As the m/s Paul Gauguin takes you to French Polynesia, this storied ship also brings French Polynesia to you. Travelers will find something new to explore around every bend, from sacred sites and archaeological landmarks that are among the best preserved in French Polynesia to the colorful sea life that can be experienced on a SCUBA or snorkeling expedition. Presentations by a variety of special guests enhance each voyage. This is more than a vacation—you’re about to embark on journey filled with culture and enrichment.
Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins—Our Tahitian Ambassadors
As soon as you step aboard The Gauguin, you’ll be greeted by our beloved troupe of local Tahitians—Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins—who hail from the islands and serve as cruise hosts, entertainers, and storytellers. They share their rich culture with you and bring the spirit of Polynesia to life.
On board, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins participate in many activities and hands-on demonstrations, all designed to share the many interesting and unique facets of their lifestyle. They offer ukulele lessons, Tahitian language classes, and basket weaving with coconut palm leaves. They retell ancestral legends, offer Tahitian dance lessons, lead traditional shell jewelry classes, and share various ways to tie a pareo.
During visits to Motu Mahana, Les Gauguines and Le Gauguins welcome you to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private island with authentic Polynesian music and warm smiles.
In the evening, enjoy traditional Tahitian performances by Les Gauguins and Les Gauguine and local island dance groups that come aboard the ship, including the Children of Huahine.
Each voyage, The Gauguin celebrates the food and culture of French Polynesia on Tahitian Night. Local mamas come aboard the ship to help guests make fresh flower leis and heis (crowns) while local musicians perform traditional Tahitian songs. The Gauguin’s dining venues serve a special course-by-course Tahitian menu featuring island specialties. After dinner, a famous dance troupe from the island of Moorea performs in the ship’s Grand Salon.
Experience Islands Authentically Through Shore Excursions by Land & Sea
Throughout the voyage, the opportunity to experience each destination in the most authentic, in-depth, and meaningful way is at the very essence of Paul Gauguin Cruises. You’ll find a myriad of opportunities to discover the dramatic beauty, rich history, and unique culture of these islands up close, by land and sea.
On land, you can explore on your own or choose from optional shore excursions that include nature hikes, archaeological expeditions, island tours by Le Truck or 4x4 Jeep, black-pearl farm adventures, and so much more.
Step back in history on the island of Hiva Oa, which is the burial place of legendary artist Paul Gauguin, as well as home of the largest stone sculptures in the Marquesas, considered to be linked to the famous tikis of Easter Island.
At sea, float effortlessly over coral reefs and view a variety of tropical fish, stingrays, reef sharks, and sea turtles on optional snorkeling excursions. From The Gauguin’s retractable watersports marina, enjoy windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Dive deeper alongside The Gauguin’s SCUBA instructors and get an up-close look at the incredible marine life on a dive excursion.
Special Guests on Select Sailings
Paul Gauguin Cruises is also pleased to welcome special guests representing a wide variety of interests aboard upcoming sailings of The Gauguin. Whether you are interested in art, wine, music, Polynesian life and culture, or the wonders of the deep, we have arranged for an expert in the field to join us on designated cruises, to offer insights, lectures, performances, workshops, and more. Here is a sampling of upcoming special guests.
A mainstay of Hawaii’s music scene for more than 30 years, Jamie Lawrence has appeared on Grammy Award-nominated works, recorded CDs of his own, and delighted audiences around the globe. Enjoy performances on the October 20, 2018, Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands cruise.
Jonny Ross is one of the UK’s most in-demand singers. His varied repertoire of swing, pop, and rock makes him a popular act for all ages and audiences. His wealth of experience in charming audiences will have you dancing and singing late into the evening on the May 26, 2018, Cook Islands & Society Islands sailing and the June 6, 2018, Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage.
