Navigating the Idyllic Waters of French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises offers an unparalleled journey through the idyllic waters of French Polynesia, weaving through the Society Islands, Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Marquesas, and beyond. These cruises provide a blend of luxurious comfort and cultural exploration, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and rich heritage of this Pacific paradise. From snorkeling in Bora Bora’s pristine waters to discovering the secrets of Polynesian legends, each itinerary is meticulously crafted to offer a unique and memorable experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience a diverse range of activities including snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving in some of the world’s most beautiful waters.
  • Engage with Polynesian culture through village visits, archaeological site exploration, and learning local legends.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to private isles like Motu Mahana and explore the UNESCO site of Fakarava.
  • Relax and rejuvenate with spa treatments, leisure days on private beaches, and luxurious small ship cruising.
  • Embark on unique adventures such as helicopter tours, hiking through rainforests, and stand-up paddle boarding in serene lagoons.

Embarking on a Polynesian Adventure: The Society Islands & Tuamotus

Embarking on a Polynesian Adventure: The Society Islands & Tuamotus

Discover the UNESCO Site of Fakarava

Fakarava, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a natural masterpiece of the Tuamotus. The atoll’s rich ecosystem is a sanctuary for rare species and is home to an abundance of vibrant marine life. Diving enthusiasts and snorkelers are particularly drawn to the crystal-clear waters of Fakarava, where the underwater world unfolds in a spectacle of color and diversity.

The serene environment of Fakarava is not only a haven for wildlife but also offers a tranquil retreat for those seeking to reconnect with nature. The atoll’s untouched beauty and the gentle rhythm of island life provide a perfect backdrop for relaxation and contemplation.

Visitors can engage in a variety of activities that highlight the atoll’s unique features:

  • Snorkeling in the pristine waters, observing the myriad of fish species.
  • Scuba diving alongside the atoll’s famous walls of coral.
  • Kayaking through the tranquil lagoons, taking in the serene vistas.
  • Village visits, where the warm hospitality of the locals immerses travelers in Polynesian culture.

Relax on the Private Isle of Motu Mahana

Nestled in the embrace of the Society Islands, Motu Mahana offers a serene escape exclusive to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ guests. Bask in the sun on powdery white sands or wade into the turquoise waters that promise a refreshing respite from the tropical heat.

  • Indulge in a beachside barbecue prepared by expert chefs.
  • Sip on a signature cocktail as you lounge under the shade of a palm.
  • Snorkel among the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.

This private isle experience encapsulates the essence of Polynesian leisure and the luxury of seclusion.

As the day unfolds, the island reveals its tranquil rhythm, inviting guests to partake in leisurely activities or simply relish the art of doing nothing at all. The gentle lapping of waves and the rustle of palm fronds become the soundtrack to an unforgettable day in paradise.

Explore Bora Bora’s Lush Beauty

Bora Bora is not just a destination; it’s a euphoric escape into a world of vivid turquoise waters and verdant landscapes. The island’s beauty is a testament to nature’s artistry, with every turn presenting a new panorama that seems painted by the gods themselves.

  • Enjoy two full days soaking in the splendor of Bora Bora’s iconic landscapes.
  • Dive into the embrace of crystalline waters, rich with vibrant marine life.
  • Engage with the island’s history through visits to famous archaeological sites.

The allure of Bora Bora extends beyond its shores, offering a blend of adventure and tranquility that captivates the soul.

With activities ranging from snorkeling to kayaking, each moment is an invitation to immerse oneself in the essence of Polynesia. The island’s diverse offerings cater to both the thrill-seeker and the peace-seeker, ensuring that every visitor leaves with memories etched into their hearts.

Cultural Immersion in the Tuamotu Archipelago

The Tuamotu Archipelago offers a unique opportunity for cultural immersion, where the rhythm of island life and the spirit of the Polynesian people are as enchanting as the surrounding seas. Engage with local communities and learn about their way of life, which is deeply connected to the ocean and the land.

  • Visit traditional villages and interact with the welcoming locals.
  • Participate in ancient Polynesian crafts and customs.
  • Experience the vibrant dance and music that are integral to Tuamotu culture.

The serene atolls of the Tuamotus provide a backdrop to a rich cultural tapestry, woven through generations of seafaring and storytelling.

The journey through the Tuamotu Archipelago is not just a passage across the Pacific, but a voyage into the heart of Polynesian heritage. As you sail from atoll to atoll, the stories and traditions of the islanders offer a profound connection to this mesmerizing part of the world.

