Now That Ponant Includes Paul Gauguin, Save Up To $2,400 Per Stateroom From Tahiti Next Month or in January or February 2020

A last-minute chance to cruise to one of the world’s most beautiful destinations this December or in January or Februaary 2020.

Whether you are travelling as a couple, on your own, or holidaying with family, you are going to fall in love with French Polynesia! These savings of up to $2,400 (per cabin) are in addition to a 50% fere reduction and included flights from Los Angeles

Join our email list here to receive special offers. You’ll also get our regular newsletter which features Culture Cruises’ themed voyages.

This offer ends soon, book by December 31, 2019!

Take advantage of up to $2,400 savings on the following sailings:

Tahiti & the Society Islands | 7 night
Fares from $3,095 | December 7, 2019
Fares from $4,895 | December 21, 2019 & December 28, 2019
Fares from $3,895 | January 11, 2020
Fares from $4,595 | February 15, 2020 & February 22, 2020

Society Islands & Tahiti Iti | 7 nights
Fares from $3,095 | December 14, 2019
Fares from $3,895 | January 4, 2020
Fares from $4,595 | February 8, 2020 & February 29, 2020

Society Islands & Tuamotus | 10 nights
Fares from $5,295 | January 29, 2020

Cook Islands & Society Islands | 11 nights
Fares from $5,495 | January 18, 2020 & March 7, 2020

  • Round trip airfare from Los Angeles
  • Roundtrip airport/pier transfers
  • All shipboard meals in a choice of three venues, and 24-hour room service
  • Beverages, including beer and select wines and spirits
  • Onboard gratuities for room stewards and dining and bar staff
  • A day at Paul Gauguin’s private islet, Motu Mahana
  • Access to Paul Gauguin’s private beach in Bora Bora
  • Select watersports and use of snorkel gear

Call Culture Cruises at +44 (0)20 7666 1450 to book the Paul Gauguin or email for further information. Our main page is here.


The New Crop of Ships – 100th Anniversary of Florida’s First Cruises – Tere Moana Is Christened in St Martin


          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 7th January 2013

Norwegian Breakaway WaterfrontThis year and next see the introduction of four major new classes of cruise ship. First to arrive, in 2013, will be Norwegian Breakaway (boardwalk shown right), one of a pair from Meyer Werft, and Royal Princess, first of another pair from Fincantieri, both of which debut in Southampton. In 2014, these will be followed by Mein Schiff 3, one of a pair from STX Finland for the German market, and an as yet unnamed ship from Meyer Werft for Royal Caribbean International, known only as “Project Sunshine.” Most will not realize it, but today marks the 100th anniversary of the first cruises offered from Florida, when the original Evangeline sailed from Key West on an 11-night cruise, the first of eight, to Panama, Jamaica and Cuba. Finally, Paul Gauguin Cruises christened its latest addition, the 90-guest Tere Moana, in St Martin at the end of 2012.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                       (See previous columns)

The Cruise Examiner for 3rd October 2011 – AIDA Cruise Ship Order In Japan – Other Cruise News: Paul Gauguin Cruises Expands – St Kitts Sees Cruise Boom – Cruise Survey of Cruise Virgins

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 3rd October 2011

Just as the order for a new 98,000-tonner for TUI Cruises, with option for a second, was confirmed last week, came criticism by European shipbuilders of the two-ship order already placed by AIDA Cruises with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in August.  Both Fincantieri and STX claim the price is below cost. Elsewhere, Paul Gauguin Cruises expands with the acquisition of Compagnie du Ponant’s 90-guest Le Levant, which it will rename Moana. Doubling the Paul Gauguin fleet and increasing the berth count by about a quarter, Moana will widen the Paul Gauguin product range,  cruising the Mediterraean and Caribbean, and in Latin American waters. Meanwhile, the Caribbean island of St Kitts is due for a cruise ship boom with eleven first-time callers this winter. And a UK cruise blogger asks how do we overcome old outmoded attitudes and get cruise virgins to book their first cruise?


(See previous columns) – (Post a comment at the Forum)

85 Years Ago: The First Cruise Ship To Come To Miami

Have you thought about cruising the West Indies, in a ship that offers space, service and no crowds, to out of the way islands, like it used to be? It’s eighty-five years since the first cruises were offered from Miami, but it’s still possible, if you look around, to find ships that carry just a few hundred passengers and are not overwhelmed by children and attractions. When you get a chance, give us a call on 020 7723 2450 and ask, but, meanwhile, we thought you might find this little story of interest.

Eighty-five years ago, in the winter of 1926-27, the Clarke Steamship Co Ltd of Quebec became the first company to operate weekly cruises from Florida, in its s.s. New Northland. Here is a little background on an important part of history that is now long forgotten.

