Ever since Captain Bligh lost his ship to mutineers in 1789, Pitcairn Island remains a conundrum.
In 1789, while sailing the Pacific, Fletcher Christian, the ships master’s mate, led a notorious mutiny on HMS Bounty. The ship was under the command of William Bligh. The mutiny on the Bounty remains one of the most well-known mutinies that ever occurred in the British Royal Navy.
They sailed to Pitcairn Island with their Polynesian followers in 1790 and ran HMS Bounty aground. They then set her alight so no trace would be found.
Christian’s group remained undiscovered on Pitcairn until 1808, by which time only one mutineer, John Adams, remained alive. Almost all his fellow mutineers, including Christian, had been killed, either by one another or by their companions. Yet the community remained and grew.
By the mid-1850s, the community had outgrown the island and moved on-mass to Norfolk Island. Just 18 months later they returned to Pitcairn. Those who live on Pitcairn now, are mostly descended from nine mutineers on HMS Bounty.
Pitcairn is now a UNESCO site and remains one of the most isolated of inhabited islands in the world.
Pitcairn is the only permanently inhabited island within a group of Islands that form the southeasternmost extension of the geological archipelago of the Tuamotus of French Polynesia. It consists of four islands: Pitcairn Island, Oeno Island (atoll with five islets, one of which is Sandy Island), Henderson Island and Ducie Island (atoll with four islets).
Bucket list quest
Only 50 or so inhabitants now live on Pitcairn Island. But for many, a visit to the isolated island remains a bucket list quest. Those with a burning desire to get there will get a chance when the Passenger Cargo ship Aranui 5 sails there next February
In a departure from her regular schedule in The Marquesas, Aranui 5 will make a special 11-day voyage to Pitcairn Island. The 11 day voyage begins on 17th February 2024. She will also visit the Tuamotu and the Gambier archipelagos.
The journey offers a rare chance for travellers to discover this infamous, far-flung island – and Britain’s most remote outpost – located in the Pacific Ocean between Tahiti and Easter Island.
Pitcairn is so isolated that it is only accessible by sea. Ships anchor off and access is by boat through Bounty Bay, due to the island’s steep cliffs. Adamstown, the main settlement on the island, lies within the volcanic basin.
On arrival into Adamstown passengers will gain a unique insight into Pitcairn’s storied history, with a full day and overnight spent on the island, exploring and meeting local families.
All-inclusive excursions include a visit to the grave of mutineer John Adams and to the HMS Bounty cannon at the Pitcairn Island Museum. There is also the opportunity to walk to Christian’s Cave, where mutineer Fletcher Christian cast Commander Lieutenant William Bligh adrift – watched for passing ships and a visit a local curio market.
Aranui 5 accommodates 230 guests in 103 suites, staterooms and dormitory-style rooms, half of them with balconies.
An onboard programme of insightful talks about life in the Marquesas takes place in the two spacious lounges, and there are also three bars – including the panoramic Skybar for relaxation.
Meals are served in the dining room, where after the three-course dinners, the Aranui band performs. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, spa, tattoo parlour and boutique.
The Pitcairn and Gambier- in the footsteps of the Bounty Mutineers voyage costs from €5,657pp. This includes accommodation in a Double Stateroom with obstructed view, based on two sharing). It also includes all meals and wine with meals and scheduled excursions.