m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Joan & Ron Druett

Maritime Experts
Joan Druett
Maritime Historian

In 1984, while exploring the tropical island of Rarotonga, Joan Druett slipped into the hole left by the roots of a large uprooted tree, and at the bottom discovered the grave of a young American whaling wife, who had died in January 1850 at the age of 24. It was a life-changing experience. Joan’s immediate interest in whaling captains’ wives at sea was encouraged by a Fulbright fellowship, which led to five months of research in New Bedford and Edgartown, Massachusetts; Mystic, Connecticut; and San Francisco, California; and resulted in her study of whaling captains’ wives under sail, Petticoat Whalers.

The success of this book and a companion volume, She Was a Sister Sailor, was followed by Hen Frigates, Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail, which was given a New York Public Library Best to Remember Award. She Was a Sister Sailor won the John Lyman Award for Best Book of American Maritime History. Joan’s groundbreaking work in the field of seafaring women was also recognized by an L. Byrne Waterman Award.

Her strong interest in the stories of the Pacific Islanders who sailed on Euro-American ships led next to a biography of an extraordinary Polynesian star navigator, Tupaia, which won the general nonfiction prize in the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and has gone into several editions, including translations into French and Chinese. Her latest book is The Discovery of Tahiti.

Join us aboard The Gauguin as Joan presents four fascinating lectures:

  • From Taiwan to Aotearoa: Traces the 4,000-year-old story of the exploration of the Pacific by skilled seafarers, who burst into the ocean from southeast Asia and fanned out to turn Samoa and Tonga into the cradle of Polynesia. Then, learn how their discovery led to the transformation of Tahiti, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, and finally Hawaii and New Zealand.
  • The Voyage of The Dolphin and the Discovery of Tahiti: Reveals the violence and romance of the first contacts between Europeans and Tahitians.
  • Tupaia and James Cook: Tells the story of Tupaia, the astonishing Tahitian high priest and star navigator who interceded with the Europeans, and his fateful voyage with Cook on the Endeavour.
  • Petticoat Whalers: Hear strange and stirring stories of the wives of whaling captains who sailed the Pacific and explored scandalous tropical ports.


Ron Druett
Maritime Artist

An internationally recognized maritime artist, Ron Druett has created paintings and illustrations that now are held in collections in the United States, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. They also have appeared in international publications and have been featured on television in the United States.

From 1993 to 1996, Ron was Artist in Residence at the William Steeple Davis Trust in Orient, New York. He was accepted as an Artist Member of the American Society of Marine Artists for the duration of his residency in the United States.

At the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, his work has been shown in several special exhibitions: “Four Artists“ (featured artist exhibition), 20 “International Exhibitions,”  four “Modern Marine Masters,” and “America and the Sea.”

His art history lectures cover the development of maritime art from the time of van de Velde (both Older and Younger), and also focus on Paul Gauguin, with particular relevance to his close connection with Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

Born in Kingston-upon-Thames, England, he now resides in Wellington, New Zealand.

Join us aboard The Gauguin as Ron presents four enlightening lectures:

  • Gauguin—the Myth of the South Seas Painter: Takes a look at Gauguin’s early life and paintings, and his stormy relationship with Vincent van Gogh, ending with his decision to sail to Tahiti.
  • Gauguin in Tahiti: Follows Gauguin’s checkered history in Tahiti and his final years in the Marquesas.
  • Painting Ships—The van de Velde Influence: Shows how ship paintings by contemporary marine artists have been influenced by a 17th-century Dutch artist.
  • Marine Artists at Work: Offers interesting examples of varying methods of composing and creating works of art.

other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Teri Sowell Portrait
Pacific Island Cultural Arts Expert
Multiple sailings

A dynamic speaker who specializes in Pacific Island cultural arts, Dr. Teri Sowell is a distinguished researcher, author, and teacher. She also has curated many art exhibitions nationwide. Join us aboard The Gauguin as Teri weaves together threads of past and present traditions in a series of lively lectures that will enrich your cultural experience.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Guest Host Josh Young
Broadway Star
Multiple sailings

A star of musical stages across North America, Josh Young has charmed audiences and won numerous awards for his work. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a thrilling performance by this acclaimed Broadway star.

Multiple sailings

A strolling magician and elite member of the Magic Castle—the legendary private club for magicians in Hollywood—Patricia Magicia delights audiences with her skill and charm, always with French flair. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a dazzling demonstration of Patricia’s unique talents.

Inventor, Historian, Descendant of "Captain" Bligh
August 29, 2020

Maurice Bligh is a man with mission: to set the record straight about his famous forebear, who is widely known as “Captain Bligh” of the legendary HMS Bounty. Join Maurice aboard The Gauguin as he reveals historic truths about Admiral William Bligh — and explains how Hollywood got it all wrong: there never was a ship called HMS Bounty!

Singer & Guitarist
August 29, 2020

One of the UK’s most in-demand singers, Jonny Ross performs a varied repertoire designed to delight audiences of all ages. Join us aboard The Gauguin for live performances by this talented singer.

