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  • Bora_Bora_snorkel_kid_Paul_Gauguin - Snorkeling through turquoise reefs is one way the Paul Gauguin introduces young travelers to the natural wonders of French Polynesia.
  • man_snorkel_Paul_Gauguin - On the Paul Gauguin, it's always a great day when it's spent snorkeling and coming nose to nose with parrotfish, clownfish, giant clams and sea turtles.
  • Bora_Bora_snorkel_kid_Paul_Gauguin_2 - Get up close with nature while snorkeing on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • banc-de-carangues - Carangues dart through the turqouise lagoons of French Polynesia, seen on a Paul Gauguin Cruise.
  • Moorea_bungalow_jetski - Gotta love the overwater bungalows and water activities — diving, kayaking, jet skiing — during a Paul Gauguin visit to the InterContinental Resort Moorea.
  • catamaran_Paul_Gauguin - Paul Gauguin prepare for a snorkeling safari aboard a covered snorkeling boat.
  • Jetboat_7847 - Get the adrenaline pumping during a jetboat outing in French Polynesia's beauty aboard an exciting jetboat shore excursion.
  • catamaran_rays - A ballet of sting rays in a Bora Bora lagoon during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Huahine_jetski - Let loose by taking in Huahine by jetski, tropical wind in your face, during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Moorea_parasail - A Paul Gauguin guest experiences Moorea’s coastal beauty in a thrilling new way during a memorable parasailing adventure.
  • catamaran_7835 - Paul Gauguin guests ply the waters of French Polynesia aboard a catamaran.
  • diving_Paul_Gauguin - Set out for a scuba adventure from the Paul Gauguin's retractable water sports platform.
  • scuba_diving_instruction - The only luxury ship in French Polynesia  offering scuba certification courses onboard, the Paul Gauguin offers even novices the chance to explore coral reefs and canyon passes.
  • dive_boat_365 - Adventure is calling! On the Paul Gauguin, cruise passengers can board a Zodiac to explore the depths of the French Polynesia islands.
  • kayaking_1382 - Take advantage of the onboard water sports marina for complimentary kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding on the Gauguin.
  • snorkelers_private_isle - Passengers on the Paul Gauguin can obtain snorkeling equipment at the marina at the beginning of their cruise and keep it throughout their voyage.
  • scuba_exotic_fish - A lionfish in French Polynesia. Getting close to nature is just a scuba dive away on Paul Gauguin Cruises.
  • Huahine_snorkel - Wade into the warm waters of a pristine lagoon, hold hands and let go of everyday cares on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Motu_Mahana_kayaking - Off the coast of Taha'a in the Society Islands lies the islet of Motu Mahana, the Paul Gauguin's private retreat.
  • kayaking_Motu_Mahana-1 - Paul Gauguin Cruises reserves a private retreat off the coast of Taha'a in the Society Islands.
  • manta_ray - Get close enough to touch the soft, downy skin of a graceful manta ray during a snorkeling excursion on a Paul Gauguin sailing.
  • Balcony_Paul_Gauguin - Room with a view: Nearly 70% of the suites and staterooms on the Gauguin feature a balcony.
  • Balcony_Paul_Gauguin_2 - Nearly 70% of the suites and staterooms on the Paul Gauguin feature a balcony.
  • Balcony_view_Paul_Gauguin - A balcony stateroom aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Owners_Suite_701_Paul_Gauguin - Wake up in wonderland: Owner's Suite 701 aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Balcony_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin_4 - Room aplenty: the Balcony Stateroom (Category C) on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Balcony_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin_3 - Comfort far from home: inside the Balcony Stateroom  on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Balcony_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin_2 - Finishing touches: inside the Balcony Stateroom  on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Grand_Suite_Paul_Gauguin_3 - Luxury digs on Paul Gauguin Cruises: Stay in a Grand Suite and enjoy floating around paradise while your butler takes care of your vacation details.
  • Grand_Suite_Paul_Gauguin_2 - Inside one of the two Grand Suites on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Grand_Suite_Paul_Gauguin - Tasteful appointments inside the Grand Suite on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Owners_Suite_Paul_Gauguin_7002B - Owner's Suite 7002 on the Paul Gauguin features butler service and can accommodate up to four guests by adding two berths with a queen-size sofa bed. The bathroom includes a full-size tub and dressing area.
  • Owners_Suite_Paul_Gauguin_7002 - The sitting area in Owner's Suite 7002 aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Owners_Suite_Paul_Gauguin - Owner's Suite 701 on the Paul Gauguin features butler service and can accommodate up to four guests. Bathroom includes a separate shower and a dressing area.