Island Hopping with Paul Gauguin: Cook Islands & Society Islands

Snorkeling in the Pristine Waters of Bora Bora

The crystal-clear lagoons of Bora Bora are an underwater paradise for snorkelers. With visibility extending up to 30 meters, the vibrant coral reefs teem with a kaleidoscope of marine life. Experience the serene beauty of the underwater world as you glide alongside schools of tropical fish, graceful rays, and perhaps even a curious sea turtle.

  • Glide through the water with ease, thanks to the calm conditions.
  • Discover a variety of coral formations, each hosting its own unique ecosystem.
  • Encounter an array of colorful reef fish, each more dazzling than the last.

The warm, inviting waters of Bora Bora are not just a snorkeler’s dream; they are a vivid canvas displaying the richness of the Pacific’s marine biodiversity.

Snorkeling in Bora Bora is not only about the visual spectacle. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, to feel the tranquility of the sea, and to witness the harmonious balance of this aquatic haven. The island’s natural lagoon acts as a protective barrier, creating the perfect environment for both novice and experienced snorkelers to explore.

A Day of Leisure on Motu Mahaha

Motu Mahana, an exclusive islet, offers a day of pure relaxation and indulgence in the heart of French Polynesia. Bask in the sun on its pristine beaches or take a leisurely swim in the turquoise waters that surround this private paradise.

Guests can enjoy a variety of activities or choose to do nothing at all, embracing the ‘island time’ as the gentle breeze sways the palm trees. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • Savor local flavors with a beachside barbecue
  • Indulge in a traditional Polynesian massage
  • Drift in the calm lagoon on a kayak or paddleboard

The tranquility of Motu Mahana is unmatched, providing a serene escape from the everyday hustle. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, and the beauty of nature takes center stage.

The Aitutaki Lagoon Experience

Aitutaki’s lagoon is the jewel of the Cook Islands, a breathtaking expanse of turquoise water that invites exploration and relaxation. The lagoon’s shallow waters are perfect for snorkeling, revealing a vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish and coral gardens.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities to fully experience the lagoon’s beauty:

  • Traditional Polynesian vaka (canoe) tours
  • Glass-bottom boat excursions
  • Private island picnics
  • Kite surfing for the adventurous

The serene environment and the warm, welcoming waters of Aitutaki Lagoon offer an unparalleled opportunity to disconnect from the world and immerse oneself in nature’s splendor.

The lagoon is not just a natural wonder but also a cultural treasure, with local guides sharing stories and legends that have been passed down through generations. The Aitutaki Lagoon Experience is a highlight of any visit to the Cook Islands, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

Kayaking and Cruising the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands present a paradise for kayakers and cruise enthusiasts alike, offering a serene escape into the heart of the South Pacific. Glide across the tranquil turquoise waters and discover secluded lagoons that promise an intimate connection with nature’s untouched beauty.

  • Embark on small ship cruises that provide an up-close experience of the Cook Islands’ unique landscapes.
  • Navigate through the archipelago’s crystal-clear seas, with opportunities to spot vibrant marine life.
  • Enjoy the leisurely pace of kayaking, allowing for personal discovery of hidden coves and beaches.

The Cook Islands adventure is a testament to the splendor of the South Pacific, where every paddle stroke unveils the simplicity and purity of this island paradise.

The Marquesas: A Journey to the Heart of Polynesian Culture

The Marquesas: A Journey to the Heart of Polynesian Culture

Unveiling the Secrets of Polynesian Legends

The Marquesas Islands, often referred to as the roof of French Polynesia, hold a special place in the pantheon of Polynesian mythology. Legends come alive as travelers explore these remote islands, where time seems to stand still and the modern world has barely left a fingerprint.

The Aranui 5 cruise offers a unique opportunity to delve into the heart of Polynesian culture and traditions, visiting islands that have preserved their ancient ways.

The experience is not just about the scenery; it’s a journey through a living cultural landscape. From the famous archaeological sites to the vibrant local villages, each stop presents a chapter in the rich tapestry of Polynesian history. Here are some highlights:

  • Engage with the local communities and learn about their customs and way of life.
  • Visit ancient temples and uncover the stories they hold.
  • Participate in traditional activities such as snorkeling and kayaking, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the islands.

With a range of activities and itineraries spanning 6 to 15 days, and prices starting from $4,090 to $35,646, there’s an adventure for every traveler seeking to connect with the spirit of Polynesia.

Visiting Timeless Villages and Archaeological Sites

The Marquesas Islands offer a profound glimpse into the soul of ancient Polynesia through their timeless villages and archaeological sites. As you step onto these storied lands, you’re invited to explore the remnants of ancient temples and the vibrant life of the local communities.

