Paul Gauguin Completes $6 Million Refurbishment

The ship emerges with many new features

By: Ana Figueroa

The luxury cruise ship Paul Gauguin has completed a $6 million refurbishment, emerging with a number of new features. The vessel entered dry dock in January, where she was fitted with a new piano bar, casino and five additional staterooms with private balconies, bringing her passenger capacity to 330. New soft goods, seating and carpeting also enhance the Paul Gauguin’s public spaces.

The Paul Gauguin has been managed by Regent Seven Seas Cruises (formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises) since 1997, under a contract that continues through the end of 2008.

The Paul Gauguin has resumed her full sailing schedule in Tahiti and the South Pacific. Seven-night roundtrip sailings depart Papeeteon Saturdays and visit Raiatea (the cultural heart of Polynesia), Tahaa (for a call at the ship’s private islet of Motu Mahana), Bora Bora (for two full days on the island James Michener used as the model of his idyllic “Bali Hai”) and two days in Moorea (the inspiration for Herman Melville’s novel Omoo).

This year she also sails two 14-night Marquesas cruises; one 14-night Cook and Society Islands, Australs and Tuamotus voyage; three 11-night Society Islands, Tuamotus and Marquesas voyages; three 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruises; and two nine-night Society Islands Holiday voyages which include calls at Huahine.

In response to guest demand for more adventurous South Pacific itineraries, certain seven-, 10- and 14-night sailings will feature an optional seven-night post-cruise land program, including three nights in Auckland, New Zealand, and four nights in Sydney, Australia, from just $1,795 per person.

New optional shore excursions include a Capture Moorea Photo Adventure, Botanical & Agricultural Walk (Moorea), Sunset Sail Aboard the Margouillat (Moorea), Romantic Escapade at Bora Bora Pearl Beach (overnight) and a Clear Kayak Safari to Motu Ofetaro (Raiatea). Other choices include island and lagoon explorations, parasailing, shark and stingray feedings, off-road mountain adventures, wave-runner tours and helicopter flight-seeing expeditions.

Paul Gauguin’s Ambassadors of the Environment program will again be offered to youngsters on the June 10-Aug. 23 sailings. The program, in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, provides young cruisers aged 9 to 15 with interactive learning experiences that teach them about marine and island ecosystems, as well as Polynesian culture.