Safety at Heart
Updated June 13, 2022
Ia Orana! At Paul Gauguin Cruises, our guests and crew have always come first. Our top priority is to safeguard their health, safety and well-being as well as the communities we visit.
Working with the latest scientific recommendations, Paul Gauguin Cruises has developed a robust set of multi-layered measures to address COVID-19 that are continually updated as new health recommendations are issued. These measures include testing, strict cleaning protocols and monitoring of both guests, crew and the ship in general.
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 am to 5 pm Pacific Time, at 800-848-6172 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our cruise schedule can also be found on our website.
We look forward to welcoming our guests onboard and providing them peace of mind with exceptional cruise experiences in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. Māuruuru roa! — Paul Gauguin Cruises.
As needed, we will update our advisory, so please check back frequently.
Ready to Explore French Polynesia on The Gauguin?
Full details are available further down this page in the FAQ section. We also encourage you to review the link provided to the Tahiti Tourism website as requirements are likely to change. In summary, along with getting vaccinated these are the steps you’ll need to take:
- More Than 7 Days Prior: Complete the vaccination process*.
- Effective May 21, 2022 - *Within 24 to 72 hours of embarkation: Prior to boarding the m/s Paul Gauguin guests must present valid proof of vaccination (any guest joining the ship must have completed the vaccination process), negative Covid-19 RT-PCR (taken within 72 hours of embarkation) or antigen test results (taken within 24 hours of embarkation), and the completed health declaration and health questionnaire forms also sent to you with you cruise documents. If guests are arriving in French Polynesia early and the validity period of the Covid-19 PCR or antigen test has expired, please visit The Louis Malarde Institute (ILM) in Papeete prior to embarkation.
- Effective May 18, 2022 - The Islands of Tahiti no longer require Covid-19 tests for vaccinated travelers departing from Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Noumea and Auckland to French Polynesia. Individuals with a completed vaccination schedule are now exempt from the requirement to take an antigen or RT-PCR test prior to arrival.
- Important: When the traveler is over 18 years old, in order for the vaccination schedule to be recognized as complete beyond 9 months, he/she must have received an additional dose (booster). In other words, when a traveler has completed a full vaccination (1 dose Janssen or 2 doses Pfizer / Moderna / Astrazeneca ), he/she will have to receive a booster shot before traveling to French Polynesia if his/her last dose is 9 months old or more. Only a booster is required, it is not needed to redo a complete vaccination process even if this 9 months deadline is exceeded. Please visit https://tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19 for details.
- Effective May 18, 2022 - Tests are still required for all travelers with a stopover or transit in the United States. For all travelers (vaccinated or not) flying through the United States must comply with U.S. entry requirements. Therefore, for all travelers aged 2 years and older, in transit or on a stopover in the United States, it is still mandatory to perform an antigen test (or RT-PCR) less than 24 hours prior to departure (the day before or the day of departure).
- Full vaccination: comply with the most restrictive regulations in effect between the traveler’s final destination and transit country. Please visit https://tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19 for details.
- While sailing on the m/s Paul Gauguin: Guests may be required to get a Covid-19 rapid (antigen) test midway through their cruise (PGC expense)
- Return Flight: Complete a Covid-19 test if required by country your returning to at the Faa'a International Airport in Tahiti (at guests’ expense). Beginning June 12, 2022, there are no COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers entering or connecting through the U.S., including U.S. citizens. Please continue to check your country’s website for requirements.
- Please read the following notes concerning mandatory, complete, and authorized vaccination:
*Mandatory and complete vaccination: at least 2 doses of an authorized vaccine(see below), more than 7 full days and less than 6 full months (4 months as of Feb 15, 2021) before embarkation. To extend the validity, a 3rd does is required whatever the vaccine (EMA valid) to anyone 12 years and older. Please note: most destinations outside the European Union (destination or transit countries) require a complete vaccination schedule of two doses. In this case, people who received only one injection after recovering from COVID-19 are not considered fully vaccinated.
Authorized vaccines: Pfizer / Moderna / AstraZeneca / Covishield / Nuvaxovid / Sinopharm (if 3 doses needed, the 3rd one must be from an mRNA vaccine) / Sinovac (if 3 doses needed, the 3rd one must be from an mRNA vaccine) / Janssen (one dose of Janssen + one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine, or a single dose of the Janssen vaccine received between two months and seven days).
As of 12/15/2021 for people over 65 years of age and as of 1/15/2022 for people over 18 years of age who have received their second dose more than six months ago at the time of boarding, a third mRNA dose (Pfizer or Moderna) will be required in order to be able to board (for AstraZeneca, it may be a third AstraZeneca dose). The six-month limit does not apply to those less than 18 years of age.
For guests traveling with children under the age of 18, please visit Tahiti Tourism for additional details.
For guests traveling to or through Fiji, please visit FAQ's about Travelling to Fiji | Things to Know | The Official Travel Site of the Fiji Islands.
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
72- to 24-hours Prior
Take a Covid-19 RT-PCR or antigen test
Present valid proof of vaccination (any guest joining the ship must have completed the vaccination process), negative Covid-19 RT-PCR or antigen 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- or 24-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 guests 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; masks are optional
of all spaces and disinfection of the renewed air
Physical distancing and systematic temperature monitoring
Mandatory wearing of a mask or visor
available if necessary (3 cabins)
The ship tender will be disinfected, and guests 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
Doctor and nurse on board
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
of guests and ship
Medical questionnaire to be completed 3 weeks after cruise
Once you're ready to book, be sure to read the full Travel Advisory»
Questions? Find answers in our FAQ:
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.
During your stay in French Polynesia:
- 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.
What are the health protocol requirements for boarding the m/s Paul Gauguin?
All guests and crew must also have a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR or antigen test within a maximum of 72-to 24-hours 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 or antigen test if I have been vaccinated?
Yes, even if you are vaccinated you have to provide a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result. To ensure the safety of all guests and in compliance with current health guidelines, if you are unvaccinated, you must present with a negative RT-PCR test done within 72- to 24-hours 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 or antigen test within 72- to 24-hours 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 US and 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 guest 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.
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.
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 or antigen test within 72- to 24-hours respectively 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 guests.
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 guests’ use throughout the ship.
- All guests are asked to vacate their staterooms by 8:00 am.
- All guests (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 guest. 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 may be required to test before returning to their home country. There is a test center at Faa'a International Airport (testing cost are at the traveler's expense). Beginning June 12, 2022, there are no COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers entering or connecting through the U.S., including U.S. citizens. Please continue to check your country’s website for requirements.
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?
All restaurants are open, however, dining times may vary.
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?
Snorkel gear will be available for 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.
Unfortunately, the test can not be taken onboard the ship. Guests will need to get this test either at The Louis Malarde Institute (ILM) in Papeete or at the airport.
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.
(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.