Shore Excursions - Large hero

Shore Excursions

The opportunity to experience each destination in the most authentic, in-depth, and meaningful way is the very essence of luxury cruising with Paul Gauguin Cruises. Aboard our luxury vessel, you can choose from a wide array of shore excursions by land and sea that let you discover the dramatic beauty, rich history, and unique culture of your destination up close, in a small group.

To review your options, use the search function below, or view the individual itinerary of your choice through the “Plan Your Trip” online tool.

Shore Excursion Terms & Conditions

Please note that not all shore excursions are available on all sailings. Descriptions and pricing may vary.  Shore excursions will not be available for pre-booking until 60 days prior to sailing (with the exception of the Romantic Escapades excursions) and can be added to your booking via the "Manage your trip" online tool.  If you have questions please contact our Reservation Department at 1 (800) 848-6172 for assistance.

Once onboard, please refer to the tour descriptions for full details or consult with the Travel Concierge Team for further information.

Northern Seaside & Blue Hole Tour
Duration:
3.5 Hours
Cost:
$89

Enjoy two excursions in one on this guided tour: an overview of the verdant countryside of the northeast coast of Espiritu Santo and the opportunity to swim at both a beautiful beach and one of the island's famous blue holes. Departing from the pier, you'll head northward by minibus. Your guide will provide commentary as you gaze at an unfolding panorama of villages, coconut plantations, grazing cattle, dense jungle, and beautiful coastal views. Stopping at a pretty white-sand beach on a calm bay, enjoy time to swim, snorkel, or relax and enjoy a view that extends out to Elephant Island. You can also examine the remnants of World War II wreckage up close on the beach. As your minibus heads back toward the ship, you'll pause at one of the island's renowned blue holes-the natural formations created and fed by underwater springs. Here, you can take a refreshing dip in the chilly waters whose incredible shades of blue reflect the limestone formation underneath.

Please note: The order of sites visited is subject to change. Please wear swimwear under lightweight clothing; sandals, reef shoes, or other beach-appropriate footwear; sunglasses; and a hat, a camera, sun protection, a change of clothing, and bottled water and a towel from the ship. If you wish to snorkel, please bring equipment from the ship. The minibus is not air conditioned.

Excursion Code:
SNT-011
Nukubalavu Village Tour
Duration:
3 Hours
Cost:
$125

Experience the day-to-day life of Fijian people during a memorable visit to an authentic Fijian village. Journey along the scenic coast road to visit Nukubalavu Village, home of the paramount chief of Savusavu. Guests will be greeted by the village elders and invited to witness and participate in a kava ceremony where the powdered kava is mixed with water and presented by a'bilo' (coconut cup) to those who wish to taste this ceremonial drink. Following the ceremony the guide will take guests on a tour of the village to experience the warmth of the native Fijians. Guests may mingle with villagers and their children to learn more about their culture and witness traditional art craftwork. Finished craft work will be available for purchase, and guests are also invited to taste a traditional Fijian fresh green coconut juice before boarding the bus to return to the ship.

Please note: Guests are kindly asked to dress conservatively and mindfully of the Fijian culture, by avoiding wearing vests, skimpy tops, swim wear, short pants for ladies, and hats during the village tour. Please bring bottled water from the ship.

Excursion Code:
SVU-5
Omoa Petroglyphs Walk
Duration:
3 Hours
Cost:
$75

Set in a luscious native forest within a picturesque valley is an ancient ceremonial site where Marquesans prayed to their gods to provide abundant water for their crops. Trekking up to the site you will pass an old chief's paepae upon which is a small tiki carved in the famous ke'etu stone of the islands. Ascending inland you will see a number of sites whose functions will be explained to you by your on-board lecturer in anthropology and archaeology, Mark Eddowes. Finally you will arrive on the crest of a ridge featuring important petroglyphs, or rock art. The images depict anthropomorphic images of men, concentric circle eyes of magical tikis and even an ancient sailing canoe. However, the most impressive petroglyph and one of the largest in the Marquesas is that of the famous paoa, which looks like a huge tuna fish, carved into the rock. See also the grinding, polishing and sharpening stones used in ancestral working of adzes and other tools. Enjoy the magnificent scenery surrounding the site as sharp mountain peaks pierce the sky. This excursion provides a wonderful chance to visit the interior of Fatu Hiva's beautiful Omoa Valley.