  • Owners_Suite_Paul_Gauguin_701 - Bright touches in Owner's Suite 701 on the Paul Gauguin, which features butler service and can accommodate up to four guests.
  • Window_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin - Stretch out, then take in the view: The Window Stateroom (Category F) on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Veranda_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin - Veranda Staterooms (Category B) on the Paul Gauguin feature butler service and can accommodate a third guest by adding a roll-away.
  • Veranda_Suite_Paul_Gauguin - The roomy Veranda Suites on the Paul Gauguin feature butler service and can fit up to four guests by adding two berths with cribs or roll-aways.
  • Food_Apicius_Paul_Gauguin - Fresh seafood and local vegetables combine for a memorable meal aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LEtoile_Paul_Gauguin - The moment you're greeted at L'Etoile aboard the Paul Gauguin, you know you're in for an exquisite dining experience.
  • LaVeranda_Paul_Gauguin - Look for attentive service during the breakfast and lunch buffet at La Veranda on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Wine Steward_Paul_Gauguin - La Veranda aboard the Paul Gauguin serves a lavish breakfast and internationally themed lunch buffets. It transforms into a refined French bistro for dinner.
  • fish_dish_Paul_Gauguin - Fresh seafood, artfully presented, makes for a memorable meal aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LEtoile_Paul_Gauguin_2 - After a day of authentic experiences, you'll be rewarded with a world-class meal aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LEtoile_service - Wait staff at L'Etoile aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LEtoile_1771 - L'Etoile offers perfectly appointed décor, crisp linens and an array of tempting specialties, expertly prepared for guests of the Paul Gauguin.
  • al_fresco_Paul_Gauguin - Al fresco dining in paradise aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LEtoile_2041 - L'Etoile offers an elegant but relaxed setting and an array of tempting specialties for Paul Gauguin passengers.
  • LEtoile_dining_room - L'Etoile offers fine décor, crisp linens and an array of tempting specialties, expertly prepared for guests on the Paul Gauguin.
  • LaVeranda_0411 - La Veranda features floor to ceiling windows, indoor and fresco seating and a refined atmosphere for guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LaVeranda_1125 - La Veranda features floor to ceiling windows, indoor and fresco seating and a refined atmosphere for guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LeGrille_0110 - Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner poolside at Le Grille on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Jean-Pierre_Vigato_cuisinier - On the Paul Gauguin, delight in signature cuisine from Parisian celebrity chef Jean-Pierre Vigato, owner of the two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius.
  • champagne_Paul_Gauguin - Enjoy the champagne, beverages and cocktails aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Bora_Bora_snorkel_kid_Paul_Gauguin - Snorkeling through turquoise reefs is one way the Paul Gauguin introduces young travelers to the natural wonders of French Polynesia.
  • Bora_Bora_snorkel_kid_Paul_Gauguin_2 - Get up close with nature while snorkeing on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • AOTE_instructor_Paul_Gauguin - The Paul Gauguin's staff introduces young travelers to the natural wonders of French Polynesia through a hands-on learning program designed by explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau.
  • Kids_AOTE_Paul_Gauguin - The Paul Gauguin introduces young travelers to French Polynesia's natural wonders through a program created by explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society.
  • Motu_Mahana_volleyball - Beach fun: The Gauguin's Ambassadors of the Environment program introduces young travelers to the  natural wonders of French Polynesia.
  • LaPalette_1272 - Used for continental breakfast and afternoon tea, this spectacular observation lounge atop the Paul Gauguin ship transforms into a nightclub with an indoor/outdoor dance floor.
  • marina_1653 - Paul Gauguin's retractable onboard watersports marina offers kayaking and windsurfing at no extra cost.
  • Paul_Gauguin_Moorea - The Paul Gauguin in Moorea. The Gauguin has three restaurants, a luxury spa and a staff of 217.
  • couple_Paul_Gauguin - A couple relaxes during a shore excursion on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • sunset_Paul_Gauguin - The Paul Gauguin at sunset.
  • Paul_Gauguin_exterior - The Paul Gauguin has three restaurants, a luxury spa and its own water sports marina, as well as an attentive staff of 217.
  • Bora_Bora_bungalows_Paul_Gauguin - Spectacular Bora Bora: Built to navigate the narrow inlets of French Polynesia, the Paul Gauguin can maneuver from open ocean to shallow lagoon as nimbly as a yacht.
