• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
Photos From Paul Gauguin: Cruising Has Resumed In Tahiti
Paul Gauguin

Photos From Paul Gauguin: Cruising Has Resumed In Tahiti

Photos From Paul Gauguin: Cruising Has Resumed In Tahiti
Paul Gauguin

September 18, 2020

Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
By Chris Gray Faust
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(11:50 a.m. EDT) -- After a false start this summer, Paul Gauguin has resumed cruising in Tahiti and the South Pacific -- and Cruise Critic has some pictures to prove it.
Elaine Fiorina, of Rancho Mirage, California, is onboard the vessel as it sails the Society Islands on a weeklong cruise from Tahiti. She's one of 54 passengers onboard the ship, which can usually hold 350 guests.
It's the third sailing with international passengers from the single-ship line, which was bought by the French cruise company Ponant last year. Synonymous with South Pacific cruising, Paul Gauguin had started cruising with local residents in mid-July after French Polynesia developed strict testing criteria for tourism to resume in the archipelago. But the first sailing July 29 had to turn around after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19. No other passengers or crew on the ship contracted the virus.
After a brief pause, the line resumed cruising August 29. That 14-day cruise to the Society and Marquesa islands went off without an incident.
Paul Gauguin is not the only cruise ship sailing in the South Pacific. Aranui Adventure Cruises, which runs sailings on its cargo-passenger freighter Aranui 5, has been sailing since mid-July.
Cruise Critic caught up with Fiorina via Facebook to see how the cruise was going. Here's what we found out.

The Pool on Paul Gauguin (Photo: Elaine Fiorina)
CC: How safe do you feel on the cruise?
EF: We feel very safe. We will do another test on Wednesday. (American passengers on Paul Gauguin end up taking at least three COVID-19 tests -- one within 72 hours of their flight to Tahiti, one at arrival and another four days after their arrival.)
CC: How full is the ship, and are there other Americans?
EF: There ended up being 54 of us on 350 capacity -- 32 Americans and the others French. It's frankly like being on a private mega yacht. It's all to ourselves.
Paul Gauguin in Tahiti (Photo: Elaine Fiorina)
CC: Are you regular cruiser?
EF: My husband and I have been cruising for 31 years. (We've done) all the lines, but "cruising during COVID" is quite an experience. But it can be done.
CC: What is the biggest adjustment?
EF: Adjusting to mask wearing. But I have to adjust because travel is our passion, and I really don't want to continue (staying) in the house. We already had several trips cancel this year. It's our 40th wedding anniversary so this cruise made up for a lot.
Tahiti (Photo: Elaine Fiorina)
CC: Were you nervous about traveling so far?
EF: I was nervous but my husband was not. Had a 72-hour test before and one at arrival, so I know everyone on here is healthy. All anxiety gone!
CC: What is it like interacting with the other passengers, at a distance and with masks?
EF: We're all adjusting to a new normal. Once you sit at a table or bar, you can take your mask off. You must have your forehead scanned in front of this machine for temperature before entering the dining room.
Tahiti (Photo: Elaine Fiorina)
CC: What about shore excursions? (Unlike some of the European cruise lines, Paul Gauguin is not requiring passengers to take ship-sponsored excursions.)
EF: A few were canceled since it's such a small group and wouldn't make the minimum.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Live From SeaDream: What It's Like To Be a Passenger On the Only Transatlantic Cruise Sailing

(12:55 p.m. EDT) -- SeaDream Yacht Club has done it again: The small cruise line made industry headlines when it became the first luxury outfit to return to sailing in June, making a quick pivot with its two ships to Norway for a successful summer season.

And now SeaDream is the only cruise line making a transatlantic sailing with passengers onboard. SeaDream I's 21-day trip left from Oslo with its first guests, before picking up more in Rotterdam, Portsmouth in the U.K. and Funchal in Madeira. The ship is heading for Barbados, where it will run weeklong Caribbean cruises through April.

(As a note, Cruise Critic will be sailing on SeaDream in

Stressed? So Are We. Let's Plan a Cruise

(6 p.m. EDT) -- Who else out there needs something to look forward to?

I know that I do. The crisp and sunny fall days are getting shorter. Colder temperatures are making outdoor dining and social-distanced deck dinners unfeasible. And we're finding it hard to figure out a way to make Thanksgiving and the December holidays safe for an extended family gathering.

Meanwhile, the news is a constant stream of anxiety. No matter what side you're on, the U.S. election looms large in the collective consciousness. Coronavirus cases continue to rise, not just here in the United States, but in Europe and the rest of the world. And if we feel this way now, how on earth will we get through winter?

CDC No-Sail Order Potentially Set to Expire Saturday

(4:30 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's long-standing No-Sail Order is set to expire at midnight Saturday, once again raising the question as to whether the order will be extended, or expire and allow cruise to resume from select ports in the United States.

Originally issued March 13 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, the CDC's No-Sail Order was extended April 9, July 16 and September 30.

In the case of the latter date, the CDC opted to extend the No-Sail Order just hours before it was due to expire.

Saturday, October 31 is also a big day for other cruise industry restrictions: It is the day that [CLIA's volun

Good Judicial News For Carnival Corporation To Resume Cruising

(12:25 p.m. EDT) -- One possible hurdle for Carnival Corporation to resume sailing in 2020 has been cleared by a federal judge.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz had indicated she would require 60 days' notice prior to any Carnival Corporation vessel entering U.S. waters. The company is currently on probation over the illegal dumping of contaminated oil waste involving Caribbean Princess in 2016. Carnival Corporation has been in an environmental compliance program since 2017.

That ruling would have dramatically affected Carnival's attempts to restart cruising from the United States following the industry's shutdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the

Royal Caribbean Lays Out New Guidelines for Quantum of the Seas Cruise Ship Return in Singapore

(12:15 p.m. EDT) -- As Royal Caribbean gears up for a restart in Asia in December, the line has released several infographics outlining changes passengers will see on its ship in that region.

Quantum of the Seas will start sailing from Singapore on December 1, at half capacity with only passengers who live in the country and on "Ocean Getaways", or cruises to nowhere. While Royal Caribbean Group has a partial interest in TUI Cruises, a German line that has also resumed cruising, the sailing could mark the first Royal Caribbean ship to welcome back passengers worldwide; the line has canceled all U.S. sailings through November 30 and is await

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.