Aranui Cruises has announced the addition of a new destination to its 2022 sailing schedule: the Austral Islands.
The Australs are located 373 miles (600 km) south of Tahiti’s capital city. The archipelago is made of seven islands, five of which are inhabited – Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae and Rapa – and four of which are accessible by air.
“As an essential business to remote islands of French Polynesia, it’s been our privilege for over 30 years to sail to and serve these remote communities,” said Eric Wong, Aranui Cruises’ executive vice president for North America. “Now, we look forward to bringing our unique experience to passengers who wish to discover these otherwise unknown, truly captivating Austral islands.”
According to a press release, Aranui passengers on the Austral Islands cruise will experience “breathtaking landscapes, from sheer mountains to valleys and high plains.” Several archeological sites remain in the area, which allows visitors to witness a “well-organized, pre-European community of rich cultural and religious practices.” The cliffs and caves of the Austral Islands which were once ancient burial grounds, now provide “a platform from which visitors can watch Humpback Whales frolic just offshore, as they are in the area from August to October to give birth,” Aranui Cruises wrote.
During the 13-day cruise, guests will take a guided tour of the island’s colorful villages and discover the handiwork of islanders who mainly live off their artwork. Guests will also be able to watch fishermen, local farmers and basket weavers at work, and shop for handmade local goods like a hat or a woven basket to remind them of their Austral Islands cruise.
Aranui Cruises offers this cruise onboard its mixed passenger-freighter 254-guest ship. The cruise line prides itself on its native Polynesian staff and crew.