Magician & Mentalist
Multiple sailings

A professional magician since 1998 and TV Star Magician in Brazil, Gustavo Vierini is skilled in illusion in all its forms. Be sure to be aboard as he brings his unique blend of magic and humor aboard select sailings of The Gauguin.

August 29, 2020

A native of Montréal, Canada, Pascale Guertin is a well-rounded musician who was born to sing. Join us aboard The Gauguin, as this talented artist performs Remembering Edith Piaf and From Argentina with Love.

Motivational Author & Speaker
August 29, 2020

Tom O’Neil has helped a wide range of people, from students to CEOs, achieve their goals through his best-selling books, motivational speeches, and one-on-one coaching. Let this internationally recognized expert in personal development and career management inspire you with his live presentations on board the m/s Paul Gauguin.

Special Interest
Allie Mooney
Inspirational Speaker
October 3, 2020

Allie Mooney knows what makes people tick. And long experience as a successful “people interpreter” proves it. Find out for yourself how this internationally respected speaker and author can transform your life when you join her aboard The Gauguin.

Special Interest
Multiple sailings

The Rolling Keys Duo (Sarah Watson and Will Stead) are two session musicians who have crafted a sound that has proven successful all over the world. Join us aboard select sailings of The Gauguin for a toe-tapping performance of popular classics from the Fifties to current chart hits.

Kim Stare Wallace & Don Wallace
President & Partner, Dry Creek Vineyard
October 14, 2020

Kim Stare Wallace has been passionate about the wine industry since her father founded Dry Creek Vineyard in 1972. Don quickly learned every aspect of the business upon marrying Kim. Join us aboard The Gauguin for the couple’s presentation on Dry Creek Vineyard and a tasting of their excellent wines.

Food & Wine
Clinical Psychologist
October 14, 2020

A healing, resilience, and optimal performance expert, Dr. Stephen Sideroff has developed a new and more comprehensive model of resilience that helps you achieve success while maintaining optimal health. Join us aboard The Gauguin, for a series of presentations designed to help you integrate the most advanced scientific and behavioral technologies with ancient traditions for optimal mind and body functioning.

Special Interest
November 11, 2020

A journalist and educator specializing in astronomy, Dan Benedict has been introducing cruise passengers with an interest in stargazing to the wonders of the night sky since 1998. Join us for a series of presentations and nighttime star watches led by this fascinating expert.

Marc Otway and Abi Uttley Guest Host Image
Multiple sailings

Expect an extremely fun evening of dancing and singing when Marc and Abi come aboard! Don’t miss very special sailings of The Gauguin, as this talented duo performs an exciting musical explosion of upbeat classics through the decades.

Paul Gauguin Cruises guest host George S. Losey Jr.
Marine Biologist
November 21, 2020

After receiving his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, George S. Losey, Jr., left Florida for the warmer waters of the Hawaii and remained as a Professor and Researcher in Zoology at the Institute of Marine Biology. Over the course of his career, he has lived underwater as an aquanaut, dived in purse seines of the East Pacific fishing fleet, and visited marine labs from Israel to Australia. Join us aboard The Gauguin as George shares his expertise in a series of lectures—as well as relaxing, informal conversation.

Art History Professor
November 21, 2020

Acclaimed academic, Fulbright scholar, author, teacher, lecturer, and art historian and curator Caroline Boyle-Turner is a perennially popular guest host aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Join us aboard as she enriches your appreciation for our ship’s namesake and his circle of friends.

A group of guests stand against a railing, looking out at the Marquesas islands.
January 23, 2021

Come sail with us on our 2021 Reunion Cruise—a reunion for past guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises and a gala welcome for newcomers which presents a number of unique events, including special guests, a festive dinner, cocktail and block parties, opportunities to mingle with senior staff and crew, and more. This 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands voyage includes two visits to Motu Mahana,  Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private islet.

Paul Gauguin Cruises guest host and winemake, Scott Harvey.
March 6, 2021

A native of California’s Sierra Mountains region, Scott Harvey developed a keen interest in wine as a high school foreign-exchange student in Germany. Between the two continents, he was fueled by an insatiable curiosity that they both could deliver, and he began developing a unique, signature style that blends influences of Old World Europe and New World California. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a presentation and tasting of his Amador Barbera and Zinfandel.

Food & Wine
Chef Jean Robert de Cavel
March 13, 2021

Award-winning chef Jean-Robert de Cavel has maintained a Mobil 5-star restaurant, opened several restaurants in the Cincinnati area, served as Chef-in-Residence at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, and been named a Master Chef by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Join us aboard The Gauguin for a lecture and culinary demonstration by this acclaimed chef and entrepreneur.

Food & Wine
Owner/Winemakers, Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards
March 27, 2021

Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join us aboard The Gauguin.

Food & Wine
Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography
May 22, 2021

The University Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University, Dr. David Keeling has visited more than 185 countries and studied a wide range of topics, from the geography of exploration and discovery to socio-economic change. Join us aboard The Gauguin as he shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures.