Paul Gauguin Cruises: Voyages to the Soul of the South Seas
The intimate, luxury ship was created to explore the irresistible islands of French Polynesia
Scattered like emeralds across the turquoise waters of the South Pacific, the islands and atolls of French Polynesia are unmatched in their allure. Here await sun-kissed beaches, lush rain forests, and barrier reefs teeming with Technicolor sea life, as well as intriguing cultures immortalized by novelist James Michener, songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein, and artist Paul Gauguin. The m/s Paul Gauguin takes its name from the French painter who spent the last years of his life in Tahiti. The intimate 332-guest vessel was specifically designed to cruise the South Pacific and sails these storied isles year-round, navigating shallow waters as nimbly as a yacht.
The ship’s informal ambience reflects the relaxed nature of the region. A much-loved troupe known as the Gauguines — Tahitians who serve as staff, entertainers and storytellers — add a uniquely South Pacific touch to life on board. Best of all, The Gauguin offers an all-inclusive experience, with airfare from Los Angeles, gratuities, 24-hour room service, bottled water, soft drinks, and select wines and spirits all included in the cruise fare.
All suites and staterooms feature ocean views, and nearly 70 percent have private balconies. Guests who book category B suites or higher receive in-suite bar service, an iPod® music system, and the service of a butler who can unpack your bags, make appointments for you at the spa, or arrange a private car or lunch reservation in port.
A crew-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.5 ensures the highest level of personal attention. The maitre d’ will remember your favorite table, and your stateroom stewardess will fill your fruit basket with the ripe fruits you prefer.
The exclusive treatment continues ashore. Guests enjoy a day on the cruise line’s private isle, Motu Mahana, complete with snorkeling, full bar service, and a barbecue with Polynesian entertainment. The ship also features a retractable watersports marina from which you can kayak or windsurf. Or set out in the Zodiac® for an optional diving excursion; The Gauguin is the only luxury ship in French Polynesia to offer PADI certification onboard.
Paris Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, Chef Propriétaire of the world-renowned, two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius, creates signature dishes and menus to be featured aboard ship. The three dining venues range from elegant traditional to casual al fresco, and all offer open seating.
Voyages of seven to 14 nights are available aboard The Gauguin, and encompass the Society Islands of Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, and the private island of Motu Mahana, as well as select islands in the Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, and Marquesas archipelagos.
Dolphin-Watching Expedition ♥
All-Inclusive Package Experience ♥
Exclusive and Private Retreats ♥
Paris Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato ♥
Honeymoon Gift Registry ♥
Strolling Hand in Hand ♥
The Islands of French Polynesia ♥
Tahitian Blessing Ceremony ♥
10-Night Tahiti Hotel & Cruise Package
Enjoy a longer stay in Tahiti with our special 10-night hotel and cruise package that includes a 3-night pre-cruise stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, a luxurious 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin, roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, and transfers.
The package is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a longer stay in Tahiti at a tremendous value and is available:
March 6, 2013, with rates from $4,770 per person
April 17; May 8, 2013, with rates from $4,870 per person
June 5; October 23, 2013, with rates from $5,070 per person
July 3, 31, 2013, with rates from $5,170 per person
On this 10-night package, The Gauguin sails roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, visiting the scenic islands of Raiatea and Taha’a with overnights in Bora Bora and Moorea. Itinerary highlights include a day on Motu Mahana, our private islet off the coast of Taha’a, featuring a delicious barbecue lunch and refreshments, and complimentary use of our private white-sand beach in Bora Bora.
The InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa has long been rated the top hotel on the island of Tahiti, located alongside a lagoon with breathtaking views of the island of Moorea. The resort is situated on 30 acres of manicured gardens and features two infinity pools, a fitness center, tennis courts, Deep Nature Spa by Alogtherm, and a lagoonarium containing approximately 2,000 tropical fish. The resort is famous for its dinner shows at Le Tiare restaurant, which feature the internationally renowned Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti performance group, and its Le Lotus overwater gourmet restaurant offers one of the finest culinary experiences in Tahiti. As part of the package, guests receive 3-night accommodations in a lagoon-view room at the resort with daily breakfast. For the ultimate Tahiti experience, an upgrade to an overwater lagoon bungalow is available for an additional $440 per person.
For reservations, please call 877-440-6117.
To begin creating your Honeymoon Registry, click here.
Select sailings and new bookings only. Rates listed are per person, based on double occupancy, and include roundtrip Los Angeles, California to Papeete, Tahiti flights, 3-night accommodations in a lagoon-view room with daily breakfast, a 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands cruise on The Gauguin, and transfers. Government fees and taxes of $89 per person are not included. Single rates are available upon request.
Honeymoon in Paradise Package
Strolling hand in hand on a palm-lined beach. Sipping Champagne on your private balcony as you watch the sun dip behind the horizon. Savoring gourmet specialties during a leisurely candlelight dinner. Viewing colorful tropical fish as you and your loved one float in a kayak over a coral reef. Indulging in a couples’ massage at a luxurious onboard spa.
