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Cruise to the Marquesas Islands: in the footsteps of the artists


For two centuries the Marquesas have served as a refuge for writers, artists, explorers and adventurers. Beyond the fine sand of the beaches of Bora-Bora, a cruise to the Marquesas Islands offers a cultural immersion into the lives of Jacques Brel  and  Paul Gauguin. Two artists who fell irretrievably in love with these lands, and where they both decided to end their days…

A cruise to the Marquesas Islands to discover Gauguin

Immersed in the lush landscapes of Peru from his childhood, Paul Gauguin  traveled the world in search of colour. In 1891, he set out to discover Tahiti, a land he imagined to be close to the paradise of his early childhood. Disenchanted by what he saw as a culture that was dictated by the missionaries; his paintings instead reflected an idealised Polynesia with its wild and beautiful landscapes. In 1901 he decided to move to the island of Hiva Oa and built a traditional house there, determined to live a life of pleasure, but alas enjoyed it for only 2 years…

During your cruise to the Marquesas Islands, you will visit the replica of his “House of Pleasure”, a museum exhibiting his works and his grave in the village of Atuona. 

Resting at his side is another artist, Jacques Brel…

Cruise stop in the Marquesas Islands: Jacques Brel’s beautiful Eden

statue jacques brel cruise marquise islands

Lost in the middle of the seas, the archipelago of French Polynesia was the final retreat for the singer and songwriter, Jacques Brel. When he arrived there in 1975, no one knew him and he loved it: sick of what he called “a flu that does not treat itself”, he settled on the island of Hiva Oa, in the hillside village of  Atuona. At its feet, he saw dazzling vegetation and stunning sea views, which easily explain his love for the island and when he died, he joined Paul Gauguin in the village cemetery, under the frangipani trees. 

During the stopover of your cruise to the Marquesas Islands, you will not be able to see Jacques Brel’s house as this was destroyed, in keeping with the wishes of the artist, who did not want it to become a tourist attraction. But you can visit the moving Brel Museum where items including his Jojo plane, which has often been used for medical emergencies, are on display. From the cemetery where he is buried alongside Paul Gauguin, you will understand why these two artists chose this island as their final resting place…

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