January 14, 2002
Papeete may soon feel a bit less forlorn. Tahiti's port-of-embarkation, home to Radisson Seven Seas' year-round Paul Gauguin -- and two of Renaissance's vacant R-series ships, still docked in the heart of the city and giving Papeete a ghost-town-ish feel, may acquire a new "regular." Wind Star is rethinking its plans to have Wind Song sail Asian itineraries and is negotiating with French Polynesia to sail regular, seven day voyages from Tahiti. Which will give Radisson Seven Seas' Paul Gauguin some true competition as that 320-passenger luxury vessel is, although nearly twice as large, on a par with Wind Star's sailing ships.
Ports of call for Wind Song will, like Paul Gauguin, include Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea.
While Wind Song is the only new regular addition to French Polynesia, other ships will include the exotic South Pacific islands in itineraries. These include Princess' Royal, Crown and Dawn Princess, Norwegian Wind, Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas and Crystal Symphony.
Meanwhile, rumors still abound about the future of Renaissance's R3 and R4, still docked in Papeete. Sources say the government is still in talks with financiers in order to, hopefully, get the ships up and running again.