TUESDAY January 15, 2019 marked a historical day both for Aranui Cruises and the people of Pitcairn as the cruise line set its cargo and 250-passenger vessel Aranui 5 on course to Pitcairn some 200 years after the Bounty’s journey to the island.
Anchoring in Bounty Bay, all aboard Aranui 5 disembarked at the base of the Hill of Difficulty for sightseeing. Passengers included the Wong family, owners of Aranui Cruises, who arrived bearing the gift of a breadfruit tree for Pitcairn Mayor Shawn Christian. This was a nod to history, as the Bounty arrived at the remote island with a cargo of breadfruit.
Mr Wong said retracing the path of the Bounty and seeing stunning, new French Polynesian islands along the way, was thrilling for him and his passengers.
“To be here on the exact day the Bounty arrived 229 years ago is a very special moment for all of us as we forge a new seafaring link between Polynesia and Pitcairn,” he said.
Aranui 5’s inaugural arrival was celebrated with dinner attended by passengers and the Pitcairn community as well as a plaque ceremony held on the pool deck.
“As the sun was setting over Pitcairn, Aranui 5’s Polynesian crew performed a traditional dance and in return all the Pitcairners sang a farewell song to wish us a safe return home. It was a magical moment that felt like distant relatives meeting again after a long time,” Mr Wong said.
With the voyage to one of the most remote destinations in the world, Aranui 5 will again make trips to Pitcairn and French Polynesian islands in March of 2019 and in April of 2020, both of which are now sold out.
Aranui 5 is 126 metres long, has a draught of 5.2 metres and a dead weight tonnage of 3200.