Marquesas, The Tuamotus & Society Islands aboard Paul Gauguin

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From Tahiti, PAUL GAUGUIN Cruises invites you to embark on an all-new 15-day cruise to the heart of idyllic islands and atolls hemmed by stunning clear-water lagoons and surrounded by an exceptional coral reef. Aboard Le Paul Gauguin, set sail to discover French Polynesia, considered one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Le Paul Gauguin will stop at the heart of the Tuamotu Islands to explore the marvellous depths of the atoll of Fakarava, a UNESCO-classified nature reserve.

Discover the unique charms of the Marquesas Islands. The singer-songwriter Jacques Brel sang about the Marquesas Islands and the painter Paul Gauguin was inspired by these islands which stand like dark green fortresses surrounded by the indigo blue of the Pacific. Here, you will find neither lagoons nor reefs. The archipelago’s charm lies in its wild beauty. In the heart of the dense forests of Nuku Hiva, droplets from the waterfalls dive off the vertiginous cliffs. As for the islands of Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva, they still hide mysterious ancient petroglyphs.

In the Society Islands, you will be dazzled by the incomparable beauty of Huahine, by the turquoise waters of the Motu Mahana, our private vanilla-scented little paradise, by the sumptuous lagoon of Bora Bora, with its distinctly recognisable volcanic silhouette, and by Moorea, with its hillside pineapple plantations and its verdant peaks overlooking the island.


• History and culture are in the forefront on the island of Hiva Oa, which is the home of the largest stone sculptures in the Marquesas, which are said to be linked to the famous tikis of Easter Island.

• Discover Polynesian culture: ancient crafts in Fatu Hiva, sculpted works in Tahuata, sculpted stone tiki and 7,000 petroglyphs in Taiohae.

• UNESCO World Heritage Site: Fakarava, a biosphere reserve, and the world’s second-largest lagoon, home to unique flora and fauna, gray sharks and untouched coral reefs.

• Live the life idyllic with a memorable day on Motu Mahana, our own private slice of paradise. On this exclusive islet, treat yourself to sand between your toes, the shade of swaying palm trees, a sumptuous barbecue lunch, and, of course, drinks sipped from coconuts.

• Landscapes: towering peaks, imposing cliffs, plantations, forests, turquoise lagoons, unspoilt beaches, deserted coves and more, underwater caves.

• Fauna: multicoloured coral, common eagle rays, lemon sharks, blacktip reef sharks and exotic fish.

• Possibility of diving (PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board.


Map for Marquesas, The Tuamotus & Society Islands aboard Paul Gauguin


Capital of French Polynesia, the city of Papeete is on the north-west coast of the island of Tahiti. You’ll find a relaxed atmosphere here,where urban buzz combines with the legendary laid-back Polynesian lifestyle. Culture is not lacking. You can enjoy sites narrating the history of the archipelago, including the colonial cathedral and the Maison de la reine Marau. The Vaipahi public gardens will win you over by their abundant plant-life. The large municipal market offers local specialities: fresh fruit, spices and all kinds of fish abound on their stalls.

Day 2 AT SEA

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.


Listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Fakarava’s coral ellipsis is a narrow stretch of land sitting on a crystal-clear sea. Travellers here are surprised by the immensity of the lagoon, whose colours evoke an infinite palette. The atoll, renowned for its immaculate beaches and preserved nature, is home to rare bird species, plants and crustaceans. You’ll disembark in a Zodiac® and berth in front of the Veke Veke guesthouse, where you will be welcomed with garlands of flowers and traditional music. You will then be able to go for a walk along the beach or put on flippers, mask and snorkel to make the most of the warm waters of Fakarava and observe its brightly coloured coral.

Day 4 AT SEA


Your ship will take you to Omoa, a peaceful fishing village far from all civilisation, nestling in a magnificent bay on the island of Fatu Hiva. In the valley, you will be able to spot some tohua, former sacred sites, as well as the many burial caves lost in the island’s abundant tropical forest. During your port of call, you’ll be able to discover the Maison Grelet, a museum that houses remarkable wooden sculptures and local works of art. Right in front of you, the village’s artisans will demonstrate how they make tapa, a bark cloth obtained through the technique of beating layers of wood, and explain the manufacturing processes of umu hei, a bouquet garni made from a delicious mix of fragrances.


You’ll immediately understand why this remote and unusual chain of islands bathing in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean inspired Jacques Brel’s final album. During your cruise, we will stop at Hiva Oa, considered to be the “garden of the Marquesas Islands.” A special kind of power and charm emanate from its craggy skyline and black sand beaches. This port of call will provide you with an opportunity to visit the small village of Atuona, home to the tombs of Jacques Brel and Paul Gauguin, as well as a cultural centre devoted to the memory of the famous French painter.


Located on Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, the village of Hapatoni will open its doors to you. A road built in old stones will lead you from the seashore to the village cathedral. You will also find a craft centre presenting various sculptures and engravings in bone or wood. Marquesan art is, in fact, recognised all over French Polynesia. Further on, vegetation takes over, inviting you to walk among its beautiful green valleys. Here, the population will give you a proper welcome, with traditional singing and dancing. A moment of conviviality you’ll remember!