  • Moorea_pearls - See the South Pacific's famous black pearls during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Tahaa_aerial - Clear waters and Idyllic views of Paul Gauguin's private islet off the coast of Taha'a.
  • LaPalette_1272 - Used for continental breakfast and afternoon tea, this spectacular observation lounge atop the Paul Gauguin ship transforms into a nightclub with an indoor/outdoor dance floor.
  • Window_Stateroom_Paul_Gauguin - Stretch out, then take in the view: The Window Stateroom (Category F) on the Paul Gauguin.
  • Moana_Bora_bungalows_lagoon - The Paul Gauguin takes you to InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora, where distinctive bungalows perch above the water and offer the ultimate island escape.
  • Bora_Bora_lagoon - Can you say wanderlust? Great sightseeing abounds for Paul Gauguin guests visiting Bora Bora.
  • Thalasso_Bora_Bora_pool_05 - Reflect on this: The infinity pool at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, with Mount Otemanu in the background, is part of your Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • paul-gauguin-french-polynesia.jpg - Passenger make use of Paul Gauguin's water sports marina in French Polynesia.
  • Hiva_Oa_Marquesas - Paul Gauguin guests can hike to take in this view of the Marquesas' sun-kissed mountains and untouched wilderness.
  • Paul_Gauguin_lagoon - The Paul Gauguin's small size allows her to maneuver from deep seas to shallow lagoons as nimbly as a yacht.
  • Paul_Gauguin_Bora_Bora - Built for Bora Bora: The Paul Gauguin's size lets her  maneuver from open ocean to shallow waters as nimbly as a yacht.
  • Motu_Mahana_waters - Paul Gaguin's private islet off the coast of Taha'a offers idyllic views as well as pristine waters.
  • Tahiti_pool - Step into a magazine cover when the Paul Gauguin takes you to the InterContinental Resort Tahiti's sublime infinity pool.
  • Bora_Bora_private_beach - In Bora Bora, guests aboard the Paul Gauguin have access to the exclusive, private beach on a motu off the coast of the island.
  • Huahine_pier_Paul_Gauguin - Sittin' on the dock of the bay: Take a Paul Gauguin cruise and explore the island by foot, horseback or scuba.
  • tropical_fish_Moana_Bora_Bora - Step into a brilliantly colored lagoon during a visit to the InterContinental Le Moana Resort as part of a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • poolside_Paul_Gauguin - Bask in the Polynesian sunshine on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • pool_bar_Paul_Gauguin_2 - The pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin offers sweeping views, ample seating and a pool bar.
  • al_fresco_Paul_Gauguin - Al fresco dining in paradise aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • fish_dish_Paul_Gauguin - Fresh seafood, artfully presented, makes for a memorable meal aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • LesGeguines_Show - Take in a show in the evening where you might see the staff of the Paul Gauguin retell ancestral legends through dance.
  • South_Pacific_paddle - Aboard the Paul Gauguin you'll have the chance to encounter traditional Polynesian art and culture.
  • Kids_Dance - Enjoy authentic entertainment from across the generations while relaxing on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Tahiti_man - A resident of Tahiti: Enjoy close cultural encounters aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Polynesian_dance - Shows by local performers bring a taste of true Polynesian style to the pool deck of the Paul Gauguin.
  • art_Polynesian_influence - A statue, evocative of French Polynesia, in Owner's Suite 701 aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Gauguine_instrument - Take in songs, dances and cultural demonstrations from the staff of the Paul Gauguin sharing their heritage.
  • KIds_Dance2 - Even kids get into the action on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Gauguines_TMK - Take in a show in the Paul Gauguin's Le Grand Salon or on pool deck and learn how to dance in true Polynesian style.
  • Statue_Polynesian_influence - Staterooms aboard the Paul Gauguin feature new décor with Polynesian accents.
  • kayaking_Motu_Mahana - Enjoy the songs of the Paul Gauguin singers as they sing island tunes on Motu Mahana.
  • Tattoo_Moorea - Body art: A tattoo on a native of Moorea, part of the Paul Gauguin experience.
  • Huahine_shop - Known as the Garden Island for its lush interior, Huahine is home to small villages, pristine beaches and azure lagoons brimming with thousands of colorful fish.
  • Gauguines_Railing - Don't pass up the chance to encounter authentic Polynesian culture aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Wedding_Paul_Gauguin - The staff of the Paul Gauguin will create an unforgettable event designed especially for you and your special occasion.
