The gateway to Far North Queensland, tropical Cairns is best known for the amazing natural wonders that surround it, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback. Embark the Paul Gauguin here and settle into your stateroom as the ship sets sail late this afternoon for your upcoming South Pacific tour.
Spend the day enjoying The Gauguin’s Polynesian ambiance: casual, leisurely, and elegant. Perhaps you’ll work out in the fitness center and later enjoy specialties inspired by one of the top chefs of Paris over dinner in La Veranda.
The unofficial capital of the Torres Strait Islands, in the far north of the Australian state of Queensland, Thursday Island (called “TI” by the locals) was settled by Melanesian and Polynesian explorers some 2,000 years ago. Experience its cultural mix of Asian, European, and Pacific Island influences at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre, or climb to Green Hill Fort to admire military artifacts and splendid views.
Spend two more days enjoying shipboard life: take a dip in the pool, watch the South Pacific pass by, play some table tennis, or read up on your next port at the Reading Gallery.
The capital of Australia’s tropical Northern Territory, on the Timor Sea, Darwin is an attractive city of contrasts: lively yet laidback, urban yet remote, and a multicultural mix of 56 nationalities. Spend time in the revitalized waterfront area, featuring shops, restaurants, lagoons, parks, and mansions. Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Market—the best known of the city’s many outdoor markets. Or venture farther afield, to Crocosaurus Cove, where you can get close to saltwater crocodiles, or to Parap, a suburb whose galleries are brimming with contemporary and Aboriginal art.
Enjoy two more days at leisure as your captain charts a course toward Indonesia. You might attend an informative lecture by an onboard guest expert, or let Les Gauguines, your troupe of hostess/entertainers, school you in Polynesian arts such as pareo tying.
Home of the Komodo dragon—the world’s largest lizard, which exists nowhere else on Earth—the island of Komodo is one of three islands that comprise Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Man and Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy the tropical climate and scenic, hilly terrain rimmed with beaches, and perhaps visit the park or take a cruise in a glass-bottom boat.
With its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, exotic culture, beautiful handicrafts, and fascinating dance traditions, Bali has drawn travelers from around the world for generations. Benoa is your launchpoint for discovering the treasures of this exquisite island, such as Borobudur, the fabulous ninth-century Buddhist temple.
Today is yours to relax amid the luxury of The Gauguin. Perhaps you will visit the award-winning spa, take a dip in the pool, or choose a movie from the onboard DVD library.
Semarang’s fascinating history includes eras as an Islamic center, a Dutch colonial trading port, and the founding home of Indonesia’s Communist party. Today, it is a center for the production of herbal medicines used widely throughout the country. Explore its many religious attractions, visit its beautiful public garden, or browse the shopping district.
Your Pacific idyll continues with two more days to pursue your own interests on board. Relax in a deck chair with a good book … gather with friends for a cocktail in the Piano Bar … or pick up a souvenir in La Boutique. And enjoy live entertainment in Le Grand Salon after a sumptuous gourmet dinner at L’Etoile.
This morning, your South Pacific and Asia voyage draws to a close in Singapore, the independent city-state in southeast Asia that has become one of the world’s most important ports and financial centers. You’ll find plenty to do in this bustling multicultural metropolis, from superior dining and shopping to world-class attractions.