You are currently viewing Family-Friendly French Polynesia Cruises: Best Ships and Activities for Children with Paul Gauguin and Windstar

Family-Friendly French Polynesia Cruises: Best Ships and Activities for Children with Paul Gauguin and Windstar

Embarking on a cruise to French Polynesia is an enchanting experience that promises adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. Paul Gauguin and Windstar Cruises offer family-friendly options that cater to both adults and children, ensuring a memorable journey through this tropical paradise. With a variety of ships and activities to choose from, families can enjoy intimate sailing experiences, explore idyllic islands, and participate in educational excursions. Whether you’re lounging on the exclusive Motu Mahana or engaging in water sports, these cruises provide the perfect setting for a family getaway.

Key Takeaways

  • Paul Gauguin Cruises provides an intimate experience with its small island, Motu Mahana, offering tranquility and relaxation for families.
  • Windstar Cruises offers personalized experiences on intimate sailing ships, with a range of water sports and island exploration activities suitable for all ages.
  • Choosing the right cruise for your family involves comparing amenities, accommodations, dining options, and onboard entertainment and childcare services.
  • An ideal itinerary should include must-visit ports like Bora Bora and Moorea, with a mix of excursions and activities to cater to the whole family.
  • When cruising with children, it’s important to pack essentials, navigate onboard life effectively, and ensure health and safety measures are in place for a smooth sailing experience.

Discovering the Wonders of French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises

Discovering the Wonders of French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises

The Enchanting Motu Mahana Experience

Motu Mahana, an exclusive islet visited by Paul Gauguin Cruises, offers a serene and intimate escape into the heart of French Polynesia. This tiny paradise, approximately 4 acres in size, is the epitome of tranquility and relaxation. Tender boats transport guests to this secluded spot, where the absence of massive shopping markets and extensive planned excursions underscores its peaceful atmosphere.

Guests can indulge in a variety of sporting activities on land or in the water, or simply unwind with a cocktail in hand on a comfortable lounger. The observation tower presents a unique opportunity to absorb panoramic views of the surrounding beauty. When hunger strikes, the complimentary beach barbecue provides a delightful culinary experience.

The simplicity of Motu Mahana is its greatest allure, offering a day of leisure that perfectly complements the adventurous spirit of a family-friendly cruise.

While the island may be small, the memories made here are vast, as families connect with nature, each other, and the enchanting Polynesian culture.

Family-Friendly Activities on the Paul Gauguin

The Paul Gauguin cruise line offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure for families. Children and adults alike can revel in the serene beauty of Motu Mahana, an exclusive retreat that embodies the essence of French Polynesia’s tranquil island life. With a tender dock, the island is easily accessible for a day of family fun.

  • Beach Areas: Separate zones cater to different age groups, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. The Family Beach is equipped with child-friendly activities, including a water play area with slides and a snorkeling lagoon that even has a treasure trail.
  • Sports and Leisure: Engage in a variety of sports on land or dive into water activities. Volleyball and watersports are available for the more active family members, while those seeking relaxation can enjoy a massage or learn local skills like coconut opening.
  • Dining and Refreshments: The free beach barbecue offers a delightful dining experience, and the floating cocktail bar provides a unique spot to enjoy a drink amidst the waves.

The intimate setting of Motu Mahana allows families to create lasting memories, whether they’re exploring the underwater marvels or simply unwinding on the sun-soaked sands.

Cultural Immersion and Educational Excursions

Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a unique opportunity for families to immerse themselves in the rich culture of French Polynesia. Children and adults alike can learn from local artisans, engage in traditional crafts, and participate in interactive storytelling sessions that bring Polynesian legends to life.

  • Local Artisan Workshops: Families can join workshops where local artisans demonstrate the art of pareo painting, shell jewelry making, and wood carving.
  • Cultural Performances: Experience the vibrant Polynesian culture through traditional dance and music performances.
  • Educational Talks: Experts provide insights into the local wildlife, history, and environmental conservation efforts.

The excursions are designed not only to entertain but also to educate, offering a deeper understanding of the destinations visited.

With a variety of activities tailored for different age groups, every family member can find something to enrich their cruise experience. The educational excursions are a highlight, providing a hands-on approach to learning about the environment and local customs.

Embarking on an Adventure with Windstar Cruises

Embarking on an Adventure with Windstar Cruises

Intimate Sailing Ships for Personalized Experiences

Windstar Cruises offers a unique sailing experience that is perfect for families seeking a more intimate and personalized vacation. The smaller size of Windstar’s ships allows for a closer connection with the sea and a more tailored journey. Each vessel is designed to access smaller ports and hidden coves, providing an exclusive view of French Polynesia that larger ships cannot offer.