Engage in a variety of activities that bring you closer to the heart of Polynesian culture. From snorkeling in the translucent waters to kayaking along the serene coastlines, each experience enriches your understanding of this enchanting region.

The diversity of activities available ensures that every traveler can find their own unique connection to the Marquesas. Here’s a snapshot of what awaits:

  • Archaeological Site Visits
  • Village Visits
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Wildlife Viewing

With options ranging from leisurely village tours to adventurous snorkeling excursions, your journey through the Marquesas is as dynamic as the islands themselves. Embrace the opportunity to connect with the rich history and warm hospitality of Tahiti, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Scuba Diving in Untouched Pacific Waters

The Marquesas Islands offer a scuba diving experience that is as pure as it gets. Dive into the clear, untouched waters and you’ll find yourself in a world teeming with vibrant marine life, unspoiled coral reefs, and the serene beauty of the underwater landscape.

The Marquesas are a haven for divers seeking tranquility beneath the waves, away from the crowded dive spots found elsewhere.

Diving here is not just about the flora and fauna; it’s a journey through time as you glide past underwater formations that tell tales of the island’s volcanic origins. The following list highlights what divers can expect:

  • An abundance of colorful reef fish and pelagic species
  • Encounters with sharks, rays, and possibly even dolphins
  • Visits to underwater caves and canyons
  • The chance to explore archaeological underwater sites

Each dive site around the Marquesas is unique, offering a different slice of this aquatic paradise. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, the Marquesas provide an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the ocean in a way that few places on Earth can match.

Tahiti to Bora Bora: A Wild Polynesian Escape

Tahiti to Bora Bora: A Wild Polynesian Escape

Iconic Landscapes and Luxurious Cruising

Embarking on a cruise from Tahiti to Bora Bora offers an unparalleled blend of stunning scenery and opulent comfort. Aboard the luxurious vessels that ply these waters, travelers are treated to a visual feast of emerald peaks and azure lagoons.

The journey is as much about the destination as it is about the experience. Guests can indulge in a variety of activities, each designed to enhance the connection with this unique environment:

  • Helicopter tours offering a bird’s-eye view of the islands
  • Scuba diving excursions to explore vibrant coral reefs
  • Leisurely kayaking through tranquil waters
  • Cultural visits to local villages to understand the Polynesian way of life

The serenity of the sea, combined with the exclusivity of small ship cruising, ensures a personal and intimate travel experience. This is the essence of luxury — not just in the lavish amenities but in the rare opportunity to witness some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth.

Diving and Snorkeling in Crystal Clear Seas

The waters surrounding Tahiti to Bora Bora are a diver’s paradise, offering visibility that often exceeds 30 meters, making it an ideal location for both novice and experienced divers. The marine life is vibrant and diverse, with opportunities to swim alongside rays, sharks, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.

The gentle currents provide a serene underwater experience, allowing for leisurely exploration of the coral gardens that are teeming with life.

For those who prefer to stay at the surface, snorkeling is just as rewarding. The shallow lagoons serve as a safe haven for countless species, where even the most casual snorkeler can easily observe the wonders of the underwater world.

  • Scuba Diving
    • Discover hidden underwater canyons
    • Encounter large pelagic species
    • Night dives for a unique perspective
  • Snorkeling
    • Accessible to all skill levels
    • Drift snorkeling along the reefs
    • Guided tours to the best spots

Exploring the Caves and Grottoes of Makatea

Makatea, a raised coral atoll in the midst of the Pacific, offers a unique geological structure that sets it apart from its neighboring islands. The island’s rugged terrain is punctuated by a network of caves and grottoes, each telling a story of the island’s tumultuous volcanic past and providing an otherworldly experience for explorers.

The journey through Makatea’s subterranean landscapes is both an adventure and a step back in time. The silence within these natural cathedrals is profound, broken only by the occasional drip of mineral-rich water forming stalactites and stalagmites over centuries.

Visitors to Makatea can expect to navigate through these natural wonders, where the play of light and shadow creates an ever-changing canvas. The following list highlights what to anticipate during the exploration:

  • A guided tour through the most accessible caves
  • Opportunities to witness unique limestone formations
  • The chance to spot endemic wildlife that has adapted to the cave environment
  • Moments of reflection in the serene ambiance of the grottoes

While the island may not boast the typical sandy beaches of its neighbors, Makatea’s caves offer a distinctive allure that is both mysterious and captivating. The experience is a testament to the diverse beauty that French Polynesia holds, beyond the postcard-perfect lagoons and overwater bungalows.

