Life Aboard the Aranui III Freighter

May 19, 2010 · Print This Article

The Aranui III is a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that operates between the islands of Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

She offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for fewer than 100 passengers, creating an intimate environment for her guests. Passengers will be able to sunbathe on deck, swim in the pool, or enjoy exotic tropical drinks while the Aranui navigates her way among the islands of the Marquesas.

Vessel Particulars

Length: 104 meters (343 feet)
Draft: 5 meters (15 feet)
Cruising Speed: 15 knots
Capacity: 60-100 passengers
Displacement: 4,000 DWT

The name “Aranui” means “The Great Highway” in Maori, another great Polynesian culture. The first Aranui was purchased from a New Zealand ship owner in 1959. CPTM kept her original name, because it suited her. Serving as a link between the remote Marquesas and the rest of the world, she truly was a “Great Highway” on which cargo and passengers traveled. The original Aranui was too small to meet the needs of the islands as trade increased. CPTM therefore retired her, and purchased a new vessel, which was also named the Aranui.

The current Aranui was originally built as a freighter for the Baltic trades, with unusually thick hull plates because of floating ice often found in that area. She was modified in Germany in 1990, when additional passenger cabins were added.

The ship features a small boutique where various sundries, clothing and souvenirs are available. There are washing machines and dryers aboard. There is also a bar and video room, which has a television, VCR and a small collection of videotapes.

The vessel operates under the French flag, and her crew are all Polynesian, primarily Marquesans.   They are extremely skillfull and very hospitable. It is often their custom to give an impromptu concert in the evenings, both for their own and our passengers pleasure.

For more information contact The Travelgal at 800 644-6659 or

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One Response to “Life Aboard the Aranui III Freighter”

  1. Virginia bed and breakfast on May 20th, 2010 11:56 am

    Awesome stuff and thanks for sharing. We are planning for summer vacation trip and still do not decide where have to go. We did not use the Aranui III services, before, but consider it for this summer vacation trip.

    Best Regards,

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