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.

Hotel Director Jacques le Tallec
Hotel Director Jacques le Tallec

Jacques Le Tallec was born in Brittany, France, to a family in which hospitality spans four generations. He began his own career in hospitality in the Caribbean island of St. Bart, where he worked for several years at a five-star resort. From there, he traveled to England, where he earned a degree in International Hospitality Management from Brighton University. He launched his career at sea in 1983 with Pearl Cruises, then joined Orient Lines as Hotel Manager in 1987. Having sailed from the North Pole to the South Pole, he now is delighted to be plying the warmer waters of French Polynesia. When not assuring the comfort of guests aboard The Gauguin or The Moana, Jacques divides his time between Peru and the small village in Brittany where he was born and where Paul Gauguin himself helped to found the Ecole de Pont-Aven before moving to Tahiti.

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/sPaul Gauguin as Hotel Director.

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.