Cruise from Tahiti to the Cook Islands Aboard the Paul Gauguin

Note: Cruise rate includes air from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Papeete, Tahiti.

Overview

The South Pacific puts on quite a show, and the region’s incredible diversity of scenery is front and center on this 11-night journey through the Cook and Society Islands. From the rugged terrain of Rarotonga and coral reef-lined lagoon of Aitutaki to the jaw-dropping beauty of bucket-list mainstays Bora Bora and Moorea, you’ll be hard pressed to pick your favorite port.

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
Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands

A gorgeous collection of volcanic islands strewn across the blue Pacific, Polynesia paints a stunning picture. And, as the capital city on the largest of all 118 islands, Papeete offers endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. Dynamic dining, nightlife, and shopping can be found around every corner, and Papeete serves as a departure and arrival port for most cruises in the South Pacific.

Day 2
Huahine, Society Islands

Huahine is known as “The Garden Island” for its beautiful rainforests, dramatic terrain, and enchanting lagoon. Travelers will find something new to explore around every bend, from sacred sites and archeological landmarks that are among the best preserved in French Polynesia to the colorful sea life that can be experienced on a SCUBA or snorkeling expedition.

Day 3
At Sea

While at sea, choose to relax in your cabin and enjoy the lounge areas.

Day 4
Raroronga, Cook Islands

Rarotonga, the capital of the geographically scattered nation of the Cook Islands, is a relaxing place of beauty and style. Its small population lives on the coast of the circular island, while the interior is lush, rugged, and jungle-clad, offering the opportunity for challenging walks and sensational views. A former New Zealand colony, it has the distinct feel of a New Zealand Polynesian outpost, with New Zealand newspapers and television, as well as the distinctive accent.

Day 5
Aitutaki, Cook Islands

It is believed that this island was settled around 900 AD by legendary Polynesian explorer Ru. Today, the island is a wealth of cultural tradition, with inhabitants keeping their history alive through song, dance, legends and crafts. If outdoor pursuits are more your speed, consider taking the easy hike to the highest peak on the island, Maunga Pu, where you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views.

Day 6
At Sea

While at sea, choose to relax in your cabin and enjoy the lounge areas.

Days 7-8
Bora Bora, Society Islands

The dream destination of Bora Bora just begs to have its picture taken, with lush peaks, white sand beaches, and romantic lagoons. But perhaps Bora Bora’s most iconic image that of Mount Otemanu, with its jagged, emerald-hued peaks rising high above the shoreline. With only 4,225 inhabitants and a laid-back, island vibe, visitors to this beautiful corner of the world can’t help but just relax and take it all in.

Day 9
Taha'a, Society Islands

Enclosed in a common lagoon with Raiatea and accessible only by boat, Taha’a is an ideal island for a relaxing getaway. A sleepy island that boasts only a handful of guesthouses and small hotels, Taha’a maintains an authentic Polynesian flavor. And speaking of flavors, it produces about 80% of French Polynesia’s world-renowned vanilla, a must-buy during a visit to the island.

Taha’a is also home to Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private island. Guests are welcomed with traditional music performed by Les Gauguines, a beachside barbecue, and ample opportunities for watersports, swimming, and relaxation.

Days 10-11
Mo'orea, Society Islands

Moorea, often likened to James Michener's mythical island of Bali Hai, is worth a visit just to experience its spectacular vistas. Volcanic peaks, reflected in the waters of Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay, rise like a shark's jaw above palm tree-lined beaches. The underwater world is just as enchanting, with sharks, tuna, dolphins, and tropical fish—no wonder it’s a popular destination for divers.

Day 12
Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands

You return from your dream journey through the Society and Cook Islands and are welcomed again at the capital city, Papeete. Bid farewell to the ship and crew on Day 12.

Highlights

Highlights

Explore Aitutaki, a tiny island that’s home to one of the world’s most spectacular lagoons.
Experience Motu Mahana, your own private slice of paradise. On this exclusive islet, treat yourself to sand between your toes, the shade of swaying palm trees, a sumptuous barbecue lunch, and, of course, drinks sipped from coconuts.
Discover ancient archeological sites and wonderful cultural delights on Huahine and Bora Bora

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $6695  
Arrive: Papeete, Tahiti
Depart: Papeete, Tahiti
Lodging: 11 nights aboard a deluxe 332-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Snorkeling, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

12-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, snorkeling
Cruise collection 2020 brochure

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