The Oyster World Rally fleet participants have been offered a unique opportunity to enjoy a seminar on board Aranui III - a vessel famous in the South Pacific which operates as a working freighter as well as a cruise ship visiting the outer islands. The arrival of the Aranui is always a great occasion and cause for celebration for the locals as it is their link with the outside world and the source of supplies that they order from other islands, as well as an opportunity for them to sell their wares to a larger market. For the few passengers on board it is an iconic journey and a rare opportunity to see the South Pacific, and is on the 'bucket list' for many adventurous travellers along with a journey on the Orient Express, or a hot-air balloon trip across the Grand Canyon.
The seminar, which will be presented by Miss Duron from the National Agency of Protected Marine Areas on the subject of 'Diving Deep Into Marquesan Waters' exclusively to participants of the Oyster World Rally, will be held Tuesday 9th April whilst the Aranui is berthed at the quay in Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva.
The Aranui is the only ship to sail the 2,200 mile round trip from Papeete to all six inhabited islands, making it a lifeline to the outside world for their people.
The 14-night voyage to the most remote archipelago in the world follows in the wake of Prince William and Kate, as well as famous artist, Paul Gaugin, author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville, and Robert Louis Stevenson, all of whom were inspired by the beauty of French Polynesia.
Highlights range from the mountain spires of Ua Pou, described by Stevenson in 1880 as “volcanic needles like the pinnacles of some ornate church", to Me'ae Te Iipona in Puamau, one of the most significant ancient temples in the region, with the highest concentration of traditional tiki statues.
Passengers will have the opportunity to see rare black pearls being harvested from giant oysters in the Tuamotu islands, meet traditional artists throughout the Marquesas and transfer ashore on whale boats to take in the historic, cultural and scenic sights and enjoy breath-taking hikes to hidden jungle ruins.
The Aranui, a cargo carrier-cum-passenger ship, boasts 86 fully air-conditioned cabins as well as the capacity to carry more than 2000 tons of freight. Passengers enjoy comfortable lounges, a swimming pool and gym and a full programme of lectures on Marquesan history, culture and art.
Prices for 2013 start from Euros 3756 (£3125) per person sharing a standard twin bedded outside cabin with private facilities including all meals with wine, all land-based sightseeing excursions and taxes. However, during 2013, three departures on board the freighter-cum-passenger ship are being offered at a 10% discount: 6 April, 8 June and, for seniors aged over 60 only, 31 August, bringing the starting price down to Euros 3344 (£2781) per person sharing a twin cabin.
For further information about adventure cruises, visit www.aranui.com