Thank you to all the participants that submitted photos to our “Say Tahiti” photo contest. A total of 566 photos were submitted to the contest page or via Instagram at #SayTahiti and #PGCPhotoEntry. We were amazed by all the incredible photos taken in French Polynesia and the South Pacific showcasing the region’s lush scenery, culture, marine and wildlife.
Congratulations to our photo contest winners who are featured below along with the inspiration behind their photos.
Grand Prize Winners
Photo credit: Zelle Olson
About the photo: “I took the photo on the Taha’a coral gardens drift snorkel excursion. There was a big variety of coral and fish everywhere. It was amazing and really beautiful. My first trip to French Polynesia was in 1993. I fell in love with the friendly people, the incredibly beautiful turquoise lagoons and the gorgeous tropical plants. I travel back there every chance I get.”
Photo credit: Gene Malone
About the Photo: “It was taken on my first visit to French Polynesia in September 2002. My wife and I were on a cruise and unfortunately, it was not a digital photo so I have to presume it was taken from the deck of the ship, but I’m unable to narrow down a location from the island in the background. We love all of French Polynesia and have returned another half dozen times including two cruises on the m/s Paul Gauguin. I’m a diver, my wife snorkels and we both enjoy the warm tropical waters with the beautiful coral and abundant sea life. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share a bit of paradise with others.”
Photo credit: Dick Gamble
About the Photo: “We stopped at Rangiroa on one of our voyages with Paul Gauguin Cruises. This atoll, snorkeling and huge lagoon was perfect for us to return and enjoy more of its beauty. Rangiroa had the ambiance and feeling of our idea of the perfect South Pacific experience. During our stay we SCUBA dived and snorkeled several times, taking underwater photos of all the varieties of critters. Our beach bungalow overlooking the atoll was perfect, with a postcard view. The restaurant served mouth-watering local food that we fully enjoyed. Their local beautiful ladies and handsome men entertained us at dinner with authentic live music and their dancing. We have returned to French Polynesia often to explore their rich heritage, ancient history and amazing blend of cultures from their past. The history of sailing these islands using only stars, wind, sun, birds and waves is especially captivating. We have gotten to know one of the very few astounding "Po's" who continue sailing the world's oceans as their ancestors did without any modern navigation aids. We love to tour and experience all that French Polynesia offers so much that we are already booked on another PG cruise and stay.”
Photo credit: Angelee Hale-Danielson
About the photo: "This photo was taken sailing in the lagoon of Bora Bora via Polynesian outrigger. We spent the day swimming with sharks, cuddling with the friendly sting rays, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs, and cruising over beautiful turquoise waters. The combination of the breathtaking landscape, crystal clear water, being serenaded by our joyful tour guide, and experiencing French Polynesian sea life up close made for an unforgettable day. I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life!"
Photo credit: Tatiana Gonnason
Instagram: @tatianagonnason Website: MauiFreeDive.com
About the photo: “This photo was taken two years ago in Bora Bora from the m/s Paul Gauguin—and we are coming back for about the 5th time, booked on The Gauguin from January 11-18. It was a big school of eagle rays, probably 20 of them just hanging around in the 25-30 feet of water in the middle of the lagoon, not at the spot where we usually see resident eagle rays. The moonlike bottom strikes me with its pristine beauty. There was a strong current there, but big marine creatures usually love currents and they were just effortlessly swimming against it. We love French Polynesia’s pristine waters, beautiful landscapes, which is still not “overrun” by mass tourism…culture, music and Heiva, dance! As an ocean addict, photographer, and marine explorer I love everything about the Polynesian underwater world of wonders.”
Photo credit: Greg Sullivan
About the photo: “While anchored at Bora Bora for 2 days we took a flight tour around Bora Bora and Tupai on Tahiti Air Charter. The image I submitted was taken after circling the entire island toward the end of the flight shortly before returning to Aeroport de Bora Bora. It depicts the fantastic colors and contrast seen every day on a Tahiti/French Polynesia cruise, while on the water, touring the islands on land, under the water, and in the air. French Polynesia offers the most strikingly beautiful scenery I have ever seen, which is proven in this image.”
Photo credit: Larry Bouligny
About the Photo: “Bora Bora at sunrise.”
Photo credit: John Lentz
About the Photo: “This photograph was taken about four years ago with a Canon 5D Mark lll. We stayed in Moorea for a week prior to cruising on the Paul Gauguin and I lucked upon this good spot there and took the picture. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and are looking forward to sailing on the PG again soon. We've been on a number of cruises and this was one of the best!”
Culture/Island Life Winners
Photo credit: Meadow Linn
Instagram: @Meadow_Linn Facebook: Meadow Linn
About the photo: “I took this photo on Tahiti-Iti at Teahopo’o Beach. We were on the first ship to visit Tahiti-Iti. The welcome at the dock was incredible! This beautiful woman was one of the tour guides. I dreamed of visiting French Polynesia for as long as I can remember. When I was a French teacher, I kept a poster of Moorea on the wall so that I could stare at it and imagine myself someday visiting. The trip was absolutely magical! The highlight of our Paul Gauguin cruise was swimming with sharks and stingrays on a sandbar in Bora Bora. The people, the food, the scenery…everything was amazing!”
Photo credit: Mark West
About the photo: “The photo was taken at sunset at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. I stayed there as an extension to my m/s Paul Gauguin cruise last February/March. I fell in love with French Polynesia then, especially Bora Bora. I had an 89-year-old ham radio friend who loved Taha’a so much that he married a local lady and visited for two months every year. He worked at CBS television the rest of the year but he told me that I HAD to go. I learned a lot about the Tahitian culture from him in our talks. He and I used to talk with his old friend Rene, who was the head of the Tahitian Postale, via ham radio weekly. Sadly, I never got to meet Rene and my friend. Patrick passed away about 10 years ago. I think that I got a small taste of what Hawaii was like before the invasion of tourism took hold. I was impressed with the people, their attitudes and the sheer beauty of the islands. I hope to return very soon!”
Thanks again to everyone who submitted photos for the contest. We will also be featuring the photography submissions on Instagram @paulgauguincruises.