Consider this journey a sampler of the very best of the South Pacific, from Fiji's rich and vibrant culture to the storied Cook Islands, and from once-in-a-lifetime Bora Bora to verdant Moorea. With highlights from four very different South Seas archipelagos, this 12-night cruise gives travelers ample time to explore the culture, history, and natural beauty of this corner of the globe.Cross the International Date Line while en route to Aitutaki, a tiny island in the Cook Islands that's home to one of the world's most spectacular lagoons.
Itinerary Day 1 - Embark the m/s Paul Gauguin 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 South Pacific sojourn begins and ends. Save some time to browse the shops along the city's stately, royal palm-lined main thoroughfare and visit the botanical garden.
Day 2 - Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji
The capital of Fiji since 1883, Suva is the largest urban area in the South Pacific, outside of Australia and New Zealand. Spend your day exploring the fascinating mix of modern and colonial ambience in this sophisticated city, which is perched on a hilly peninsula between two picturesque harbors.
Day 3 - Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji
A day spent in Savusavu is a trip to a charming, unspoiled paradise. Known as the "Hidden Paradise of Fiji," this beautiful town is tucked away on the largely undeveloped northern Fijian island of Vanua Levu. Explore at your leisure, or join one of many available shore excursions, including a visit to a black pearl farm, a Fijian village, or a plantation.
Day 4 - 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 5 - Vava'u, Tonga
Tongan culture takes center stage here, undoubtedly because of the country's status as the only South Pacific nation that was never colonized by the Europeans. Enjoy a Polynesian cultural show, sample traditional Tongan food, and marvel at a lagoon so clear, you can see to a depth of 130 feet.
Day 6 & 7 - At Sea / Cross International Date Line
The next two days will be at sea, which affords you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the amenities and entertainment onboard The Gauguin, like the award-winning spa, casino, and lectures by onboard experts.
Day 8 - Aitutaki, Cook Islands
While the island of Aitutaki may be small, it's big on beauty, thanks to its coral reef-enclosed lagoon. Witness its splendor up-close with a leisurely beach visit. Don't forget to save time to venture into the village of Arutanga, where you'll find the oldest church in the Cooks, which dates from 1829.
Day 9 - 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 10 - Bora Bora, Society Islands
A bucket list destination for many, stunning Bora Bora welcomes you for two full days of exploring lush peaks, white-sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and romantic lagoons. Experience the natural beauty of the island with an optional snorkeling excursion, sunset jetboat ride, or a helicopter tour that flies you over Bora Bora's iconic Mount Otemanu. You can also spend time at our private beach which offers volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding
Day 11 - Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands
Embark on your choice of exciting shore excursions today, or spend your whole day relaxing on Motu Mahana, our very own private islet. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, or simply lounge on the beach with a chilled beverage from our floating bar. Les Gauguines will also be on hand to provide musical entertainment and demonstrate traditional Polynesian crafts. A delicious barbecue lunch is provided.
Day 12 - Moorea, Society Islands / Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands
Vibrant colors abound on Moorea, in everything from fresh fruits and flowers to multi-hued lagoons, and from spectacular mountain peaks to palm-fringed beaches. Shop for local handicrafts, embark on an optional dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist, and sample the local pineapples, said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia.
Day 13 - Disembark in Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands
Tahiti's capital city of Papeete welcomes you back with emerald hillsides, sapphire waters, and warm breezes. If you're not ready for your South Pacific vacation to end, spend a few days here experiencing resorts, spas, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.