Paul Gauguin Overview
Named after the renowned French post-impressionist artist, the Paul Gauguin cruise ship was specifically designed to sail the shallow seas of Tahiti and French Polynesia. This small, intimate vessel was launched in 1997 and has built up a marvellous reputation as being one of the best ways to explore these beautiful islands.
The Paul Gauguin specs
Weighing 19,200 tonnes and measuring 513 feet in length, the Paul Gauguin is relatively small by global cruise ship standards, but due to the small number of guests on board she feels incredibly spacious. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 332 guests and 215 crew - a 1 to 1.5 crew to guest ratio. She spans 7 passenger decks and has a cruise speed of 18 knots.
Inside the Paul Gauguin
The Paul Gauguin is extremely well-maintained, with comfortable furnishings and a light, welcoming colour palette. Rooms are decorated in reds, blues, yellows and crisp whites, and feature several mirrors to create an illusion of more light and space.
The atmosphere on board is warm and unpretentious. The majority of the crew members are from French Polynesia and are incredibly friendly, helpful and always happy to share stories from their homeland, which only adds to the cruise experience. All gratuities are included in your cruise fare, as well as all beverages (wine, beer, spirits and specialty coffees).
Paul Gauguin itineraries and shore excursions
Designed specifically for shallow seas, this vessel can take you where few other ships can go, including into the heart of some of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Many of the shore excursions are designed to make the most of crystal clear waters, such as swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding and kayaking.
Land excursions are also amazing, with visits to lush rainforests, ancient temples and stunning white sandy beaches. A ‘Beach BBQ Day’ is included on most French Polynesian cruises; a wonderful opportunity to sample local Tahitian food and soak up some sun. Whether you are in the idyllic waters of French Polynesia or exploring the renowned Panama Canal, you’ll be blown away by the magical shore excursions available.
Almost the entire Paul Gauguin experience is centred around the beautiful ocean, so it will come as no surprise that all rooms have sea views and more than 70% come with private balconies. No matter which room you are in, you will be able to make the most of breathtaking views.
Cabins start at 200 square feet and go up to 588 square feet. All are equipped with toiletries, feather duvets, hair dryers, robes, cotton slippers, small seating areas, writing desks, flatscreen televisions and DVD players.
Rooms in Category B and up enjoy butler service and have a well-stocked mini bar that is replenished daily. There are only four real suites on board - two Owner’s Suites and two Grand Suites - so if you would like this type of accommodation, it’s a good idea to book in advance.
Dining included in your Paul Gauguin ticket:
24 Hour Room Service
The Paul Gauguin by day
There are plenty of fun activities to keep you occupied during sea days on board the Paul Gauguin. Many people choose to holiday on this cruise ship because they want to learn more about French Polynesia, therefore there are several excellent lectures about the local landscape, environment, history and culture. Other activities also have a French Polynesian theme, such as French Polynesian dance classes.
One of the ship’s highlights is its retractable Watersports marina, designed so you can enjoy a range of watersports straight from the ship itself. While you can’t swim or snorkel from the marina, you can go kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing or diving. There are diving classes for all levels, including Scuba lessons.
If you’d prefer some relaxing downtime, you’ll find sanctuary at the Outdoor Area on Deck 8. Featuring plush deck chairs, this spot is located away from the crowds, the perfect place to soak up some of that warm tropical sun. Also located on Deck 8 is the pool area.
To take your relaxation to the next level, head to the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm. This offers a range of luxurious treatments including body scrubs, steam baths and facials. Located nearby is a small fitness center and a hair salon.
The Paul Gauguin by night
Nightlife on board the Paul Gauguin tends to be reasonably relaxed. You’ll find most people enjoying a drink at the Piano Bar or La Palette, reminiscing on the day that’s been. Although there are no thriving nightclubs, both the Piano Bar and La Palette are home to live music as the night goes on.
The Grand Salon is the place to be entertained. Shows are usually performed by French Polynesian actors and singers, and tend to consist largely of musical performances as opposed to plays. Another spot to spend the evening is the casino, however please note that this is only open when the ship is at sea.
The Paul Gauguin for families
Being such a small ship, the Paul Gauguin doesn’t have dedicated children’s areas or organised youth programmes. The activities available will depend on the number of kids on the cruise. If there is a large group, the ship’s staff will make arrangements for select activities, such as movie nights and arts and crafts.
When there aren’t many children on board, it’s left to the parents to entertain their little ones. That said, this shouldn’t be too difficult - there are a wide range of shore excursions to suit the whole family to keep everyone busy during the day, and the in-cabin televisions and DVD players are a great way to relax in the evening.