The m/s Paul Gauguin is best for affluent travelers who want a luxury experience in Tahiti, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia with a line that specializes in the area. The rebranded m/v Tere Moana, formerly Le Levant (built for the French line, Ponant) has had a multi-million dollar refurbishment. It's best for affluent adults who want a five-star yachting experience in the Caribbean or Central America (in winter) and Europe (in summer.
Atmosphere and experience onboard:
Luxury comes in many forms aboard the Paul Gauguin, which was built to sail the shallow waters of French Polynesia and can access ports unavailable to larger vessels. It is the only cruise ship that sails year-round itineraries in the Society, Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands.
A recent $7 million refurbishment included enhancement of the dining experience and the spa offerings. All staterooms have an ocean view, marble baths, full-size tubs and showers, refrigerators stocked with soft drinks and mineral water and complimentary mini-bar setups; almost 70% have private balconies.
The passenger to crew ratio of 1.5 to 1, with 332 passengers and 217 crew makes for excellent personalized service. Crew members know the islands very well and share that knowledge with passengers, as do the archeologists and marine biologists who sail each cruise.
There is no regimentation and no formality aboard the Paul Gauguin. Dining is open seating in two restaurants: L'Etoile, which has a French art deco style and La Veranda, a modern venue with both indoor and outdoor seating. Le Grill, located near the pool, offers a buffet and open-air dining. As the cruise price is all-inclusive, complimentary wine is served at dinner.
The ship has a retractable watersports platform, so guests can kayak, paddle-board or windsurf.
Dress is as relaxed as the atmosphere: Casual attire by day and elegant resort wear by night – men in trousers and shirts with collars (not golf shirts) and skirts or slacks with blouses for women. On Tahitian night, women are encouraged to wear pareos
and men wear Polynesian shirts.
Announcements are made in English and French. The U.S. dollar is the onboard currency.
The Tere Moana has 45 outside cabins, eight with balconies; the top category have 93-square-foot verandahs. All cabins have full-size showers, bathrobes and slippers, hair dryers, TVs, CD/DVD players, stocked mini-refrigerators and safes; twin beds can be configured as queens.
The ship has pool, spa and fitness center, a lounge (entertainment and lectures) and a water sports platform for kayaking and windsurfing. There is open seating at two restaurants. Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout the ship; Internet access incurs and extra charge. Cruise fares include fine wines and spirits and gratuities.
- Tahiti & the South Pacific
- Caribbean, Latin America, Panama Canal
On the Paul Gauguin, though the average age of passengers is 50+, you'll also find honeymooners, young professionals and retirees. During school vacations, families with children will be onboard. The line attracts guests from all over the world.
On the Terre Moana, you'll find a sophisticated well-traveled adults, 50+, some older who prefer the ease of an intimate yachting experience.
Policies regarding children onboard:
Paul Gauguin Cruises is unable to accommodate infants younger than 1 year of age. The line offers a unique program that introduces young travelers (ages 9 to 17) to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia through direct, hands-on, interactive experiences with marine and island ecosystems. Young Ambassadors explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails and visit marae
(ancient Polynesian temples). They also learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore.
The m/v Tere Moana is unsuitable for children.