Aranui III, Marquesas Islands Makes Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2011

The Marquesas Islands was recently named one of Lonely Planet's "Top 10 regions" – highlighting the Aranui III as the "umbilical cord between Tahiti and the Marquesas" (photo credit: Alain Marcouli).

Leading travel publication and go-to guide for adventure-driven escapes, Lonely Planet, recently featured the Marquesas Islands as one of its “Top 10 regions” – highlighting the Aranui III as the “umbilical cord between Tahiti and the Marquesas.”

“This distinction is an honor for us, particularly for our hard-working crew, many of whom have been introducing travelers to the Marquesas for over two decades,” said Jules Wong, marketing director for the Aranui III.

“While the cruise itself takes a backseat to the undisturbed beauty and grandeur of the seldomly visited Marquesas Islands, our local crew works diligently to ensure the onboard experience is as unique and memorable as the islands themselves,” added Wong.

The guide goes on to note the lack of swanky resorts in the Marquesas, describing the circuit – which is only accessible to travelers via the Aranui III – as “an ecotourist’s dream.”

In addition to picturesque valleys on Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, Lonely Planet extols the Marquesan Arts Festival, which is held only once every four years (the next one is coming up in December 2011) and features indigenous dance performances, local cuisine and arts and crafts displays.

Rates for the 14-day journey on the Aranui III range from $2,079 to $5,445 per person, based on double occupancy, depending on stateroom configuration. There is a 10% surcharge for the Dec. 9 Marquesan Arts Festival departure, which includes festival admission

Rates do not include port, cruise and tourism taxes, which may total up to $350 depending on stateroom category and an $80 fuel surcharge.

The cruise includes three daily meals with complimentary wine, guided excursions outlined in the itinerary, picnic and meals on shore. Optional excursions such as scuba diving, horseback riding, fishing and helicopter tours are additional.

The Aranui 3 is a mixed passenger-cargo vessel operating between Tahiti and the Marquesas, offering comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about two hundred passengers. The ship features 63 tastefully designed standard cabins, nine deluxe staterooms and 14 elegantly appointed private balcony suites.

Featuring a crew primarily composed of local inhabitants from French Polynesia and the Marquesas Islands, the Aranui 3 combines world class hospitality with top-notch amenities and mesmerizing scenery for an unforgettable sailing experience.

The cruise departs from the Tahitian island of Papeete, visiting the seldomly explored lush, tropical islands of Tahuata, Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka and Fatu Hiva, as well as Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Islands, before returning to Papeete.

The on-shore experiences include awe-inspiring hikes past majestic waterfalls and translucent lagoons, jungle ruins and sacred ritual sites with enigmatic petroglyphs, and encounters with local artisans.

For more information, contact Aranui at 800-972-7268 or visit www.aranui.com.

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