Safety at Heart

Safety On Board the m/s Paul Gauguin

Whether on land or on board, your safety is our primary concern. As scientific advances are made, Paul Gauguin Cruises continues to hone its robust protocol to guarantee an optimal experience by integrating all the technological, personal, and physical (material) measures to ensure the provision and maintenance of an uncontaminated zone. This reinforced protection is based on three “shields” designed to guarantee solid onboard access conditions, strict hygienic protocol, and daily regulation and monitoring of guests, equipment, and the ship in general.

Conditions of access to board The Gauguin

All guests and crew are checked and subject to this hygienic safe zone protocol

3 Days Prior

Take a Covid-19 RT PCR test

At Boarding

Present valid proof of vaccination (any guest joining the ship must have completed the vaccination process), negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test results, and a completed health declaration and questionnaire form to ship staff

Boarding, or refusal if:

Traveler will be denied if : 1.) unable to provide valid proof of vaccination​ 2.) vaccine is not in accordance with HAS recommendations 3.) yields positive test results 4.) the test was conducted outside of the 72-hour timeline 5.) they have come into contact with a Covid-19 case in the previous 14 days 6.) their temperature is over 100.4° F / 38° C or 7.) symptoms are detected.

Preservation of the onboard hygienic safety zone

All passengers and crew are subject to health protocol and all onboard spaces are disinfected on a regular basis


of baggage and cargo


Utilize provided safety kits and wear a mask while outside cabin


of all spaces and disinfection of the renewed air

Barrier Gestures

Physical distancing and systematic temperature monitoring


Mandatory wearing of a mask or visor

Isolation Zone

available if necessary (3 cabins)

Shore Visits(1)

The ship tender will be disinfected, and passengers will observe reinforced health instructions: social distancing, wearing a mask, barrier gestures, hand disinfection and temperature measurement in order to reboard The Gauguin.

Control of the hygienic safety zone

We have a highly-developed system for monitoring and controlling the health status on board The Gauguin in order to guarantee you a safe visit to the islands

Medical Team

Doctor and nurse on board

Onboard Hosptial

Daily monitoring and rapid diagnosis with the ability to conduct Covid-19 RT-PCR and/or antigen rapid testing on board


of high-traffic surfaces on a regular basis

Continuous Monitoring

of passengers and ship

After Disembarkation

Medical questionnaire to be completed 3 weeks after cruise

Once you're ready to book, be sure read the full Travel Advisory»

Questions? Find answers in our FAQ:
What are the steps I need to take to travel to French Polynesia?

What are the health protocol requirements for traveling to French Polynesia?

The French Polynesian government has established strict entry requirements that are applicable to all travelers arriving by air. The following guideline must be adhered to by guests to be allowed to enter the country.

Prior to boarding flight:

  • 30-6 days prior to traveling, travelers must register with the French Polynesian government by filling out an Electronic Travel Information System form (ETIS), and uploading proof of vaccination. During this process travelers will be required to purchase travel insurance or to sign a declaration assuming all associated medical, confinement, or reparation costs should they fall ill during their stay. Upon completing the ETIS registration travelers will receive an email receipt within 2 days that they will be required to present at the airport.
  • Within 3 days prior to international flight, air travelers must obtain negative results on a Covid-19 RT-PCR or rapid (antigen) test to present to airline staff in order to board your flight to French Polynesia. Please review the list of non-approved and approved test to confirm the test you take will be accepted. List of approved and non-approved tests. Results of this negative test must be proven with a medical document issued by a doctor, hospital, or medical clinic.
  • Day of flight when boarding you will be required to provide your vaccine certificate, your negative Covid-19 RT-PCR  test (taken within 3 days of boarding) or rapid (antigen) test (taken withing 48 hours prior to boarding), and the completed email receipt from ETIS. ​If you are traveling to French Polynesia on Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles to Papeete, a list of testing locations to obtain the Covid-19 RT-PCR test in Southern California can be found here. Sanitary measures taken during flights on Air Tahiti Nui can be found here.

During your stay in French Polynesia:

  • Upon landing at Faa’a International Airport, guests will be required to take an antigen rapid test. Tests are at the traveler's expense.
  • While sailing in the Islands: Any guest disembarking the ship throughout the duration of the voyage will be required to take an antigen rapid test every 3 days until they disembark the ship. Guests who choose to go ashore on a non-organized shore excursion will be required to mandatory Covid-19 Ag testing every 3 days until they disembark
  • On the day of departure from French Polynesia, all air passengers traveling to the United States, including U.S. Citizens and fully vaccinated travelers, are required to present a negative antigen rapid test result prior to boarding the flight. This test is at the traveler's expense.  

Full details of entry are posted here on the Tahiti Tourism website and may also be viewed here on Air Tahiti Nui's website. 

What are the steps I need to take to board the m/s Paul Gauguin?

What are the health protocol requirements for boarding the m/s Paul Gauguin?

All passengers and crew must also have a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test within a maximum of 3 days prior to boarding and proof of vaccination.

Paul Gauguin Cruises' reinforced health protocol is approved by the health authorities and the certification bodies of each country we visit. It relies on the delimitation of a hygienic safe zone area around the vessel and is structured in three layers, or "shields:" stringent onboard access conditions; daily rigorous sanitary protocol; and daily monitoring for the virus (guests, equipment and the ship.) This includes the implementation of a health check for 100% of people on board (guests and crew members*). It also includes disinfection at boarding in a newly designed circuit that focuses on before, during, and after the cruise.

For many years, the company has invested in state-of-the-art medical facilities on board its ships (ultrasound and radiography equipment, testing on site, resuscitation equipment, etc.) that go well beyond what current standards for tourism require. An expert medical team comprising of at least one doctor and a nurse are available 24/7 on board The Gauguin.

*For crew: the goal is 100%, subject to the restrictions in force in the country of residence. 

Am I still required to present a negative RT-PCR test if I have been vaccinated?

Yes, even if you are vaccinated you have to provide a negative RT-PCR test. To ensure the safety of all passengers and in compliance with current health guidelines, if you are unvaccinated, you must present with a negative PCR test done within 3 days of boarding.

If I have been vaccinated, but have symptoms or a temperature above 100.4° F, can I still board?

Anyone presenting with a temperature above 100.4° F or symptoms may not be allowed to board.

In this case, the medical team may decide to do an additional PCR test if the doctor or Captain deems it necessary. The final decision will rest with the doctor or Captain. In this case, we invite you to contact your Travel Advisor or Paul Gauguin Cruises. Your cruise can be postponed, or you can request a refund.

If I am vaccinated but my Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 3 days of boarding is positive, can I still board?

No, you will not be able to board. In this case, we invite you to contact your Travel Advisor or Paul Gauguin Cruises. Your cruise can be postponed, or you can request a refund.

If I am vaccinated but have been in contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive in the 14 days before boarding, can I still board?

No, you will not be able to board. In this case, we invite you to contact your Travel Advisor or Paul Gauguin Cruises. Your cruise can be postponed, or you can request a refund.

Will Paul Gauguin Cruises recognize Canadians with mixed does as fully vaccinated?

Yes, it is acceptable.

How does Paul Gauguin Cruises monitor health conditions during and after its cruises?

As part of our protocol, there is a rigorous system in place for monitoring and controlling the health situation on board throughout the cruise: daily monitoring is carried out by the medical team, with regular samples taken for testing from surfaces identified as being the most susceptible.

At the end of every cruise, each passenger is required to provide information on their health and any Covid-19 symptoms if they have them. Before disembarkation, the doctor will distribute a questionnaire which has to be returned within a month. In the event of a suspected case being reported, everyone who is considered to have been in contact with that person will be informed by email.

When will this protocol be implemented?

This protocol will be up and running from when we resume operations.

For which cruises is this protocol valid?

For now, this protocol is activated for all of our cruises.

*Social distancing measurements are adjusted according to health regulations in the jurisdiction where we operate.

This document is not contractual and may be modified according to medical, sanitary, and scientific updates.


What safety precautions have been taken onboard?

In addition to vaccination and testing requirements, what are the current health protocols once guests embark and are actively sailing on board the m/s Paul Gauguin?

As always, the safety and security of guests and crew members remain Paul Gauguin Cruises’ top priority. Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT are collaborating with the IHU (Institute Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world's leading centers in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles. The health protocol has been developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT and is based on health standards that exceed international regulations. This protocol is built on the principle of double protection: 100% monitoring of people and goods before boarding, then once on board, strict health protocols are applied.

In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements, and enhanced employee training, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ new measures include:


  • Upon boarding all guests are required to provide valid proof of vaccination (any guests joining the ship must have completed the vaccination process),  proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 3 days of boarding, completed health declaration and health questionnaire Covid-19 form included with final travel documents.
  • All guests will undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff. 
  • All luggage will pass through a disinfection zone by sanitizing mist or UV lamps.
  • Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer bottles will be provided to passengers.

