Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually-sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, today announced that the company has been acquired by Pacific Beachcomber, the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts. Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, featuring itineraries among the islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific.

"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," said David A. Giersdorf, President and CEO of Paul Gauguin Cruises. "The m/s Paul Gauguin is a very successful ship, sailing at full occupancy the past three years, and with only 5 percent 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."

As the largest luxury hotel operator in the destination the m/s Paul Gauguin calls home, Pacific Beachcomber’s successful business model will be a valuable asset as Paul Gauguin Cruises continues its legacy as the year-round leader in luxury small ship cruising in the South Pacific. The joining of these renowned travel companies will provide compelling opportunities to connect extraordinary cruise itineraries with some of the world’s most premier resorts, serving discerning guests as they create lifetime memories among the exquisite beauty and rich culture of French Polynesia.

Richard Bailey, President of Pacific Beachcomber said "We are honored to carry on Paul Gauguin Cruises’ excellent record as the leading cruise operator in French Polynesia. This legacy, combined with our 25 years of luxury resort hotel experience in the Tahitian islands, will ensure that all our guests enjoy a seamless island vacation experience of the highest caliber."

In addition to an enhanced experience for guests, Paul Gauguin Cruises becomes part of a highly-regarded organization that is very supportive and appreciative of Professional Travel Agents. Paul Gauguin will continue to offer a comprehensive support program to Travel Sellers around the world, including a new online Travel Agent Center to enhance ease and efficiency in booking a Paul Gauguin cruise. All current 2009 commission agreements and levels will be automatically honored for 2010 reservations, including those through National Accounts and Independent Agreements. Paul Gauguin Cruises earlier announced the elimination of Non-Commissionable Fares for 2010. The company is also a cruise line member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and supports all of CLIA’s travel agent initiatives.

Attractive Group Rates will provide added savings of 5 percent and 1-for-9 Tour Conductor Credit. Also, the m/s Paul Gauguin Society enables Travel Agents to extend additional savings of 5 percent and exclusive recognition benefits to their existing luxury cruise customers who have sailed previously on Paul Gauguin Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn, Crystal Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club or Windstar Cruises.

The 2010 Paul Gauguin season features 38 extraordinary itineraries ranging from 7 to 15 nights, highlighting such exquisite destinations as Tahiti, the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand – spectacular cruises that cater to the tastes of discerning travelers seeking a legendary, multiple-award-winning cruise and destination experience. Having recently enjoyed a multi-million dollar enhancement, the intimate, Polynesian-themed m/s Paul Gauguin features world-class cruise ship appointments, including private balconies in nearly 70 percent of suites and staterooms and an expanded al fresco dining experience.

Early Booking Promotions provide unprecedented value. Guests who reserve and deposit by September 30, 2009 will receive up to 50 percent off Standard Cruise Fares for January-March departures and up to 45 percent off Standard Cruise Fares for April-December departures, as well as Free Roundtrip Airfare between Los Angeles and Papeete for 2010 departures of 10 or more nights, or for 2010 departures of 7 to 9 nights Two-for-One Roundtrip Airfare between Los Angeles and Papeete, an additional savings of up to $2,500 or $1,250, respectively, based upon two persons sharing a stateroom. All Early Booking Savings are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Guests should reserve as early as possible to ensure selection of departure date and stateroom category.