The Aranui 5: Life aboard a cargo/luxury cruiseliner in Tahiti.

The Aranui is a very special cruise ship, part cargo, part luxury liner, and all love. The dual nature of the vessel allows it to travel to some very unique destinations that most cruises do not service, mainly, the remote Marquesas Islands. The fact that you can visit this lost paradise island chain, free of commercialism and tourists, is a dream to the seasoned traveler looking for something a bit more unique.

Onboard the Aranui you are part of a family. The rooms are finely appointed, the lounges swank, and the parties lively. There’s all sorts of activities, from hulu dancing, traditional weaving, cooking, and even fashion shows. What’s more, there is music all around, either in big dance parties, or impromptu jam sessions from the crew at the bar. It’s never a boring moment and always a lovely break from the intense relaxation the cruise provides.

This was a trip for the ages, and definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a novel way to see a slice of paradise. You can read about my entire experience at Get Lost Magazine, or, check out one of the other videos I’ve done highlighting the individual islands. Paradise awaits.

 

 

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Hiva Oa: Paul Gauguin & Jacques Brel knew what was good.

The Marquesas island of Hiva Oa, home of French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, greeted us with a misty, rainbow and lively music from beautifully tattooed locals, that welcomed us to explore this island paradise.

We boarded rickety wooden busses driven by guitar wielding drivers who carted us up the mountain to the Calvary Cemetery, to visit the graves of the two most famous residents here, Gauguin and Brel, where devoted fans from every corner of the world paid their respects with messages of love and respect etched on stones.

Next we dove into the world of Gauguin visiting his museum where an impressive collection of his work, and work of local artist in the style of Gauguin is presented, along with his workshop home, the Maison du Jouir, which walking though gives you an amazing understanding of this genius artists life.

Finally, walking back to the ship I stopped off at a darling little restaurant Chez Georges et Tahu, where we had an absolutely fabulous meal along the seaside. Highly recommended. Before we knew it we were back on our floating palace the Aranui 5 and Hiva Oa said goodbye with yet another beautiful rainbow. Hope to see you again soon, beautiful island in the Polynesian sea.

 

Fakarava: the best black pearls in Polynesia.

Fakarava is one of my favorite islands in French Polynesia, not only being one of the best places to buy pearls, but a beautiful island to explore either by foot, bike, or on sea.

It’s easy to rent a bike in town and explore the miles of sandy beaches on both sides of this atoll paradise island, or travel down to Havaiki resort which has a fantastic little hut right over the water where you can open your own oysters to get at the beautiful pearl inside.

For just a few dollars you can choose your oyster, and the experts there will open it for you to receive your treasure. They’ll even remove the tasty little scallop and squeeze some lime juice on it for you to have a fresh ocean treat.

Later if you like you can take it on shore and have them set it in a necklace, or, you can buy one of the amazing pieces of jewelry they craft in house. Or you could always just buy an ice cold beer and take it into one of their lagoon submerged tables to drink the way the islanders do. Any way you do it it’s paradise on earth.

The Marquesas are a remote island chain that are extremely difficult to get to, making them a pristine treasure of polynesia. Fortunately Aranui cruises offers passage there where you can enjoy these rare sights in style.

Le Site Officiel | Croisières Tahiti | Îles Marquises

Stay tuned as we explore some of the other magnificent islands this week on TravelClast!
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