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Paul Gauguin Cruises review

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Sail in casual luxury around South Pacific Islands and beyond.

These all-inclusive cruises will take you to dreamy locations straight from your warmest tropical fantasies. But the focus is on the destinations, rather than swanky staterooms or flashy onboard amenities.

If you like the idea of relaxing with a cocktail in hand while learning about local traditions and ancestral tales through dance — among the long days at the beach and on the ocean with water sports — then these cruises might be worth it.

But if you’re hoping for white-glove butler service or a quick-and-easy weekend getaway, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

1 ships

Number of ships

Price

No

Price matches

Details

Target demographic Families
Number of ships 1 ships
Contact options Phone, Email
Payment options Visa
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service No free room service

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by


Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

Paul Gauguin cruises are joyous voyages around picturesque islands — a quintessential tropical getaway in a casual luxury environment. On board entertainment includes live musicians, experts, historians and whimsical talent like illusionists and comedians. Dine on French food with a Polynesian twist, and get to know locals — onboard through the Tahitian staff, and while mingling at port.

Many itineraries also include a day at Motu Mahana, its own private cove off the coast Taha’a. Relax on the beach with a BBQ and open bar — all complimentary, of course.

If you’re a fan of the big cruise ship experience, and prioritize perks like all-day buffets and brand-new staterooms, you may be disappointed with Paul Gauguin, which emphasizes the destinations and overall regional experience rather than the boat’s nuances. But if you’ve been dying to see places like Tahiti, Tonga, Bali, Fiji and other bucket list islands, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may discover total nirvana.

But keep in mind that these cruises aren’t cheap. If you’re in need of a budget getaway from a US port, checkout a mid-tier line like Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line.

Who was Paul Gauguin?

Paul Gauguin was a late 19th-century French artist. He’s most well-known for leaving his family and stockbroker job behind, abandoning the confines of western society to embrace what he perceived as the exotic appeal of French Polynesia. He lived and worked in Tahiti during the last decade of his life, painting the indigenous people and scenery in vibrant color and post-Impressionistic form.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is named after him — perhaps because his legacy epitomizes the idea of escapism, and his work captures the beauty of Tahiti in captivating idealism.

Paul Gauguin cruise ships

Paul Gauguin has one ship, called the MS Paul Gauguin. It holds a maximum of 332 guests, with a 1:1.5 crew-to-guest ratio, including local Tahitians that lend insight into the islands along the way.

The cabins on the MS Paul Gauguin all have ocean views, and 70% have balconies. There’s a choice of three dining venues on board, and a small library open 24 hours a day. It has a fitness center and spa, but there’s also a pool on deck and plenty of kayaks, paddle boards and diving equipment to get your heart pumping on the ocean.

In November 2019, Paul Gauguin commissioned two new luxury cruise ships, which are set to sail their maiden voyages in 2022. Each ship will hold up to 230 passengers.

Where do Paul Gauguin cruises depart from?

Paul Gauguin doesn’t offer any cruises that depart from the US, but most of its itineraries include round-trip flights from Los Angeles. Here’s where you’ll board the boat:

Fiji, Papeete

Paul Gauguin cruises destinations

Paul Gauguin cruises around islands in the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and beyond. Here’s where you can go:

  • Bali
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Marquesas
  • The Society Islands
  • Tahiti
  • Tonga
  • Tuamotus
  • Solomon Islands

It also sails to smaller ports in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and more.

What’s included in my Paul Gauguin cruise?

When you cruise with Paul Gauguin, your fare covers pretty much everything. Here’s what’s included:

  • Wine, beer and spirits
  • Soda, specialty coffee and tea
  • All gratuities
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
  • All onboard entertainment
  • Water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding
  • Transfers to and from the port
  • 24/7 room service
  • Airfare to and from Los Angeles — unless otherwise stated

You will have to pay extra for guided shore excursions, like ATV tours and safaris, but there’s a selection of complimentary activities you can do on your own. Or, you know, you could simply relax on the beach.

Wi-Fi is free in Owner and Grand suites, otherwise you’ll have to pay for it.

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with Paul Gauguin

Still deciding if Paul Gauguin cruises are worth it? Weigh the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Authentic insight into island life, and lots of opportunity to interact with locals
  • All-inclusive fare
  • Programming for kids and teens
  • Docks at smaller ports that large cruise lines miss
  • Known for top-notch customer service
  • Excellent selection of water sports

Cons

  • No US departure ports
  • Pricier up front than midtier cruise lines
  • The experience isn’t great for folks with disabilities
  • Less flexible dining times may be inconvenient for some
  • The MS Paul Gauguin can feel outdated if you’re used to new and frequently refurbished ships

    Frequently asked questions

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