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China's Huanghai Shipbuilding lays keel for Tahiti's Aranui 5

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At the keel-laying - Wong family members, from left, vp Eric Wong, chairman Jules Wong, ceo Philippe Wong and Australasian representative Laurent Wong
The Wong family, owners of Tahiti’s Aranui Cruises, travelled to Huanghai Shipbuilding in China’s northeastern Shandong province for the keel-laying of their passenger-cargo ship Aranui 5.

After the ceremony, which included firecrackers as well as a traditional bottle of Champagne, Laurent Wong, regional representative in Australia and New Zealand, confirmed the ship is on track to commence 14-day round-trip cruises from Papeete to the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Island in October.
 
Aranui 5 replaces Aranui 3 which will be retired after more than 12 years servicing the remote Tuamotu and Marquesas archipelagoes.
 
It will carry 256 passengers, offering a new range of accommodation that includes superior deluxe, presidential and royal suites.
 
The company’s 30th anniversary party will be held on board Aranui 3 when she departs Papeete on April 25. Each passenger will receive a gift—an on-board credit of around A$175.
 
As previously reported, there will not be an Aranui 4 as the number is considered unlucky by the third generation Tahitian-Chinese Wong family.
 

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