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PAUL GAUGUIN ready for her CLOSE-UP after $6 million refurbishment

PAUL GAUGUIN ready for her CLOSE-UP after $6 million refurbishment

Category: Worldwide -
This is a press release selected by our editorial committee and published online for free on 2006-04-06

Every great beauty needs a little time-out occasionally, for rest and rejuvenation, perhaps a little nip and tuck here and there. It's the least one can do for one's adoring public. Thus, if you noticed that the legendary Paul Gauguin® luxury cruise ship seemed to have gone missing from her usual haunts in Tahiti for a few weeks in January, why, she was just getting a little work done, dry docked in Brisbane, Australia. Recently emerged from seclusion, she looks ravishing, as if she'd been pampered at an exclusive and very expensive spa - with a total bill of $6 million.

She's got a brand new piano bar, new casino and five additional staterooms with aft-facing private balconies, so she can take on 10 additional passengers - but no more than 330 total. Guests will notice new soft goods, seating and carpeting throughout public areas - cosmetic touches to update her appearance. Even the officers' quarters have been spruced up.

Now in mint condition, the six-star Paul Gauguin has resumed her full sailing schedule in Tahiti and the South Pacific. Managed since 1997 by Regent Seven Seas Cruises (formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises) under a contract that continues through the end of 2008, she was named one of the world's top two small ships in 2003 and 2004 by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

South Pacific Sojourns

The Paul Gauguin's intimate size, tasteful elegance and all ocean view accommodations (more than 50% with private balconies) embrace the dramatic panoramas of French Polynesia, much as the artist Paul Gauguin's bold brushstrokes captured these enchanting island settings more than a century ago.

The ship's seven-night roundtrip sailings depart Papeete on Saturdays and visit Raiatea (the cultural heart of Polynesia), Tahaa (for a call at the ship's private islet of Motu Mahana), Bora Bora (for two full days on the island James Michener used as the model of his idyllic "Bali Hai") and two days in Moorea (the inspiration for Herman Melville's novel Omoo).

This year she also sails two 14-night Marquesas cruises; one 14-night Cook and Society Islands, Australs and Tuamotus voyage; three 11-night Society Islands, Tuamotus and Marquesas voyages; three 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruises; and two nine-night Society Islands Holiday voyages which include calls at Huahine.

In response to demand for more adventurous South Pacific itineraries, select departures of the Paul Gauguin's seven-, 10-, and 14-night sailings will feature an optional seven-night post-cruise land program including three nights in Auckland, New Zealand and four nights in Sydney, Australia from just $1,795 per person.

Among the wide array of new, optional shore excursions are a "Capture Moorea Photo Adventure," "Botanical & Agricultural Walk" (Moorea), "Sunset Sail Aboard the 'Margouillat'" (Moorea), "Romantic Escapade at Bora Bora Pearl Beach" (overnight), and a "Clear Kayak Safari to Motu Ofetaro" (Raiatea). Other choices include island and lagoon explorations, parasailing, shark and stingray feedings, off-road mountain adventures, wave-runner tours and helicopter flight-seeing expeditions.

Launched in 2003 to much applause, the Paul Gauguin's "Ambassadors of the Environment" program will again be offered to youngsters on the June 10 to August 23 sailings. In partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, the program aims to give young cruise guest participants aged nine to 15 interactive experiences with and knowledge of marine and island ecosystems, emphasizing the critical importance of coral reefs, sustainable lifestyles and traditional Polynesian culture.

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