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Steve Spurlock, one of our Goway Business Development Managers, recently returned from a trip exploring The Islands of Tahiti on Aranui 5 Cruise. Here, Steve will share with you his experiences, tips, and reasons why you should recommend Aranui to your clients.
Which islands did you see on Aranui?
The Aranui 5 takes you to some of the most remote islands in the world called the Marquesas Islands. I was fortunate enough to be able to see and experience so many unique islands including Tahiti, Fakarava, Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka, Rangiroa, and Bora Bora on this amazing working freighter cruise.
What was the highlight of your cruise and why?
Interacting with the Polynesian crew was definitely a highlight. The crew members were so nice and helpful. They knew each passenger’s name, making it a very personal experience. Talking with the other passengers was also a highlight because they were from around the world and had so many great stories to share.
What type of client would enjoy this cruise?
I would say that this style of cruise is great for a client that is active and looking for adventure, someone looking to get off the beaten path and do authentic activities and experience a different style of cruising that truly has character. Aranui‘s demographic is ‘globetrotters’, typically the 55-plus but anyone with an interest in culture and exploration, would enjoy this cruise.
What are some of the activities you did onboard and on shore?
Onboard, I really enjoyed taking in some of the lectures offered; this included making local crafts and learning Polynesian dances, and spending time in the pool, to name a few. On the islands, I enjoyed going on hikes, seeing the archeological sites, going to the many museums, and checking out the handcrafts in the local villages. Special highlights were meeting the local people even though they didn’t speak English and, of course, being on a working freighter watching the crew unload all the cargo in the Marquesas. Snorkeling in Fakarava, Rangiroa and Bora Bora where also some of my favorite memories with each offering such a different experience.
Describe the service on board Aranui and the meals.
In traditional Polynesian style, the service was very good. Everyone was very helpful. The crew took the time to get to know each and every passenger, allowing personal interactions with some great talks making it such a memorable experience.
Dining was a great experience on its own as it gave the opportunity to meet fellow passengers, exchange stories, and enjoy a laugh over a glass of wine. Breakfast is buffet style, with lunch and dinner mainly a sit down set menu with the exception of a couple island nights, including dinner cooked inside the ahima’a, the traditional Polynesian underground oven at a local restaurant. Overall the food was very good and I enjoyed trying new things I wouldn’t normally have had the opportunity to eat at home.
What tips can you offer agents selling Aranui?
Education is key with Aranui being so different from the standard, mainstream cruises that agents may be used to selling. You want to make sure they understand what the cruise is all about and the unique experiences they will be able to enjoy. Being a working freighter, the cruise lets you experience what it’s like to live on one of these remote islands in the Marquesas that rely on the supplies Aranui brings to them. This cruise style is not super luxurious, nor does it have the facilities that one might expect from a mega cruise. Instead, it’s all about immersing yourself in the Polynesian culture and exploring the Islands of Tahiti.
Did you learn anything new, or did anything surprise you?
Yes, the biggest takeaway is that Aranui is the best way to see the Marqueses. It is very difficult to get around any other way. It was surprising to me how beautiful the islands are from this viewpoint and what really surprised me is that I didn’t get sea sick at all.
Any final thoughts?
Tell your clients not to wait! This once-in-a-lifetime cruise is the perfect escape, especially for those clients looking to get off the beaten path and have a truly adventurous and active experience on their holiday.
You can contact a Goway Islands Experts to assist in putting a full package together for you including airfare, cruise, and pre-or-post-cruise island stays for your clients interested in experiencing an Overwater Bungalow.
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