Martin Clunes cruises through Pacific for new ITV travel series
By Katie McGonagle | 10 Jan 2022
Travel documentary Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific sees the actor set off on a 10,000-mile voyage across the region
The three-part ITV series is said to have been inspired by a book given to Clunes as a child by his father, documenting the Kon-Tiki expedition across the Pacific.
The first episode, broadcast on January 13, heads to French Polynesia – a collection of 118 islands and atolls scattered over a vast area of 1.5 million square miles – taking in Tahiti, Rangiroa, Tetiaroa and the Marquesas Islands.
Viewers see the actor travelling on passenger-freighter Aranui 5, which serves all six inhabited islands in the Marquesas, and speaking with the local Polynesian crew on board.
Clunes said: “For centuries we’ve been sold the idea that paradise on earth is here in the Pacific Islands. But in our uncertain, changing world, how much of that paradise is left, and how long can it survive?
“To find out, I’m on an epic ocean-wide adventure, travelling 10,000 miles from east to west in search of the real Pacific, and to discover its magical islands.”
Clunes visits a vineyard in Tahiti to taste a new grape developed to suit the island’s unusual growing conditions, swim with black tip reef sharks in Rangiroa and go riding through the surf with a local horse trainer in the Marquesas Islands.
He also explores the region’s environmental issues in Tetiaroa, the atoll made famous when Marlon Brando filmed Mutiny on the Bounty there. Brando went on to fall in love with the island and has since established a luxurious eco-friendly resort along with a research station which accommodates scientists investigating the area’s ecosystems.
Speaking about Tetiaroa, Clunes added: “This island is so special. Marlon Brando’s vision way back then was so revolutionary. I think it is quite unique. I am increasingly falling in love with the Pacific.”
Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific starts its three-week run on ITV at 9pm on Thursday, January 13, and is also available on the ITV Hub.
Viewers keen to retrace the actor’s journey can find out more about South Pacific sailings from Aranui Cruises, which is offering new no-single-supplement fares and 10% discounts on all cabins for selected cruises between January and April 2022.