One Cruise Line Restarts July 11. What Cruises Are Going To Look Like

Paul Gauguin Cruises will sail within French Polynesia and the South Pacific. They’re re-starting voyages July 11 with what they call a “COVID-Safe Protocol.”

Their first trip will be a 7 night “Tahiti & the Society Islands” trip July 11 – 18 for the local French Polynesia market. The country re-opens July 15. And their first trip with international passengers will launch July 29 from Papeete, the capital, to Huahine, Bora Bora, Motu Mahana, and Moorea, along with Rangiroa and Fakarava atolls. Their normal 7-to-14 night cruise schedule resumes in August.

They claim they can offer “no cases of COVID-19 contamination” through “100 percent monitoring of people and goods before boarding” and strict health protocols.

  • Prior to boarding. Everyone presents a signed doctor’s note, completes a health screening, and undergoes a health check by the ship’s medical personnel. Luggage gets disinfected prior to being brought on board. Everyone is given both surgical and cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

  • On-board: 100% fresh air in cabins, air conditioning will not re-circulate air. Air in common areas will be replaced five times per hour. Restaurants are all contactless. Public spaces capped at 50% capacity. High touch points disinfected hourly. Crew are required to wear masks when in contact with guests, passengers are asked to wear masks in common spaces. Everyone gets a temperature screening and disinfected before re-boarding after a shore excursion.

Views From Bora Bora

Views From Bora Bora

These are all great protocols. However there are two problems as I see it.

  1. The cruise market skews older, which means greatest risk. Cruise customers are precisely the people who probably shouldn’t travel at all right now, or expose themselves to others beyond their immediate household.

  2. No cruise ship can guarantee when you’re returning home. It was just a week and a half ago when the last cruise ship at sea was finally permitted to dock and the last passengers released. When a ship has cases on board, everyone is stuck at sea.. perhaps indefinitely.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What kinda idiot would get on a cruise during this pandemic? We have seen what has happened to cruise ships repeatedly when anyone shows any symptoms.

  2. Hi, Gary is an amazing travel blogger. As usual a beautifully engaging post, It creates a desire to start journey towards heavenly beautiful Tahiti & the Society Islands.
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  3. @ the hotel limo service, dude, can completely understand and sympathize that work/business is tough right now, but spamming a travel blog with a fawning, insincere post to hawk your service is inappropriate, especially since this post is about travel to French Polynesia and has nothing to do with what or where you’re offering your service. Bad look, seriously, reconsider your marketing strategy.

    …and yah, 100% fresh air 100% of the time? LOL. And offering the cruise to locals (with a low rate of infection) to build confidence for and draw interest from a wider, international audience? Yeah, pass.

  4. Their plan can’t guarantee nobody with COVID gets on board. All you have to be is asymptomatic and their screening system becomes worthless.

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