The culture responsible for inspiring the greatest works of profound artists and novelists such as Paul Gauguin and Herman Melville would be more popular were it not so isolated in a remote corner of French Polynesia. But then the secluded nature of the Marquesas Islands is part of its draw for anthropologists, archeologists, historians and anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path vacation that is anything but typical. Guest lecturers sailing on the Aranui III represent a wide range of experts within the disciplines of art, science and history, helping passengers immerse themselves in the world’s most unique culture.
“Almost everyone has read Moby Dick and Treasure Island, but few are aware that the Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson were influenced by their experiences sailing through the Marquesas Islands,” said Jules Wong, marketing director for the Aranui III. “Marquesan history is actually quite remarkable and studied by academics worldwide due to its distinct traditions and isolation from other Polynesian cultures. As a result, experts from variety of fields and disciplines are constantly requesting passage aboard the Aranui III, most of whom are happy to lecture for our guests,” noted Wong.
The following is a sample of guest lecturers scheduled to participate in upcoming voyages of the Aranui III:
July 21 – August 3: Dr. Carol Ivory, Professor of Fine Arts, Washington State University
For more than 20 years, Dr. Ivory’s research has focused on the art, history, and culture of the Marquesas Islanders. She is Past-President of the Pacific Arts Association and has co-curated or consulted on numerous exhibitions on the Marquesas at venues including the Honolulu Mission Houses Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her lectures and on-site talks will focus on Polynesian prehistory, traditional Marquesan culture, tattoo and festivals in the Marquesas Islands.
August 11 – August 24: Dr. Jennifer Kahn, Associate Anthropologist, Bishop Museum
Dr. Kahn received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley for her archaeological research on prehistoric household and community organization in the Society Islands (East Polynesia). Over the last eighteen years, she has conducted archaeological field research in Polynesia (Hawa’i, Marquesas, Societies) and Melanesia (New Caledonia). Her research interests include studies of the political economy and lithic technology, household archaeology and monumental architecture.
The 14-day Aranui III voyage also includes 10 culture-driven shore excursions in the Marquesas Islands with stops at all six inhabited islands in the Marquesas – Ua Pou, Nuka Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva and Tahuata – as well as Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu archipelago. While the ship serves dual purposes as a passenger cruise and cargo freighter, it is designed for passenger comfort with two bar/lounges, a swimming pool, gym and several additional amenities. Prices for the 14-day sailing range from $2,234 – $5,594 per person, based on double occupancy. Rates do not include port tax, cruise tax and tourism tax, which may total up to $350 depending on stateroom category, as well as a $100 fuel surcharge. 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, fishing and helicopter tours are additional.
Aranui III, 800-972-7268, www.aranui.com