January 13, 2020

8 Reasons to go Island Hopping with Paul Gauguin Cruises

Picture of Nick Cabugos
Nick Cabugos

Creative Director, Montecito Village Travel

From Paul Gauguin Cruises

There are 118 islands in French Polynesia, each having its own distinct beauty. There are many ways to explore the different islands but if you want to make the most of your vacation, island hopping is the secret. The Gauguin ship’s dedicated crew is committed to ensuring that your experience onboard and throughout French Polynesia, is nothing short of first class. Observe marine life from a glass bottom boats, snorkel in coral gardens, visit stingrays in shallow water and scuba dive with sharks. Here are 8 reasons you should visit these extrodinary destinations.

Local Culture

In Maeva, one of Polynesia’s most important archaeological sites, discover some well-preserved marae, or ancient Polynesian temples. You will also see fish traps that were built centuries ago and are still in use today. In small villages, visitors can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotu, often participating in the daily activities of the Paumotu people. The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish breeding farms, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Find Tahitian Cultured Pearls, also known as Black Pearls, at galleries in Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Taha’a and Huahine. From steel greys to green, bronze and even pink, Black Pearls vary widely in color, shape and size.

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Hands holding oyster full of black pearls

Wine glasses cheers Paul Gauguin Cruise

Experience World Class Service

Paul Gauguin has been voted “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and “#2 Top Small Cruise Line” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards, for good reason. Their award-winning Polynesian hospitality embodies warmth and exquisite attention to detail, delivering the type of personalised luxury you deserve. The small ships were designed to be sleek and nimble, providing unmatched, up-close views of French Polynesia and the South Pacific.

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Celebrate Your Honeymoon or Vow Renewal in Paradise

Paul Gauguin offers speciality items and gifts to enhance your experience and create memories to last a lifetime. Have your wedding ceremony on Motu Mahana or renew your vows in Bora Bora. Celebrate your birthday or anniversary with champagne and caviar followed by chocolates and cake. Stay overnight for a romantic interlude in a partial overwater bungalow at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, where you’ll be welcomed with a drink and oshibori. Lounge on the beach, go kayaking or canoeing and then head back to your private room terrance for a romantic candlelit dinner for two.

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Groomsmen cheers beer under palm trees


sharks under boat French Polynesia

Swim with Sharks

Each voyage features a variety of excursions including observing marine life from a glass bottom boat, snorkelling in coral gardens, visiting stingrays in shallow water and scuba diving with sharks. Swim with blacktips and lemon sharks in crystal-clear water. Advanced certified divers can admire the untouched beauty of the UNESCO protected reef. Dive along the edge of the drop-off with large schools of fish, grey reef sharks, and tunas. You may even have the chance to spot a manta ray or turtle feeding quietly.

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No Two Islands are Ever the Same

The main island, Tahiti is home of the country’s vibrant capital, Papeete. This urbanised metropolis offers a variety of museums, restaurants and nightlife. Moorea is one of the world’s most beautiful islands and is renowned for its exotic plants, trees, fruits, and flowers. If you love photography, don’t miss the half-day guided photo tour of Moorea along vast pineapple fields, lush green vegetation and ancient archaeological sites.

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 Rangiroa Island Tahiti coastline


Girl Snorkelling with fish crystal clear water French Polynesia

Go Snorkelling & Scuba Diving

From Aitutaki, board a small boat for a 15 minute journey to Motu Maina, where you can snorkel and, those that wish have the option of visiting the motu. This area has beautiful giant clams and is a marine reserve and nesting area of the red tailed tropic birds. Experienced divers can meet at the ship`s marina to suit up and board the local dive boat. Get ready to head to the dive site, only five minutes away from the pier. There, you will be helped with the equipment and do a back roll entry before heading down towards the canyons where you can observe huge green sea turtle resting on the bottom, occasional passage of spotted eagle rays, napoleon wrasse, and emperor angel fish.

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Exceptional Service

With a 1 to 1.5 crew-to-guest ratio, one of the highest at sea, The Gauguin ship’s dedicated crew is committed to ensuring that your experience aboard is nothing short of first class. Every department onboard the ship plays a role in creating an unforgettable getaway. They’ll know your name from your arrival on board, prepare your stateroom or suite with exquisite care, give you expert advice on how to use a kayak, provide you menu recommendations when dining, or handcraft that special drink of the day for you. All delivered with the robust “maeva” and genuine warmth of a staff devoted to providing outstanding service.

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Bora Bora Aerial Resort


Orange Island Sunset French Polynesia

Witness the Most Beautiful Sunsets in the World

In Bora Bora, take a private sunset cruise to the idyllic lagoon. Along the way, you will be served a bottle of Champagne and refreshments as you watch the afternoon sun fade on the horizon, in a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors. Discover the scenic magnificence of Moorea during a memorable sunset cruise. Listen to the captain of the canoe play the ukulele while you enjoy local fresh fruits and Champagne, soft drinks and local beer, while watching the sunset. Don’t forget your camera, as the photo opportunities are amazing.

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