Tahiti and Society Islands

An Exploration of French Polynesia Aboard the Paul Gauguin

Tahiti and Society Islands route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $3995  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Papeete, Tahiti
Depart: Papeete, Tahiti
Lodging: 7-night cruise aboard a deluxe vessel
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Cultural explorations and walking tours, snorkeling


  • Idyllic Motu Mahana, for snorkeling, kayaking, and learning Tahitian cooking secrets
  • Bora Bora's spectacular lagoon
  • Moorea, with its towering peaks and palm-fringed beaches
  • Optional dolphin-watching expedition, 4WD safari, glass-bottom boat ride

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

In 1891, when Paul Gauguin arrived in Tahiti, he captured the charm, culture, and languid grace of its people in his paintings. This 7-night voyage is perfect for those who want to experience the best French Polynesia in just a week, visiting Huahine, called the Garden Island, spending a  day on your own private islet off the coast of Taha’a, exploring magical Bora Bora, basking on a private white-sand beach on a motu off the coast, and discovering Moorea, said to be the model for Michener’s Bali Hai. There’s a reason these islands are world-renowned—their beauty is unmatched.


Day 1
Embark the 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.

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 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

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.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. There are also ample opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Zodiac landing crafts are often used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries, scenic nature areas, and local towns and villages. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Dec 16-23, 2015
Dec 23-30, 2015
Dec 30, 2015-Jan 6, 2016

Trip Cost

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

Dec 16-23, 2015

CategoriesCruise Price
Category F $3,995
Category E $4,345
Category D $5,245
Category C $5,495
Category B $6,445
Category A $7,645
Grand Suite $9,545
Owner's Suite $9,945
Port Fees: $109

Dec 23-30, 2015, Dec 30, 2015-Jan 6, 2016

CategoriesCruise Price
Category F $5,295
Category E $5,545
Category D $6,795
Category C $6,945
Category B $8,245
Category A $9,545
Grand Suite $11,845
Owner's Suite $12,245
Port Fees: $

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost
100 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee (administrative fee): $100 per person
91-120 days prior to departure: 10% of trip cost
61-90 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
31-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
30 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan


Cabin Descriptions

Category Owner's Suite 701 | 534 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 457 sq. ft.
Veranda: 77 sq. ft.
Owner's Suite 701 can accommodate up to 4 guests by adding 2 berths with cribs or roll-aways.
Bathroom includes a separate shower and a dressing area.
Owner's Suite includes Butler service.


Category OS 7002 | 588 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 531 sq. ft.
Veranda: 57 sq. ft.
Owner's Suite 7002 can accommodate up to 4 guests by adding 2 berths with a queen-sized sofa bed.
Bathroom includes a full-size tub and dressing area.
Owner's Suite includes Butler service.


Category GS | 529 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 332 sq. ft.
Veranda: 197 sq. ft.
Two suites available: Paul Gauguin Suite (801), Flora Tristan Suite (802).
Grand Suites can accommodate up to 4 guests by adding 2 berths with cribs or roll-aways.
Grand Suites includes Butler service


Category A | 358 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 300 sq. ft.
Veranda: 58 sq. ft.

Category A 7004 | 349 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 296 sq. ft.
Veranda: 53 sq. ft.
4 Suites available: Tahiti Suite (709), Pont Avent Suite (710), Atuona Suite (711), Arles Suite (712).
Veranda Suites can accommodate up to 4 guests by adding 2 berths with cribs or a sofa bed.

Category A Suites include Butler service


Category B | 305 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 249 sq. ft.
Veranda: 56 sq. ft.

Category B 7003 | 303 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 256 sq. ft.
Veranda: 47 sq. ft.
B Veranda Staterooms can accommodate a third guest by adding a sofa bed.
Stateroom 7003 features a shower stall with no tub.
Category B Staterooms include Butler service.


Category C & D | 239 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 202 sq. ft.
Veranda : 37 sq. ft.
Balcony Staterooms ending in 6 or 8 can accommodate a third guest in a loveseat convertible (except 7006 & 766).
Stateroom 7006 (stateroom 206 sq. ft. – balcony 37 sq. ft.) features a very small bathroom with shower only.
The following staterooms vary in size and feature shower stall with no tub.

