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PAUL GAUGUIN SOUTH PACIFIC CRUISES

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South Pacific cruises are the specialty of the Paul Gauguin. Launched in 1998, the 332-guest six-star ship is the longest continuously operating luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific.

All-inclusive cruises include fine dining, select wines and spirits, soft drinks, 24-hour room service, onboard gratuities, live entertainment, onboard lectures and use of Paul Gauguin's retractable watersports marina. The Paul Gauguin has 215 international crew members, resulting in a high 1:1.5 crew-per-guest ratio.

Cruise itineraries

The Paul Gauguin cruise ship sails on many South Pacific itineraries, ranging from seven to 14 nights. Society Islands cruises, which begin and end in Papeete, Tahiti, visit Raiatea, Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Bora Bora and Moorea. Nine-night French Polynesia cruises incorporate Fakarava, in the Tuamotus. Ten-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruises add Huahine and Rangiroa.

Paul Gauguin luxury cruises also visit Aitutaki and Raratonga, in the Cook Islands, on 11-night voyages that begin or end with a Society Islands cruise. Thirteen and 15-night departures add Tonga and Fiji to the Society Islands and Cook Islands cruise.

Four Paul Gauguin South Pacific cruises add Marquesas to the Tuamotos and Society Island cruises, on 14-night voyages. Two new departures combine New Zealand, Tonga, Cook Islands and Society Islands on 14-night cruises.

Pre & post-cruise hotels

In August 2009, Pacific Beachcomber, owner of four InterContinental luxury resorts in French Polynesia, bought Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Pre- and post-Paul Gauguin cruise hotel stays are easy to arrange at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa and the InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa.

Pacific Beachcomber is also developing The Brando, a luxury eco-resort on Tetiaroa, the private island previously owned by Marlon Brando.

Staterooms and suites

Ranging in size from 200 sq. ft. to 588 sq. ft., all accommodations on the Paul Gauguin have ocean views. Seventy per cent of Paul Gauguin's staterooms and suites have private balconies.

Each stateroom/suite also has a flat screen TV, CD/DVD player, safe, hair dryer, fridge stocked with soft drinks, beer and bottled water, bathrobes, slippers and walk-in closet. Most have queen-size beds and full-size bathtubs and showers. (A few have twin beds and shower-only.)

Paul Gauguin dining

Guests on Paul Gauguin South Pacific cruises can dine at three restaurants. L'Etoile serves gourmet French and international cuisine à la carte for lunch and dinner.

La Veranda offers breakfast and lunch indoors and al fresco. In the evening, La Veranda is a reservations-only French bistro.

Le Grill has buffet breakfasts and poolside lunches. South Pacific dinners feature dishes like grilled local fish, Polynesian prawns and Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée.

Onboard activities

Paul Gauguin guests can listen to lectures about South Pacific flora, fauna and culture, view Polynesian artifacts in an art gallery, shop in a duty-free boutique and participate in pareo-tying and marine conservation classes. A spa offers fitness classes, massages and other treatments.

Besides swimming in the pool on Deck 8, guests can enjoy windsurfing, kayaking and waterskiing from the retractable watersports platform. Paul Gauguin is the only luxury cruise ship in French Polynesia that offers onboard certification for novice divers. Guests can also take snorkeling lessons and diving classes from PADI dive masters.

Entertainment and dress code

Les Gauguines perform Polynesian dances in the Grand Salon after dinner. Guests can dance at La Palette lounge and disco.

A piano bar and Le Casino offer additional onboard entertainment.

The dress code on the Paul Gauguin is smart casual, but not formal. For example, men wear slacks and button-down shirts. Ties are not required. Women can wear pantsuits or cocktail dresses. Jeans, shorts and T-shirts are not appropriate during the evenings.

Private beaches

Moto Mahana is a private island retreat off the coast of Taha'a. Most Paul Gauguin cruises spend a day here, so guests can enjoy snorkeling, watersports, a barbecue and bar, with entertainment by the Gauguines.

On Bora bora, guests enjoy sunbathing, volleyball and great snorkelling at an exclusive, private white sand beach.

Paul Gauguin shore excursions

Optional shore excursions include a stingray ballet and snorkel safari in Bora Bora, a tour of the Motu Black Pearl Farm on Taha'a, a lagoon cruise at Aitutaki, Cook Islands and the Swallows Cave and Nuku Island in Tonga.

Guests can book shore excursions onboard the Paul Gauguin or pre-request shore excursions by e-mail or FAX. They can also pre-book golf at the 18-hole Moorea Green Pearl championship course.

Contact your travel agent for reservations and information on early booking savings and promotions on Paul Gauguin cruises. Travel agents can also notify the Paul Gauguin if you are celebrating a special occasion onboard. First and second honeymoons are very popular, now that couples can legally get married in Tahiti.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Paul Gauguin Cruises: www.pgcruises.com

Air Tahiti Nui: www.airtahitinui.com

More information about Paul Gauguin Cruises:

Small Ships - Big Incentives

Tahiti Travel Incentive Programs

More things to see and do in French Polynesia:

Tahiti Honeymoons - Romantic Vacations in French Polynesia

Tahiti - Hiking the Fautaua Valley Trail

Aranui Freighter Cruise

Marquesas Islands Cruise