m/s Paul Gauguin

m/s Paul Gauguin

Onboard Staff

Captain Ante-Toni Mirkovic
Captain Ante-Toni Mirkovic

Born in Split, Croatia, Captain Ante-Toni Mirkovic has been living in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik since the age of eight and is a graduate of the Nautical School and Maritime University there. In 1980, he joined his first cruise vessel, Dalmacija. Aboard this ship, he sailed the Mediterranean, North, and Baltic Seas, the entire Norwegian Coast, Island and Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, north of mainland Europe.

In 1986, Toni sailed on the cruise ship Ambasador as a Chief Officer and Staff Captain. This gave him the opportunity to visit the West and East coast of Africa on expeditions that included the Seychelles and Madagascar.

Toni became a Captain for the first time in 1995, on passenger-cargo ships cruising from Northern Europe to the United States. He also sailed on the famous sailing ship Sea Cloud on her Mediterranean and Black Sea voyages.

From 1998 to 2005, he served as Master of Cruise/Casino on NCCL vessels in Southeast Asia and Australia.

He joined Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2006 and is very proud to be in command of the m/s Paul Gauguin. The beautiful waters of French Polynesia never cease to amaze him and naturally the beauty of the Islands and the Polynesian Culture has made The Gauguin his home away from home.

Captain Davor Ljutic
Captain Davor Ljutic

Captain Davor Ljutic was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia. With Dubrovnik having one of the oldest Nautical Schools and a deep maritime history in the Mediterranean, Ljutic selected a career at sea. After finishing his secondary education, Ljutic started as a Cadet on ships. In 1984, he graduated from the Faculty of Maritime Studies at the University of Dubrovnik. Ljutic worked for Atlant Line, a local cargo company, until 1987 when he was promoted to Chief Officer. In 2003, he joined his first cruise vessel – the Walrus/Neptune-Asia Wide Company. From 2004 to 2007 he worked for the Iberocruseros Company on the ships Grand Latino, Grand Mistral, Grand Voyager, and Grand Celebration as well as the Seabourn Pride, Silver Whisper, and Amadea. He joined Paul Gauguin Cruises in June 2008 as Safety Officer and was promoted to Staff Captain, second in command to the Captain, and in charge of safety, navigation, maintenance of the ship, discipline of the crew, and security of the vessel. In 2014, he was promoted to Captain.

Cruise Director Steve Wood

Steve Wood has a wide range of interests—from the skies to the sea. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, he graduated from aeronautical college with a goal of pursuing a career as an air traffic controller. The theater soon lured him to Australia, however, where he studied singing, acting, and dancing. For the next several years, he toured in many musical theater productions throughout Australasia. In 1992, his career took a new turn, when voyages from Sydney to London persuaded him that he wanted to pursue a life at sea.

He has since been fortunate enough to combine the best of both worlds as Cruise Director on various cruise lines, including Holland America, Orion Expedition Cruises, Classic International Cruises (CIC), P&O Australia, “The World” ResidenSea, and The Yachts of Seabourn. In addition to performing on various major cruise lines around the globe, Steve was part of the team for the 1996 “Raising the Titanic” expedition with Buzz Aldren at the helm.

Ask him about his greatest achievement so far, however, and he’ll answer that is walking the Camino de Santiago, the famous, 435-mile pilgrimage route that leads from France to west coast of Spain. When  at home in Sydney, Steve has a keen interest in working as a Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Marriage Celebrant. He is very pleased to be cruising one of the most beautiful areas in the world aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin.

Sail with Cruise Director Wood on board The Gauguin.

Hotel Director Jean-Paul Grepon
Hotel Director Jean-Paul Grepon

Originally from Bandol, France, Jean-Paul Grepon studied in Germany and Nice before joining his first ship, with the cruise line Paquet Cruises, in 1974. Starting as a waiter, he quickly worked his way up to Hotel Operations Manager. Between 1991 and 1994, he moved on to the Ocean Pearl and then to the Ocean Princess, traveling to Antarctica and South America. In 1995, he became corporate Hotel Operations Manager for Costa-Paquet Cruises before joining Festival Cruises to help develop the cruise ship Mistral from concept through completion. In 2001, he became auditor for the bankrupt Renaissance Cruise Line, helping to accelerate the reopening of the ships in Gibraltar and Tahiti as the Regatta, the Insignia, and the Nautica. As Hotel Supervisor for Renaissance, he worked on the Delphin Renaissance, traveling to Japan, Alaska, Asia, the Panama Canal, and the South Pacific. In 2007, he continued to explore the world with Cruise West and the Spirit of Oceanus. Fascinated by Asian culture, he currently lives in Bali and is delighted to join the award-winning m/s Paul Gauguin as Hotel Director.

