Le Paul Gauguin resumption delayed by temporary cruise ban

French Polynesia issues snap cruise freeze for two weeks

Cruising in French Polynesia has been suspended for two weeks, effective 23 August to 6 September 2021.

The ruling, announced over the weekend, is a setback for Paul Gauguin Cruises which had intended to resume operation of Le Paul Gauguin this coming Saturday (28 April 2021) with a 14-night ‘Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands’ voyage. (That date was a week later than the originally intended restart flagged for 21 August).

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, it is with great disappointment we must inform you of an announcement made by the Polynesian authorities effective August 23, 2021,” the luxury boutique cruise line said on its website, confirming the necessary termination of the planned sailing this weekend.

“At this time Paul Gauguin Cruises plans to resume service on September 11, 2021,” the cruise line said optimistically.

That voyage is a 7-night ‘Tahiti & the Society Islands’ cruise, which is followed immediately by a replica sailing beginning in Papeete on 18 September.

French Polynesia has also introduced a curfew between the hours of 8pm – 4am, until 6 September 2021.

Paul Gauguin in Bora Bora | Credit: Paul Gauguin Cruises

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Earlier this month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added seven destinations to its highest risk category for travel; Level, including French Polynesia. The CDC recommends against all international travel to French Polynesia until visitors are fully vaccinated.

The French Polynesian government has created strict entry requirements applicable to all travellers arriving in the country by air.

Prior to boarding a flight, visitors must register their visit through the Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) between 30-6 days of travelling, and upload proof of vaccination. Travellers are then required to buy travel insurance or sign a declaration assuming all associated medical, confinement or repatriation costs should they fall ill during their stay. The ETIS registration must then be presented at the airport on arrival.

Within 3 days prior to their international flight, air travellers must obtain negative results on a COVID-19 RT-PCR or rapid (antigen) test to present to airline staff in order to board their flight to French Polynesia. Results of this negative test must be proven with a medical document issued by a doctor, hospital, or medical clinic.

On the day of flight when boarding travellers will be required to provide their vaccine certificate, a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test or rapid (antigen) test, and the completed email receipt from ETIS. ​

For full details on the entry requirements to the Islands of Tahiti, go to tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19/?

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