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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson, (he/him) CTC, LLD

April 2021 10-day French Polynesia + Tuamotus on the award winning m/s Paul Gauguin

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Join us April 7-17, 2021 on the award winning m/s Paul Gauguin. Beauty surrounds you on this 10-day sojourn, both on land and underwater. The Society Islands beckon with lush rainforests, crystal-clear lagoons, and warm breezes that encourage nothing but indulgent beachside lounging. Continue on to the Tuamotu Archipelago, a collection of low-lying atolls known the world ‘round for their vibrant underwater ecosystem. Book now.


  • Enjoy two full days in the quintessential Pacific paradise of Bora Bora including our exclusive white-sand beach on a motu off the coast. Marvel at towering Mount Otemanu, snorkel in sapphire lagoons, or get a bird’s-eye view of the island with a scenic helicopter ride.

  • Visit Fakarava, a UNESCO-classified Nature Reserve where experienced divers can descend up to 130 feet to visit a world inhabited by gray sharks, schools of colorful fish, and untouched coral.

  • Spend a relaxing day on Motu Mahana, our very own private islet, complete with white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, a barbecue lunch, drinks served in coconuts, and a floating lagoon bar.

  • Onboard National Geographic expert in the archeology of French Polynesia - MARK EDDOWES. For the past decade, Mark has captivated guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin with fascinating tales of French Polynesia's storied past, sharing his wealth of knowledge through lectures that range from "The Cult of Tiki" and "The Ancient Culture of the Marquesas Islands" to the real story of the "Mutiny on the Bounty." click here to read more.

A gorgeous collection of volcanic islands strewn across the blue Pacific, Polynesia paints a stunning picture. And, as the capital city on the largest of all 118 islands, Papeete offers endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Dynamic dining, nightlife, and shopping can be found around every corner, and Papeete serves as a departure and arrival port for this exciting 10-day voyage. Click here to learn more about the port.

Huahine is known as “The Garden Island” for its beautiful rainforests, dramatic terrain, and enchanting lagoon. Travelers will find something new to explore around every bend, from sacred sites and archeological landmarks that are among the best preserved in French Polynesia to the colorful sea life that can be experienced on a SCUBA or snorkeling expedition.

Click here to learn more about the port.

You will enjoy an overnight stay aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin in the dream destination of Bora Bora. This magical island just begs to have its picture taken, with lush peaks, white sand beaches, and romantic lagoons. But perhaps Bora Bora’s most iconic image that of Mount Otemanu, with its jagged, emerald-hued peaks rising high above the shoreline. With only 4,225 inhabitants and a laid-back, island vibe, visitors to this beautiful corner of the world can’t help but just relax and take it all in.

Click here to learn more about the port.

Rangiroa is the largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago, which comprises of 78 coral atolls scattered over several hundred miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Life on these remote islands is simple, quiet, and peaceful. In small villages, visitors can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotu, often participating in the daily activities of the Paumotu people. And, the interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish breeding farms, snorkeling and SCUBA diving.

Click here to learn more about the port.

An atoll in the west of the Tuamotu group, the unspoiled paradise of Fakarava has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for  many rare species that call this island home, both above and under the water. In addition to nature lovers, those in search of historical and cultural significance can explore charming villages, ancient temples, and coral churches.

Click here to learn more about the port.

Tue., April 13, 2021 - Sea Day

Enclosed in a common lagoon with Raiatea and accessible only by boat, Taha’a is an ideal island for a relaxing getaway. A sleepy island that boasts only a handful of guesthouses and small hotels, Taha’a maintains an authentic Polynesian flavor. And speaking of flavors, it produces about 80% of French Polynesia’s world-renowned vanilla, a must-buy during a visit to the island.

Taha’a is also home to Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private island. Guests are welcomed with traditional music performed by Les Gauguines, a beachside barbecue, and ample opportunities for watersports, swimming, and relaxation.  