Hotel Director Carlos Acevedo

The Gauguin Hotel Director Carlos Acevedo has worked in the cruise industry for the past 25 years—many of them spent as Hotel Director for cruise lines specializing in intimate, luxury ships, including Silversea, Radisson Seven Seas’ Song of Flower, the all-suite former Renaissance Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and the Yachts of Seabourn.

Born in South America, Carlos studied engineering at the University Ricado Palma in Lima, Peru, before attending Nova University, where he received his degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Carlos is fluent in English and Spanish, and, to refine his linguistic skills, he also attended several courses at Washington State University.

Carlos joined the Paul Gauguin Cruises team in 2014. What he likes best about the cruise line is, in his words, “the loyalty of the guests in returning to Paul Gauguin. To me, it has become like a family and provides for an unparalleled atmosphere at sea. It is indeed a sincere pleasure that I take pride in offering you the utmost in service and wonderful cuisine.”

Carlos makes his home in Boca Raton Florida. In his time off, he enjoys cycling, swimming, cooking, shopping—and, of course, traveling.

Travel Concierge Manager Pia Neekzad
Travel Concierge Manager Pia Neekzad

Born in Tuusula, Finland, Pia planned to take a year off from school before matriculating at the University of Helsinki. She moved to London, where she fell under the city's spell and decided to settle there permanently.

She attended hotel and tourism management colleges in central London before launching her career by working in reservations at some of the city's top hotels—notably, the Washington Mayfair Hotel, Le Meridien Piccadilly, and the NH Harrington Hall Hotel. After five years in the hotel world, she gravitated toward tourism, joining travel companies that created special-interest and customized itineraries and group travel programs to the UK and Europe from North America, New Zealand, and Australia.

It was when she had an opportunity to work for a cruise ship agent in London that she got the inspiration to work at sea. She started her nautical career with Royal Caribbean International as Shore Excursion Manager on a number of their ships (Brilliance of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, and Grandeur of the Seas), cruising the beautiful Mediterranean, the historic Baltic, and the vibrant Caribbean. In 2010, she found her way to the exotic South Pacific and is now delighted to help you make the most of your time aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin.

Travel Concierge Manager Sorin Crihalmeanu
Travel Concierge Manager Sorin Crihalmeanu

Sorin Crihalmeanu brings more than ten years of experience in the travel industry to his role as Travel Concierge Manager aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. After studying economics and engineering in his homeland of Romania, he began his career with Celebrity Cruises in 2003 as a Shore Excursions Assistant Manager. He was quickly promoted to Shore Excursions Manager. A few years later, he was promoted again, this time to the position of Onboard Marketing Manager.

After a wonderful time working for Celebrity Cruises, Sorin decided to take a break from the sea in order to launch his own business back home in Romania. A year later, he agreed to join Paul Gauguin Cruises while still developing his own tourism business at home.

In all, Sorin has visited more than 100 ports worldwide, including ports in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas, and he imbues his work with his enthusiasm for traveling and discovering new cultures and places. He looks forward to sharing his expertise with you.

Cruise Director Claudine Carle

A native of Montreal (Quebec), Canada, Claudine Carle graduated college with a degree in administration and went right to work in a bank. She then studied tourism and began working with Canadian tour operators. For nine years, she traveled the world as a tour guide, tour leader, and hotel representative, while also serving as tour guide and master of ceremonies for the famous Bateau-Mouche of Montreal sightseeing and entertainment cruises. 

Like her father, Claudine loves to sing and is trained in both classical and pop-jazz music. She also speaks four languages, and her love of travel and learning about new cultures led her to relocate to Spain, where she lived for four years and launched her career as an entertainer. After her return to Montreal in 2002, she produced her own “Tribute Show,” which she has performed in concert halls, theaters, casinos, and festivals in Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. 

Her career at sea began in 2012, when she began performing for Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, and Croisières de France (RCCL). She is now very pleased to combine her skills and background aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin—while also cruising one of the most beautiful areas in the world.