Our Story

At the turn of the century, impressionist Paul Gauguin traveled to the tropical shores of French Polynesia to create some of his most renowned masterpieces. Today his namesake, the 330-guest m/s Paul Gauguin, transports discerning guests to the same romantic Tahitian vacation paradise—to explore, experience and escape.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is committed to providing an extraordinary luxury cruise experience uniquely tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. The company’s numerous “World's Best” awards demonstrate a dedication to guest satisfaction, excellence, quality and value.

Built in 1998 at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France, the m/s Paul Gauguin was designed specifically to allow guests the freedom to discover the exotic ports of the South Pacific without limitation. On January 6, 2010, the luxury ship sailed its first voyage as a member of the Pacific Beachcomber, S.C. portfolio. And, in September 2019, Paul Gauguin Cruises joined PONANT’s family— the world leader of small-ship cruising.

The Gauguin hosts voyages ranging from 7- to 16-night itineraries, featuring such exquisite destinations as Tahiti and the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, and Fiji. Each of these exclusive voyages highlights the utter beauty that defines the South Seas. Stunning islands, white-sand beaches, blue lagoons and the vibrant Polynesian culture of this region combine to provide a welcome tropical escape for guests yearning for the ultimate getaway. The ship features cultural activities aboard led by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins, the ship’s troupe of Tahitian ambassadors and entertainers.

In February 2021, The Gauguin completed an extensive redesign with a look designed by Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel, which evokes South Seas elegance and the storied islands that the iconic ship sails. The refurbishment enhances the historical interior of the vessel made of warm and dark woodworks and strengthens the local identity. The fresh palette incorporates lagoon shades, a wide range of green and natural tones, warm color touches, organic patterns and woven textiles. Exotic panoramas and traditional artwork transports guests into the local environment. All The Gauguin’s staterooms and suites, as well as the public spaces, were redesigned including Le Grand Salon, L'Etoile, Le Grill, La Veranda, Piano Bar, La Palette Lounge, Spa and Salon, Boutique, Pool Deck, and Reception area.

To accompany The Gauguin’s renovation, amenities were enhanced for a full guest experience. Guests are now able to enjoy complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi as well as a virtual museum of over 150 paintings of artist Paul Gauguin. These new enhancements provide guests of The Gauguin an even more luxurious, all-inclusive experience, which encompasses dining in all three of the ship’s restaurants and 24-hour room service; complimentary beverages including select wines, beer, and spirits; and onboard gratuities for room stewards and dining staff.

Environmental stewardship is one of the highest priorities of the company. In 2019, Paul Gauguin Cruises eliminated the use of heavy fuel oil by using a much cleaner fuel (LS MGO – Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil). The Gauguin’s most recent environmental upgrades follow this path and includes water treatment and consumption optimization along with energy-saving initiatives.

As the longest continually operating luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, The Gauguin is one of the most highly awarded luxury cruise ships in the world, regularly receiving top honors for superb luxury, quality, service, itineraries and value. Paul Gauguin Cruises voted the #1 Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure’s 2022 World’s Best Awards, one of the “Top Small Cruise Lines” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and is honored on the publication’s 2021 “Gold List.” Paul Gauguin Cruises was selected as “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in Global Traveler’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards from 2016 to 2022, and has received top honors in BRIDES Magazine’s Honeymoon Awards for the past three years. And recently the line was recognized for the fourth time for having the “Best French Polynesia Cruises” in the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Discover the difference of cruising with purpose on Paul Gauguin Cruises and allow us to introduce you to authentic Polynesia.