It’s hard to imagine a more romantic setting than the exquisite islands of French Polynesia, with their dramatic mountainscapes, white-sand beaches, spectacular sunsets, and perfect tropical climate. And there’s no better way to experience Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, and beyond than aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, named a “Top 20 Small Cruise Ship” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler again in 2012—the 14th year in a row, since 1998.
Aboard this special ship, you’ll experience the joyful ambiance and casual lifestyle of the South Seas on unique itineraries that draw close to idyllic ports larger vessels simply can’t approach.
Adding to that carefree spirit is our all-inclusive pricing. With all dining (even special venues for which many other cruise lines charge extra), all entertainment, access to our onboard watersports marina, a complimentary day on our private white-sand beach off the coast of Bora Bora and complimentary day on our private motu off the coast of Taha’a, and gratuities for room stewards and dining staff all included, you never have to worry about costs.
Our honeymoon guests also receive a complimentary honeymoon package that includes an invitation to a special gathering featuring a Tahitian Blessing Ceremony performed by Les Gauguines and hosted by the Cruise Director, an in-stateroom celebratory bottle of Champagne, one 8”x 10” photo portrait, and an exclusive pillow gift. Click here to view our deluxe honeymoon package that is available for an additional cost.
We even offer a honeymoon gift registry that lets you choose a “wish list” of gifts, ranging from shore excursions to dining and spa options. Friends and family can visit the gift registry quickly and conveniently to select the gift (or gifts) they would like to give. Paul Gauguin Cruises takes care of the rest!
No wonder more than 15,000 people have chosen The Gauguin for their honeymoon since its inaugural sail in 1998! Join us for the celebration of the beginning of your new life together.
To book your honeymoon cruise of a lifetime, call 877-440-6117.
To begin creating your Honeymoon Registry, click here.
Spend your honeymoon aboard The Gauguin and enjoy these complimentary amenities as our gift to you:
Special gathering featuring a Polynesian blessing ceremony performed by Les Gauguines and hosted by the Cruise Director
In-stateroom celebratory bottle of Champagne
One 8”x10” photo portrait
Exclusive pillow gift
Featured on all sailings of The Gauguin are two exclusive and private retreats.
Off the coast of Taha’a in the Society Islands lies the islet of Motu Mahana. Here you are free to do as you please. Relax in the shade of a palm tree, unwind to the songs of the Gauguines, indulge in a motu massage, or float the day away in the aquamarine lagoon. When refreshments are in order, enjoy a cocktail from our floating bar.
In Bora Bora, guests aboard The Gauguin have access to our exclusive, private beach on a motu off the coast of the island. Year after year, our guests agree — there’s nothing better than relaxing on our white-sand motu and admiring Bora Bora’s postcard-perfect scenery from across the crystal-clear turquoise lagoon.
Honeymoon Gift Registry
Our Registry lets you choose a “wish list” of gifts, ranging from shore excursions to dining and spa options. Friends and family can visit the gift registry quickly and conveniently to select the gift (or gifts) they would like to give. Paul Gauguin Cruises takes care of the rest!
On Board Experiences
Onboard watersports marina for complimentary kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Onboard PADI Certification for divers, both novice and experienced.
Three open seating dining venues. The food aboard our vessel may forever set the standard as the most sumptuous meals you ever tasted. We even cater to special requests, with delicious vegetarian and low-carb options available on request. And throughout your dining experience, our attentive staff will discreetly ensure that the dishes you select are what you want, that your complimentary wine is perfectly paired, and that you are surrounded with convivial company.
The culinary creations of Jean-Pierre Vigato, Chef Propriétaire of the world-renowned, two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius in Paris, will be featured aboard. Chef Vigato’s cuisine will be featured in La Veranda.
L’Etoile (our main dining room) — From the moment you are greeted at L’Etoile, you know you’re in for an exquisite dining experience. Open for dinner only, our elegant main dining room surrounds you with a perfectly appointed décor, crisp linens, and an array of tempting specialties, expertly prepared.
La Veranda (for an alternate dining experience) — Enjoy indoor/outdoor dining for breakfast and lunch. In the evening, La Veranda is transformed into a gourmet, reservation-only dining venue.
Le Grill — For more casual dining, enjoy a breakfast and lunch buffet at Le Grill. And savor Polynesian specialties at dinner.
Immerse yourself in the gentle yet exotic Polynesian culture aboard The Gauguin. Our beloved troupe of Gauguines—local Tahitians who serve as cruise staff, entertainers, and storytellers—add the unique personality of Tahiti to every sailing. Some activities hosted by Gauguines may involve trying your hand at the tradition of pareo tying or chatting about life in French Polynesia over tea in La Palette.
As the evening begins, perhaps you’ll watch the beautiful profile of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu recede from view during a Captain’s “Sail Away” cocktail reception. After dinner, every evening features lively entertainment in the Grand Salon, where you might see the Gauguines retell ancestral legends through dance.
