Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the Paul Gauguin in the South Pacific, will resume its Tahiti and French Polynesia small-ship voyages starting in July 2020. The line has also provided details about its new, extensive “COVID-Safe Protocol.”
Since French Polynesia is officially reopening to international tourism on July 15, 2020, Paul Gauguin Cruises will offer seven-night "Tahiti & the Society Islands" voyages departing July 11 and July 18, 2020, for the local French Polynesian market. This itinerary sails roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti with visits to Huahine and Motu Mahana, which is the line's private islet off the coast of Taha’a. The ship also spends two days in Bora Bora, where guests have daily access to a private beach and two days in Moorea.
Both local and international guests will be welcomed onboard the line's 10-night "Society Islands & Tuamotus" voyage departing July 29, 2020, from Papeete. In addition to sailing to the islands of Huahine, Bora Bora, Motu Mahana, and Moorea, this itinerary also includes calls at the atolls of Rangiroa and Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago.
In August 2020 and beyond, Paul Gauguin Cruises will resume its previously scheduled seven- to 14-night Tahiti, French Polynesia, and South Pacific sailings.
New COVID-19 Protocol
In the official release, the cruise line said the ship's small size, medical infrastructure and onboard teams, along with necessary protocols and the professionalism of crew, will ensure there are no cases of COVID-19 contamination. To prepare for the resumption of activity, Paul Gauguin Cruises and Ponant—which now owns Paul Gauguin Cruises—are collaborating with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world's leading centers in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles.
The "COVID-Safe” health protocols developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT will include "100 percent monitoring of people and goods before boarding;" then, once onboard, strict health protocols will be followed. In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ new measures include:
- Prior to boarding, all guests and crew members will have to present a signed doctor’s medical form, complete a health questionnaire, and undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff
- All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone by sanitizing mist or UV lamps
- Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer bottles will be provided to guests
- The ship will have 100 percent fresh air in staterooms, through non-recirculating air conditioning systems. Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour
- Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer "contact-less" a la carte dining options
- Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater, will be capped at 50 percent occupancy
- The ship will undertake hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with EcoLab peroxide, which eliminates 100 percent of germs, bacteria and against biological contamination.
- Crew members will be required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests; guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and that will be "recommended" for public spaces
- The Paul Gauguin is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious or tropical diseases; advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology and blood biological analysis is available, and one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing
- Zodiacs will be thoroughly disinfected after each stopover
- Reboarding after shore excursions will only be permitted after a temperature check and disinfection procedures (individuals and personal belongings)