  • Fatu_Hiva_Paul_Gauguin - Looking out over Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas islands aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • poolside_Paul_Gauguin - Bask in the Polynesian sunshine on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • casino_bar_Paul_Gauguin - Try your luck at Le Casino aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • bartender_Paul_Gauguin - Experience the genuine warmth of Paul Gauguin staff members dedicated to providing exceptional service during your stay.
  • Captain_Mirkovic - Captain Mirkovic explains an instrument panel on the bridge of the Gauguin.
  • fruit_Paul_Gauguin - Papaya, pineapple and other fresh fruit, on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Grand_Salon - Take in an afternoon talk or an evening performance of Polynesian music and dancing in the Paul Gauguin's Grand Salon lounge.
  • LaPalette_1252 - Used for continental breakfast and afternoon tea, this spectacular observation lounge atop the Gauguin also transforms into a nightclub with an indoor/outdoor dance floor.
  • LaPalette_1287 - La Palette, atop the Paul Gauguin, serves continental breakfast and afternoon tea.
  • casino_bar_1934 - Le Casino aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • pool_bar_0607 - The pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin offers sweeping views, ample seating and a pool bar.
  • pool_bar_Paul_Gauguin - The pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin offers sweeping views, ample seating and a pool bar.
  • pool_bar_Paul_Gauguin_2 - The pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin offers sweeping views, ample seating and a pool bar.
  • Deep-Nature-Spa-rocks-treatment - Indulge in a Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, an award-winning luxury spa, on your cruise. The warm rocks treatment is heavenly.
  • Deep-Nature-Spa-massage - Treat yourself to a massage at the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, an award-winning luxury spa aboard your Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • spa_facial - Indulge in a facial at the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, an award-winning luxury spa, aboard your Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Moana_Bora_Bora_deck - Wanna get away? Contemplate the good life when the Paul Gauguin takes you to its resort partner, the InterContinental Hotel Le Moana Bora Bora.
  • Moorea_bungalow - Remember those Hollywood classics set in the south seas? Live it out when the Paul Gauguin takes you to spectacular Moorea, near Tahiti.
  • Moorea_deck - Decked out with eye candy: The Paul Gauguin's itinerary includes a trip to the InterContinental Resort Moorea.
  • Moorea_Dolphin_Center - Take in the Moorea Dolphin Center during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Tahiti_bungalows_Paul_Gauguin_2 - The Paul Gauguin takes you to the InterContinental Resort Tahiti, the perfect place to spend a day in paradise.
  • Thalasso_Bora_Bora_lagoon - Enjoy direct access to the lagoon from the split-level deck of your villa at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Thalasso_Bora_Bora_villa - For a cruise vacation to remember, the Paul Gauguin sets you down for a stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa.
  • BoraBora_Thalasso_aerial - Soak in the views from Bora Bora's lagoon to Mount Otemanu and beyond at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, a highlight of the Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • beach_play - Play in the waters of a pristine lagoon during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Moorea_pose - Admire the multi-hued lagoon and palm-fringed beaches of Moorea, said to be the inspiration for Bali Hai, on a Paul Gauguin cruise.
  • Bora_Bora_private_beach_Paul_Gauguin - In Bora Bora, Paul Gauguin guests have access to the exclusive private beach on a motu off the coast of the island.
  • Motu_Mahana_drinks - Paul Gauguin guests relax at the bar on the beach at Motu Mahana, a tiny island off Taha'a in the Society Islands.
  • water_waiter - Paul Gauguin guests wade over to a "water waiter" along the beach at Motu Mahana.
  • private_island_Paul_Gauguin - Sipping in the unspoiled beauty of Paul Gauguin's private beach on Motu Mahana.
  • Tahaa_drinks - Let Paul Gauguin's staff fix you up with a cool beverage on their private islet, Motu Mahana.
  • BoraBoraMotu - Enjoy time on Paul Gauguin's private beach in Bora Bora.
  • Bora_Bora_overlook - Great sightseeing and photo opportunities abound on Bora Bora for guests aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Bora_Bora_motu - In Bora Bora, guests aboard the Paul Gauguin have access to an exclusive private beach on a motu off the coast of the island.
  • Raiatea_Isle - A view of the Raiatea Isle, known as "the sacred isle," in French Polynesia aboard the Paul Gauguin.
  • Bora_Bora_bay - Guests of the Paul Gauguin on an outcropping look over Bora Bora's lagoon.
  • Bora_Bora_Paul_Gauguin - The Paul Gauguin in her natural habitat: French Polynesia's Bora Bora.
  • Motu_Mahana_volleyball - Beach fun: The Gauguin's Ambassadors of the Environment program introduces young travelers to the  natural wonders of French Polynesia.