Taiohae Bay welcomes you in a sumptuous setting. Your ship will drop anchor a few kilometres from the black sandy beaches, nestled between majestic valleys. You will find yourself in the middle of the main village on the island of Nuku Hiva. You can follow the footpaths on foot or in an all-terrain vehicle. From the top of the hill of Mount Muake, a breathtaking panorama allows you to clearly identify the rocky islands that emerge on either side of the bay. Further on, the site of Piki Vehine shows its tikis, sacred statues used for religious practices. In addition, do not miss the Notre Dame des Marquises cathedral. Its distinguishing feature is that is was built using stone taken from the six Marquesa Islands.

Days 9 – 10 AT SEA


Located less than 200 kilometres north-west of Tahiti, Huahine Island is a secret gem in French Polynesia. You’ll love the mysterious atmosphere emanating from its voluptuous contours, its wild vegetation and stunning remote creeks. If you explore both parts of the island, la Grande Huahine to the north, and la Petite Huahine to the south, will reveal some of its hidden treasures, as well as some archaeological remains from the Polynesian past. You can meet the local population in the main town of Fare, or in the string of villages along the coast.


Paradisiacal atoll of the archipelago of the Leeward Islands, west of French Polynesia, mythical Bora Bora offers a natural spectacle of captivating beauty. You’ll be won over as much by the white sandy beaches as by its famous lagoon, one of the most beautiful in the world, where colourful fish frolic in waters of incomparable turquoise. The island is covered with tropical vegetation, and dominated by the majestic outline of Mount Otemanu. A promenade through this volcanic landscape will enable you to discover a number of villages and meet local communities.


Feet in the sand, on the islet of Motu Mahana, our sumptuous little private paradise, you will share a very special experience around an authentic traditional Polynesian barbecue. A veritable jewel in the Taha’a lagoon, pristine atoll of the Society Islands, Motu Mahana offers an infinite palette of shades of turquoise, an idyllic backdrop for observing the majestic ballet of the tropical fish. The volcanic island of Taha’a, dominated by Mount Ohiri and Mount Puurauti, will reveal its fertile and luxuriant nature, ideal for cultivating the magnificent black pearls of French Polynesia, as well as vanilla. This rare spice, greatly in demand by gourmets, is the main economic resource of what is also known as Vanilla Island.


A part of the Windward Island archipelago just to the west of Tahiti, famous Mo’orea will leave you with a series of unforgettable images and memories. Bask on its heavenly beaches, enjoy a dip in the turquoise waters of its lagoon, and soak up its luscious vegetation and the heady flowers that carpet the inland areas. Get the most out of this natural gem with a trip to the Mo’orea Belvedere. Exceptional views of Mount Rotui unfurl before your eyes, with the Opunohu Bay and its valley to the left, and the famous Cook’s Bay, surrounded by notched, cathedral-style peaks, to the right.


Capital of French Polynesia, the city of Papeete is on the north-west coast of the island of Tahiti. You’ll find a relaxed atmosphere here,where urban buzz combines with the legendary laid-back Polynesian lifestyle. Culture is not lacking. You can enjoy sites narrating the history of the archipelago, including the colonial cathedral and the Maison de la reine Marau. The Vaipahi public gardens will win you over by their abundant plant-life. The large municipal market offers local specialities: fresh fruit, spices and all kinds of fish abound on their stalls.

Please Note:

Itineraries are subject to change.

Ship Information

Paul Gauguin

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 504 feet, 153.6 meters

Passenger Capacity: 332

Designed specifically to glide through the shallow seas of the South Pacific, The Gauguin is a small-ship cruiser’s dream. She delivers travelers to intimate ports inaccessible to larger cruise ships, all the while providing an onboard experience that is nothing short of luxurious. Guests aboard luxury cruises enjoy spacious suites and staterooms (more than 70% with private balconies), an onboard watersports marina, three dining venues, an extensive spa, and five-star service. Life onboard also reflects the beauty and rich cultural heritage of the islands she calls upon, with a warm, friendly feel, informal setting, and even a beloved troupe of Gauguines and Gauguins—local Tahitians who serve as cruise staff, entertainers, and storytellers.

Ship Features

All oceanview accommodations, nearly 70% with balconies, measuring from 200 to 500 sq. ft., including balcony

Butler service, in-suite bar setup, and iPod® music system in suite/stateroom category B and above

A choice of three dining venues

Complimentary 24-hour room service, including selections from L’Etoile restaurant during regular dining hours

Complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits, beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages

Onboard gratuities for room stewards, dining and bar staff

Full entertainment program including Polynesian artists, musical entertainment, a pianist, and a professionally operated casino with slot machines

Spa and beauty services, including hand and foot treatments, body treatments, facials, and spa programs

Optional PADI SCUBA diving program and certification

Watersports marina for complimentary kayaking and paddleboarding, and Zodiacs® for optional dive excursions

Fully-equipped fitness center

Presentations by local naturalists and a variety of special guests

Spacious outdoor decks and pool

La Boutique duty-free shop

Book library (open 24 hours a day)

Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the ship to cover most suites/staterooms and common areas, as well as guest-accessible computers, available 24 hours a day for a nominal fee

Laundry services available

Certified medical services

166 suites/staterooms on Decks 3-8, including one wheelchair-accessible stateroom and select staterooms that can accommodate three guests.


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverages included (Excluding Premium Brands)
• Free wifi (Subject to coverage)


• Flights other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Premium beverages package (Can be purchased on board)
• Optional Excursions where applicable
• Spa treatments on board
• Pre and post cruise accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Transfers unless specified
• Gratuities

Images courtesy of Wild Earth Travel