Luxury cruise brand sold

South Pacific cruise operator Paul Gauguin Cruises has been acquired by French Polynesia-based resort company Pacific Beachcomber for an undisclosed sum.
The cruise company runs 332-passenger luxury ship the m/s Paul Gauguin, which sails in the islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific.

The vessel was previously managed and operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Under new ownership, Paul Gauguin cruise itineraries will be combined with opportunities to stay in leading resorts in the Pacific region.

Pacific Beachcomber’s portfolio covers 630 rooms including ownership of four InterContinental Resorts in French Polynesia and the Maitai Hotel on Bora Bora. The company is developing a luxury eco-resort ‘The Brando’ on the eponymous actor’s private island.

The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements since entering service in 1998. The vessel has completed more than 500 South Pacific cruises and carried 140,000 guests, including more than 12,000 honeymooners.

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The ship’s 2010 season features 38 itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights, covering destinations such as Tahiti, the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.

The cruise company’s president and CEO David Giersdorf said: “The acquisition of Paul Gauguin Cruises by Pacific Beachcomber is a most positive development for our company, our travel agent partners and valued guests, and for the tourism industry of French Polynesia,

“The m/s Paul Gauguin is a very successful ship, sailing at full occupancy the past three years, and with only five per cent of capacity remaining in 2009.

“As we approach 2010, it will be business as usual, with no changes to our award-winning inclusive product, our dedicated officers and crew members, or our support of travel sellers worldwide, and we see many opportunities to enhance an already world-class experience for our guests.”

by Phil Davies, Travelmole.com