Ponant's Le Jacques Cartier sails alongside m/s Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia in 2026

NEW YORK, NY – May 6, 2024 –From 2026, PONANT is extending its French Polynesian cruise portfolio with two distinct propositions, reflecting the range of experiences that the company offers. Le Jacques Cartier will be positioned from September 2026 to March 2027 in the Polynesian and Pacific archipelagos offering a unique expedition experience, while the m/s Paul Gauguin continues its 25-year legacy of delivering authentic, culturally immersive voyages year-round. 

“French Polynesia is a very popular destination with our guests. We want to offer them a wide range of itineraries and experiences in line with what has forged our identity,” explains Hervé Gastinel, CEO of the PONANT group, “small French-flagged ships, committed to respecting the visited territories and minimising our impact, all with PONANT’s refined and exclusive service”.

“Paul Gauguin Cruises is French Polynesia’s Destination Expert and its award-winning m/s Paul Gauguin’s relaxed atmosphere and warm welcome have enchanted guests for more than 25 years,” continues Hervé Gastinel. “With Le Jacques Cartier, we are bringing a complementary offer, combining expertise in the destination and the PONANT DNA. We will offer an expedition cruise format, in direct contact with nature and local populations, with the 'French touch' that characterises us."

The m/s Paul Gauguin was specially designed to sail in the archipelagos of the South Pacific, as her reduced draft allows the ship to get much closer to shallower lagoons and remote islands. Extensively refurbished in 2021, there reigns on board a unique and genuine French Polynesian atmosphere, thanks mainly to Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins and their legendary hospitality. The musicians and dancers, whether aboard or ashore are the true ambassadors of French Polynesia, always keen to introduce guests to the wealth and diversity of island cultures. The French Polynesian way of life is a source of inspiration for the gastronomy, service and design of the 165 staterooms and suites with views of the lagoons.

From winter 2026, Le Jacques Cartier will offer a whole new experience where the exploration of nature takes centre stage. The multi-sensory Blue Eye Lounge really comes into its own as an ideal place to admire, listen and feel like you can almost touch the magical underwater world of biodiversity gems in the heart of Polynesian lagoons. Naturalist guides who are experts in this destination will be on board to introduce guests to the wonders of the fauna and flora while sailing and during zodiac landings. A themed line-up is designed to bring out all the history and cultures of the many archipelagos visited. Last but not least, the modular marina and semi-submerged platform provide easy access for swimming and a range of watersports (kayaking,
paddleboarding, etc.) in idyllic environments.

Further deployment details on Le Jacques Cartier will be announced soon.


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 French Polynesia and the South Pacific. Paul Gauguin Cruises has been recognized by notable publications in travel and lifestyle including 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 2023, 2022, and 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. 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.



Explore to Inspire: explore to better understand, learn, share and protect. PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism, and purposeful voyages of exploration for 35 years. Aboard a fleet of 13 French-flagged small ships, fitted with the latest environmental technologies, the journey of exploration is always elegant, authentic and inspiring. For more information visit www.ponant.com

Press contacts: Laure Foulatier +33(0)4 88 66 64 38 | Justine Fraticelli +33(0)4 88 91 35 56 | presse@ponant.com
Photo credits: ©Studio PONANT – Guillaume Robin, ©Studio PONANT – Juliette Leclercq, ©PONANT - Julien Fabro