Originally slated to be named Aranui 6, it was later decided to create a new name for this ship, as it differs from the line's series of cargo-carrying vessels. AraMana, which means 'path of the Polynesian spirit', will join Aranui 5 sailing in the region.
Developed in response to the runaway success of Aranui's freighter-cruise vessels operated by the Tahiti-based company for more than 30 years, AraMana will sail on Polynesian itineraries expressly designed for pleasure and exploratory cruising.
The 140m, 14,500 gross tonnage AraMana will have 11 categories of accommodation, an observation lounge, a dance floor, spa, two restaurants, an amphitheatre, swimming pool and even a tattoo room. Opulent public spaces will include a feature staircase in the atrium as well as intimate dining booths in the restaurant and an elegant piano bar for evening enjoyment.
The main dining room will seat the ship's full capacity in a single sitting. There will also be a specialty BBQ steakhouse restaurant.
Aranui passengers tend to create group tables with their newly formed travel buddies, but smaller tables will be available on AraMana as well as plush private booths.
Menus are typically buffet style with roast meats and vegetables, fresh fish and generous salad selections. Wine is included with meals.
Among the 11 cabin categories is Aranui's first Grand Suite with Balcony, which has been designed for the ultimate comfort onboard.
More than half of all cabins and suites include a private balcony with deck chairs and tables and floor-to-ceiling sliding door windows. In-cabin features include a large HDTV, convertible double bed with premium bedding and linen, a fold-out sofa bed, ensuite bathroom and individually controlled air-conditioning. Larger suites will have a four-seat dining table.
Full advantage of the South Pacific's spectacular scenery is afforded thanks to an indoor observation lounge as well as copious outdoor deck space, particularly on the upper forward decks. The large Sun Deck features a retractable roof cover.
Aranui cruises have become famous for their Polynesian-themed entertainment, which includes such cultural activities as dancing, singing and tattooing.
Nightlife will include rousing singalongs by the Polynesian staff and crew in the lounge/club as well as more sophisticated evenings in the piano bar. A small casino will allow passengers to enjoy gambling.
AraMana will feature in-depth cultural and historic interpretation with onboard speakers and experts.
Shipboard leisure facilities include an outdoor theatre with an open-air stage, a swimming pool with two Jacuzzis complete with poolside bar and grill, indoor children's playground, library, wellness complex complete with gym and fitness space, spa treatment rooms, a beauty salon and tattoo studio.
Itineraries will closely follow the existing Aranui pattern and vary between 10 to 12 days but will deviate to include islands not served by cargo operations. These itineraries will include French Polynesia's archipelagos Austral, Gambier, Society and Tuamotu, as well as the Pitcairn Islands and the Cook Islands.
AraMana will visit Rapa Iti, Raivavae and Rurutu -- located in the French Polynesia's southernmost archipelago, the Austral Islands -- as part of the new Cook Islands itinerary. The planned Society Islands itinerary will visit the better-known Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea, Rangiroa, Tahaa and Tuamotu, including Makatea Atoll.