Holiday Polynesia: When the first rays of sunshine reach our cabin, we are already standing on the balcony, looking a little disbelievingly into the distance. The twelve hours of the time difference and the long journey to the other end of the world are blown away. It was not until the previous evening that we landed in Tahiti and boarded the last arrivals aboard MS Paul Gauguin.
Like, little children, we were looking forward to this
journey, but nothing could prepare us for this indescribable beauty. While the
nocturnal Papeete still seems to be somewhat busy, we have now arrived in the
almost untouched idyll of the South Pacific. We look out over small islets,
densely overgrown with palm trees. Uninhabited and wild.
On the horizon, two volcanic islands pile up, they carry the beautiful name of Huahine and are the first-day destination of our cruise through Holiday polynesia. For a week we will travel to the Society Islands and, in addition to Huahine and Taha’a, will pay a visit to the two stars of the region, Moorea and Bora Bora, for a two-day visit.
French Polynesia Cruise
Our balcony cabin on deck 7 is very cozy, the bright colors
harmonize well with the high-quality woods. The cabin offers plenty of storage
space, a well-stocked minibar, a comfortable double bed and a spacious toilet
with shower. We do not want to miss the balcony for our morning wow moment.
Before breakfast, we go on a first reconnaissance tour on
board and feel at home immediately. We especially like the very short distances
and the almost family atmosphere. Everywhere we go, we are greeted by our names
on the first day. At full capacity, 217 crew members take care of a maximum of
332 passengers, which means that personal service is virtually guaranteed.
MS Paul Gauguin is tailor-made for Holiday polynesia and was built 20 years ago specifically for this exceptional sailing area. Of course, the ship is no longer one of the newest generations of luxury cruisers, but it is the upscale yet laid-back atmosphere that perfectly suits a tropical dream destination like the South Seas.
The entire decor, the decor, and the traditional wood
carvings are finely tuned. Thanks to regular renovations and maintenance, Paul
Gauguin does not see her age anyway. We perceive the ambiance as very informal
and comfortable, without any restrictions of high quality. Only the bathrooms
are a bit old and should be updated promptly.
Cruise Paul Gauguin
Passengers from all over the world provide a relaxed
On the sundeck, some passengers have meanwhile arrived to
marvel at the entrance to Huahine. The majority of them come from North
America, the dialect also exposes some Australians. In the following days, we
meet people from all over the world, including half a dozen Germans and Swiss.
We Middle Europeans have the longest journey behind us with almost 16,000
kilometers as the crow flies.
The average age is lower than on many other luxury ships.
The spectrum ranges from young honeymooner couples to sympathetic best agers
and vigorous pensioners. Overall, we find the mixture very pleasant. During the
day shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops dominate the picture, only in the evening,
there is a dress code with long trousers for the gentlemen.
For breakfast, we make ourselves comfortable at one of the
tables at Le Grill. The half-open restaurant on the upper deck (deck plan) is
one of three options in the morning and is one of our favorite places, thanks
to its clear sea views and a pleasant breeze. There is a delicious wide choice
buffet, egg dishes are prepared individually and served by the very friendly
waiters on the square.
Each guest is greeted by the first name, special requests or favorite drinks are a matter of course at the next visit. The service is outstanding and very attentive, but without being intrusive. The predominantly Filipino crew speaks invariably very good English, moreover, Holiday polynesia is the second board language. Some waiters even speak one word or another of German. ( https://www.pgcruises.com/ )
Paul Gauguin Ship
In the meantime, our ship has anchored off Huahine
polynesie. With its compact dimensions and shallow draft, the Paul Gauguin
also achieves bays that are completely unavailable for larger ships. In order
not to unnecessarily affect the sensitive underwater world of the South Sea,
all ports of our cruise are approached with modern tender boats.
Since we always go ashore at a central point of the
islands, even individual excursions can easily be planned. As usual, some
vendors even wait for sponante customers directly at the pier. For those who
prefer to be in the hands of an organized group tour, the shipping company of
course also offers numerous shore excursions, which can be booked before the
trip or on board.
Holiday polynesia the transfer rides are a lot of fun for us every day and offer a unique perspective on the ship and the surrounding nature. Especially nice are the seats on the upper deck of the tender boats. At the harbors there is a Welcome Pavilion of the Paul Gauguinavailable all day, serving chilled towels and soft drinks. All processes are perfectly organized, there are never any long waiting times. Also on board, there are enough opportunities to stay hydrated in the tropical warm climate. The most popular point of contact is the large upper deck at the heart of Paul Gauguin, which also houses the swimming pool. Plenty of sun loungers provide space to relax, the pool bar waiters are always happy to provide fresh soft drinks, delicious cocktails or a glass of wine.
Huahine enchants you from the moment you arrive. Just 40 minutes by plane from Tahiti, a well-kept secret is hidden with lush forests, unspoilt countryside and quaint villages Tahitian. The dreamlike bays and white beaches are spectacular, lonely and relatively untouched by modern civilization. The slow pace of ancient Polynesia still prevails here. In the eight small villages on the island, the few inhabitants greet each guest with the greatest friendliness. No wonder that the fertile soil gives local farmers a rich harvest of vanilla, melons and bananas.
The two main islands Huahine Polynesia Iti (the
little one) and Nui (the big one) are connected only to a narrow stone bridge.
But both islands combine their dramatic beauty, a very relaxed atmosphere, and
a mysterious legend. The locals believe that God Hiro once separated the island
into two with his outrigger canoe. Also, it is said that not only the plant
world meets here on particularly fertile soil.
The Holiday polynesia word vahine means woman and should stand for the enormous fertility of the island (s). We are very excited about Huahine on our first day. There are lush forests almost reminiscent of a jungle, quaint villages and friendly people. Also, a crystal clear lagoon around the islands with stunning coral gardens and a spectacular underwater world.
The second stop of our cruise on the Holiday polynesia – the island of Taha’a – is a rather sleepy idyll and lies together with the neighboring island of Raiatea in a protected lagoon. Here tourism is still in its infancy, the main sources of income are the vanilla production and fishing. On Motu Mahana, one of the many offshore islets, waiting with the beach barbecue, meanwhile, another highlight of our cruise.
The island, which is densely covered in palm trees, belongs
to the shipping company and serves as the venue for an extremely relaxed and
enjoyable beach day of superlatives. As soon as we set up our tender boat, we
are greeted by the gorgeous ladies and traditionally tattooed gentlemen of the
on-board entertainment group (Les Gauguins & Les Gauguines). Two ukuleles
play in time, exotic sounds and singing gently echo through the palm
In the meantime, a waiter in the water pulls his floating
cocktail bar through the lagoon, while at first, we make ourselves comfortable
on one of the many sun loungers. Punctually at lunchtime, the grill stations,
salad bars, and side buffet are abundant and surprise us with many delicacies –
from meat to freshly caught fish to vegetarian delicacies!