Tahitian cruise line Aranui Cruises has revealed the first details of its new 10,000-tonne cruise ship which is set to join Aranui 5 in the South Pacific in mid 2022.
In a nod to its Polynesian roots, the new ship has been named AraMana, meaning ‘path of the Polynesian spirit’, and will feature a ‘vahine’ (Polynesian woman) on the funnel as well as a traditional tattoo design on the livery.
Aranui Cruises Regional Representative Australia New Zealand Laurent Wong said the ship wasn’t named Aranui 6 as it will not be a dual freight and passenger vessel like Aranui 5 and its predecessors.
“With an observation lounge, a dance floor, a spa, two restaurants, an Amphitheatre, a swimming pool and 11 cabin categories including a new Grand Suite, the 280-guest AraMana has been designed solely with cruising in mind,” Mr Wong said.
“There are some similarities to Aranui 5 in terms of the layout of the ship but AraMana is our first foray into leisure cruising so the new ship will be all about comfort and relaxation. Opulent public spaces will include a striking staircase, plush booths in the restaurant and an elegant piano bar, while accommodation will be stylish and spacious with Aranui’s signature Polynesian flourishes.”
In line with Aranui’s aim to offer an authentic Polynesian experience, AraMana will have a tattoo room, Polynesian crew, and will visit islands which don’t appear on other cruise line’s itineraries.
While sister ship Aranui 5 continues its regular 13-day itinerary and cargo delivery to the remote Marquesas Islands, the 140-metre AraMana will cruise to French Polynesia’s Tuamotu, Gambier, Society and Austral Islands as well as Pitcairn and the Cook Islands.
Just as Aranui’s freighter ships put the Marquesas Islands on the map, AraMana is set to shine a light on French Polynesia’s southernmost island group, the Australs, with regular calls to Raivavae, Rurutu and Rapa as part of a new Cook Islands itinerary.
Cruises to Pitcairn via Anaa, Amanu and Hikueru in the Tuamotus, and Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambiers, are expected to be popular as AraMana offers a new, modern way to visit the islands at the edge of the world.
AraMana’s Society Islands cruise will combine some of French Polynesia’s most cherished destinations including Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine, Moorea and Rangiroa, with less-trodden gems such as Makatea, a tiny tropical paradise just 8km long and 5km wide with a population of less than 100.
Mr Wong said Aranui Cruises had never had two ships in operation simultaneously and the extra capacity would provide endless possibilities to explore the region.
“We’ve been taking guests to the far-flung corners of French Polynesia for more than 30 years on our special cargo-cruise ships and with the addition of AraMana, we are in a unique position to open up more of French Polynesia to the world. Just as Aranui 5 has become a beacon for holidaymakers wanting to see the beautiful Islands of Tahiti in a different and authentic way, AraMana will continue this legacy with a uniquely Polynesian offering,” Mr Wong said.