Diverse South Pacific: From Rainforests to Flat Atolls

Diverse South Pacific: From Rainforests to Flat Atolls

The Rainforests of Huahine and the Cook Islands’ Charm

The South Pacific cruise unveils the spectacular rainforests of Huahine, a treasure trove of lush landscapes and enchanting beauty. As you journey through this verdant paradise, the vibrant greenery and rich biodiversity offer a stark contrast to the serene flatness of the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands’ charm lies in its simplicity and tranquility, where time seems to stand still amidst the gentle lapping of the ocean waves against the atolls.

While the Cook Islands may be flat, their beauty is anything but one-dimensional. Aitutaki, in particular, presents a breathtaking tableau of crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, inviting visitors to indulge in a variety of activities:

  • Snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs
  • Village visits to experience local culture
  • Wildlife viewing, where the natural inhabitants live untouched by time

Each island offers a unique adventure, from the rainforests of Huahine to the charming flat atolls of the Cook Islands, ensuring that every traveler’s experience is both memorable and diverse.

Helicopter Tours and Hiking in Tahiti

Experience the thrill of Tahiti from above with a helicopter tour, offering unparalleled views of the island’s dramatic landscapes. Soar over lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and the radiant turquoise sea, capturing the essence of French Polynesia’s beauty from a bird’s-eye perspective.

For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, Tahiti’s hiking trails provide an equally impressive adventure. Trek through the heart of the island to uncover hidden valleys, ancient volcanic peaks, and secluded beaches that are inaccessible by road.

Embrace the diversity of Tahiti’s terrain, from the rugged mountain ridges to the serene coastal paths, ensuring an unforgettable journey for every type of explorer.

Here’s a snapshot of the activities available in Tahiti:

  • Helicopter tours
  • Hiking excursions
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Small ship cruises
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Kayaking
  • Village visits
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Spa relaxation

Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Wildlife Viewing

The serene waters of French Polynesia provide the perfect stage for stand up paddle boarding (SUP), an activity that combines tranquility with a full-body workout. Glide across the lagoon’s surface, where the clear waters offer a window to the vibrant marine life below.

Wildlife viewing in these islands is an unparalleled experience. From the majestic humpback whales to the playful dolphins, the biodiversity is as rich as the culture. The islands’ unique ecosystems are home to a variety of species, both endemic and migratory, ensuring that every excursion is a discovery.

Embrace the calm of the ocean and the thrill of discovery as you navigate through the Polynesian paradise on a paddle board, with nature’s wonders just a dip away.

Here’s a glimpse of the activities you can indulge in:

  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Whale Watching
  • Dolphin Encounters
  • Bird Watching
  • Exploring Coral Reefs

Each activity offers a different perspective of the South Pacific’s natural beauty, ensuring that your adventure is as diverse as the landscapes you’ll encounter.


Embarking on a journey with Paul Gauguin Cruises offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the serene beauty and rich cultural tapestry of French Polynesia. From the enchanting lagoons of Bora Bora to the UNESCO-listed atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago, each day presents a new adventure steeped in natural splendor and Polynesian tradition. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the sun-kissed shores of Motu Mahana, eager to explore archaeological sites, or ready to dive into the vibrant underwater world, the array of activities caters to every level of interest and excitement. As you sail from one idyllic island to the next aboard the luxurious Paul Gauguin, you carry with you the spirit of adventure and the promise of unforgettable memories in this paradise on earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of activities can I expect on a Paul Gauguin cruise in French Polynesia?

Paul Gauguin Cruises offer a range of activities including archaeological site visits, helicopter tours, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, spa relaxation, stand up paddle boarding, village visits, and wildlife viewing. The activity level can vary from relaxed to variable, catering to different preferences and fitness levels.

How long are the itineraries for Paul Gauguin cruises around the Society Islands and Tuamotus?

The itineraries for Paul Gauguin cruises around the Society Islands and Tuamotus typically range from 6 to 12 days, offering ample time to explore various islands and enjoy the activities on offer.

Can I visit UNESCO World Heritage sites during my cruise?

Yes, Paul Gauguin Cruises include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where you can explore the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area.

Are there opportunities for cultural immersion on these cruises?

Absolutely, cultural immersion is a key part of the experience with opportunities to visit timeless villages, participate in village visits, and learn about Polynesian legends and traditions.

What is the level of luxury and comfort on the Paul Gauguin cruise ships?

Paul Gauguin Cruises are known for their luxury and comfort, offering a small ship cruise experience with high-quality accommodations, amenities, and services to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Is wildlife viewing a part of the cruise experience?

Yes, wildlife viewing is integral to the Paul Gauguin cruise experience. The diverse South Pacific ecosystems offer opportunities to see a variety of marine life and birds in their natural habitats.

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