Chief executive officer Halatoa Fua spoke out in favour of plans to widen and deepen the channel through the Arorangi lagoon to prevent a tragic repeat of the MS Amsterdam incident of 2016.
Fua said the announcement of a 2021 visit by the new liner Aranui 5 was the right fit – an expedition-size ship with regular calls.
He hoped the Arorangi Boat Jetty plan would be an advantage to this cruise liner coming in.
The Aranui 5 maiden voyage to the Cook Islands is a significant development for the Cook Islands cruise industry, says Fua.
The cruise is part of Aranui Cruises’ new 2021 programme where there is a total of 21 scheduled cruises around the South Pacific.
According to Helen Hutcheon, writing in Seatrade Cruise News, the 125-metre mixed freight and passenger vessel makes its first visit to the Cook Islands on a 13-day round-trip from Papeete on September 4, 2021, sailing past Pointe Venus en route to Aitutaki and Rarotonga, returning via Rurutu, Rapa and Raivave in the Australs and the Tuamotu atoll Anaa.
The revamped cruise to the Tuamotu, Gambier and Pitcairn Islands includes a new Tuamotu atoll, Hikueru, and an overnight in Adamstown as well as a maiden visit to Pitcairn’s Oneo Island.
The 12-day Society and Tuamotu voyage departs Papeete on May 8, 2021, and includes calls at Rangiroa, Fakarava and Makatea in the Tuamotus and the Society Islands’ Raiatea, Tahaa, Maupiti, Huahine, Moorea and Bora Bora.
Hutcheon said that when Aranui 5 anchors at Makatea on May 11, 2021, it will be almost 50 years since the cruise line’s last visit as a local inter-island trader during the island’s phosphate boom.
Just eight kilometres long and five wide, the island has a population of less than 100.