Click here to learn more about the port.

Moorea, often likened to James Michener's mythical island of Bali Hai, is worth a visit just to experience its spectacular vistas. Volcanic peaks, reflected in the waters of Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay, rise like a shark's jaw above palm tree-lined beaches. The underwater world is just as enchanting, with sharks, tuna, dolphins, and tropical fish—no wonder it’s a popular destination for divers. Click here to learn more about the port.

Fri., April 16, 2021 - Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands

We arrive back to Papeete at 7:30PM where you will overnight aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Take in some of the exciting nightlife including the food truck round up. The next morning you we can arrange a day room for your flight home later that day or extend your stay for a couple extra nights. Click here to learn more about the port.

m/s Paul Gauguin

Designed specifically to glide through the shallow seas of the South Pacific, The Gauguin is the flagship of Paul Gauguin Cruises and 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 our 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. Click here to learn more.

What is Included on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin Cruises is proud to offer an extraordinary value in luxury cruising, thanks to their all-inclusive pricing. Spend more time enjoying your cruise vacation and less time worrying about every little detail when it’s all been taken care of—from gourmet dining to onboard gratuities, and so much more.

When you travel on board The Gauguin, you’ll enjoy:

  • All shipboard meals, in your choice of venues

  • Complimentary 24-hour room service

  • Complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits, beers, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages served throughout the ship

  • In-room refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water

  • All shipboard entertainment, including our troupe of Polynesian performers and live music in the evenings

  • Presentations by onboard experts, and select sailings feature guest hosts

  • Onboard gratuities for room stewards, dining and bar staff

  • Watersports, including complimentary kayaking and paddleboarding from our marina or destination beaches

  • Use of Paul Gauguin's secluded, white-sand beach in Bora Bora with bar service, volleyball, and snorkeling (on select voyages)

  • A day on our private islet, Motu Mahana, off the coast of Taha’a, featuring snorkeling, watersports, a barbecue, full bar service, and Polynesian hospitality

Dress Code:

Country Club Casual, or elegant resort wear, is appropriate dress for all evenings aboard The Gauguin. Country Club Casual consists of a dress, or skirt or slacks with a blouse or sweater for ladies, and slacks and collared shirts for gentleman. No ties are required at any time, although gentlemen may opt to wear a jacket to the Captain’s Welcome Reception. Please note that casual wear such as shorts, t-shirts, casual jeans (frayed and/or with holes), baseball caps, flip-flops, and Crocs are not considered appropriate after 6:00 p.m. in all restaurants and lounges. Bathrobes and bathing suits are not appropriate in the ship’s restaurants and lounges, and shirts and shoes are required in all public areas at all times.

In order to keep French Polynesia Covid-19 free, the Government has established strict entry requirements.These conditions of entry and stay in the country are applicable to all travellers arriving by air. We are asking your assistance to ensure that you make your clients aware of these mandatory entrance requirements.

Prior to boarding your flight:

  • Proof of a negative Covid-19 test (PCR) carried out within three days prior to their international air departure. The results of this test must be negative and the medical document confirming this, issued by a Doctor, Hospital or Medical Clinic must be presented to airline staff upon check-in prior to boarding the flight to French Polynesia.

  • Complete the online Heath Document and obtain a receipt and authorization to travel. Present the receipt of the health registration from the platform (Electronic Travel Information System). A printout of this authorization receipt must be presented upon check-in together with the test results in order to be able to board the flight to French Polynesia and these documents will need to be presented upon arrival at Tahiti’s Faa’a international airport and carried with them while in Polynesia.

  • Required travel insurance or sign a declaration assuming all associated medical, confinement, or repatriation costs, should they fall ill during their stay.

During the stay:

Full details of entry are posted on the Tahiti Tourisme website found here:

Sailing on m/s Paul Gauguin

On a ship designed for a maximum of 332 passengers, you are assured to have plenty of social distancing opportunities. If you need a getaway, Tahiti would be a great solution!

