In 1891, when Paul Gauguin arrived in Tahiti, he captured the charm, culture, and languid grace of its people in oils.You won’t find his paintings here, but the breathtaking scenic splendor and easygoing lifestyle of its people remain. This 7-night itinerary is perfect for those who want to experience the best French Polynesia has to offer in just a week.
Aboard the award-winning m/s Paul Gauguin, you’ll draw close to the islands that inspired Gauguin, author James A. Michener, and so many others. Call on Huahine, the “Garden Island” … spend a day on our own private islet off the coast of Taha’a … explore magical Bora Bora and bask on our private white-sand beach on a motu off the coast … and discover Moorea, said to be the model for Michener’s Bali Hai.
Day 1 Embark the m/s Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti
Begin your voyage through paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands. Here you’ll embark the luxurious yet casual m/s Paul Gauguin. With an endless choice of things to do, from relaxing poolside with a book to playing the slots in the casino, you will never be bored.
Day 2 Huahine*, Society Islands
Today, you’ll call on Huahine, known as the Garden Island, for its lush rainforests and dramatic terrain. While here, you might explore the island’s sacred sites and legendary landmarks that are among the best-preserved archaeological remains in French Polynesia. Enjoy snorkeling or SCUBA diving in the expansive lagoon. Or picnic on the beach.
*2013 itineraries stop in Raiatea.
Day 3 Taha’a (Motu Mahana)
Motu Mahana, an islet adjacent to Taha’a, is our very own South Seas paradise, featuring white-sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters, and gentle breezes. As an exclusive Paul Gauguin event, you will spend a full day on this idyllic island, pursuing your own pleasures from swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking in the turquoise lagoon to playing volleyball, learn Tahitian cooking secrets, or simply relaxing on the beach. Also included is a delicious barbecue lunch and Polynesian entertainment featuring strolling musicians and singers.
Day 4 Bora Bora
Immediately recognizable by Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean, this half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or firstborn,, because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea.
Day 5 Bora Bora
Explore more of this magical isle on your own or on a choice of optional shore excursions. Choose from several, like a jitney tour on Le Truck,, a 4-wheel-drive safari, or a glass-bottom boat ride. We will set sail before dinner, enjoying a relaxing evening on board.
Day 6 Moorea
Graced with an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons, and palm-fringed beaches, Moorea boasts an awesome beauty that is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples, said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia. An overnight here affords us two full days to explore the gorgeous island.
Day 7 Moorea/Papeete (Tahiti)
Explore more of this peaceful oasis. Perhaps you will choose to trek on the Trails of the Ancients, or snorkel one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. At the end of the afternoon, we cruise to our home port in Papeete, docking for the night.
Day 8 Disembark in Papeete
Cap off your epic journey where it all began. You won’t be the same as when you first set sail ,“ these exotic isles are said to touch people in magical ways. If you want to explore more of this side of paradise, perhaps you will choose our pre- and post-cruise hotel programs in Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a and Papeete.