After a decade of sailing under Regent Seven Seas, the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin began service this month under its new operator, Pacific Beachcomber.

Pacific Beachcomber, a company led by Tahiti hotel developer Richard Bailey, bought Paul Gauguin Cruises and fully operates its sole ship under a long-term charter with a purchase option.

Paul Gauguin Cruises said Bailey was hosting the ship's inaugural 10-day cruise under Pacific Beachcomber. The ship left Jan. 6 and is visitng Tahiti, Huahine, Raiatea, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Taha’a and Moorea.

The Paul Gauguin will operate 38 expedition-style cruises this year in Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. The ship underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2009.

Pacific Beachcomber also owns the InterContinental Tahiti, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana, InterContinental Bora Bora and InterContinental Moorea.

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