Travel Advisory & health protocols

Travel Advisory & health protocols

February 22, 2021

Ia orana,

We hope you and your loved ones are well.  Our guests and crew always come first, and we want to assure you that their health and well-being is our top priority.  Due to the continued COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our cruise departures up to and including June 5th, 2021. We are eager to return to sailing when we believe that the environment will support it.

If you have any questions regarding an upcoming cruise, please contact your Travel Advisor. Our team is also available to assist you, Monday – Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, at 800-848-6172 and by email at

We look forward to once again welcoming our guests on board and providing them peace of mind with exceptional cruise experiences in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific.

Māuruuru roa,

Paul Gauguin Cruises

The information listed below will be updated as travel restrictions and health protocols and procedures change.  Please check back frequently.

Health protocol FAQs

What are the Covid-19 requirements for traveling to French Polynesia?

In order to stay Covid-free, the French Polynesian government has established strict entry requirements that are applicable to all travelers arriving by air. Paul Gauguin Cruises protocol for a safe cruise meet these requirements.

Prior to boarding flight:

  • You must have proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test (list of approved and non approved tests) carried out within three days prior to international air departure. The results of this test must be negative and the medical document confirming this, issued by a doctor, hospital or medical clinic must be presented to airline staff upon check-in prior to boarding the flight to French Polynesia.
  • You must complete the online health document Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) at and obtain a receipt and authorization to travel. A printout of this authorization receipt must be presented upon check-in, along with the Covid-19 test results, in order to be able to board the flight to French Polynesia. These documents will also need to be presented upon arrival at Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport and carried with you at all times while in Polynesia.
  • ​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.
  • You are required to have travel insurance or to sign a declaration assuming all associated medical, confinement, or repatriation costs, should you fall ill during your stay.

During your stay in French Polynesia:

  • Guests will be required to take a Covid-19 RT-PCR test within 24 hours of embarkation.  A test site will be open at the pier from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Testing during these time slots will ensure results are received prior to the 3:00 pm embarkation. The cost of this test is $59 per person and will be billed to guest’s onboard account.  Guests who are scheduled to arrive Papeete the afternoon or evening on the day of embarkation will be tested at the pier prior to boarding and will be asked to remain in their cabin pending test results. 
    Testing site location:
    Cruise Ship Terminal
    Quai des Paquebots
    Pape'ete 98714, French Polynesia
  • In addition to the test required prior to departure, a self-test will be provided by the government of French Polynesia and will need to be carried out on the fourth day after arriving in the islands. A dated envelope will be given to each traveler upon their arrival at the airport. Inside the envelope is a self-test kit consisting of an oral and nasal swab, an information sheet and instructions. This test is to be completed by each individual on the date indicated on the envelope. Click here to view an instructional video.

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 current health protocols on board the m/s Paul Gauguin?

As always, the safety and security of guests and crew members remains 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 percent 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:


  • All guests will be asked to present proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test at embarkation.
  • All Guests will be required to present the completed Health Declaration 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 disinfecting 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

  • 100 percent 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 percent occupancy.
  • Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with EcoLab peroxide, which eliminates 100 percent of germs, bacteria and against 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 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 is available, and one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.
  • During the cruise, hydroalcoholic gel is placed at several points of the ship in self-service.


  • 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 a hydroalcoholic gel.

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 prototocl manifesto is available online here.

If I need to take a Covid-19 test while in Tahiti, where can I have this done?

Institut Louis Mallarde,  rue du 5 mars 1797 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

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–9:30am  
  • 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 the health protocols, guests will need to bring their own snorkel gear to use or purchase it on board in the boutique. Snorkel gear will not be available to check-out in the marina.

Will SCUBA diving gear still be provided?

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

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,

Will the casino be open?

No, the casino will be closed.

I reside in Hawaii. Upon my return home I need to present a negative Covid-19 (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 25,000 cfp 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, please contact your charter host agency directly regarding your sailing. If there are any changes to your scheduled departure, they will be communicated to you by the charter agency directly. Paul Gauguin’s policies concerning Future Cruise Credits, cancel fees, and fees concerning airline/hotels are not applicable to private charters.