Paul Gauguin in Bora Bora
Paul Gauguin in Bora Bora / Paul Gauguin Cruises
1 of 6
Kayaking in Motu Mahana
Kayaking in Motu Mahana / Paul Gauguin Cruises
2 of 6
Pool Deck
Pool Deck / Paul Gauguin Cruises
3 of 6
Les Gauguins
Les Gauguins / Paul Gauguin Cruises
4 of 6
Le Grill
Le Grill / Paul Gauguin Cruises
5 of 6
Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom / Paul Gauguin Cruises
6 of 6

Paul Gauguin

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

This luxurious, all-inclusive ship named for the French artist who captured 19th-century Tahiti on canvas is the sole vessel operated by Paul Gauguin Cruises and is based year-round in the romantic South Pacific. The ship sails 7-to-16-night itineraries roundtrip from French Polynesia’s capital, Papeete to the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Tonga. The service on board is very personal, with a crew member for every 1.5 guests and butler service in higher-category staterooms and suites. Paul Gauguin accommodates no more than 330 guests and all accommodations have views of the turquoise water with nearly 70 percent of staterooms and suites offering private outdoor space. A 2021 redesign by Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel enhanced the ship’s South Pacific allure with dark woods, lagoon-inspired blue and green hues, and textural fabrics.

What We Love

The Cuisine: Combining the best fresh local seafood with skilled preparation by European-trained chefs, the three on board restaurants — La Veranda, Le Grill, and L’Etoile — offer menus filled with flavors both familiar and novel. 

Retractable Marina: Guests who want to get in the water can leave right from the ship to kayak, windsurf, paddleboard, or take PADI scuba lessons.

Best Known For

Motu Mahana: Guests can play pampered castaway on the ship’s jewel of a private island, with snorkeling, kayaking, and a beach barbecue on the powdery white sand.

Local Immersion: Les Gauguines, the ship’s Tahitian hostesses, teach cruisers how to do traditional dances, play the ukulele, or tie a pareo. They will also preside over a Polynesian blessing ceremony for couples celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary.

Who It's Best For

Couples: The South Pacific is made for romance, so it’s no wonder that the ship’s guests tend to be wealthy couples, honeymooners, and those celebrating milestone anniversaries.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Family Time: The ship welcomes children during the summer and holidays — so if you don’t want to sail with excited youngsters, avoid the ship when school is out.

It’s a Long Haul: It’s an eight-hour flight to Papeete, Tahiti, from Los Angeles (and obviously a lot longer if you are coming from the East Coast). Consider adding on a night or two at a beachfront resort or in an overwater bungalow so you can rest and adjust to the time change before boarding the ship.