Breathtaking French Polynesia, also called Tahiti, is one of the world's most coveted luxury travel destinations.
But French Polynesia's 130 or so islands are scattered across a vast region of the South Pacific. That's why most visitors never see more than a couple of islands.
You'll see so much more of French Polynesia on a cruise. The Paul Gauguin is the most exclusive luxury cruise ship in French Polynesia--and fares include flights from L.A.
Another great reason to consider a Paul Gauguin Tahiti luxury cruise:
it's a bargain compared to Tahiti's notoriously high hotel-room rates.
In a Tahiti luxury resort, an "over-water bungalow" easily runs $2,000 per night and dinner for two $400.
How can you get around stratospheric Tahiti hotel rates without staying in a backpackers' hostel? The smart hack of Tahiti hotel is a Paul Gauguin cruise. Night by night, it is considerably cheaper than Tahiti hotels And Its fares are all-inclusive, so you don't have to pay for outlandishly priced meals and wine.
The pricing even includes Air Tahiti Nui flights from LAX, and since you'll be on a ship, you won't need inter-island flights. What's not included: off-the-ship excursions in your cruise's island ports. Each cruise offers highly discounted add-on hotel stays in top French Polynesia resorts before or after your cruise
Choices include InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (and other InterContinental hotels in Tahiti and The Brando, both operated by the company that owns Paul Gauguin. Find out more about extending your Paul Gauguin trip.
Paul Gauguin's home port is Papeete, the capital city of Tahiti; its itineraries visit French Polynesia's islands, Some longer itineraries call on South Pacific ports such as the Cook Islands and Fiji.
What's the Paul Gauguin like? It's a well-appointed small ship only 504 feet from bow to stern. Owned by the Tahiti-based company, Pacific Beachcomber, the ship has been sailing since 1998. It was renovated in 2013, and truly sparkles.
This small luxury cruise ship offers 166 cabins, carrying 332 pampered passengers maximum. The best cabins are suites with verandas and butler service. The crew-to-guest ratio is 1:1. The staff is English-speaking, and service is exceptional
The ship's passengers are a friendly mix.Most passengers are either Americans, Canadians (both French- and English-speaking), or French citizens.
As on many luxury cruises, passengers tend to be Baby Boomers with time and money. The ship does not attract a party crowd, and few passengers stay out after 11 p.m. Because French Polynesia is a romantic legend, quite a few passengers are honeymoon couples. Families with kids fill the ship on sailings during Christmas, school holidays, and summer
There are some possible downsides to a Paul Gauguin cruise. Passengers with limited mobility will be challenged. Only the ship's business center proviies wifi, and that's the typically shaky "Worldwide Wet." Shipboard fitness is confined to a gym. However, when the ship is in port, passengers can windsurf, paddleboard, and kayak, and borrow snorkel equipment, all at no charge.
Where Paul Gauguin Tahiti Cruises Go and What the Staterooms Are Like
Tahiti Luxury Cruise Itineraries Aboard Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin's Tahiti luxury cruise itineraries take 7, 10, 11, or 14 nights. Most of the cruises visit French Polynesia's most legendary islands of Bora Bora and Moorea. The longer itineraries include the distant Marquesas Islands, where French artist (and ship namesake) Paul Gauguin spent his final years.
Cruises typically begin with a day at sea, then check into a different port every day after that. The ship usually ports in the morning and sails off around 6 p.m., in time for drinks by ocean sunset.
Passengers have ample time and options for exploring the port islands.
Many passengers take the ship-organized excursions on each island. Some excursions explore the island's history and culture. Some provide a recreational adventure like canoeing, and other revolve around shopping trips to boutiques, galleries, and black pearl farms.
More independent passengers choose to visit the port on their own, either walking around the port village or renting bikes or scooters
Staterooms Aboard a Paul Gauguin Luxury Cruise Ship
Paul Gauguin staterooms are well-appointed and comfortable, with a nautical look that’s not glitzy. Nearly 70 per cent of staterooms have private balconies. All staterooms have a minibar, phones, small TV, iPod dock. Many staterooms feature butler service for whatever may want or need.
The best Paul Gauguin rooms are handsome, airy suites with a balcony and butler service. You can get them with a real queen bed (not two singles pushed together). The suites have a living-room area and plenty of drawers, counters, and closet space. The bathroom has a full tub with a shower head. Suites' balconies are large, with two lounge chairs and a table.
Tahiti Luxury Cruise Dining Aboard Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin luxury cruise passengers enjoy several bars and three full-service restaurants. One is a casual grill, ad the two other two are elegant and French-style, with upmarket dishes like foie gras, filet mignon, Pacific lobster, and catches of the day. Service is personal; passengers quickly develop relationships with waiters and maitre d's.
Breakfast and lunch offer high-quality buffets plus a la carte menu dishes. Dinner menus are extensive, providing a range of possible orders. And dinner menus change completely at least one per cruise, so dinner is not a "Groundhog Day" experience
Drinks are mixed to order, and a sommelier pours good wines, Old World and New. (A few wines and spirits are not part of Paul Gauguin’s all-inclusive pricing.) The ship has several bars, and your stateroom features an all-inclusive minibar. Shipwide cocktail parties are nightly affairs.
Restaurant seating is “freestyle”: by reservation at passengers’ chosen time, and with open (not assigned) seating, so passengers can mingle -- or not. Passengers with vegetarian and other restricted diets are happlly accommodated by the kitchen.
Room service is 24 hours, and if you're hungry between lunch and dinner, afternoon snacks are served at the main bar or delivered to butler-serviced staterooms.
Connect with Tahiti's Last Travel Bargain: Paul Gauguin Cruises
For More Info on a Tahiti Luxury Cruise Aboard Paul Gauguin