Our shore excursions offer the most exciting tours and dramatic scenery in the South Pacific. The opportunity to experience each destination in the most authentic, in-depth meaningful way is the very essence of luxury cruising with Paul Gauguin. To that end, we have created a variety of unique opportunities for you to explore the local environment. Enjoy the white sand beaches with swaying palms, hike the spectacular mountain peaks, or snorkel in the multi-hued lagoons with the one you love.
Here are our Top 5 Shore Excursions
Circle Island by Waverunner (Bora Bora)
Experience the unparalleled beauty of Bora Bora’s lagoon in a fun-filled new way during this scenic and exciting waverunner excursion around the island.
Depart the pier for the brief transfer via Le Truck to the waverunner launching point. Upon arrival, your guide will provide you with your safety and waverunner instructions, then lead you on a one-hour journey to the lagoon’s most remote and idyllic spots. En route, your guide will select the best location to stop for a swim or explore a motu.
Aquasafari - Underwater Walk (Bora Bora)
Discover why Bora Bora’s spectacular lagoon is considered to be among the most beautiful in the world during this unique underwater adventure.
Depart the pier for the brief water-taxi ride to your comfortable motorized dive boat. After embarking the dive boat, your certified diving instructor will explain your safety and diving instructions and help you put on your helmet. Your head will remain dry inside the helmet; you can even wear your glasses as you freely maneuver about in total security just a few feet below the surface. Plastic shoes, wetsuits, masks, and snorkels will also available, as there will be time for snorkeling while the other guests take their underwater walk.
You will then descend the ladder into the crystal-clear water and commence your 30-minute underwater adventure. As you walk along the sandy bottom past exotic coral formations, you will see an abundance of iridescently colored tropical fish that are gentle enough to feed by hand. No swimming or diving experience is required.
Snorkel and Black Pearl Farm Adventure (Taha'a)
Explore Tahiti’s most unique and sought-after treasures during this canoeing and snorkeling adventure and a visit to the Black Pearl Farm.
Depart the pier aboard a motorized outrigger canoe for the 30-minute ride to Taha’a, Raiatea’s sister island, which shares the same lagoon. Upon arrival in Taha’a, you will proceed for a visit to Poerani, a black pearl farm. The vanilla industry is the island’s most important business, followed closely by the production of black pearls. At the black pearl farm, you will learn all about the most beautiful jewel of French Polynesia: the magnificent black pearl. This informative stop will help you understand the value of these lustrous jewels in these islands – and around the world.
Continue on to a small motu for an opportunity to snorkel in its crystal-clear water. This motu is located close to a pass where experienced snorkelers can observe the drop-off of the reef. Don your snorkeling gear and enter the water, where you will see wonderful underwater fauna and a myriad of tropical fish swimming around you.
Trails of the Ancients - Trek (Moorea)
Don’t miss this fun, informative, and interactive visit to a relatively little visited side of Tahiti, as onboard lecturer archaeologist Mark Eddowes leads a unique cultural tour of the upland rain forest of Opunohu valley.
Mark Eddowes has worked clearing, mapping, excavating and restoring archaeological sites in the Opunohu valley since the 1980s. He works particularly on the life of the ancient Tahitians in this natural environment, studying their ancient habitation sites, agricultural terrace complexes, stone tool workshops, and ancient temples or marae. The recognized expert on the marae of the Society Islands, Mark will share with you his research results into the history of the temples, the rituals practiced there, and the warrior chiefs associated with them.
You will also learn about the uses in ancient times of the flora and tree species of the island for canoe manufacture, medicinal uses, and the sculpture of ti'i (tiki figures) and traditional house manufacture. Also on the itinerary of this tour are the landing site of Captain James Cook in 1777, the Opunohu agricultural school, and Belvedere lookout point.
Then, follow shady trails within the forest, between the ancient archaeological sites. Your transport will be on the traditional Le Truck, providing vista views and spectacular scenery along the way.
Dolphin-Watching Expedition (Moorea)
Join American marine biologist Dr. Michael Poole, a dolphin and whale specialist in French Polynesia since 1987, or his assistant for this combination eco-tour and research expedition focusing on wild, free-ranging dolphins.
Depart the pier aboard a covered boat for the scenic ride to Moorea’s reef. Spinner dolphins, rough-tooth dolphins, and pilot whales can be seen around Moorea, with spinner dolphins regularly swimming inside the lagoon. Most often you will see schools of acrobatic spinner dolphins, while listening to informative commentary about their remarkable life and society at sea.
Dolphins are found on 95% of the tours, but the engaging narrative and sheer magnificence of Moorea’s coastline will ensure a rewarding time in any event. Guests visiting between July and early November may also have an opportunity to view humpback whales performing their annual mating and calving rituals.
While viewing Moorea’s dramatic beauty from the sea, you will also learn about French Polynesia’s geology. Following your tour and time permitting, you may have an opportunity to go swimming or snorkeling directly from the boat before returning to the pier.
To view videos of some of these Shore Excursions click here.