Paul Gauguin Cruises plans late-August return

New stringent health and safety protocols introduced

MS Paul Gauguin/ Source: Paul Gauguin Cruises/Facebook

Paul Gauguin Cruises is continuing to pause its operational restart in French Polynesia, now until late August 2021, flagging concerns over the coronavirus resurgence.

“Due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our cruise departures up to and including August 21, 2021,” Paul Gauguin Cruises says on its website.

“We are eager to return to sailing when we believe that the environment will support it,” the cruise line added.

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Operating from Papeete, Paul Gauguin Cruises had earmarked a relaunch date in 2021 of 16 June with a 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus voyage, followed by eight French Polynesia and South Pacific departures.

A 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary on 28 August 2021 is now currently showing as the first scheduled voyage of “The Gauguin”.

The Ponant-owned cruise line was one of the first to restart operations in 2020 after a pandemic pause, opening up voyages aboard the 332-passenger MS Paul Gauguin in mid-July last year to locals and then international markets later that month. However a coronavirus crisis a few days into its relaunch required all 148-passengers aboard the vessel to be confined to their cabins. After that voyage returned to Tahiti early it is unclear if the ship was put back into service.

MS Paul Gauguin has been out of action for 2021. The vessel was renovated in Singapore earlier this year, emerging with all newly upgraded staterooms and suites, public spaces and two new high-end products –  the Owner’s Suite and Tiara Suite. The ship also appears to have been rebranded as Le Paul Gauguin, reflecting the heritage of its French owner.

In its latest update, Paul Gauguin Cruises said that it has made recent updates to its health protocols.

“Surveys have indicated that 95% of cruise passengers would like to return to cruising, as long as everyone on board is vaccinated. For this reason, vaccines will now be required for all passengers over the age of sixteen.”

In a statement to LATTE, Ponant said: “Given the international health situation, and the international context remaining particularly complex in French Polynesia in terms of health and administration, PONANT has had to cancel some cruises on board Le Paul Gauguin in July and August 2021.

“The company confirms the resumption of its activity in this area as of August 28, 2021.
“As a reminder, PONANT follows a strict sanitary protocol established in collaboration with the local authorities of the visited territories.”
le Paul Gauguin upgraded Standard cabin | Source: Paul Gauguin Cruises

In addition to being fully vaccinated (for more than 2 weeks prior to cruising), Paul Gauguin Cruises’ passengers must;

  • register with the French Polynesia government by completing an Electronic Travel Information System form online
  • take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 3 days of departure
  • on arrival in Tahiti, complete a rapid test at the Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti
  • on arrival to board Paul Gauguin;
    • present valid proof of good health (vaccination card, declaration on an honour basis on immunity of strict isolation of 10 days), negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test results, and completed health declaration form.

On board the ship, guests’ baggage will be disinfected, passengers will be required to wear masks when outside their cabin, physically distance (6ft/1.8m) and undergo systematic temperature monitoring. Anyone presenting with a temperature above 38 degrees, or symptoms, will not be allowed to board.

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