m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Dan Benedict


Journalist Dan Benedict has been writing and lecturing about astronomy aboard cruise ships since being asked to cover an eclipse cruise in 1998, and the intervening years have sent him to astronomical events from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica. He specializes in writing and speaking about items of interest to the casual stargazing passenger that can be easily seen with the unaided eye, such as the appearance of planets, bright stars and their constellations, satellites, meteor showers, and eclipses. He has written astronomy articles for Porthole and shipboard magazines, features for CruiseCritic.com, and a weekly astronomy column for twelve years for The Times of Trenton, New Jersey.

Dan points out that “one of the biggest problems for land-based stargazers is light pollution – unwanted artificial light from buildings, street lights, advertising signs, and other sources – that hides the dimmer sights in the night sky. It’s tough to find a truly dark sky anywhere any more. Many people have never even noticed the Milky Way. But when you are on a ship, you may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the nearest sources of light pollution and air pollution, and you get views of the sky like no place ashore.”

Join us aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin’s as this astronomy expert offers three presentations:

  • “Captain Cook and the Transit of Venus”
  • “Stargazing aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin” (what you’ll see on your specific voyage)
  • “Polynesian Wayfinding: Sailing to Tiny Islands in a Great, Big Ocean”
  • And a special presentation about astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere

He will also lead 30- to 60-minute nighttime star watches that involve identifying the planets, bright stars and constellations (especially those not visible from most of North America and Europe, such as the Southern Cross and alpha Centauri), and other interesting celestial objects visible to the naked eye.

other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Chef Jean Robert de Cavel
March 13, 2021

Award-winning chef Jean-Robert de Cavel has maintained a Mobil 5-star restaurant, opened several restaurants in the Cincinnati area, served as Chef-in-Residence at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, and been named a Master Chef by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a lecture and culinary demonstration by this acclaimed chef and entrepreneur.

Food & Wine
Guest Lecturer
Multiple sailings

Denis’s life calling was revealed to him when he led a group of Bora Bora junior high school students on a field trip, on which they viewed a pristine coral colony. Returning just days later, he found that the coral had been destroyed by the anchors of small boats. And he decided to do something about it.

Onboard Lecturer Mark Eddowes onboard the luxurious m/s Paul Gauguin.
Onboard Lecturer
Multiple sailings

For nine years, Mark Eddowes has captivated guests of the m/s Paul 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.

Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography
Multiple sailings

The University Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University, Dr. David Keeling has visited more than 185 countries and studied a wide range of topics, from the geography of exploration and discovery to socio-economic change. Join us aboard The Gauguin as he shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures.

Owner/Winemakers, Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards
July 17, 2021

Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join us aboard The Gauguin.

Food & Wine
Paul Gauguin Cruises guest host and winemake, Scott Harvey.
November 6, 2021

A native of California’s Sierra Mountains region, Scott Harvey developed a keen interest in wine as a high school foreign-exchange student in Germany. Between the two continents, he was fueled by an insatiable curiosity that they both could deliver, and he began developing a unique, signature style that blends influences of Old World Europe and New World California. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a presentation and tasting of his Amador Barbera and Zinfandel.

Food & Wine