Our Private Paradise—Motu Mahana


Our Private Paradise—Motu Mahana

December 11, 2015

Part of what makes a voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises so special is the access our small ships provide to some of the world’s most idyllic, unspoiled beaches. On every French Polynesia sailing, our guests have the opportunity to enjoy a full day at our dreamy South Seas paradise—Motu Mahana, located off the coast of Taha’a. Our private island retreat is a highlight of every French Polynesia voyage and available exclusively to m/s Paul Gauguin guests.

You’ll want to spend as much time here as you can. Before you visit, check out the complimentary snorkel gear aboard the ship during marina hours and bring it with your stateroom beach towel. Wear your swimsuit under your cover-up or shorts and shirt, and don water shoes for the lagoon. Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and camera.

To get to Motu Mahana, you’ll board a special beacher vessel from the ship’s gangway that is equipped for water landings. It’s about a 20-minute ride across turquoise waters. As you step off the beacher into the lagoon’s shallow, crystal-clear, calm waters, you’ll walk a few feet to the island’s beach as you are serenaded by traditional Polynesian songs performed by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins.   

Stroll the sandy islet to find the perfect chaise lounge on the sand, which all sport incredible lagoon views. Some are shaded by coconut palm trees, others bask in the warm sunshine.

If you have dreamed of sipping a tropical drink from a coconut, Motu Mahana offers 18 different selections including daiquiris, piña coladas, chi-chis, Long Island iced teas, mai tais, and Margaritas. There is also a wide variety of other cold refreshments available at Motu Mahana’s full-service bar. And, if you’re relaxing in the water and don’t want to leave, simply enjoy a delicious beverage from the floating lagoon bar.

At lunchtime, a barbecue feast is served consisting of grilled fish, chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs along with a variety of salads, fresh fruit, and vegetables, with freshly baked cookies for dessert. 

The lagoon is perfect for swimming and snorkeling and kayaks are also available. Or, engage in a game of volleyball or badminton in the white sand. Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins lead Polynesian activities throughout the day on the islet including coconut demonstrations, basket weaving, pareo tying, and culinary demonstrations featuring the traditional Tahitian dish of Poisson Cru. The Gauguin’s Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm offers relaxing overwater massages on Motu Mahana. Or enjoy shopping for pearl jewelry, pareos, vanilla, and local handicrafts.

Whether you opt for reading a good book in the shade or snorkeling with colorful fish, spend the entire day on our unique island retreat doing exactly what you like.