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Sport-fishing in French Polynesia

5th July 2010 Print
Aranui 3 - the freighter to paradise

Aranui 3 are offering first timers and experienced fishermen - and women - alike the opportunity to fish the undiscovered tropical waters of French Polynesia around the remote island chains of the Marquesas and the Tuamotus.

Aranui 3, the combined cargo/passenger ship (with cruise ship comforts), has designed a range of new sport-fishing packages - at between one and nine island locations – now available to passengers on all future 14-day cruises operating year-round between Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

Wahoo, tuna, marlin and mahi-mahi are just some of the possible catches in this sport-fishing paradise. A mix of lagoon, coastal and deep-sea fishing is offered at a fresh new island location each day - from lagoon fishing on Rangiroa and fishing by moonlight at Fatu Hiva to deep-sea fishing for tuna and marlin at Nuku Hiva.

There are three fishing packages to choose from; all options include between 3-8 hours of fishing time, a fishing pole, lure and lunches.

Option 1 - fishing at any one of the island locations; an opportunity for first-timers to try out their beginners luck (supplement Euros 75)
Option 2 - fishing at four specific Marquesas island locations: Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata and Ua Huka (supplement Euros 150)
Option 3 – for the serious fishers, up to nine fishing trips over the duration of the 14-day cruise (supplement Euros 250)

The French chefs onboard will willingly prepare the catches for eating or, alternatively, the fish can be released back into the ocean.

The dual role of the Aranui 3 is to deliver vital supplies to the residents of the isolated Marquesas, whilst also offering their guests the opportunity to see this unusually remote archipelago of fifteen islands. Only six of the islands are inhabited, four of these have airstrips and two can only be reached by boat and do not even have a dock!

While the ship loads and unloads its cargo at each island destination, those guests who have chosen a fishing package will board the whaleboats to go catch their fish of the day. The experienced Aranui crew is on hand for their expert local knowledge, fishing tips and techniques if needed.

If they prefer, the fishing group has the option to the join the land-based excursion program at any time. The non-fishing passengers will go ashore where four-wheel drive jeeps driven by locals will be waiting to take them on spectacular safaris over the mountains to mysterious, unspoiled jungles – still much the same as described by Herman Melville in his best-selling, mid-nineteenth century novel, Typee. The untouched nature and fascinating culture of these islands has inspired many writers and artists over the years – from Melville and Belgian musician and songwriter, Jacques Brel to Gaugin who painted his masterpieces on Hiva Oa – an island that also happens to be one of the fishing locations.

Starting and ending in Papeete, the 14-day cruise costs Euros 3391.50 per person sharing a standard twin-bedded outside cabin with private facilities, including all taxes. A package with nine fishing trips, a fishing pole, lure and lunches costs an additional Euros 250 per person. Fishing at four locations carries a supplement of Euros 150 and, if first-timers want to try their luck at just one of the fishing locations, the additional cost is Euros 75 per person.

Flights to/from Tahiti are not included in these prices.

Thinking ahead to 2011
Aranui 3 has just released their 2011 departure dates – the ship will operate once every three-weeks throughout the year from 8 January 2011 to 9 December 2011. They will hold their 2010 cruise prices (so no increase for 2011) with prices starting at Euros 3391.50 per person sharing a twin outside cabin with private facilities (excluding flights).

There is also a small selection of discounted departures for 2011:
12 – 25 March 2011 – 10% discount on the published fares
23 April – 6 May 2011 – pre-summer special, 10% discount
4 – 17 June 2011 – 10% discount on the published fares
17 – 30 September 2011 – 10% discount for seniors over 60 years old

Aranui 3
Purpose built in 2003 Aranui 3 is uniquely designed for its dual role as a freighter and passenger ship, carrying up to 2000 tons of cargo and 180 passengers. There are 86 fully air conditioned cabins ranging from top of the range suites with balconies to deluxe and twin-bedded cabins, with well-priced dormitory style accommodation on a lower deck. There are two comfortable lounges, a swimming pool and gym and a full program of lectures on Marquesan history, culture and art. The Aranui’s experienced crew will advise on fishing techniques and catches. English is widely spoken onboard and all presentations are given in English.

For more information and bookings, visit:

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Aranui 3 - the freighter to paradise Sport-fishing catch aboard Aranui 3