  • 763 (stateroom 186 sq. ft. – balcony 75 sq. ft.);
  • 764 (stateroom 188 sq. ft. – balcony 75 sq. ft.);
  • 765 (stateroom 221 sq. ft. – balcony 74 sq. ft.);
  • 766 (stateroom 216 sq. ft. – balcony 70 sq. ft.);
  • 767 (stateroom 229 sq. ft. – balcony 74 sq. ft.).


Category E | 200 sq. ft.
Stateroom: 200 sq. ft. with picture window
Window Staterooms ending in 5, 6, or 8 (except 415) can accommodate a third guest in a loveseat convertible.
Stateroom 415 is slightly larger (225 sq. ft.), is wheelchair accessible, and can accommodate a third guest by adding a roll-away.


Category F | 200 sq. ft. same as E but features two portholes instead of a window


Singles/Triples: A very limited number of guaranteed single cabins are available in Category E at 150% of the double occupancy rate. Singles in all other categories are 200% of the double occupancy rate. A third person may be added to a double occupancy cabin in most categories, with the third person paying 50% of the double occupancy cruise fare. Call for availability and pricing.

Shared Cabins: Participants traveling by themselves and wishing to share a cabin at double occupancy rates may request a roommate. We will do our best to match you with another single traveler. If this is not possible a forced single supplement rate of 125% of the per person rate for that cabin category will apply. Single travelers matched up by Wilderness Travel may be assigned to a cabin in Categories C, D, E, or F, and must be prepared to pay 125% of the rate for any of those categories to have your reservation confirmed, in the event we cannot match you with a roommate.

Shore Excursions: A full program of optional shore excursions will be available at each port of call. These activities are not included in the cruise price and can be reserved and paid for aboard ship. Off-ship activities mentioned in the itinerary are presented only as examples and are at additional cost.


Trip Cost Includes:

  • Spacious, oceanview accommodations
  • Roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete
  • All shipboard meals
  • Complimentary room service
  • Complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits, beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages served throughout the ship
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water
  • All shipboard entertainment
  • All onboard gratuities for room stewards and dining staff
  • Complimentary watersports in select ports from the ship's marina or destination beaches

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Optional excursions, airfare from hometown to Los Angeles and return, items of a personal nature.

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please call our office at 1-800-368-2794.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Dec 16-23, 2015

Papeete, Tahiti
Date: Day 1

Suggested Airport for Arrival
Papeete Airport (Airport Code: PPT)
Papeete, Tahiti
Date: Day 8

Suggested Airport for Arrival
Papeete Airport (Airport Code: PPT)

Dec 23-30, 2015, Dec 30, 2015-Jan 6, 2016

Papeete, Tahiti
Date: Day 1

Suggested Airport for Arrival
Papeete Airport (Airport Code: PPT)
Papeete, Tahiti
Date: Day 8

Suggested Airport for Arrival
Papeete Airport (Airport Code: PPT)

Expedition Details


A valid passport is required for this trip.  Be sure to check the expiration date.  Your passport must be valid for six months after the conclusion of your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.


No visa is required for US Citizens traveling to French Polynesia.


We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at should you have any international health concerns.


No inoculations are currently required for entry into French Polynesia.

Paul Gauguin

We partner with one of the world’s premiere cruise vessels: the Paul Gauguin, a five-star ship designed specifically for sailing the South Pacific. Our ship offers an extension of the informal environment of the islands, carrying only 332 guests and offering all ocean-view staterooms (nearly 70% with private balconies), a choice of three open-seating dining venues, an extensive spa, and a 1 to 1.5 guest-to-staff ratio that provides a high level of personal attention. The ship’s watersports platform offers easy access to the blue Pacific so we can hop aboard a windsurfer or launch a kayak. The Paul Gauguin has been named one of the “World’s Top-Rated Small Ships” by Condé Nast Traveler readers since 1998.