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On a Freighter Even the Routine is Extraordinary
And the Destinations are Some of the Most Exotic in the World

[Seaworthy News 689, July 2018]



The Aranui's first visits to Pitcairn Island

is the highlight of the 2019 program of 20 voyages in the South Pacific


Aranui voyage map to Pitcairn Island

Departing Jan. 10, 2019 and March 21, 2019, the exclusive Pitcairn Island voyages mark the first time this passenger-carrying freighter has offered a different itinerary since its inception, and the first new destination since Bora Bora has been included in the regular voyage to the Marquesas Islands.

Sailing from Papeete, Tahiti, a 13-day itinerary includes visits to Adamstown in the Pitcairn Islands, Anaa and Amanu in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambiers, and Raivave and Rapa in the Austral Islands.

"We are thrilled to offer our guests the opportunity to explore the legendary Pitcairn Island, which has a rich history despite its remote geography removed from modern conveniences," said Eric Wong, Executive Vice President, Americas for the Aranui 5. "The ambience and comforts of the Aranui 5 provide opportunity to relax along their adventuresome journey to some of the world's most secluded islands."


Located halfway between Australia and South America, the Pitcairn island remains one of the most remote and undiscovered tourism destinations in the world.

It is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy and is often considered the worldís smallest country by population of approx. 50 descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.

Photo on the left is of Bounty Bay, where the Bounty lies. After all possessions were removed and lugged up the aptly named Hill Of Difficulty, the vessel was run ashore and set alight so that no trace of her would remain visible from the sea. A village was established on the lower plateau, situated above the bay, and named Adamstown, after the last surviving settler, while Fletcher Christian is fondly remembered as the founder and first leader.


Fletcher Christianís 1789 uprising against Captain William Bligh on the HMS Bounty inspired a 1932 novel Mutiny on the Bounty, several movies, and even a musical. Clark Gable played Christian in the 1935 film, Marlon Brando in 1962, and the star-studded cast of 1984ís The Bounty featured Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh, Daniel Day Lewis as John Fryer, Laurence Olivier as Admiral Hood, Liam Neeson as seaman Charles Churchill and a young Mel Gibson as Christian.

Pitcairn Island was sighted on July 3, 1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow, commanded by Captain Philip Carteret. It was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, a fifteen-year-old crew member who was the first to sight the island.

Two decades later, after overthrowing Bligh and sailing first back to Tahiti where 16 out of the 25 sailors and mutineers decided to stay, Christian then sailed with the remaining eight crewmen, their Tahitian wifes and several Tahitian men, and arrived on Pitcairn in January 1790. The islandís location had been charted inaccurately, making it an attractive hideaway option. A British navy ship searched for months for the rogue crew to no avail. The mutineers who stayed on Tahiti were captured and brought back to England to face justice.

The Pitcairn settlers werenít discovered until 1808, but by that time they were only survived by mutineer John Adams. The islandís early history was bloody, with many feuds and violent deaths. Now Pitcairn Island is peaceful and its fifty families, many of them descendants of that infamous Bounty crew, welcome visitors to their idyllic tropical home.

Pitcairn voyage itinerary:

Day 1 Departure from Papeete, Tahiti
Day 2 Anaa, Tuamotu - home to a sustainable fishing program. Try your hand at traditional javelin throwing.
Day 3 Amanu, Tuamotu - Idyllic atoll with palmfringed crystal-clear lagoons. A village visit.
Day 4 at sea.


Day 5 Mangareva, Gambier - Cradle of Catholicism in Polynesia. Visit St. Michaelís church where the altar is inlaid with iridescent mother-of-pearl shell.
Day 6 Adamstown, Pitcairn - Walk in the footsteps of the Bounty settlers from the landing at Bounty Bay to Adamstown and Christianís Cave. Meet the descendants of the mutineers at the curio market. View artifacts from the Bounty at the Museum.
Day 7 Departure from Pitcairn.
Day 8 Aukena, Gambier - Pristine lagoons. Visit a black pearl farm, sightseeing and a beach barbecue.
Day 9 At sea
Day 10 Rapa, Austral - Visit to a cave and agricultural centre. Enjoy a barbecue in the village.
Day 11 Departure from Rapa
Day 12 Raivave, Austral - A welcome by villagers; tour archaeological sites and enjoy a swim at the beach.
Day 13 Arrival back at Papeete, Tahiti


Ship Brochure
2019 Schedule and Tariff

The two Pitcairn voyages in January and March 2019 have been sold out already, not long after the cruise line made the announcement. We'd be pleased to waitlist you for one of the 2020 voyages, during January-February period or March, and confirm the date, cabin and price at the time the new schedule and tariff is published early next year. Just complete and email back Maris Registration Specialty Cruises.

The remaining 2019 voyages will follow Aranui's primary 13-day itinerary, departing Papeete, Tahiti and sailing to Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, as well as Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas Islands, where passengers will follow in the footsteps of Herman Melville, Paul Gauguin and other legends. For more information please check our web page Aranui Cruise to Marquesas Islands



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