Winter cruises had been offered from Key West in 1913 and then from Jacksonville in 1914 by the Plant Line’s 3,786-ton Evangeline, the first ship of that name, that operated between Boston, Halifax and Charlottetown in the summer months. These longer 11-night cruises, which took guests down to see the Panama Canal, then under construction, and also called at Kingston, Jamaica, and Havana, Cuba, ended with the First World War. Twenty years earlier, in 1893, another Plant Line ship, the 1,738-ton Halifax, had offered an experimental series of three 10-day cruises between Tampa and Jamaica.

The New Northland arriving at Palm Beach in January 1927

Completed in April 1926 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the same shipyard that had built Cunard’s famous 31,938-ton Mauretania twenty years earlier, the Clarke ship had actually entered service as the Northland. Before she arrived in Florida, however, she was renamed New Northland, chiefly in order to prevent confusion with the twenty-seven-year-old 3,282-ton North Land that ran between Key West and Havana in the winter (and Boston and Yarmouth NS by summer). With both the Northland and the North Land planning to be in Havana at the same time, there was no point in confusing passengers, let alone port authorities, ship chandlers and others as to which ship they should be going to! Besides, the change of name emphasized the age of the older ship, with which the New Northland also competed for one-way passengers between Florida and Cuba.

While the New Northland had been built to cruise the Gulf of St Lawrence from Montreal to Newfoundland, in the winter time, when the St Lawrence was blocked by ice, she needed to find alternative employment. Thus, for the winter of 1926-27  Clarke chose to place their new flagship into a new weekly cruise service from Palm Beach and Miami to Nassau and Havana. As a cruise ship, she could cater for about 140 first-class passengers.  In order to promote these cruises, a $5,000 model of the New Northland was put on display in the main window of Burdine’s department store (now Macy’s) in downtown Miami.

Downtown Miami, as it appeared in 1927

The New Northland left Montreal at the end of her first Gulf of St Lawrence cruise season on November 26, 1926, and took a cargo south to Havana before presenting for her new duties in Florida.  She arrived in Miami on Sunday, January 9, 1927, and Palm Beach the following day. Several thousand Miamians came out to inspect the new cruise ship on her maiden call and a similar event was held the next day in Palm Beach, where the new Breakers Hotel had opened twelve days earlier. Unlike today, when ships generally sail on the weekend, the New Northland‘s weekly cruises left Palm Beach and Miami every Wednesday during the winter months. Typical of advertisements that appeared in the Miami Daily News was this one for her third cruise:-

Cruise Havana – Nassau from Miami and Palm Beach. Sailing Wednesday, January 26. s.s. NEW NORTHLAND (British Registry). This palatial ship is your hotel for six days, Full day in Nassau – three in Havana. No baggage transfers. All outside cabins, many with twin beds, private baths. $90 and up.

While she would later be registered at Quebec, for the first few years the New Northland indeed remained registered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where she had been built, hence the British flag.

The first season went well, but things had been going on in the background. In January 1926, the Peninsular & Occidental Steamship Company, which had been operating the Miami-Nassau overnight service for thirty years, had been replaced by Munson Steamship Lines of New York, who also owned the British Colonial Hotel (now the British Colonial Hilton) in Nassau. In 1926-27, while the New Northland was cruising, Munson had contented themselves with the Red Cross Line’s 2,568-ton Rosalind, a fifteen-year-old second-hand ship that usually ran between New York, Halifax and St John’s NF. But by the time the 1927-28 winter season rolled around, Munson had arranged to charter the much more luxurious New Northland with her two sumptuous lounges, all-outside staterooms, verandah cafe and plentiful outdoor deck areas, to operate its three sailings a week between Miami and Nassau.

Today, there is a wide choice of Caribbean cruises, but the absolute best are from the likes of Azamara Club Cruises, Compagnie du Ponant, Crystal Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and SeaDream Yacht Club, to name just a few that will take you off the beaten path. Not to San Juan, St Thomas and St Maarten but to places like Marigot and Soufrière, Jost van Dyke and Spanish Town, Havana and Santiago, St Barthelemy and Saba. Despite what some may try to tell you, the ship is not the destination at all, it is the means of getting there in great comfort and with good company and a means of enjoying the sea, with excellent cuisine and the type of understated service that really marks out luxury

The Tere Moana, for example, a 3,504-ton ship owned by Paul Gauguin Cruises, has almost exactly the same tonnage and dimensions as the New Northland, although her appearance is totally different. She carries just 90 passengers in great comfort, and no cargo, and visits many smaller ports where the big ships cannot enter. Formerly Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Levant, she sails from St Martin on her inaugural cruise on December 29, 2012.

For further details on any of these ships call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail