Guest Gina Tarnacki sailed aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin on a 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage. In the post below, she shares her favorite experiences from that cruise.
By Gina Tarnacki
Paul Gauguin Cruises offers two private beach experiences: a private beach in Bora Bora and Motu Mahana, the cruise line’s private island off the coast of Taha’a. In Bora Bora, I got to lounge on my beach towel on a blissfully laidback and fun stretch of sand. There wasn’t much to it besides the nearby table with cold refreshments—and that was perfect for just absorbing the atmosphere and spending time in Bora Bora’s insanely beautiful lagoon.
To me, the other private retreat—Motu Mahana, with lounge chairs framing the lagoon and crew members coming around to deliver drinks—highlights everything that’s special about both Paul Gauguin Cruises and French Polynesia. It was a perfect setting to enjoy the views and sunshine while relaxing with a book—and so much more. Here are my favorite parts of Motu Mahana and how each relates to my overall Paul Gauguin Cruises’ vacation.
Top-notch service is found everywhere on The Gauguin, and it began immediately in Motu Mahana thanks to a floating bar waiting in the lagoon to serve cocktails. On land, plenty of crew members were there to provide drinks and food or assist with whatever was needed by guests.
Les Gauguins & Les Gauguines are a special part of the cruise since they teach guests about the culture and customs of the people of French Polynesia, such as traditional dance, flower weaving, and pareo tying. My favorite demonstration they did, though, was the coconut one, which involved breaking open a coconut and grating and milking it.
Motu Mahana is a little piece of paradise that includes the main aspects of French Polynesia’s charm: aquamarine water, snorkeling spots, views of jagged green peaks, rugged terrain dotted with palm trees, and a relaxing beach.
The meals onboard The Gauguin were a delicious treat each day with multiple courses of fresh seafood, French-inspired appetizers, creamy desserts, and much more. On Motu Mahana, a buffet was served that had a wide range of freshly prepared choices. My favorite dish was the Poisson Cru, a local specialty of raw tuna tossed in coconut milk.
Paul Gauguin Cruises offers many fun and interactive activities to do while in port, and Motu Mahana was no exception. My favorite thing I did on Motu Mahana was kayaking to the nearby rock wall where I came across a series of tiny waterfalls and could also hear and see the turquoise waves breaking on the reef just beyond.
A Taha’a Dive
What’s the one thing that could have made my day in Motu Mahana better? Preceding it with a SCUBA diving adventure in the morning. Paul Gauguin offers SCUBA excursions in each port. The dives I did in Bora Bora and Moorea were my favorite part of my trip and made me want to explore the underwater world of every island Paul Gauguin Cruises visits. Maybe someday!
The Gauguin calls on Motu Mahana on all French Polynesia itineraries. For more information on these itineraries, please click here.