Freighter To Paradise – Aranui Cruises Celebrates 30 Years As French Polynesia’s Renowned Adventure Cruise From Tahiti

Aranui 3Aranui Cruises, operator of the Aranui 3 mixed passenger-cargo vessel, is celebrating thirty years as the world’s only soft adventure cruise provider to sail the virtually untouched, lush Marquesas Islands and fully immerse travellers in the culture of French Polynesia.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the company’s first passenger-cargo voyage, which departed from Papeete in 1984, bound for the northern archipelagos and sparked the beginning of its unique cruise operation.

To honour 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 gifts.

Owned and operated by the Wong family through Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM), Aranui Cruises takes travellers on a unique adventure sailing 800 miles north of Tahiti to some of the 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 travellers the adventure of a lifetime across three French Polynesian archipelagos – the Marquesas, Tuamotu 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, 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 November 22, 1984, the Aranui 1 made its first historic passenger voyage, departing from Papeete with 24 international and local passengers, along with cargo bound for the northern Tahitian archipelagos.

Aranui 3 Baie de VaipaeeThree ships and 30 years later, Aranui Cruises’ vessels have carried 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, 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.

Each voyage includes on-shore experiences such as awe-inspiring hikes past waterfalls and sacred ritual sites, encounters with local artisans, a visit to French artist Paul Gauguin’s grave, snorkelling in translucent waters, island picnics featuring local food, a visit to a pearl farm and more.

Featuring a crew primarily composed of local inhabitants from the Marquesas Islands and throughout French Polynesia, the Aranui provides a unique culture-oriented spin on hospitality which combines with superb scenery to create an unforgettable sailing experience.

Travellers booking a stay aboard the Aranui 3 can choose from four different cabin categories – Suite, Deluxe, Standard and Class C – each providing different room configurations. The ship offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about 200 passengers, featuring 63 tastefully designed standard cabins, nine deluxe staterooms and 12 well-appointed private balcony suites.

Prices for the anniversary departure, April 25-May 8, 2015, start at £3,250 per person sharing a standard twin bedded outside cabin with private facilities including all meals with wine, all land-based sightseeing excursions and taxes. Optional excursions such as scuba diving, horseback riding and fishing are additional.

Flights to/from Papeete, Tahiti are not included in these prices. Air Tahiti Nui fly to Papeete with prices from around £1,600 per person return from London.

For further details of Aranui sailings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail In North America please call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

New Cuba Cruise Season Opens – More Reports From China – And Individual Ship News

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 24th November 2014... ..

Cuba Cruise Transat

Louis Cruises’ Louis Cristal departs Piraeus this Friday for Havana and her second season with Canadian operator Cuba Cruise

Last week saw the beginning of a new Cuba cruise season, with regular callers Thomson Cruises, Cuba Cruise and Star Clippers now being joined by small ship operator Variety Cruises. Meanwhile, the competition heats up in China as both Carnival Corp & plc and Royal Caribbean Cruises make another move. And finally, Costa abruptly withdraws the Costa Celebration while Semester at Sea announces the withdrawal of its Explorer and her charter to Celestyal Cruises from next June.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Cruise Ship Deployment In The 21st Century – Deutschland’s Uncertain Future – Bridgepoint Among Bidders For Riviera Travel

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 17th November 2014... ..


P&O Australia courtesy P&O Cruises Australia

Holland America Line’s Ryndam and Statendam will soon join P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden

This week, for something a little different, we look at how whole fleets of cruise ships, or at least sets of sister ships, have moved from one operator to another and how, many times, the new operator has been a subsidiary or affiliate of the original operator. Cruise ships have become chess pieces, played upon a big board of new and upcoming markets. With the lack of a quorum last week, no solution has yet been found for the Deutschland’s financial problems. And Ponant owner Bridgepoint was among the bidders this weekend for river cruise operator Riviera Travel.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

NSB’s Hanjin Boston Reinstates Cargo-Passenger Service Between California And The Mediterranean Via The Far East And Suez

Hanjin BostonNotice: No further passenger service is offered on any Hanjin route.

NSB Freighter Cruises have once again introduced cargo-passenger service on the Hanjin Lines service between Italy, the Far East and California, with a full round voyage of 112 days. La Spezia to Long Beach is 54 days and Piraeus to Long Beach is 42 days, while Oakland to Piraeus is 50 days and Oakland to La Spezia is 53 days. Other routes are also available, e.g. Trans-Pacific or Europe-Far East. This reinstates direct connections between Europe and the US West Coast.

The 92,984-ton Hanjin Boston carries a maximum of ten passengers in two Owners, two Double and two Single cabins, and each ship is equipped with an indoor swimming pool.

