Cruise lines like Paul Gauguin specialize in South Pacific itineraries, and for good reason. If you’re debating between booking a land-based vacation or a South Pacific cruise, here are five reasons that might sway you to set sail.

Why Only Visit One or Two Islands?

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With a South Pacific cruise, you are not limited to whatever island you’re staying on, or hopping to only one or two more during your vacation. French Polynesia is divided up into five groups of islands, and there are 118 islands and atolls, with just over half actually inhabited. Depending on what cruise option you pick, you could end up visiting some of the more remote islands that you would never have the chance to see if you just stayed in a resort the whole time.

While most people think of Tahiti and her islands for a South Pacific cruise, there are also cruise lines and itineraries that take you as well to the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and more.

Cruises Are Often Cheaper

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If you’re eyeing that over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora, you might be surprised to see how expensive it is if you are planning a vacation of a week or more. Why not consider a luxury cruise where you’ll get more bang for your buck? On some itineraries, you may have an overnight stay at an island like Bora Bora where you can still opt to spend a night in an over-the-water bungalow at a specially negotiated price.

Compare cruise line itineraries and packages, as you can find options that are a bit more “all-inclusive” style versus what you may be used to. Paul Gauguin includes select wines and spirits, complimentary soft drinks, butler service, onboard gratuities and more. When you compare this to everything you’d have to purchase if you were booking a hotel, it’s an even better deal.

Exclusive Excursions

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With a cruise, you get to visit some remote destinations and partake in some excursions you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. How about exploring a Tahitian vanilla plantation one day and visiting a pearl farm to see how pearls are made the next? You may also have opportunities to visit private islands that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The South Pacific is renowned for its diving and snorkeling, especially at some of the more remote atolls. If you aren’t certified yet, do your classwork ahead of time and then complete your check-out dives on the ship depending on which cruise line you book with.

Wake Up With a Different View Every Day

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The waters of the South Pacific are some of the most beautiful in the world. Rather than wake up with the same view every day, why not wake up with a view of a different island each day of your vacation? Not to mention, this region is known for some of the best sunsets in the world. On a South Pacific cruise, you will get treated to a gorgeous sunset on a different island every day of your adventure.  

Learn About the Culture and History

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The South Pacific offers more than just picturesque sunsets and turquoise waters. There is significant history here, dating back thousands of years. The big migration from Southeast Asia started around 4,000 B.C., and it’s believed places like Samoa and Tonga were settled by 1,300 B.C. In more recent times, Captain James Cook made his first venture to Tahiti in 1769. Tahiti is also the site of the famous tale about the mutiny on the HMS Bounty in 1789.

When it comes to the culture, Polynesians have some fascinating traditions, and the culture is still strong all over the region, from New Zealand to Hawaii. If you visit Tahiti, you might learn about some of the legends that date back to Maohi ancestors, like the bamboo huts with pandanus roofs.  You may also have an opportunity to visit a marae on Huahine or Raiatea. Marae are stone temples that Polynesians believe to be sacred. Prior to the 18th century and the arrival of Europeans, marae held more than just religious importance as they were used for human sacrifices.

Each island you visit on a South Pacific cruise will have unique history you can witness firsthand, which is a great way to understand more about the culture and traditions prevalent throughout the South Pacific.