Aranui Cruises, operator of the Aranui 3 mixed passenger-freighter vessel, is celebrating 30 years as the world's only soft adventure cruise provider to sail in French Polynesia.
This month will mark the 30th anniversary of the company's first historic passenger-freighter voyage, which departed from Papeete, Tahiti in 1984, bound for the northern Tahitian archipelagos.
To honor the occasion, Aranui Cruises has announced it will celebrate with a 30th anniversary sailing on April 25, 2015 which will include a special dinner show and firework-display, as well as commemorative giveaways.
Owned and operated by The Wong Family through Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM), Aranui Cruises takes travelers on a unique adventure sailing 800 miles north of Tahiti to some of most spectacular and remote islands in the world, where they are fully immersed in the French Polynesian culture.
"For 30 years, Aranui has been offering discerning travelers the adventure of a lifetime across three French Polynesian archipelagos - the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands - and with transport, meals, accommodation and tours all included, it's still one of the best value ways to see Tahiti," said Jules Wong, marketing director for Aranui Cruises.
In 1960, The Wong Family began offering a cargo service that ferried supplies to the Tuamotu-Gambier Islands and provided passage to Tahitians, becoming the first regular contact the inhabitants had ever had with the outside world. Sensing a market for a soft adventure cruise experience in the region the family spent several years in the early 1980's modifying its freighter to a mixed cargo and passenger vessel with the introduction of 12 cabins, a new galley, dining room, dormitory and other basic amenities.
On Nov. 22, 1984, the Aranui 1 made its first passenger voyage, departing from Papeete, Tahiti with 24 international and local passengers, and cargo, bound for the northern Tahitian archipelagos.
Three ships and 30 years later, Aranui Cruises' vessels have seen over 44,750 passengers, 534,511 tons of freight and sailed more than 917,800 nautical miles between Tahiti and the remote Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands.
Today, the Aranui 3's 14-day voyage departs from Papeete, Tahiti visiting Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka in the Marquesas, Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, and will add a stop at the famed Society Island of Bora Bora to its itinerary in 2015.