An Exploration of South Pacific Islands Aboard the Paul Gaugin

Note: Cruise rate includes roundtrip air from Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji and from Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji to Los Angeles.

Overview

Voyage deep into the Far East on this extraordinary one-time excursion. Embark The Gauguin in the “Sugar City”—Lautoka, the heart of Fiji’s sugarcane-growing region—and sail to exotic ports in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the tiny new nation of Timor-Leste. Along the way, you’ll encounter World War II relics, superb snorkeling and diving, quaint villages, and the welcoming people of many different cultures—all while enjoying the comfort of one of the legendary Gaugin.

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.

Itinerary

Day 1, Apr 11, 2020
Embark in Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji

Known as “Sugar City” for the green-gold sugarcane that surrounds it on three sides, the town of Lautoka is the largest in the Fijian islands and the place where your sojourn begins. Save some time to browse the shops along the city’s stately, royal palm-lined main thoroughfare and visit the botanical garden.

Day 2, Apr 12, 2020
At Sea

The time you spend on board The Gauguin offers endless opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment, whether that means sampling gourmet cuisine, indulging in a spa treatment, watching the sunset from a chaise lounge on the sun deck, or simply making the most of your in-cabin amenities.

Day 3, Apr 13, 2020
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

A stunning island of palm-lined beaches, spring-fed swimming holes, lush rainforests, and lofty mountains, Espiritu Santo also played an important role in World War II. Perhaps you’ll explore this heritage, or experience the island’s traditional village life. You can also enjoy exceptional swimming and snorkeling here. Or simply relax on the beach.

Day 4, Apr 14, 2020
At Sea

Take a day to enjoy shipboard life. Relax poolside, watch the South Pacific pass by, play some table tennis, or learn about our next port in the Reading Gallery.

Day 5, Apr 15, 2020
Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

The largest of the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal is best known for the six-month battle between Allied and Japanese forces that marked a turning point in the Pacific theater during World War II. The island still brims with World War II relics, monuments, and memorials, as you may discover. Perhaps you’ll explore its tropical interior, with its excellent birdwatching. Or see for yourself why the island is revered for its superior snorkeling and diving.

Day 6, Apr 16, 2020
At Sea

Spend the day enjoying The Gauguin’s Polynesian ambiance: casual, leisurely, and graceful. Perhaps you’ll take in a lecture by one of our special guests, and then reflect on your day over classic French cuisine at L’Etoile.

Day 7, Apr 17, 2020
Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea

Once an important trading center, Samarai Island was evacuated and its buildings were destroyed to prevent it from falling into Japanese control during World War II. It has since been rebuilt—though not to the same scale as its glory days. Take a stroll along the pleasant pathway that encircles its pretty town, view spectacular marine life on a SCUBA diving expedition, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 8, Apr 18, 2020
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Historically made up of tribal peoples making their living from the sea, Port Moresby became the capital of Papua New Guinea when the country gained its independence in 1975. While here, perhaps you’ll admire the mosaic façade of the National Parliament House, inhale the fragrance of tropical blooms at the Port Moresby Nature Park, or marvel at the depth and diversity of the local culture at the National Museum and Art Gallery.

Day 9, Apr 19, 2020
At Sea

The Gauguin was designed with your comfort in mind, from her spacious staterooms and elegant public spaces to the host of amenities available for you to while away the days at sea. Work out at the ship’s Fitness Center or pick up a souvenir at La Boutique.

Day 10, Apr 20, 2020
Thursday Island, Australia

Immerse yourself in the island’s cultural mix of Asian, European, and Pacific Island influences at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre. At Green Hill Fort, built as a defense against Russian invasion and later a World War II military base, admire military artifacts and splendid views, as well as exhibits that pay homage to the island’s pearl fishing history. Or join a deep-sea fishing expedition.

Days 11-12, Apr 21-22, 2020
At Sea

The next two days will be at sea, which affords you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the amenities and entertainment on board The Gauguin, like the award-winning spa, casino, and lectures by the ship's experts.

Day 13, Apr 23, 2020
Dili / Timor-Leste

The capital of Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor)—one of the youngest countries in the world—Dili is still a sleepy colonial town, but also one that is modernizing rapidly. If you’re feeling energetic, you might climb the 580 steps to the Cristo Rei, the world second-largest statue Christ the King. Stroll the waterfront in the colonial heart of town. Find a wide assortment of goods at the Dili Tais Market. And enjoy the city’s many fine white-sand beaches with excellent diving and snorkeling.

Day 14, Apr 24, 2020
At Sea

Spend the last sea day experiencing casual, leisurely, and graceful ambience. Take in a lecture on local wildlife or history, and relax this evening over classic French cuisine.

Day 15, Apr 25, 2020
Komodo Island, Indonesia

Home of the famous Komodo dragon, Komodo is one of three islands that comprise Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Man and Biosphere Reserve. While here, enjoy the tropical climate and beautiful beaches—including one of only seven pink-sand beaches in the world. Perhaps you’ll visit the park, take a walk along the walking trails (because of the dragons, it is required that you be accompanied by a guide), or take a cruise in a glass-bottom boat to admire the abundant marine life.

Days 16-17, Apr 26-27, 2020
Disembark in Benoa, Bali, Indonesia

Arrive in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day exploring. Perhaps you’ll take advantage of watersports activities, including jetskiing, banana boating, parasailing, snorkeling, diving, and reef fishing. Visit Ubud, renowned for its temples, shrines, artists’ workshops and galleries, and the Sacred Monkey Forest. The next morning, you’ll bid farewell to your crew and disembark The Gauguin.

Highlights

Highlights

Soak up the history of many World War II landmarks including Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Samarai Island, Papua New Ginea; and Guandacanal
Visit the capital of Timor-Leste, one of the youngest cities of the world
Climb to the Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue in Dili
Snorkel, dive, and swim in incredbile waters near isolated islands

Details

Length: 17 days
Cost From: $7945  
Arrive: Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji
Depart: Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
Lodging: 16 nights aboard a 332-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals aboard ship included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling, Photography, Diving
Trip Level:

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active.
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