Ever since Paul Gauguin Cruises founder Richard Bailey first set eyes on the azure waters of French Polynesia more than thirty years ago, much like Gauguin, he knew he had found the place he wanted to spend the rest of his life. It was the genuine spirit and hospitality of the local people that kept him there, and still does. Paul Gauguin Cruises was created to provide enjoyable and meaningful travel experiences with the communities, cultures, and natural wonders that make Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific so alluring. We are committed to the responsible exploration and protection of the natural and cultural heritage of our unique part of the planet for future generations.
At Paul Gauguin Cruises we care deeply about our guests, the destinations we explore, and the local people we meet on each of our adventures. We are dedicated to minimizing our environmental footprint and supporting local communities, while maximizing your experience of Polynesia’s vivid, vibrant cultures, and some of the most stunning natural beauty on earth.
Participating directly in French Polynesia’s many rich traditions leads to deeper, more meaningful connections, and we strive to infuse the Polynesian spirit into everything we do. Cultural experts share their knowledge onboard through dynamic and entertaining lectures and presentations, and our troupe of cultural ambassadors Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins welcome guests to experience the local way of life.
Try your hand at weaving a ‘hei’ from freshly-plucked flowers and donning it for Polynesian Night, where traditional dance performances recreate local ancestral legends. Experience regional cuisine during a traditional suckling pig roast ashore a private palm-fringed motu and enjoy islanders performing their local songs accompanied with ukuleles on an optional shore excursion.
Enhance weddings, anniversaries, and vow renewals with a traditional Polynesian blessing ceremony.
We share the French Polynesians’ deep respect for our vast blue oceans, and our commitment to eco-friendly operations guides our activities both on and off the ship. We have partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society to offer exciting onboard programs led by some of the world’s leading marine experts.
- Young explorers (ages 7-17) can participate in the Stewards of Nature program, which incorporates educational activities with immersive adventures like snorkeling with eagle rays, dolphin-watching trips led by naturalist guides, and stargazing through on-board telescopes at night, for a nominal fee.
- Attend a Wildlife Discovery Series presentation where celebrated marine biologists, oceanographers, and conservationists share their knowledge through dynamic presentations and Q&A sessions.
- Explore the vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine biodiversity up close through an optional SCUBA excursion or certification course, where gray reef sharks, giant octopi, and kaleidoscopic parrotfish can be spotted.
We believe in sustainable travel that benefits both guests and island communities alike. Our cruises are designed to give back to local peoples and support local businesses.
- Experience Tonga’s bygone traditions though live demonstrations, like weaving clothing from bark in the local botanical garden, while learning about ongoing plant conservation efforts.
- Get a taste for Polynesian life today by visiting a local marketplace, where you can you find authentic souvenirs to bring back home.
- Explore vestiges of marae (ancient temples) and stroll through pineapple plantations on an excursion with a local guide whose personal insight and stories will provide you with deeper understanding.
- Journey to a small black pearl farm, where you will learn firsthand about local oysters and the process of cultivating one of the world’s favorite jewelry items.