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Aranui Question

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Before I ask this question, let me state up front that I'm not trying to 'put down' the Aranui voyages in any way. I'm just trying to get a feel for various freighter options out there. Anyway after looking at their website, it seems to be as if the Aranui ships are more like a cruise ship than a freighter... am I right?


The reason I ask is I'm looking for a real freighter/cargo ship voyage, and I'm not sure if I'd get that if I take any of the Aranui ships.


I appreciate your suggestions, comments, and advice. Thanks in advance!

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It's a little bit of both by the looks of the ship from a French show I watched a few weeks back. The ship does make essential commercial deliveries to communities that wouldn't otherwise get anything any other way (and getting wines and cheeses from France is important), but also carries passengers on essentially a cruise (round trip). Forward part of the ship is the hold.. I guess given the fixed number of sailors needed to run the ship, taking passengers on a dual-use basis isn't that much more effort and creates employment too.


Before and even into the early jet age, combination passenger liner-freight operations weren't uncommon. When I was very young in the mid '60s, I took a couple of trips between Singapore and HongKong on such a small tub that sailed as the Cathay under P&O.

Edited by cruising cockroach
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  • 2 weeks later...

Checking their website, they appear to be passenger vessels that also carry cargo. I saw pax capacity of > 200.


A cargo ship can carry up to 12 passengers and still be classed (considered) as a cargo ship. Once they go above 12 passengers they are considered passenger ships.


The previous response is correct with respect to the old liners. Many had a number of cargo holds, which were accessed from the Fore Deck, or through the pools. They were predominantly passenger ships, but also carried cargo, as I recall loading cargo on the P&O shop Oriana in Southampton, bound for Australia.

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A long time ago, my wife and I lived in Scotland, working the oil rigs in the North Sea. When we moved back to the US, we took the QE2. One reason was that they allowed 2 steamer trunks per person in the "baggage room", and 60 cubic feet per person of cargo storage in the hold. We brought back our essentials, since the container with household goods wasn't going to be guaranteed delivery for 2 months or so.

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  • 1 month later...

I cruised Aranui in June and I can tell you it is very much a freighter ship👍. You can go to the top decks and watch the loading and unloading of goods at the docks and with the barges. The whole thing is very fascinating. Some of the cargo unique like livestock particularly horses (one of the staff said the captain now refuses to take goats though😂

Near the end of the cruise there is a Q and A you can participate in with the guy who runs the Aranui freight. He has been working with Aranui since the beginning and his stories of early days are astounding as it was so rudimentary and undeveloped and they had to use ingenuity to get things loaded and unloaded. The Aranui freighter is very important to the Marquesas, it basically helped build the islands. 

However when you say you want a real freighter cargo ship voyage what exactly do you mean by that? The cruise passengers do get a cruise experience. You have organised tours of the islands, buffet breakfasts with three course lunches and dinners and the rooms including the dormitories are quite nice. You won't get to wonder around the cargo hold but you can spend as much time on the docks as you want. 

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  • 1 year later...

Many years ago, I was on the Aranui 2 which was much more a freighter than a cruise ship. They had wooden whale boats for passengers and freight in the many ports without docks. We sat on wooden benches in those boats. The benches were removed and the copra bags loaded.

Next, we went on her successor the Aranui 3. Now passengers had an aluminum boat with a  ramp. Dinner was served plated instead of family style like before. Cruise director Bernard was great. They had excursion prep talks for the Anglophones, someone else for Francophones and Bernard spoke German. 

We skipped the present Aranui 5, but might consider their new ship 2022 without freight, the Aramana.

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  • 4 months later...
On 1/25/2020 at 7:02 PM, Floridiana said:

We skipped the present Aranui 5, but might consider their new ship 2022 without freight, the Aramana.


I don't know what the Covid pandemic has done to Aranui's plans for the Aramana, but according to this article on Cruise Critic:

Cruising to Restart in French Polynesia As Early as Mid-July

"Aranui has indicated it will restart its operations in French Polynesia on July 18, just three days after the local government lifts the restrictions on international tourists.  Aranui 5 will set sail on two special "'Local's Cruises' – one-off itineraries departing July 18 and August 8 that are open to locals, along with international visitors who are eligible to travel to the region at that time."

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