With fewer passengers on board, the crew can offer more attentive service, ensuring that each family member’s needs are met with a personal touch. This level of service is ideal for creating unforgettable family memories.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing Windstar Cruises for a family-friendly adventure:

  • Personalized attention from the crew
  • Access to exclusive ports and destinations
  • A relaxed and intimate atmosphere
  • Opportunities for bespoke excursions and activities

Water Sports and Island Exploration for All Ages

Windstar Cruises offers a treasure trove of activities that cater to the adventurous spirit of every family member. The Sports Beach is a hub for teens and energetic travelers, boasting a variety of non-motorized water sports to protect the delicate coral reefs. Kayaking, paddle-boarding, and snorkeling are among the favorites, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the stunning underwater world without harming the environment.

Families can delight in the Snorkeling Lagoon, where a guided path reveals tropical fish and hidden treasures, ensuring a magical experience for children and adults alike.

For those seeking a more relaxed pace, Serenity Bay provides a tranquil retreat where adults can savor the views or indulge in an open-air massage. Meanwhile, the Family Beach offers child-friendly activities, including a floating platform with water slides and spray cannons, ensuring fun for the little ones is always at hand.

Here’s a quick glance at the island’s beach areas:

  • Family Beach: Close to the ship, with child-friendly water activities.
  • Sports Beach: Popular with teens, offering volleyball, tetherball, and more.
  • Serenity Bay: An adults-only area for relaxation and massages.

With a balance of excitement and leisure, Windstar Cruises ensures that every family member finds their slice of paradise.

Relaxation and Leisure: A Balance for Family Fun

Windstar Cruises understands that while adventure is a key part of any family vacation, so is the opportunity to relax and recharge. Families can find the perfect balance between excitement and tranquility on their cruise. After a day filled with water sports and exploration, parents and children alike can retreat to serene spaces designed for leisure.

The cruise offers a variety of relaxation options, from lounging on sun-drenched decks to indulging in spa treatments. The calm atmosphere is ideal for parents to unwind while children engage in supervised activities.

Here’s a glimpse of what families can expect:

  • Family Beach: Close to the ship with child-friendly activities and water slides.
  • Snorkelling Lagoon: A path to discover tropical fish and hidden treasures.
  • Sports Beach: A hub for volleyball, tetherball, and other sports.
  • Serenity Bay: An adults-only area for peaceful relaxation and massages.

Additionally, the cruise offers fitness and yoga classes, ensuring that those who wish to stay active can do so in a picturesque setting. As the sun sets, families can enjoy a unique experience of stargazing in areas with minimal light pollution, adding another layer of wonder to their journey.

Choosing the Right Ship for Your Family

Choosing the Right Ship for Your Family

Comparing Amenities and Accommodations

When selecting the perfect cruise for your family, comparing the amenities and accommodations of different ships is crucial. Paul Gauguin Cruises offers spacious suites and staterooms designed with families in mind, providing comfort and privacy. On the other hand, Windstar Cruises boasts a more intimate setting with smaller ships that cater to a personalized experience.

  • Paul Gauguin Cruises:
    • Family-sized accommodations
    • Inclusive of onboard activities
    • Dedicated children’s programs
  • Windstar Cruises:
    • Smaller, more intimate ships
    • Personalized service
    • Unique itineraries

Both cruise lines ensure that families have access to a variety of dining options, entertainment, and child-friendly activities, making it essential to weigh what matters most for your family’s enjoyment and relaxation.

Ultimately, the choice between the grandeur of Paul Gauguin and the bespoke charm of Windstar will depend on your family’s preferences for space, privacy, and the type of cruise experience you desire.

Dining Options for Kids and Adults Alike

When it comes to dining on a family cruise, the variety and accessibility of food options are paramount. Cruise lines have stepped up their game to cater to the palates of both young sailors and their parents. From buffet spreads that offer a wide range of choices to specialty restaurants with kid-friendly menus, there’s something to satisfy everyone.

  • Buffets with international and local dishes
  • Specialty restaurants with children’s menus
  • Casual eateries for quick bites
  • Room service for convenient in-cabin dining

The key to a successful family dining experience at sea is flexibility and variety. With options ranging from gourmet meals to simple snacks, families can navigate their culinary journey according to their own schedule and tastes.