Polynesian native Jessica Vaitiare Chin Foo has developed a high-quality wine brand that speaks to the elegance of diverse women, while also paying tribute to Paul Gauguin’s odyssey in French Polynesia and his passion for women and art. Join us aboard the June 23, 2018, Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage as Jessica recounts her journey through the wine industry in Davis, California, and offers a tasting of Gauguine Wines and wines from her sister winery, Putah Creek Wines.
Maurice Bligh is a man with mission: to set the record straight about his famous forebear, who is widely known as “Captain Bligh” of the legendary HMS Bounty that sailed the Pacific. Join Maurice aboard The Gauguin on the November 17, 2018, Cook Islands & Society Islands sailing as he reveals historic truths about Admiral William Bligh.
Art History Professor Caroline Boyle-Turner is an acclaimed expert on Paul Gauguin and his circle of artists. She will enrich your appreciation of our ship’s namesake through a series of lectures when you join us aboard the October 20, 2018, Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands voyage.
French Polynesia anthropology and archaeology expert Mark Eddowes has captivated guests of The Gauguin with fascinating tales of French Polynesia’s storied past, sharing his wealth of knowledge through lectures that that range from “The Cult of the Tiki” and “The Ancient Culture of the Marquesas Islands” to the real story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. These lectures are often cited as a highlight by our guests, and he also guides selected shore excursions.
Wildlife Conservation Society Partnership
Paul Gauguin Cruises is proud to partner with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to offer the Wildlife Discovery Series—an exciting program where guests of The Gauguin have the opportunity to learn about marine wildlife and habitats from some of the world’s most fascinating scientists and conservationists. During this series, lecturers share their research and expertise during presentations aboard select sailings.
Jason Patlis, Executive Director, Marine Conservation, oversees WCS’s global marine conservation portfolio across 25 countries. Benefit from his deep and wide-ranging expertise in all aspects of natural resource management during his presentations aboard The Gauguin on the July 16, 2018, Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage.
Discover more about the biology and conservation of sea turtles during enlightening presentations by Natalia A. Rossi, Cuba Country Manager for the WCS Mesoamerica & Western Caribbean Program, on The Gauguin’s October 6, 2018, Society Islands & Tahiti Iti sailing.
To see the full line-up of upcoming lectures for the Wildlife Discovery Series, please visit pgcruises.com.
Paul Gauguin Cruises has also partnered with WCS to offer Stewards of Nature, an experiential family program that invites guests to discover and value nature through hands-on, interactive learning for children ages 7-17, as well as family members. Every day of the voyage, there is a combination of naturalist-led island and/or beach excursions, science activities, crafts, games, and other adventures—for a nominal fee, all are included for children. The program is available on summer and holiday sailings, and family members are invited and encouraged to participate in most activities for the additional cost of the shore excursions.
Depending on their itinerary, children might learn about underwater life during a snorkeling excursion, observe the ocean or the stars through binoculars or an onboard telescope, and learn about different kinds of marine life and their habitats. Other activities include going on a dolphin-watching expedition, swimming with sharks and rays, playing beach games and racing hermit crabs, enjoying a dance performance, and learning what it means to be a Steward of Nature.
Embracing the Art of Polynesia
Paul Gauguin Cruises also has an art collection on board that features Polynesian fine art and works that showcase early explorers. Limited-time exhibits of paintings and photography aboard the ship by respected Polynesian artists are displayed as well, so you can see up close and firsthand how the singular qualities of light and beauty in French Polynesia inspire the creative imagination.
Our coveted 7-to 14-night itineraries bring you all of the exciting elements of cruising immersed in Polynesian hospitality. Your Gauguin Experience is embraced by the history and culture of the islands, by land and sea, and is enriched by exceptional guest hosts, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins, and local experts. We can’t wait for you to experience Polynesia’s true paradise!
To view the line-up for the Wildlife Discovery Series, click here.
For information on the Stewards of Nature family program, click here.
For a listing of our Guest Hosts on select sailings, click here.
To view our full collection of shore excursions, click here.
For information on our SCUBA diving program, click here.