Paul Gauguin Cruises has announced the resumption of its Tahiti and French Polynesia small-ship voyages starting in July 2020 and an extensive COVID-safe protocol from owner Ponant.
French Polynesia is officially re-opening to international tourism on July 15, 2020.
The line will offer its seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages departing July 11 and July 18, 2020, for the local French Polynesian market.
The itinerary highlights the natural wonders and rich culture of the islands, departs and returns to Papeete, Tahiti, and features visits to Huahine and Motu Mahana (the line’s private islet off the coast of Taha’a), along with two days in Bora Bora (with daily access to a private beach), and two days in Moorea.
The company will welcome both local and international guests on its 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage departing July 29, 2020, from Papeete, Tahiti.
In addition to sailing the islands of Huahine, Bora Bora, Motu Mahana, and Moorea, this itinerary also features calls at the atolls of Rangiroa and Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago.
In August 2020 and beyond, Paul Gauguin resumes its previously scheduled seven- to 14-night Tahiti, French Polynesia, and South Pacific sailings.
Ponant is underscoring its leadership in the cruise industry and aims to be back in service on the French coast in July while also announcing new extensive new protocols to complement the already existing hygiene and sanitary measures in place.
The strategy will include strict measures for guests, crew members and goods boarding the ships and enhanced onboard safety protocols, the company said, in a press release.
Ponant said it is 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.
Ponant is also the only expedition line to apply to Bureau Veritas Safeguard status, a label which certifies the efficacy of the health protocols.
The updated guidelines developed by the French-flagged line is based on health standards that exceed international regulations.
In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training, 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 passengers.
• 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 contactless a la carte dining options.
• Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater will be capped at 50 percent occupancy.
• Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with peroxide, which eliminates 100% of germs and bacteria
• Crew members are 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 will be recommended in public spaces.
• Thanks to large investments over several years, Ponant said it has some of the most complete and renowned onboard medical centers in the world of cruising. Each vessel 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 fleet-wide, one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.
• All ships will have five vacant staterooms should guests need to isolate.