Rotation is La Spezia – Genoa (day 2) – Barcelona (day 5) – Valencia (day 7) – Piraeus (day 12) – Suez Canal (day 15) – Singapore (day 30) – Baria Vung Tau (day 32) – Hong Kong (day 36) – Shanghai (day 39) – Pusan (day 42) – Long Beach (day 54) – Oakland (day 59) – Pusan (day 79) – Qingdao (day 82) – Shanghai-Yangshan (day 84) – Ningbo (day 85) – Hong Kong (day 88) – Yantian (day 89) – Nansha (day 90) – Singapore  (day 94) – Suez – Piraeus (day 109) – La Spezia (day 112).
Fares are €95 per person per day in the Owners (€110 per day for sole use) or €85 to 90 per person per day in the Double cabin (€100-105 per day for sole use) and €85 per day for the Single cabin. Port taxes and deviation insurance are extra at €85 and €160, respectively).
For details on other routes please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

Oceania’s Cruise of the Week: The Gulf of St Lawrence by Spring on board m.v. Marina, 11 Nights New York to Montreal, May 7-17, 2015

oceania_marinaOceania Cruises’ best-selling cruise last week was on board Marina, May 7-17, 11 nights in spring from New York to Montreal, with stateroom gratuities included. The Four-Stars-Plus 66,084-ton 1,250-berth Marina will depart from the Ma\nhattan piers on May 7, 2015, and make calls at Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John NB, Halifax, Sydney NS, Saguenay and Quebec before arriving at Montreal on May 17, a perfect time of year for the French-speaking capital of the New World.

Cruise map for Oceania Cruises 11 Day Coasts & Culture (21328)Cruise Only Fares per person in double occupancy are:

Penthouse: £2,379
Concierge: £2,109
Veranda: £1,979
Deluxe Oceanview: £1,719
Inside Stateroom: £1,549


Historic Quebec City

Fly/cruise fares from London with one night pre-cruise hotel and transfers included:

Penthouse: £3,246 – terrific price for a penthouse!
Concierge: £2,976
Veranda: £2,846
Deluxe Oceanview: £2,586
Inside Stateroom: £2,416

Also, Oceania have now introduced 2 for 1 deposits on 2015 departures good to the end of the year.

For more information on Oceania Cruises please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail For dollar prices in North America please call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

New Costa Flagship Christened – Two German Cruise Ship Owners Insolvent – Cruise Ship Names and Titles

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 10th November 2014... ..



The just-christened 3,708-berth Costa Diadema at Savona for the inauguration of the second Costa cruise terminal there

This weekend saw the christening of the largest Italian-flag ship, the €550 million 3,708-berth Costa Diadema, in Genoa, as well as the opening of a second Costa cruise terminal in Savona (above). Meanwhile, in Germany, the owners of the Astor have followed the owners of the Deutschland into insolvency, although in both cases it is claimed that the ships will continue to operate. Finally we have a look at a couple of interesting ships’ names as related to where they will be based from next year.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                      (See previous columns)

Some Ideas For Those Wanting to Spend Christmas – or the Entire Winter for That Matter – as a Passenger on a Cargo Ship

Hanjin Brussels at SeaSeveral people have recently been asking us for a cargo ship voyage that will get them away for Christmas, or even for the whole of the winter for that matter, but they are not quite sure just where they might like to go. For those in this predicament we are pleased to attach the following link for some of the longer voyages we offer – about 50 to 110 days in duration (click on the link below).

Freighter Cruises Worldwide

With more than 300 passenger-carrying cargo ships in our inventory, the selection is wide, and there is a choice among ships operated by French, German and Italian owners. Some areas are sold out but there is usually an alternative available. And remember, this style of travel is a bargain for singles, with some single fares actually being lower than double fares and single supplements usually being only about 10-15%.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail Ask about our round-the-world cruises as well.

Quantum of the Seas Sails For New York – Oasis of the Seas Makeover – Cruise & Maritime Voyages Introduces CMV Magellan

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 3rd November 2014... ..


Quantum of the Seas at SotonThe 4,180-berth Quantum of the Seas (left) visited Southampton last week, following by just sixteen days a similar visit by her larger fleet mate, the 5,488-berth  Oasis of the Seas. As Quantum departed yesterday for New York, we have a look at how she compares with the 2,620-berth Queen Mary 2 and we update readers on the changes effected to Oasis during her drydocking in Rotterdam. With today’s news that the 1,450-berth Magellan is about to join Cruise & Maritime Voyages on charter from Costa Cruises Group, we also have a look at some of the operators and the health of the European market for smaller more traditional ships.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)