When you’re travelling with the chairman of a cruise line, you can expect to experience the best. And Ponant Asia Pacific chair Sarina Bratton’s cruise certainly lives up to expectations: 11 nights of blissful sailing on the pristine waters of magical French Polynesia, plus a luxury hotel stay.

Ms Bratton will be hosting and socialising with about 200 past and new customers onboard the recently refurbished Le Paul Gauguin, a boutique ship of the luxury French expedition line.

“The Chairman’s Cruise is really a feel-good exclusive gathering of loyal Australian cruisers including some new-to-cruise. It is almost like a gathering of an extended family and I will spend a lot of  time talking and sharing my insights on what has happened to the industry and the business in the past two years during the pandemic,” Ms Bratton told Cruiser Passenger.

The cruise is another symbol of how we are regaining our lives after the pandemic.  The chairman’s Cruise has been cancelled for the last two years because of COVID.

Now this year’s 13-night Fly-Cruise exclusive package, including a private charter flight, a stress-free itinerary to explore idyllic destinations such as Tahiti, the Society Islands and the Tuamotus  and a pre-sailing two nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti in an ocean view room with breakfast, will be a special celebration.

Renowned for its atolls, stunning crystal waters, private beaches and exceptional coral reefs, the location of the cruise is among the best in the region.

Paul Gauguin cruise review

Ms Bratton revealed that she and her family first cruised with Paul Gauguin in 2010 where they met and became close friends with a couple from Canada and  Sydney. Both couples will be joining her Chairman’s Cruise, which departs on June 3 this year.

Le Paul Gauguin has been extensively renovated with chic and fresh style.  All of the vessel’s staterooms, suites and public areas have been fully refurbished, along with bars and restaurants.

She offers unrivalled snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and SCUBA diving.  On her normal cruises, the ship also offers a private beach experience and a private island.

And, of course, there is a gallery of over 150 paintings by artist Paul Gauguin.

Ms Bratton said Le Paul Gauguin has been a “long-time favourite” of American cruisers as it is a direct flight to Papeete. It has also been rated as the best small ship cruiser in French Polynesia.
With the ship’s recent refurbishment,  the ship will be serving exquisite French cuisine with a Polynesian twist.  “There will be foie gras, freshly baked croissant the French way with lots of butter, wonderful cheese and some of the best French wine. There will also be complimentary excursions accompanied by expedition leader Mick Fogg.
“While I may not be leading the guests in kayaking or paddle-boarding, I will definitely be taking part in these activities.”
The onboard watersports marina, Paul Gauguin
The onboard watersports marina

A specially chartered Air Calin jet will take passengers direct from Sydney to Papeete for a pre-cruise cocktail party in hosted by Ms Bratton.

Bookings have been brisk, so if you want to travel in style with the chair of Ponant you’d better hurry.  There is room for just 20 more passengers.

Prices for the 13-night Fly and Cruise package start from $12,350 per person and you save $800 when you travel with Paul Gauguin Cruises or Ponant for the first time.

Click here to download all the details you need to book.

The 13-night package includes:

  • Return direct charter flight from Sydney, Australia to Papeete, French Polynesia in economy class with Air Calin departing Sydney on June 3, 2022
  • Two-night pre-cruise stay at the Intercontinental Tahiti in an Ocean View room including breakfast
  • Exclusive complimentary cocktail party on June 3 in Papeete
  • 11-night ‘Society Islands & Tuamotus’ itinerary on board Le Paul Gauguin hosted by award-winning Australian businesswoman Sarina Bratton AM – Chairman Asia Pacific for PONANT and Paul Gauguin Cruises.
  • All transfers
  • Complimentary exclusive shore excursions
  • Personalised gifts and enrichment throughout the voyage including lectures onboard with guest speakers and destination specialists
  • Access to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private beach at Motu Mahana
  • All the usual benefits of a Paul Gauguin Cruise – all meals, drinks, gratuities, watersports from the ship’s marina and cultural activities from Polynesian hosts, Les Gauguines & Gauguins

As for the Chairman’s Cruise for 2023, Ms Bratton plans to return to the Solomon Islands and Cenderwasih Bay in Indonesia so that she can swim with the whale sharks.