Aranui 5 – The unique combination of cargo-passenger ship, joins the list of vessels to have its service interrupted because of the coronavirus. The ship had to cancel its 13-day trip on Sunday to the Marquesas in French Polynesia from Papeete, Tahiti after crew members and captain tested positive for Covid-19.
The ship departed from Tahiti on Saturday, September 26 with 79 passengers as well as cargo. Although most of the passengers were tested the day before for the virus, some passengers and the crew members were tested on the dock. Despite not having the results for last-minute tests, the company decided that the ship would depart.
The next morning, the captain of the ship informed everyone that a total of seven crew members, including the captain, had reportedly tested positive for the virus. The Aranui 5 returned to Tahiti where all of the passengers left the ship.
Therefore, the local passengers have returned home, while the tourists have been accommodated in hotels on the island. The ten infected crew members were placed in a special quarantine facility.
Despite everything, the Aranui 5 has continued operations during the pandemic because of its vital role in transporting cargo to the remote Marquesas Islands, however, they are only carrying cargo. Aranui Cruises has been maintaining the vital trade service to the Marquesas since 1978.
Tahiti was among the first ports to resume cruise operations in July 2020. In addition to the trips on the Aranui 5, the small cruise ship called the Paul Gauguin that is based in Tahiti, also resumed their services.