Please note: The hike is medium to difficult and involves uphill walking in hot and humid conditions. Participants should be physically fit, carry a bottle of water and wear a hat. Sturdy footwear appropriate to trekking is recommended.

Excursion Code:
FHT-2045
Pa "Son of Rarotonga"
Duration:
3 Hours
Cost:
$129

Discover the wisdom of Pa, one of the Cook Islands best known traditional healers, during this informative guided nature trek.

Depart the pier for the drive to the interior of the island. Upon arrival, you will join your guide on a trek along an ancient pathway used by Pa’s ancestors before the missionaries arrived. Along the way, your guide will share Pa’s in-depth knowledge of medicinal plants and of the culture and history of these islands. He will also provide demonstrations of the preparation of various traditional medicines and their applications. Bottled water and seasonal fruit will be served at Pa’s residence.

Following your visit, you will be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: This tour is recommended for guests in good physical condition. Guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair will not be permitted on this tour. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

Excursion Code:
RTG-4901
Polynesian Cultural Show
Duration:
3 Hours
Cost:
$55

Board an island bus at Halaevalu Wharf and proceed to Eneio Botanical Garden. This tour offers a truly interactive experience which allows you to relive Polynesian yesterday and experience native lifestyles through guided, on-site, live demonstration and gentle strolling tours amongst the lush tropical paradise of the stunning and only Botanical Garden in Tonga. You will be fascinated with the various demonstrations which includes the making of clothing from bark, along with the creation of jewelry and mats from pandanus leaves, the making of milk and products from coconuts, the making of beverages from plant roots, the production of essence from vanilla beans, and juice from nonu fruits. This guided tour highlights the owner's efforts in conservation and preservation of different plant species since 1972, and is the only opportunity to discover the splendid collection of plants, mature trees and flowering shrubs in this garden. Return to Halaevalu Wharf via Tailulu College, Pouono Cemetery and the Catholic Cathedral Church for your last scenic view and photo-stop.

Please note: Transportation is by non-air-conditioned island bus/minivan without PA systems or microphones. Some roads are unpaved and rutted; the ride can be bumpy. We recommend bringing insect repellent, comfortable flat-soled shoes, sunglasses, a hat, a small bottle of water and clothing suited to weather conditions.

Excursion Code:
VAV-3867
Punarei Village Cultural Tour
Duration:
3.5 Hours
Cost:
$115

This excursion is a recent innovation in the domain of eco/cultural tourism on Aitutaki Island; an island rich in history, culture and living traditions.

Join your two guides Mark and Ngaa as they take you on an adventure into the past and present culture of Aitutaki. Mark, an archaeologist had undertaken excavations and research on the island on marae temples with Ngaa, his assistant. This ancient culture will be revealed to you in the first part of your excursion where you will be driven in your transport vehicle to the Paengaariki marae temple where most of Mark's work has been done. There, discover the results of the excavations and learn about the ancient religious practices enacted in the past. See the large stones upright, representing ancestors, the sacred sub-incision stone to initiate young boys into manhood and the tribal gathering ground or 'koutu'. Hear the stories of the great warrior chiefs associated with this place. You will also be able to see the rare endemic lorikeet of the island the kuramo'o that is ultramarine blue! Then drive to the highest point of the island Mauga Pu for scenic shots across the turquoise blue lagoon out to the surrounding coral motu's.

Continue into the interior again to arrive at a traditional Maori village Punarei reconstructed based upon Mark and Ngaa's research to give an authentic image of the past. Be welcomed in the traditional way by the toa warrior and his enlivened oratory dressed in his feather plumed 'pare' war headdress and tapa loincloth brandishing his ironwood spear or ikatuna. Stand upon the 'poaki' or welcoming stone that gives you the right to stand on the land. Traditional dances will be performed to re-enact the arrival of the first ancestor Ru to the island on his double hulled sailing canoe or vaka Nagpuaariki. Enter the 'are nikau or traditional meetinghouse and discover the surviving traditions of Aitutaki. There will be demonstrations of weaving mats and baskets from coconut fronds. Also tapa making for bark-cloth as practiced in days of old; as well as wood carving and tattooing to reveal to you those ancient arts. See the life-sized traditional god or 'tiki' images carved in local tamanu hardwood including the famous atua vaine or Aitutaki 'goddess' with her unique tattoos. Fresh fruits and sweet coconut will be offered to refresh you, all grown in natural ecologically friendly gardens around the site which you can visit as in ancient times.

