insights from the ultimate cruising team

Aranui: For the little adventurer in all of us

Aranui: For the little adventurer in all of us


One of the things that concerns people most when contemplating a cruise on the Aranui 5 is whether they will be able to cope with the excursions. Many of Aranui 5’s passengers are retired and sometimes mobility isn’t quite what it used to be or the body just starts throwing out extra aches and pains that it never used to.

Basic mobility on-board the Aranui 5 is a must – unfortunately, the ship cannot cater for wheelchairs as access in some ports is via tenders or gangplank. On shore, the remote islands often have uneven terrain and wheelchair-friendly facilities are not available. However, as long as you have basic mobility, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to do and at how well the Aranui staff can cater for you.

When getting on and off tenders, the crew are always there to assist and these guys are the same ones who load and unload the freight supplies - meaning they are big, strong chaps who don’t seem to have any trouble at all simply picking you up and placing you gently on board should wave conditions require it! In saying that, however, passengers are expected to be sufficiently mobile and steady on their feet that they could step on and off tenders unassisted.

Once ashore, there are guided walks and tours and these are strictly optional so it’s up to you whether you wish to participate or stay on board and relax. The excursions vary in length and fitness level required. One walk is around 17km and a surprisingly large number of passengers do it. Some of the walks can be a bit rocky so be sure to bring good, sturdy walking shoes.

There are also some excursions where 4WD utes are used to take guests up to the mountain top so again, as long as you’re able to climb aboard you’re good to go. Note that there are no buses on most of these islands.

landing on nuku hiva

For guests who decide not to participate in the guided excursion, simply watching the crew in action as they load and unload the ship is fascinating in itself!  We receive many post-cruise comments about how guests loved watching this process with the incredible crew swinging between ship and shore unloading everything from fruit and vegetables to cars, furniture and machinery.

All excursions are included in your voyage. The only thing you pay for additionally is activities such as diving, fishing etc and some organised activities on Bora Bora, should you wish to do them. If you are unsure if you will be able to cope with the excursions, feel free to give us a call or organise a time for us to call you to talk it through.