On board experience:

  • The ship will have 100% fresh air in staterooms through non-recirculating air conditioning systems.
  • Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour.
  • Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer contactless a la carte dining options.
  • Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater, will be capped at 50% occupancy.
  • High-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, will be disinfected hourly with EcoLab peroxide, which has been proven 100% effective in the elimination of germs, bacteria, and biological contamination.
  • Crew members are required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests.
  • Guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and they will be recommended in public spaces.
  • The Gauguin is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on-site for infectious or tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology, and blood biological analysis are available, and one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.
  • Hand sanitizer gel is available for guest’s use throughout the ship.


  • All passengers are asked to vacate their cabins by 8:00 am.
  • All passengers (including air/sea guests) must disembark by 10:00 am.
  • Air/Sea guests will be given a tour/transfer from the pier to the hotel, arriving hotel at approximately 12:30–1:00 pm. Guests may have lunch on their own while awaiting the 3:00 pm check-in for dayroom accommodations.
  • Each guest will be given a “safe journey back home” kit made up of two additional masks and hand sanitizer.
  • On the day of disembarkation, a medical questionnaire will be given to each passenger. It must be returned to the company in case of symptoms or a positive test within one month following the end of the cruise.
  • Air travelers departing to the United States will require a negative antigen rapid test prior to boarding. There is a test center at Faa'a International Airport. This test is at the traveler's expense.

Final instructions will be provided to guests in advance, in accordance with local health instructions. Measures could be modified, according to medical, sanitary, and scientific updates.

The complete health protocol manifesto is available online here.

Will all restaurants be open and operational?

Restaurant operations will be full-service, as opposed to buffet-style, and only one restaurant will be open at a time. Le Grill will be closed until further notice. 

  • Breakfast — La Veranda:  7:00 am–9:30 am  
  • Lunch — La Veranda:  12:00 pm–2:00 pm   
  • Dinner — L’Etoile:  6:30 pm–9:00 pm  

Will guests still get to experience Motu Mahana?

Yes, guests will still get to experience Paul Gauguin Cruises' private south seas island, Motu Mahana. The on-island BBQ lunch will be served, instead of buffet-style as it was in the past.

Will water sports from the marina deck be offered?

Yes, but water sports will be limited.

Will there be shore excursions available and do I have to wear a mask while on tour?

Shore excursions will be operated at a reduced capacity and guests are encouraged to wear masks while out on excursions. In order to re-board after a shore excursion, guests will need to have their temperature checked, and go through disinfection procedures (individual and personal belongings).

Will snorkeling equipment be provided?

Per health protocol, guests will need to bring their own snorkel gear.  Snorkel gear will not be available check-out in the marina.

Will SCUBA diving gear still be provided?

Yes, we will provide sanitized SCUBA gear (BCD, regulators, wet suits, fins, and masks).

Will SCUBA dives be available to pre-reserve?

No, dives will not be available to pre-reserve. All dives must be booked directly on board, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Will the Deep Nature Spa be open and fully operational?

Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm will be open for treatments such as massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, exfoliation, body wraps, facials, beauty treatments, nail services, and hairstyling. The hammam and sauna will be closed until further notice.

Will the Polynesian blessing ceremony for weddings & anniversaries still be performed?

This special gathering will still be offered. Modifications will be made to follow social distancing practices in relation to the number of guests participating.

I reside in Hawaii. Upon my return home I need to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test to board my flight. Where can I take this test?

The onboard doctor can provide the test, send it to the laboratory in Papeete and have the results within 48 hours. The cost is approximately $120 USD (rates fluctuate), for the analysis. Unfortunately, it will not be possible for guests to do the tests on the islands. 

I am booked on a private charter, who do I contact to discuss my travel plans?

If you are booked on a private charter and there are any changes to your scheduled departure, they will be communicated by the charter agency directly. Paul Gauguin Cruises’ policies concerning future cruise credits, cancel fees, and fees concerning airline/hotels are not applicable to private charters.​

Paul Gauguin Cruises is Part of the PONANT Family

PONANT has combined small-capacity ships, eco-design, and health protocols — and has collaborated with exceptional partners, to offer responsible travel that promotes sustainable tourism. Due to this exceptional business model, PONANT is adept at rolling out protocols rigorously, quickly, and efficiently.

For many years the company has invested in state-of-the-art medical facilities on board its ships (ultrasound and radiography equipment, testing on-site, resuscitation equipment, etc.) that go well beyond what current standards for tourism require. A medical team comprising of at least one doctor and a nurse are available 24/7.

Should anyone on board show symptoms of Covid-19, they will be immediately treated by our medical team and a specific protocol will apply including immediate search and isolation of contact cases and disinfection of potentially infected areas.

PONANT’s Partners

(1)Wearing a mask on land is subject to local administrative decisions.  Social distancing measures are adjusted according to the health regulations in force in the jurisdiction where we are sailing.