Denis’s life calling was revealed to him when he led a group of Bora Bora junior high school students on a field trip, on which they viewed a pristine coral colony. Returning just days later, he found that the coral had been destroyed by the anchors of small boats. And he decided to do something about it.
Dr. David Keeling is the Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University and recent recipient of the Alan Hay Award for transportation research from the Royal Geographical Society. His research interests include the geography of exploration and discovery, geopolitics, regional cultures, and socio-economic change in global communities. He provides a physical and cultural context for each expedition destination, focusing on its unique characteristics and highlighting key themes both during lectures and in conversations throughout the journey.
David has published many books and articles on geography, development, and culture, and he has lectured on over 40 expeditions across the globe since the early 1990s, including small-ship cruises and luxury jet expeditions. His recent research includes cultural identity in Argentina; the aviation industry; and the geography of rock-and-roll music. He has visited over 2,000 unique destinations for study, research, work, life, and lectures.
Born in England, he spent 12 years in Australia before arriving in the U.S. in 1981. He has lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since 1993.
Join us aboard The Gauguin as David shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures:
- Island Geographies: Resources and Geopolitics – Examines the cultural and physical properties of the Pacific islands, with a specific focus on our cruise destinations – Tonga and the Cook Islands. The lecture will also highlight the colonial and post-colonial context of exploration and settlement in the Pacific region, including the Society Islands.
- Law of the Sea: Why do Countries Have More Territory than Just Land? – Explains how exclusive economic zones work, why islands have more political and resource territory than just land, and how this system evolved after 1945. Also examines the role of the U.S. and the United Nations in establishing a framework for managing the resources of the oceans.
- Hot Spots, Island Arcs, and Volcanic Chains in the Pacific Ocean – Details how the islands of the Pacific Ocean support biodiversity that has evolved in the context of diverse and complex geological forces. Examines how the Pacific Ocean was formed, why current island groups are where they are, and how changing climates are reshaping the region.
- Voyages of Discovery: In the Footsteps of Polynesians, Iberians, and Gauguin – Follows early explorers as they embarked on voyages of discovery around the world and across the Pacific Ocean. Explains how politics and technology motivated early explorers. Examines what motivated artists like Paul Gauguin to travel to the South Pacific in the 19th century and others thereafter.
- Fiji and Geographies of the Indian Diaspora – Explores the dynamic culture of the Fijian islands, the migration of South Asians over the past 200 years, and the modern economic structure of the Fijian archipelago.
- Myths and Legends of the South Pacific - Cyclones, Ocean Currents, and Rogue Waves – Explores the physical properties of the southwestern Pacific Ocean and the beauty of the region’s seascapes. Highlights some of the South Pacific myths associated with the ocean and its islands, including the Myth of the Shark God and the Legend of the Octopus Lure.
other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin
For nine years, Mark Eddowes has captivated guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin with fascinating tales of French Polynesia’s storied past, sharing his wealth of knowledge through lectures that that range from “The Cult of the Tiki” and “The Ancient Culture of the Marquesas Islands” to the real story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. These lectures are often cited as a highlight by our guests.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.