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By Nicole Hellmers

Unwrap a piece of paradise this holiday season by surprising a loved one with a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the seldom visited, lush Marquesas Islands aboard the Aranui 3 (, a well-appointed passenger-cargo vessel operating in French Polynesia. Those looking for holiday savings will enjoy a 10% discount on the Aranui 3's first two departures of the new year - Jan. 11 and Feb. 1, 2014 - in addition to the June 7, 2014 voyage and a "Senior Special" 10% discount on the Aug. 30, 2014 departure.


Atop any adventurer's wish list, this incredible 14-day voyage boards in Papeete, Tahiti for a "Freighter to Paradise" complete vacation experience through 800 miles of the most spectacular and remote islands in the world, where passengers will be fully immersed in the culture of French Polynesia. The Aranui visits Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu archipelago as well as Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas Islands.

The April 5 and Dec. 13, 2014 departures will also include a stop at the legendary island of Bora Bora, where guests will have the opportunity to take part in optional excursions including a tour of the island by boat, motorized canoe, truck or helicopter, or a visit to see the Manta and other rays that inhabit the waters around the island. The Aranui crew will also prepare a full picnic lunch on the beach in the afternoon for guests who can enjoy the rest of the day sunbathing and exploring Bora Bora on their own.
Passengers will enjoy a variety of on-shore experiences such as awe-inspiring hikes past waterfalls and sacred ritual sites, encounters with local artisans, a visit to French artist Paul Gauguin's grave, museums, snorkeling in the translucent waters of the atolls, on-island picnics and restaurant lunches featuring local food, a visit to a pearl farm and more.
Featuring a primarily Polynesian crew composed of sailors from the Marquesas and throughout the Tahitian Islands, and with an expert lecturer and guides, the Aranui 3 provides a unique spin on hospitality which combines with mesmerizing scenery to create a truly unforgettable holiday present.
Travelers can choose from four different cabin categories - Suite, Deluxe, Standard and Class C - each providing different room configurations.
The cruise includes three meals with complimentary wine daily, guided excursions as outlined in the itinerary, picnics and meals on shore. Optional excursions such as scuba diving, horseback riding and fishing are additional. Prices start at $2,624 per person (not including the 10% discount) and do not include port tax, cruise tax and tourism tax, which may total up to $355.
For more information or to book an Aranui 3 vacation, call 800-972-7268 or visit