A Cruise on MS Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia’s Society Islands is Unforgettable and Completely Unique
Cruising with Paul Gauguin is unique and different in so many ways.
First, there is the size on the ship. With a maximum capacity of 334 passengers and a staff to guest ratio of 1 staff member to every 1.5 guests, the vibe, feel & level of service are a complete departure from what you may have experienced on a larger mass market ship.
The check-in experience was jaw-dropping. Literally, from the time that we arrived at the embarkation pier through the medical screening process** to the greetings, documents, getting a cabin key & making out way to our cabin where our luggage was already in room took approx 22 minutes. We were enjoying what waited in no time!
Compared to a larger ship this is unheard of and a brilliant way to start the cruise off right.
The same convenience is to be enjoyed on a daily basis in catching the tender from ship to pier at each of the destinations experienced. It just couldn’t be more convenient.
True, you will give up a certain amount of diversity in cuisine and entertainment options vs a much larger ship, but the entertainment staff is engaging and authentic. They amplify the experience of the destination beyond just “putting on a show”. Beyond the entertainment staff known as “Le Gauguines”, the access to and the ability to interact with the chef & other officers is truly a big plus!
Of particular interest while in Taha’a was the carving of the catch of the day – freshly caught Moon Fish was for dinner a couple hours after this video was shot…
As for the itinerary, it is iconic. Bucket List islands such as Tahiti, Bora Bora & Mo’orea as well as off the radar gems like Huahine and Taha’a were included in our itinerary which was the ever-popular Tahiti & Society islands for 7 Nights, but other itineraries a bit longer or incorporating the Cook Islands or the Tuamotus Islands or even Fiji are options as well.
One of the main reasons to choose MS Paul Gauguin is that it offers unmatched access to these iconic destinations. Other ships simply can’t get close enough, but this ship was built for the destination and even includes a watersports marina on the aft of the ship which allows for Stand-up Paddleboarding or Kayaking directly from the ship – and if you are a SCUBA diver then you’re in luck because not only is the team outstanding but the convenience of taking the zodiac from the marina to a dive site usually not more than a 5-10 minute ride is outstanding (as are the dives, with abundant sharks, sea turtles & of course…more!)
Beach Party on Private Motu off of Taha’a is an unforgettable Day in Paradise!
One of the highlights of the entire cruise is the beach day on the Paul Gauguin private motu (one of several small islands surrounding the main island) just off the coast of the island of Taha’a on the 2nd full day of the cruise. It’s like you and several dozen of your best new friends arrive at a comfortable paradise waiting with abundant beach chairs in the sun or the shade of hundreds of coconut palms. The cookout is terrific with lots of engagement with Les Gauguines including a demonstration on how to process a coconut by hand (there’s much more to it than you might imagine but it’s easier than you might think) and yes, there is a floating bar which could not be more relaxing…
On to Bora…
Then of course there’s THE most iconic island – Bora Bora. No island conjures up visions of an idyllic paradise quite like Bora Bora and there’s good reason why – it is simply one of, if not THE most beautiful island on the planet. If you enjoy dramatic mountain peaks, crystal blue lagoons and epic skyscapes it’s tough to beat. Whether it’s biking around the island, catching the food truck rodeo for dinner, paddle boarding on another small motu with private beach or simply enjoying the views as you sail away at sunset there are few destinations more memorable.
But Wait, There’s More!
A full day at Huahine followed up with a full day at Taha’a are then topped with 2 full days to experience Bora Bora, but there’s still 2 more full days to experience Mo’orea, which most people tend to agree tops even Bora Bora for sheer beauty on the island. The view from the top of Magic Mountain is surreal – and the satisfaction of knowing that you hiked it from sea level is a reward in itself!
While the exhilaration of the 45-60 minute hike to the top is worthwhile, the entire thing can be avoided and still not miss a thing with an organized small group guided tour on an ATV or open back jeep with 8 passengers. The excursion stops at Magic Mountain as well as a few stops at Opanohu Bay, Cook Bay, a pineapple plantation (cooler than it sounds), a juice distillery for some tastings and the highlight of the day – Belvedere Lookout- stunning!
One thing that a short blog post like this can do is to open your eyes to this type of bucket list experience, but one thing this blog post cannot do is come even remotely close to capturing the full experience. French Polynesia’s Society Islands feature unmatched beauty for sure, but the warmth and beauty of the crew and the people who call French Polynesia home is something that must just be experienced for yourself.
When it’s time for you to check this off of your Bucket list then reach out to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad.
We’re here to help – we have experience that a call center cannot match – we know people – and we work to help make your experiences as memorable as they are seamless.