suite aboard the Aranui 5
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Junior Suite
Approx. 200 sq. ft. Exterior cabin with a double bed or two twin beds, two windows that cannot be opened, one bathroom with a shower, make up table, desk, wardrobe, one flat screen TV, sofa bed, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.
Select a Date
Premium Suite
Approx. 200 sq. ft. + 45 sq. ft. balcony. Exterior cabin with double bed or two twin beds, semi private day room with decorative screen and sofa bed, one bathroom with a shower, make up table, desk, wardrobe, flat screen TV, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.
Select a Date
Royal Suite
Approx. 240 sq. ft + 100 sq. ft. balcony. Exterior cabin with a double bed or two twin beds, living room with sofa bed, semi-private bedroom with decorative screen, wardrobe, one bathroom with a shower, make up table, one flat screen TV, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.
Select a Date
Presidential Suite
Approx. 440 sq. ft + 130 sq. ft. balcony. Exterior cabin with a double bed or two twin beds, living room with sofa bed, mini bar, walk-in closet, two bathrooms with a shower, make up table, desk, two flat screen TV, safe, under counter refrigerator, hair dryer.

Notes

- Fares for children traveling with parents is 50% of base fare
- Single Supplement: Not available in Single Stateroom and Class “C” Dorm
- Cruise fare does not include tourism, cruise, or port taxes, which vary by cabin type
- Triple/Quadruple occupancy - third & fourth adult sharing cabin less 25% from full tariff (Quad available in regular stateroom only)
- No one under 15 years old will be accepted in the Class “C”
- Children (14 years old and under) will be limited to no more than 15 per sailing

Cruise fare includes:
  • 10 nights accommodation in selected cabin type aboard the freighter/passenger ship Aranui 5
  • 3 meals with complimentary wine
  • Guided tours and educational opportunities
Cruise fare does not include:
  •  Port, cruise and tourist taxes. Total will vary by departure and cabin type selected (please contact us for rate schedule)
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Optional excursions such as scuba diving, fishing, horseback riding, and helicopter tours
  • Any airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities and personal expenses

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