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Aranui Cruises reveals details of new ship to launch mid-2022

PHOTO: HELEN HUTCHEON Aruni Cruises Philippe Wong, Laurent Wong and Eric Wong.jpg
Aranui Cruises CEO Philippe Wong, centre, with Laurent Wong, left, and Eric Wong aboard Aranui in drydock
Executives of Aranui Cruises, the Papeete-based family-owned company, held a media briefing on Tuesday aboard  Aranui 5 which is currently in a scheduled dry-dock at the Thales Australia shipyard in Garden Island.

In attendance were Tahiti-based CEO Philippe Wong, California-based evp-Americas Eric Wong and Laurent Wong, the regional representative for Australia and New Zealand.

To be named AraMana

It was announced that the company’s new A$100m ship to be constructed in China at Huanghai Shipbuilding will be named AraMana, meaning ‘path of the Polynesian spirit'.

It will not be named Aranui 6 as expected because it will not be a dual freight and passenger vessel like Aranui 5 and its predecessors. 

Solely for cruising

‘The 280-passenger AraMana has been designed solely with cruising in mind,’ Laurent Wong said.

‘AraMana is our first foray into leisure cruising so the new ship will be all about comfort and relaxation,’ he said.

‘Opulent public spaces will include a striking staircase, plush booths in the restaurant and an elegant piano bar, while accommodation will be stylish and spacious with Aranui’s signature Polynesian flourishes.’

Wong said in line with Aranui’s aim to offer an authentic Polynesian experience, the 10,000gt  AraMana will have a tattoo room, Polynesian crew and will visit islands that don’t appear on the itineraries of other cruise lines.

Endless possibilities

He said Aranui Cruises has never had two ships in operation simultaneously and the extra capacity will provide endless possibilities to explore the region.

‘We’ve been taking guests to the far-flung corners of French Polynesia for more than 30 years on our cargo-cruise ships and with the addition of AraMana we are in a unique position to open up more of French Polynesia to the world,’ he said. 

AraMana will feature a ‘vahine’ (Polynesian woman) on the funnel as well as a traditional tattooo design on the livery.