Moreover, many ships now offer interactive dining experiences that add an element of fun to mealtime. Whether it’s a themed dinner or a cooking class designed for little chefs, these activities not only provide entertainment but also create lasting memories.

Entertainment and Childcare Services Onboard

Cruising with family means finding the right balance between fun for the kids and relaxation for the adults. Onboard entertainment and childcare services are pivotal in ensuring that every family member has an enjoyable experience. Many ships offer dedicated kids’ clubs, segmented by age group, to provide tailored activities and social opportunities for children.

  • Toddlers and Infants often have nurseries or playrooms with age-appropriate toys and activities, under the supervision of trained staff.
  • Older Children can enjoy interactive games, educational workshops, and themed parties in their respective clubs.
  • Teens have their own hangouts with video games, movies, and social events designed to keep them engaged.

The key to a successful family cruise is the availability of quality childcare services that allow parents to take a well-deserved break, knowing their children are in good hands and having a great time.

Evening entertainment often includes family-friendly shows, movies under the stars, and special performances. Parents can also find solace in services like in-room babysitting, allowing them to enjoy the ship’s nightlife. It’s important to check the specific services offered by each cruise line, as they can vary significantly in terms of age requirements and availability.

Planning Your Itinerary: Must-Visit Ports and Islands

Planning Your Itinerary: Must-Visit Ports and Islands

The Magic of Bora Bora and Moorea

The allure of French Polynesia is epitomized by the enchanting islands of Bora Bora and Moorea. Bora Bora’s lagoon, with its iridescent blues and greens, is often described as the most beautiful in the world. Here, families can indulge in snorkeling adventures, discovering a vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life. On land, the iconic Mount Otemanu provides a stunning backdrop for photo opportunities and exploration.

Moorea, with its heart-shaped outline, is equally captivating. The island’s lush landscapes and sandy shores offer a perfect setting for a variety of activities, from ATV tours to traditional Polynesian cultural experiences. Both islands boast family-friendly resorts with activities tailored for children, ensuring that every family member has an unforgettable experience.

When planning your visit to these islands, consider the seasonal weather patterns and festivities that might enhance your stay. The warm hospitality of the locals, combined with the natural beauty of the islands, makes for a magical family vacation.

Here’s a quick glance at what each island offers:

  • Bora Bora: Overwater bungalows, shark and ray feeding excursions, lagoon tours.
  • Moorea: Dolphin and whale watching, hiking trails, pineapple plantations.

Excursions and Activities: What to Expect

When planning your shore excursions in French Polynesia, anticipate a blend of relaxation and adventure. Expect to be enchanted by a variety of activities, from water sports to cultural experiences. On private islands like Motu Mahana, you can indulge in the simplicity of island life with options such as snorkeling among vibrant coral reefs, playing a friendly game of volleyball, or unwinding with a beachside massage.

For those seeking more excitement, opportunities abound for guided scuba diving through shipwrecks or even shark-diving for the thrill-seekers. On land, you can climb observation towers for panoramic views or explore historical sites rich in authentic culture.

Here’s a snapshot of what families might enjoy:

  • Water sports: snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking
  • Land activities: volleyball, cultural lessons (e.g., coconut opening)
  • Relaxation: massages, lounging on the beach with a cocktail
  • Dining: enjoying local flavors at a free beach barbecue
  • Exploration: visiting historical sites and observing local wildlife

Each activity is designed to cater to various interests and energy levels, ensuring that every family member has an unforgettable experience.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Shore Time

Maximizing your shore time on a family cruise involves a blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. Ensure you explore beyond the immediate port area to discover more secluded spots for private relaxation, as these can offer a more authentic and peaceful experience. For instance, wandering a bit further from the tender port can lead to less crowded beaches where your family can unwind in tranquility.

Engage in local activities to enrich your travel experience. Participating in water sports, volleyball, or even learning how to open a coconut can be both fun and educational for children. Don’t miss out on the unique opportunities each island offers, such as snorkeling in lagoons teeming with tropical fish and hidden treasures, or enjoying a massage with a view.

Balance your time between activities and leisure. While it’s tempting to pack your day with excursions, remember to take breaks. Enjoy a beach barbecue or a drink from a floating cocktail bar to recharge before your next adventure.

Lastly, keep an eye out for special encounters, such as local wildlife during boat excursions or surprise visits from beloved characters on certain islands. These moments can become cherished memories for the whole family.

