Aranui is helping travelers retrace the journeys of author Herman Melville, exploring the destinations that served as inspirations for his most famous novels on a new voyage aboard the 254-passenger Aranui 5 ship. The 14-day French Polynesian Cruise will stop in the Marquesas and Tuamotu Archipelagos.
In 1841, Melville found employment as a green hand on a ship, which brought him on a voyage around the world, arriving in the Marquesas archipelago in June 1842. In July, the author jumped ship on the island of Nuku Hiva where he spent a month living as a guest among the Typee people. Though cannibalism is no longer practiced, at the time the Typee were a cannibalistic tribe; Melville eventually escaped and sailed to Tahiti where he was able to book passage home to the U.S., reaching Hawaii in May 1843.
After returning from his whaling voyage 175 years ago, Melville went on to write "Typee," "Omoo" and "Moby-Dick." "Typee" recites Melville's enjoyment of the island of Nuku Hiva, despite the author's dangerous situation.
Travelers can retrace these steps on the 14-day, all-inclusive cruise, which makes two visits to Nuku Hiva. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the remote island's landscapes, historical sites and way of life. Passengers can follow Melville's escape route on a 4X4 adventure over the mountains to a jungle river valley where they will see stone tiki gods, giant banyan trees, waterfalls, sacred ritual sites and petroglyphs. Guests can also enjoy a traditional Marquesan lunch where local specialties will be served. Inhabitants will perform traditional dances for island visitors and artisans will display their handmade crafts.
In addition to Nuku Hiva, the Aranui 5 visits Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Ua Huka and Tahuata in the Marquesas, as well as Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago and Bora Bora in the Society Islands. Offshore excursions in these destinations include hikes, visits to sacred ritual sites and small museums, encounters with local inhabitants, snorkeling in the atolls, on-island picnics and more.
2018 rates include port tax, cruise tax and tourism tax. The cruise includes three daily meals with complimentary wine, guided excursions outlined in the itinerary, picnic and meals on shore. Optional excursions such as scuba diving, horseback riding and fishing tours are additional.