Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands

A South Seas Idyll Aboard the Paul Gauguin

Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7245  
Length: 15 days
Arrive: Papeete, Tahiti
Depart: Papeete, Tahiti
Lodging: 14 nights aboard a deluxe 332-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 15-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, snorkeling

Relaxing, fun, educational, royal treatment, very accommodating staff. Thank you!Marilyn G.—Ponte Vedra Bch, FL

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.

Cruise rate includes air from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti.

On this South Seas adventure, we explore Fakarava, an atoll known for its pristine beaches and exceptional snorkeling, the utterly beautiful and remote Marquesas, with their fascinating cultural traditions, and the Society Islands, including tiny yet spectacular Moorea and Bora Bora, legendary for its huge surrounding lagoon and barrier reef.

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.


Papeete, Tahiti / Embark Paul Gauguin

Begin your journey through paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands, as you embark on the Paul Gauguin.

Day 2
At Sea

Spend the day enjoying the m/s Paul Gauguin's Polynesian ambiance: casual, leisurely, and graceful. Perhaps take in a lecture on local wildlife or history, then dine in the evening over classic French cuisine at L'Etoile, one of the ship's two elegant restaurants.

Day 3
Fakarava, Tuamotus

Explore the clear waters of Fakarava, a sanctuary for rare birds, plants and crustaceans in the remote and pristine Tuamotus. You can stroll the pink-sand beaches and perhaps visit the island's black pearl farm or the ruins of the first church in French Polynesia built entirely of coral.

Day 4
At Sea

Take another day to enjoy shipboard life: relax poolside, watch the South Pacific slip by, play some table tennis, or take advantage of the ship's Reading Library.

Day 5
Omoa, Fatu Hiva

Fatu Hiva is wild and spectacularly beautiful. The jungle greenery begins at the water's edge, with narrow ravines, deep gorges, and luxuriant valleys briefly open to view as the boat glides past, close to the sheer cliffs that plunge straight down into the splashing surf.

Day 6
Atuona, Hiva Oa

The island of Hiva Oa is marked by wild beauty. Its main town is Atuona, where the artist Paul Gauguin is buried. You might visit the village of Puamau to see the largest stone sculptures of Marquesas, considered linked to the moai of Easter Island and Necker Island, north of Hawaii.

Day 7
Hapatoni, Tahuata

The smallest of the Marquesas archipelago, at only 19 square miles, Tahuata is a leaf-shaped volcanic island with sheer cliffs, white-sand beaches, lush vegetation, twin bays—and a turbulent colonial history. Call at Hapatoni, a charming, seafront village with an ancient paved royal walkway shaded by tamanu trees, visit the huge Catholic church, built by the Vatican and decorated with stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful local carvings, admire traditional carvings at the crafts center, and enjoy fine swimming and snorkeling in the only Marquesas island edged by coral reef.

Day 8
Tiaohae, Nuku Hiva

As the governmental and economic center, Nuku Hiva is the most important island in the Marquesas. It's also stunningly beautiful, with three major bays on the south coast and similarly gorgeous inlets on the north coastl.

Days 9-10
At Sea

You'll be at sea for the next two days, with time to relax and enjoy the amenities of the ship. You may elect to visit the award-winning spa, or listen to a lecture by onboard experts.

Day 11

Known as the “wild” Society Island for its untamed, verdant forests, Huahine remains relatively untouched by modern development. Explore some of its abundant archaeological treasures—ancient homes, buildings, and marae (stone platforms that served as places of worship)—excavated and preserved throughout the island, or dive in Huahine's crystalline lagoon, which teems with over 450 species of fish.

Day 12
Bora Bora

Bora Bora's lagoon is a must-see, your chance for a swim, snorkel, or outrigger cruise. The lagoon is constantly replenished with ocean water from the swells that crash between sandy motus (small islets) and over the fringing reef.

Day 13
Taha'a (Motu Mahana)

Arrive at our South Seas paradise featuring white-sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters, and gentle breezes. Spend a full day exploring this idyllic, isolated island, and relax with a delicious barbecue lunch and Polynesian entertainment featuring strolling musicians.

Day 14
Moorea / Papeete, Tahit

Moorea's scenery is like a dream. You can try your hand at some exciting optional watersports like scuba diving among a host of interesting sea creatures, including sea turtles, a staggering number of fish species such as barracuda, tuna, jackfish, red snapper, moray eels, trigger fish, rays, and more. At the end of the afternoon, cruise to the home port in Papeete, docking there for the night.

Day 15

Disembark in Papeete and fly home.

Post-Cruise Extension

Extend your journey to enjoy the delights of Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha'a, or Tahiti. Call us for details and prices.

2016 Cruise Collection

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

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

Explanation of Trip Levels



Apr 16-30, 2016
Jun 25-Jul 9, 2016
Nov 19-Dec 3, 2016   *special departure with guest host Jean-Michele Cousteau

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise PriceSingle Price
F Porthole Staterooom $7,245 $14,490
E Window Stateroom $7,645 $15,290
D Balcony Stateroom $9,995 $19,990
C Balcony Stateroom $10,245 $20,490
B Veranda Stateroom $12,645 $25,290
A Veranda Stateroom $15,295 $30,590
Grand Suite $19,845 $39,690
Owner's Suite $20,645 $41,290
Government Fees and Taxes: $245

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

Round trip Air from Los Angeles is included in your tour price. Information about air flights will be sent once you are confirmed on the trip.  Please contact Wilderness Travel for further details.

If you prefer to arrange your own air, you will receive a $1350 per person air credit.  The following information is give for those who wish to do their own air.  Please call our office to review your air schedule before purchasing you tickets.

The following carriers typically have the most convenient schedules for this tour:
Air Tahiti Nui
Phone: 877-824-4846
Website: www
Hawaiian Airlines
Phone: 800-367-5320
Note: Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the U.S. one day prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the U.S., otherwise you will be denied boarding.

2016 Departures

Arrival & Meeting Place
Aboard the Paul Gauguin, Papeete, Tahiti
Day 1
Suggested flight arrival time: 3:00pm
Embarkation: begins at 3:00pm
Ship departure: 10:00pm

Arrival Airport
Papeete, Tahiti (airport code PPT)

We recommend that you spend at least one additional night in Papeete before the cruise begins, to allow for any unforeseen flight delays.  We can help you book your hotel and airport/hotel or airport/ship transfers.
Papeete, Tahiti
Day 15
Disembarkation: 9:00am
Suggested flight departure time: After 1:00pm

Departure Airport
Papeete, Tahiti (Airport code PPT)

Transfers will be provided to the airport for Air/Sea passengers departing on Day 15.  For Cruise only passengers, taxis from the ship to the airport (or hotel if extending your stay) are available at your expense.

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.

Client Comments

Relaxing, fun, educational, royal treatment, very accommodating staff. Thank you! Marilyn G., Ponte Vedra Bch, FL Everything about the ship was superb! Bill G., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
The lectures were not to be missed...they were always informative, interesting, and humorous. Judy and Jan N., Santa Fe, NM