After visiting the village participating in various activities and taking photos, you will rejoin your transport to be driven back to the wharf at Aratanga village.

Please note: The excursion requires no physical exertion but bring a bottle of water and some insect repellant. Also some money as handicrafts may be for sale in the village.

Excursion Code:
AIT-6771
Raro Safari by 4x4
Duration:
3 Hours
Cost:
$129

Explore Rarotonga’s pristine natural beauty in an exciting new way during this off-road tour of the island’s stunning lagoons, valleys, and inland villages.

Depart the pier in an off-road, open-top safari truck for a drive to Rarotonga’s back roads and valleys. Along the way, you will be privy to sights and sounds regular visitors to the island would not typically have an opportunity to experience. You will learn how traditional Cook Islanders live, and your guide will provide you with an informative commentary on the various traditional uses of local flora and fauna.

Following your tour, you will be returned to the pier.

Please note: As this tour involves travel over bumpy surfaces, guests with back and/or neck problems and guests with limited mobility are discouraged from participating. Seating on the trucks is very basic. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are recommended.

Excursion Code:
RTG-4898
Rarotonga Circle Island Tour
Duration:
4 Hours
Cost:
$129

Depart the pier for an orientation ride around the island, an excellent way to see the island. Along the way, you will visit such sites as Ngatangiia Harbour, the departure point of the Polynesian Migration to New Zealand in 1350 AD, and a historical back road built in 1050 ADcalled the Road of Toi, or Ara Metua. Visit Muri Lagoon, where you’ll enjoy light refreshments and a cultural show, then continue on past ceremonial sites that include Arai Te Tonga, several historical buildings, the library, the museum, and fruit and vegetable plantations.

This tour provides guests with an excellent orientation to the island of Rarotonga and is recommended for all visitors who want an appreciation of the island and its culture and history.

Following your tour, you will be returned to the pier.

Excursion Code:
RTG-4894
Rays & Snorkeling by Jetboat
Duration:
2.5 Hours
Cost:
$119

Explore Bora Bora's exquisite beauty from above and below sea level during this spectacular jet boat lagoon tour. Depart the pier in Vaitape on a jet boat for a memorable lagoon tour around beautiful Bora Bora. As you circumnavigate the island (weather permitting), you will visit a magnificent coral garden for a great snorkeling experience as well as a swim with the stingrays, and discover the beauty of the ever-changing colors that make Bora Bora's lagoon world famous. After your snorkeling session, you will embark the boat and be served fresh fruit. You will then hang on tight to the support handles as your captain takes you on a fast and exciting ride. A stop will then be made just off Matira's white sandy beach, and your boat will anchor in shallow water. You will then have an opportunity to take a swim and relax on the beach to the sound of ukulele music while being served fresh fruit cocktail. Your guide will provide you with commentary about the island's highlights throughout the tour. Following your jet boat adventure, you will be returned to the pier.

There are no fast turns or abrupt maneuvers on this tour. The minimum age to participate on this tour is eight years old. Life-vests will be provided, and must be worn for swimming.

Excursion Code:
BRB-6705
Relics of World War II
Duration:
2.5 Hours
Cost:
$89

This tour provides a fascinating insight into the history of Santo during WWII. Departing from the pier, you will first visit a Japanese gaol which held the surviving crew from two Japanese patrol boats which sank in 1942. Next, you will see the Euart's Memorial; constructed in honor of the American Army Captain who drowned while heroically saving men from the sinking SS President Coolidge. You will also see Bomber 1 Airfield, the very feint remains at Palakula that has been reclaimed by the jungle. Bomber 3 airfield at Bellaro, the last of 3 bomber strips built on the island of Espiritu Santo. BP Wharf, built by America in 1942 to support their troops, and Million Dollar Point where the American Military dumped tons of equipment into the ocean after the war and many Quonset huts and buildings used between 1942 and 1945. Upon completion of your tour, you will be transferred back to the pier.

Please note: Comfortable shoes recommended. Please bring a bottle of water from the ship. The itinerary of this tour is subject to changes depending on local customs, holidays, road and weather conditions. The transport is not air-conditioned.

Excursion Code:
SNT-006

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