Ensuring a Smooth Sailing: Tips for Cruising with Children

Ensuring a Smooth Sailing: Tips for Cruising with Children

Packing Essentials for a Family Cruise

Packing for a family cruise to French Polynesia requires careful planning to ensure that everyone has what they need for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Essential clothing items include swimwear, casual attire for daytime, and more formal outfits for evening dining. Don’t forget sun protection gear such as hats, sunglasses, and reef-safe sunscreen.

  • Swimwear and cover-ups
  • Casual clothes and comfortable shoes
  • Formal wear for dining events
  • Sun protection: hats, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Necessary medications and first-aid items
  • Entertainment for kids: books, games, and portable devices

When it comes to packing for children, include items that will keep them entertained during sea days and downtime. Think about portable games, coloring books, and age-appropriate gadgets. Additionally, pack a small bag with essentials for embarkation day, so you have immediate access to swimwear, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.

It’s also important to consider the specific needs of your family. If traveling with infants or toddlers, ensure you have enough diapers, wipes, and baby food for the duration of the cruise. For older children, include their favorite snacks and a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring the islands.

Navigating Onboard Life with Kids

Cruising with children can be a delightful experience, but it requires a bit of strategic planning to ensure everyone has a great time. Creating a daily routine can help kids feel more at ease and allows parents to balance family time with adult-centric activities. Most family-friendly cruises offer a variety of programs tailored to different age groups, ensuring that your little ones are engaged and entertained.

  • Morning: Start with a family breakfast and review the day’s activities.
  • Midday: Split time between family pool time and kids’ club sessions.
  • Evening: Enjoy family dinners and age-appropriate shows.

When it comes to dining, many cruise lines offer early seating options and kid-friendly menus to accommodate the younger palate. It’s also worth noting that most ships have onboard medical facilities, which can be a relief for parents concerned about potential health issues.

Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of the ship’s babysitting services for a quiet evening or a visit to the spa. While the kids are having their own fun, parents can enjoy some well-deserved relaxation.

Health and Safety Measures for Peace of Mind

Ensuring the health and safety of your family is paramount when cruising through the enchanting waters of French Polynesia. Cruise lines are dedicated to providing a safe environment, with medical facilities onboard and stringent sanitation protocols in place.

  • Medical staff available 24/7
  • Regular sanitization of public areas and staterooms
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the ship

When it comes to your family’s well-being, rest assured that cruise ships are equipped with the necessary resources to address any health concerns swiftly and efficiently.

Additionally, many ships offer wellness activities such as yoga and fitness classes, alongside spa treatments, to enhance your personal wellbeing. It’s also important to be aware of the ship’s smoking policies and to prepare for any weather changes that may occur during your voyage.


In conclusion, French Polynesia offers an idyllic setting for family-friendly cruises, with Paul Gauguin and Windstar Cruises standing out as excellent choices for those traveling with children. The intimate atmosphere of Motu Mahana and the array of activities available on these cruises ensure that both adults and kids have a memorable experience. Whether you’re indulging in water sports, exploring the observation tower for panoramic views, or simply relaxing with a beach barbecue, these cruises provide the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. With a variety of ships and itineraries to choose from, families can find the perfect cruise to explore the beauty of French Polynesia together.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Paul Gauguin Cruises a good choice for family-friendly travel?

Paul Gauguin Cruises offers an intimate experience with their small island visits, such as the tranquil escape of Motu Mahana, and a range of family-friendly activities and cultural immersion excursions that cater to both children and adults.

Can children enjoy water sports and island exploration on Windstar Cruises?

Yes, Windstar Cruises provides personalized experiences that include water sports and island exploration suitable for all ages, ensuring that every family member has an enjoyable adventure.

How do the amenities and accommodations compare between Paul Gauguin and Windstar Cruises?

Both cruise lines offer unique amenities and accommodations designed for comfort and convenience. Paul Gauguin Cruises are known for their cultural immersion, while Windstar Cruises are recognized for their intimate sailing ships. Families should compare specific ship features to determine the best fit for their needs.

What are some must-visit ports and islands on a French Polynesia cruise?

Bora Bora and Moorea are magical destinations that are often included in French Polynesia cruise itineraries. These islands offer breathtaking scenery and a variety of excursions and activities for families.

What are essential packing tips for a family cruise to French Polynesia?

Families should pack light, comfortable clothing suitable for tropical weather, sun protection, swimwear, and any necessary medications or special items for children. It’s also wise to bring entertainment for kids during downtime.

What health and safety measures are important when cruising with children?

Cruise lines have specific health and safety protocols in place, which may include vaccination requirements, regular sanitation, and medical facilities onboard. Parents should also supervise their children at all times, especially near water, and ensure they follow the ship’s safety guidelines.

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