Roy Grimsland, Executive Vice President, Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited, today announced that Paul Gauguin, French Polynesia’s premier luxury ship, will continue to operate as usual its high-end itineraries in French Polynesia and the South Pacific in 2010 and beyond after the ship leaves Regent Seven Seas’ fleet on January 6, 2010.  The five-plus star, award-winning ship will continue to operate as one of the most successful small ships in the world and as the region’s longest continually operating luxury ship.  Specific itineraries, retail pricing information, and customer service and support for 2010 products will be available by January 31, 2009.

“Although our ship will leave Regent’s fleet, we expect no changes to Paul Gauguin’s deployment, staffing, and travel agent relationships,” said Grimsland. “For travel agents and for our guests, it will be business as usual.  In fact, the only changes travel agents will notice will be our efforts to enhance our relationships with these vital partners, while our guests will experience an even more luxurious ship experience following our planned $6 million refit this January. We will even honor Seven Seas Society Savings for our guests.”

Beginning in 2010, Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited, which has owned Paul Gauguin since 2004, will fully operate the Paul Gauguin after Regent Seven Seas completes its contract in January 2010. “Regent has been a highly valued partner, and we wish them all the best,” said Grimsland.  “As we move ahead, we will continue to provide the same luxury product for which Paul Gauguin is known worldwide.  V. Ships, which serves such luxury cruise lines as Silversea, Seabourn, and Regent, currently provides Paul Gauguin with staffing and will provide hospitality, nautical, and technical services for us in 2010.  We’ve worked closely with Regent on the onboard product for the past four years, and this experience—plus a planned 2009 refit to the ship that has been named the best small ship in the world, means that our valued guests will continue to enjoy one of the most luxurious ships, experiences, and destinations imaginable.”

During its January 25-February 5, 2009 dry dock in Brisbane, Australia, Paul Gauguin will undergo a $6 million renovation.  Designed to enhance the five-plus-star vessel’s existing classic Polynesian elegance, renovations will include adding balconies to the 26 category D staterooms, thereby increasing availability of the ever-popular balcony accommodations on board; modifying and refurbishing the vessel’s casual poolside restaurant, Le Grill; expanding the al fresco dining space for the ship’s La Veranda restaurant; an Internet café upgrade, a fitness center upgrade; new sports boats for the watersport activities; extensive restoration of all public areas, including new carpeting, upholstery and refinished woodwork; and refreshing all staterooms and suites.

In 2010, Paul Gauguin will offer its signature seven-night cruises to the Society Islands plus a range of longer cruises throughout the South Pacific.  The seven-night cruises operate year-round and depart from Papeete to Raiatea, Taha’a, Bora Bora and Moorea.  The product will continue to offer guests such luxurious inclusions as 24-hour room service, complimentary select wines and spirits, all non-alcoholic beverages, and included shipboard gratuities.