Why? Although the Marquesas are part of the islands of Tahiti, the landscapes, the people and the culture are quite different from the other archipelagos. Located over 900 miles from Papeete (almost 4 hours flying time), the Marquesas are relatively untouched. They have been described as Hawaii 100 years ago. This isolation has created a unique language and unique culture among the people who reside there. The islands may be part of Tahiti, but the people are not Tahitians - they are Marquesans.
Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London all spent time here. Paul Gauguin (the man) is buried on Hiva Oa. The modern word "tattoo" originated in the Marquesas. Men and women proudly display their tattoos. And thus the intrigue begins.
Every 2 weeks the ship sails round trip between Tahiti (Papeete) and the Marquesas with up to 254 guests and 100 crew. It makes stops in the Tuamotu Islands both to/from the Marquesas,the major islands of the Marquesas (Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva) as well as Bora Bora on the return.
Passengers are skewed towards retirees, and not all English speaking. There are guest lecturers and historical briefings prior to disembarkation. Aside from that, don't expect a lot of entertainment.
And the #1 thing the passengers love about this cruise?
Being able to mingle with and enjoy a brew with one of the Marquesan crew on board! Quite the authentic experience. The Aranui 5 is truly a unique small ship experience that leaves the ordinary and crowds behind.