Paul Gauguin Cruises will commence sailings in July, with two initial sailings for French Polynesian residents only and then they will welcome international travellers onboard. As part of welcoming travellers onboard you will see the following procedures taking place:

  • Luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone before being taken to your stateroom

  • Masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided to all travellers

  • A la Carte dining will be provided in all restaurants

  • Occupancy in public spaces such as fitness rooms and theater will be capped at 50%

  • All high touch surfaces will be disinfected hourly

You can be assured of a healthy and safe environment onboard the M/S Paul Gauguin.


The Islands of Tahiti Testing Locations

With the list of nations requiring negative COVID-19 tests to be taken prior to departure continuing to expand, government agencies within French Polynesia including The Louis Malardé Institute, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism, are currently working together to find solutions to meet this growing demand.

Please review the list of current options for travelers that are required to take a test prior to departure.

Locations in Tahiti

  • Louis Malardé Institute (ILM) in Papeete

Address: COVID FARE at the crossroad between rue des Poilus Tahitiens and of rue du 5 mars 1797, Papeete Hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The traveler must present himself at the Institute 72 hours before departure with his Airline ticket. The traveler will be provided with an ID and access code to download their results from the institute website.

The cost for an RT-PCR test is 17,100 xpf per person. (Approx. US$175) The cost for an antigenic test is 5,700 xpf per person.* (Approx. US$59)

  • Nahoata's Laboratory in Pirae

Address: Crossroad between avenue Pomare and rue Tuterai tane, Pirae Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Closed on Sundays

It is recommended to make an appointment as early as possible by phone at 40 54 33 33. For samples taken before 2pm, the results are available the same afternoon and accessible remotely via a secure server. Each patient will be given an identifier to download their results.

The cost for an RT-PCR test is 16 074 xpf per person. (Approx. US$164) Antigenic tests are not available.

  • Tamanu's Laboratory, Tamanu Shopping Center in Punaauia

Address: Centre commercial Tamanu, 1st floor Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Closed on Sundays.

It is recommended to make an appointment as early as possible by phone at 40 42 94 00. For samples taken before 2pm, the results are available the same afternoon and accessible remotely via a secure server. Each patient will be given an identifier to download their results.

The cost for an RT-PCR test is 16 074 xpf per person. (Approx. US$164) Antigenic tests are not available.

Locations in Moorea

  • The Moorea Laboratory,

Address: PK 3.5 Mountain-side in Tiaia, Maherepa Hours: Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Closed on Sundays

It is recommended to make an appointment as early as possible by phone at 40 55 05 85. The results are available the same afternoon and accessible remotely via a secure server. Each patient will be given an identifier to download their results.

The cost for an RT-PCR test is 16 074 xpf per person. (Approx. US$164) Antigenic tests are not available.

Other Islands

Government agencies are working to organize a collection network for additional islands (sampling, transmission to the Lab Institute, obtaining the results and payment) and will provide details as soon as available.

For now, travellers should therefore be advised to go to the island of Tahiti before their departure and choose one of the options above.

For the latest updates please visit our regularly updated COVID-19 Traveller Insights Dashboard

* The traveller should check with the health authorities of the country of destination what type of test is required but an RT-PCR test will cover all requirements.

Award Winning

Paul Gauguin Cruises has been honoured by notable names in the travel and lifestyle industry for their award-winning luxury voyages which some deem the world’s best cruises. Paul Gauguin Cruises is fortunate to be recognized for their top cruises including being voted “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” and “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line for Families” by the readers of Travel + Leisure. Paul Gauguin Cruises has also received exceptional cruise reviews and accolades from their guests who thank them for providing the best cruises in the world. Join us on Paul Gauguin and experience their award winning warm hospitality for yourself.

Book your Tahiti escape today. Click here to set up a consultation or to book today.

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.

Where do you want to go? Click here to contact me.


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