Paul Gauguin: Paint your South Pacific dream with the brush of luxury

Our review

Snapshot

Sailing the fantasy-like islands of Tahiti and French Polynesia on Paul Gauguin Cruises' flagship the Paul Gauguin is just about as dreamy as a cruise gets. The ambience is casual chic and oh so French from morning croissants to the gourmet-style cuisine at night. The sleek vessel is as romantic as the South Pacific ports it has been returning to for the past several years. In fact, many passenger redo vows on board, some even get married on the ship under a celestial Gauguin-like sunset echoing its vibrant colors off a blue lagoon.

Bask in the Polynesian sunshine on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.
Roger Paperno / © Pacific Beachcomber/Paul Gauguin CruisesBask in the Polynesian sunshine on the pool deck aboard the Paul Gauguin.

It's been a while since we sailed on the PG, but friends who have been on more recently confirm that the experience is as good as ever, maybe even better. We loved everything about her, from the lavish buffets spread on deck for breakfast to lunches the likes of which we hadn't seen since back in the day when the very French food-centric Paquet Lines was in business.

Built specifically to sail the shallow waters of the region, the Gauguin can explore remote areas inaccessible to bigger ships. Since its maiden voyage in 1998, the m/s Paul Gauguin has been the longest continually operating, year-round luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific. No other ship has offered this level of single-destination focus and expertise on a year-round basis for such an extended period of time. 

The ship reflects the informal, relaxing environment of the islands coupled with five-star service, comfort and luxury. Culinary sailings with Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato and ecology sailings with Jean-Michel Cousteau are always popular with Paul Gauguin visitors.

Where the Paul Gauguin sails

Destinations: The Paul Gauguin sails in and around Tahiti, the Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tuamotus, Tonga, Fiji and the Marquesas. 

Ratings & awards

Cruiseable           
Stern's           
Berlitz           
Cruise Critic           
  • Top 20 Small Cruise Ships, Conde Nast Traveler (2014)
    #1 Small-Ship Cruise Line for Families, Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards (2013)

About Ratings & awards

Cruises on this ship

This 4-minute video from Paul Gauguin Cruises takes a look at cultural immersion and experiential travel in French Polynesia and the South Pacific.

Highlights of my Paul Gauguin cruises

Paul Gauguin's food is some of the best afloat. The crew is a pure delight, as was our captain. (I was accompanied by my first mate, Richard.) But the pièce de résistance is hands down the retractable marina from which free water sports are provided such as  windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, Zodiac cruises and snorkeling in one of the gorgeous lagoons. The ship also offers PADI certified scuba diving techniques and lessons.

Food fabulous food

Ooh la la, the cuisine is tres bon on the Paul Gauguin. It is meticulously presented for mouthwatering appeal in all the restaurants: starting with Eoile, a dinner-only venue, and continuing on with La Veranda, the casual indoor/outdoor eatery with floor-to-ceiling windows that serves an amazing buffet at breakfast and lunch and becomes a dinner venue at night serving gourmet fare. Tip: Order fish, which the chefs prepare perfectly and is usually fresh from the sea. You'll need to reserve a table at La Veranda and Le Grill.

Even the ultra-casual Le Grill serves up impressive Pacific Rim rare. You can enjoy either breakfast or a light lunch lunch by the pool with freshly prepared salads and ripe tropical fruits (some ships serve fruit that is hard as a rock). This spot is fun at night when they serve up Polynesian dishes and lots of drinks. Take note that Paul Gauguin cruises are all inclusive, so your drinks and tips are already covered in your base fare. 

Enjoy clear waters and Idyllic views of Paul Gauguin's private islet off the coast of Taha'a.
Tim McKenna / © tim-mckenna.com/Paul Gauguin CruisesEnjoy clear waters and Idyllic views of Paul Gauguin's private islet off the coast of Taha'a.

Activities

The raison d'être of this cruise is visiting the islands so by day there is little to do on the ship as just about everybody gets off to take a tour or make their own way. I must say we did some numbers crunching last time and learned that it's cheaper to book a tour on the Internet or even when you arrive than pay for the line's offering. However, when you are on a Paul Gauguin-organized tour, you are assured of safety: If the tour doesn't arrive back in time, the ship will wait for you — no such guarantee if you're on your own, and some excursions have been late getting back to the ship.

