NEW YORK, NY – October 5, 2023 – Paul Gauguin Cruises has partnered with the government of French Polynesia to provide healthcare assistance in the region’s most isolated islands. The partnership aims to meet the health needs of the people in these remote areas in two ways: first, by offering volunteer consultations by the doctors of the m/s Paul Gauguin during scheduled port calls; and second, by providing transportation free of charge aboard The Gauguin to health professionals commissioned by the government’s Health Directorate to ensure advance specialized consultations (CSA). This collaboration – a first for the cruise industry in French Polynesia – deepens the line’s commitment to the region, which has called French Polynesia home for 25 years.
The "Taote Gauguin" (taote means doctor in Tahitian) medical partnership agreement was signed on Monday, August 21, by Cédric Mercadal, French Polynesia’s Minister of Health in charge of Prevention and Generalized Social Protection, and Florence Courbière, on behalf of Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT, the line’s parent company.
“We are honored to partner with French Polynesia’s medical community to provide essential services in the wonderful communities we admire and respect so deeply,” said Navin Sawhney, CEO Americas for Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT USA. “The Taote Gauguin initiative allows us to further support the people who have so warmly welcomed Paul Gauguin Cruises into their lives for 25 years, proudly sharing their cultures, traditions, and natural wonders with our guests.”
“We welcome this public-private partnership established with a major undertaking in the country's economic development, which is fully in line with the government's desire to strengthen the offer of local care for the benefit of Polynesian families, particularly in remote archipelagos,” Mercadal said.
The testing phase of the collaboration, which included three shifts of medical consultations, took place during The Gauguin’s July 29 to August 12 voyage to better understand the program’s logistics, assess medical and operational needs and constraints, and refine the terms of the agreement.
"It was a very successful effort marked by over 20 consultations with patients aged from six months to 77 years, three of whom were sent on board for X-rays,” said Captain Michel Quioc. “Fatu Hiva has no medical imaging facilities so two ultrasounds were also carried out. The team was delighted to be able to provide such important medical services."
The program will feature 40 consultation shifts a year to citizens of the Marquesas, one of French Polynesia’s more remote regions. The transport of medical specialists from Tahiti to these islands will double the medical presence with patients also receiving certain medical treatments onboard such as x-rays and ultrasounds.
For more information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, please contact a Travel Professional, call 800- 848-6172, or visit www.pgcruises.com.
About Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the 330-guest m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. Paul Gauguin Cruises has been recognized by notable publications in travel and lifestyle including voted most recently as the “World’s Best Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2022; one of the “Top 2 Small Cruise Lines” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards as well as named on the publication’s 2021 “Gold List.” The line was also recognized for the 4th time for having the “Best French Polynesia Cruises” in the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards. In September 2019, Paul Gauguin Cruises joined PONANT’s family, a designer of inspiring voyages on board small exploration ships.