This exciting 13-day Polynesia trip on the Paul Gauguin gives you a glimpse of the various cultures and natural beauty of this diverse and verdant region. From Fiji’s colonial charms to the white-sand beaches of Bora Bora to the coral reef-enclosed lagoon of Aitutaki, this is an experience you won’t soon forget. Immerse yourself in the unique culture of Tonga, the only South Pacific nation never colonized by Europeans. Two separate Fijian ports showcase an intriguing juxtaposition: the sophisticated capital city of Suva and the unspoiled beauty of Savusavu, called the "Hidden Paradise of Fiji."
Visit Lautoka, called “Sugar City” due to its green-gold sugarcane surroundings
Explore Suva's sophisticated blend of modern and colonial architecture
Enjoy a Polynesian cultural show and sample traditional Tongan food
Join an optional helicopter tour over Bora Bora’s iconic Mount Otemanu
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. Save some time to browse the shops along the city’s stately, royal palm-lined main thoroughfare and visit the botanical garden.
Day 2: Beqa Island
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While it may only be six square miles, Beqa Island packs every inch with natural beauty. Spend your day snorkeling among the coral blooms, strolling golden-sand beaches, or discovering a hidden waterfall.
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.
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.
Spend the day enjoying The Gauguin’s Polynesian ambiance: casual, leisurely, and graceful. Perhaps take in a lecture by a special guest, and then reflect on your day over classic French cuisine at L’Etoile.
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.
The next two days are 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.
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 can visit find the oldest church in the Cooks, which dates from 1829.
A bucket list destination for many, stunning Bora Bora welcomes you to explore 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 your private beach which offers volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Embark on your choice of exciting shore excursions today, or spend your whole day relaxing on Motu Mahana, your very own private islet. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, or simply lounge on the beach with a chilled beverage from the floating bar. Enjoy onboard musical entertainment and a demonstration of 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: Papeete, Tahiti | Disembark
The largest of French Polynesia's 118 islands, Tahiti and it's capital city of Papeete are the perfect place to begin (and/or end) your South Pacific sojourn. The Gauguin waits patiently in the harbor, a vibrant and bustling market across the street and in the evenings roulottes (food trucks) line the nearby square offering tasty local fare.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!