On board you'll find a small fitness center and the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, which wasn't called that when I was on, but I do recall fabulous facials and massages. The French know how to pamper!

That's entertainment

What I love about this cruise is that they bring local Tahitian dancers on board who outperform many shipboard troupes. There's usually a large complement of adorable youngsters along with hunky guys and gorgeous gals who've mastered the art of hip swaying, similar to the hula. Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins, the ship's own troupe of Polynesian entertainers, perform ote'a — a complex line dance accompanied by drums conveying the ancestral legends of the Polynesian people. Sometimes there's a pianist, rock band or singer. It's always been highly entertaining during our three or four trips on the Paul Gauguin.

Stretch out, then take in the view: The Window Stateroom (Category F) on the Paul Gauguin.
Tim McKenna / © tim-mckenna.com/Paul Gauguin CruisesStretch out, then take in the view: The Window Stateroom (Category F) on the Paul Gauguin.

Stateroom creature comforts

We've stayed in various stateroom categories from top suite to veranda suite and can't complain, especially when we upgraded to one of the Owner's Suites, 531 square feet of luxury that comes with butler service. The smallest, cheapest suite is 200 square feet and has two portholes: Do it if you must, but to me a balcony is  simply de rigueur on these cruises.

Passenger makeup 

Lots of couples choose the Paul Gauguin. Guests are very discerning global travelers, and while many have cruised before, for some French Polynesia is a first. That's a real treat for us because we have been to the area many times by air and sea and know our way around. A few times ashore, as in Bora Bora, we took some passengers by the hand and showed them how to take the bus to the beach for just $1 U.S. We also gave them a list of our favorite restaurants. They were thrilled.

See the South Pacific's famous black pearls during a Paul Gauguin cruise.
Roger Paperno / Courtesy of Paul Gauguin CruisesSee the South Pacific's famous black pearls during a Paul Gauguin cruise.

The black pearl experience: Epic!

Tahitian pearls are some of the most exotic and desired pearls in the world. Guests can take a shore excursion to a black pearl farm or for those more inclined to shop on board,  at Hinerava.  

Disclosure

We did sail on the Paul Gauguin as a guest of the cruise line — meaning pretty much free (we paid for some extras) — but I can unabashedly admit I would do it over and over again, even after I've done it three or four times (lost count). See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy

Your take

Have you been aboard the Paul Gauguin? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What did you like best? What was the best part of your experience? I'd love to hear!

Help improve this article. See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

Interested in a cruise on this ship?

 

SEE ALL PAUL GAUGUIN SAILINGS

Patti Pietschmann
I'm the LA Travel Diva and spend time cruising with first mate Richard, traveling the world, reviewing fine restaurants, going to plays, movies and events. It's the good life.

Top highlights on this ship

  • What: Infinity pool
  • Where: Bora Bora

  • What: Lagoon & tropical fish
  • Where: Bora Bora

  • What: Bungalows
  • Where: Bora Bora
  • 5-star-plus, luxury cruise ship sailing around Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific
  • Unsurpassed service and attention to detail amid elegant, relaxing surroundings
  • All-inclusive pricing: select wines and spirits, soft drinks, bottled water and hot beverages
  • A choice of three dining venues
  • Access to an exclusive, private beach on a motu off the coast of Bora Bora
  • Watersports marina for complimentary kayaking, windsurfing, and paddle boarding
  • Optional PADI dive program and certification
  • Full entertainment program including Polynesian artists
  • Optional stays in overwater bungalow can be added to booking

Top dining options on board

L'Etoile

  • Style: French food with Polynesian twist
  • No additional cost
  • Open: Dinner

La Veranda

  • Style: French-inspired Continental fare
  • No additional cost
  • Open: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Le Grille

  • Style: Pacific Rim
  • No additional cost
  • Open: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Fast facts

332 Passengers [?]
215 Crew
7 Decks
2015 Maiden voyage
19,200 Tonnage [?]
513 Length in feet
72 Width in feet (max beam)
2015 REFURBISHED

Overheard

“I sat transfixed on my balcony as we approached Moorea, its series of jagged volcanic peaks and lush greenery perhaps even out-paradising Bora Bora.”

Cruise Travel magazine

 

Your take: share your experience


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