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Paul Gauguin Cruises is celebrating the start of summer with family-friendly itineraries in the French Polynesia. Think learning about the mysteries of the ocean and the marvels of the environment.

Your clients’ young children will relish their time on board the m/s Paul Gauguin while on a summertime or holiday cruise in French Polynesia, as they participate in a naturalist-led Moana Explorer Program. Experiences for 7- to 15-year-olds include visiting a sea turtle care center, playing real-life beach “Survivor,” and snorkeling in pristine reefs. The Moana (or “ocean”) Explorer Program on the m/s Paul Gauguin was created in partnership with the South Pacific marine education and conservation foundation Te mana o te moana, which focuses on protecting the Polynesian marine environment, specifically sea turtles.

The Moana Explorer Program—complimentary on board (some fees apply to select excursions), with as many as six activities each day—is available in 2022 on select family sailings such as the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands sailings in July. These cruises visit the lush rainforests, white-sand beaches and clear lagoons of the Society Islands including Bora Bora (with an overnight). The youth program is also available on deeper-exploration itineraries such as the 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus sailings in June, July and December; 11-night Society Islands & Tuamotu in June; and 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands in December.

While the activities vary by length of itinerary, always included is meeting the turtles at Te mana o te moana’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center on the island of Moorea. Parents are welcome to join to see the rescued green, hawksbill, Olive Ridley and loggerhead turtles, many of whom arrived injured. The center’s goal is releasing the turtles back into the wild.

Meanwhile, the “Survivor, Tahitian-style” experience has youngsters learning about Tahitian culture while building a shelter made from natural materials found on the beach, eating fruit while blindfolded, and picking up some traditional Tahitian wrestling techniques.

Another beach day allows kids to bond through team spirit—during such activities as crab racing, rope pulling and group snorkeling (a swim test is required). On Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private patch of beach, Motu Mahana, youngsters may participate in a reef quest to observe underwater life and see how many species of coral they can identify and record in an underwater field journal.

Daily activities often include sessions on specific topics, such as plastic pollution and its effect on marine life, saving coral reefs, or insight into sharks and stingrays. There’s a short video presentation, games and discussion around each subject. It’s both preparation for what the kids will experience each day on the islands and skill-building. Before they leave the ship, kids will learn skills such as making shrimp using palm leaves and how to use binoculars, which are provided for sessions exploring the geology of the islands and for spotting dolphins and other wildlife.

On longer itineraries that add Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, kids will learn about dolphins and, during a visit to a local village, spot the animals through binoculars in the famed Tiputa Pass. The Cook Islands & Society Islands itinerary adds the opportunity to learn about giant clams at the Ministry of Marine Reserve on the island of Aitutaki and to mingle with local youth on a visit to a public beach on Rarotonga.

The 330-passenger m/s Paul Gauguin accommodates families with a variety of dining choices that allow for flexible mealtimes, as well as family-friendly accommodations such as the Owner’s, Grand and Veranda suites that sleep up to four guests.

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