This small-ship line is best known for its year-round sailing in French Polynesia on its eponymous ship, but a second ship sails Europe and the Caribbean. The fares, while pricey, are among the most all-inclusive in cruising, and the dining venues are truly impressive for such small ships.
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Expert Review of Paul Gauguin Cruises
Couples seeking a relaxing small-ship cruise in the South Pacific or an intimate, yacht-like voyage in Europe or the Caribbean.
Families with young children or singles traveling alone. Those who expect Silversea-, Seabourn- or Crystal-caliber service and amenities may be disappointed.
The all-inclusive cruise fares cover select wines and spirits and shipboard gratuities; round-trip airfare from Los Angeles is also included in many Paul Gauguin fares.
Both ships were refurbished in 2012; the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin was built in 1997, and the 88-passenger Tere Moana was built in 1998.
A whopping 70 percent of Paul Gauguin’s cabins have balconies, and all feature an ocean view. Plus, most have roomy bathrooms with full-size tubs.
The Parisian-Polynesian cuisine in the three dining venues on Paul Gauguin includes everything from simple poisson cru to foie gras terrines.
Both ships feature La Veranda and L’Etoile, which serve dishes by a two-Michelin-star Parisian chef. (Our advice? Reserve upon boarding.)
On Motu Mahana, the line’s private island near Taha’a in French Polynesia, Paul Gauguin passengers can swim and snorkel.
We Could Live Without
The side-to-side rocking Paul Gauguin can experience when outside of lagoons.
The ship’s age is sometimes apparent; there’s a mildew odor in certain stairwells and corridors on Paul Gauguin.
The theme lunch buffets — do you really crave Mexican food in, say, Tahiti?
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