Experience the South Pacific on the m/s Paul Gauguin
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.”
Not only is it one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, but it was the first thing I thought of as I was collecting the photos from Paul Gauguin Cruises for this article.
One glance at their brochure is all it took for me to decide that this might be the perfect way to explore the islands of the South Pacific.
Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship, the m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. The renowned, 5+-star m/s Paul Gauguin was built specifically to sail the waters of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. South Pacific itineraries range from seven to 14 nights and feature the most beautiful ports of call including: Bora Bora, Moorea, Cook Islands, Huahine, Raiatea, and more. With just 332 guests and 217 crew members, the 1:1.5 crew-to-guest ratio is one of the highest of any cruise ships.
While Paul Gauguin is a luxury experience, they provide an extraordinary value. All inclusive fares include spacious oceanview accommodations, all meals, complimentary beverages including select wines and spirits throughout the ship, all entertainment, gratuities, and more. Spacious suites and staterooms (more than 70% with private balconies), a choice of three open-seating dining venues, and an extensive spa are among her luxurious attributes. The atmosphere aboard this recently renovated ship radiates Polynesian flair. The Gauguines—local Tahitians who serve as cruise staff, entertainers, and storytellers add the unique personality of Tahiti to every sailing.
Watersports are one of the highlights of the Polynesian experience, and the m/s Paul Gauguin is constructed to take full advantage of these irresistible waters, with accessibility to ports and adventures that other ships can’t offer. The ship’s small footprint enables it to navigate lagoons that larger ships would never dare to enter. Their retractable, on board water sports marina brings guests down to sea level, where they can hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or embark on a Zodiac® for optional diving adventures.
Of course, I can’t write this article without mentioning the romance the South Pacific is known for. This is the ideal setting for engaged couples, vow renewals, newlyweds, and couples celebrating an anniversary. Paul Gauguin Cruises incorporates elements of authentic Polynesian practices for guests looking to commemorate new beginnings and unique celebrations. Adorned in tropical flowers and wrapped in a tifaifai — a Polynesian quilt — couples can celebrate their love to the music of the Polynesian people and the picture-perfect backdrop of the South Pacific.
SunRiver resident and avid cruiser Donna Mackay recently sailed on the m/s Paul Gauguin. After twelve cruises on various large cruise lines, she was looking for something different. She selected Paul Gauguin because it was a luxury cruise, offering unique itinerary and a small ship experience.
” From the moment of boarding, I knew it was the right choice. Key things that set it apart were: friendliness of staff, the beauty of the room with its mahogany cabinets, the large bathroom with tub, conversation areas around the ship, the inboard marina, and the quality and variety of food venues. The cultural information available and being able to attend astronomical presentations greatly enhanced this particular cruise. I loved the beach day with the floating bar and barbecue lunch. They have a very high standard of ensuring that passengers enjoyed their cruise and I liked that beverages and gratuities were included.” When I asked her what the highlights were, she replied ” the Tahitian evening where everyone was presented with fresh flowers; listening to the band play the song, Southern Cross, on the pool deck as we were cruising the South Pacific. Swimming with stingrays and black-tipped sharks.”
In fact, Donna loved the experience so much, she is hosting a group cruise in June 2014 on the Fiji to Australia sailing. She chose this sailing because of the opportunity to visit World War II battle sites since both her father and stepfather served there. Guests embark in Lautoka, Fiji’s “Sugar City” and cruise to Vanuatu, the island chain that
inspired James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tales of the South Pacific. Next is Guadalcanal, whose very name is synonymous with a turning point of World War II. Then it’s Papua New Guinea, set on the second-largest island in the world. Guests visit the island of Bougainville, with its World War II sites, traditional handicrafts, and natural wonders. Rabaul, features fantastical landscape frozen in lava is reminiscent of Pompeii; and Samarai Island, a National Historical Heritage Island. Guests disembark in Cairns, Australia, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the cruise of a lifetime for anyone wanting to see historic World War II sites and some of the exotic ports in the South Pacific.
Polynesians have been greeting visitors for centuries with their spirit of warmth and welcome. It’s no wonder Tahiti served as the inspiration for some of Paul Gauguin’s famous masterpieces. If you want to experience the best of the South Pacific and see why Paul Gauguin spent his final years there, consider a cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin for your next vacation. The islands feature some of Mother Nature’s best works of art.