The Society Islands & Tuamotus From $4,645 |per person aboard the Gauguin: August 10; September 21; November 2*, 2016 available through: TravelPlanners.net #410-349-3000 Email: Sharon@TravelPlanners.net
Float effortlessly over rainbow-colored coral reefs and come nose to nose with parrotfish, clownfish, giant clams, and sea turtles. Dive deeper to swim alongside colorful sea anemones, eagle rays, sharks, and octopi. Polynesia’s translucent, shimmering aqua lagoons are begging to be explored. And there’s no better place to do so than from the m/s Paul Gauguin’s retractable watersports marina, where you can embark on an optional SCUBA adventure.
Even if you have never SCUBA dived before, as a guest aboard The Gauguin, you can witness spectacular marine life up close and swim among beautiful, rainbow-colored coral reefs within a matter of hours. The Gauguin’s SCUBA diving excursions are designed for all levels of experience, and we offer PADI certification on board for novice divers, as well as refresher courses.
Here are highlights of what else you might expect to find in dives off specific islands along the path of your itinerary:
Moorea — Catch a glimpse of black-tipped reef sharks, impressively large moray eels, sea turtles, and barracudas. Bora Bora — View lemon sharks and manta rays up close.
Rangiroa & Fakarava — In this premier diving location, look for hammerhead sharks (December-February) or manta rays (September-October). In addition, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays, barracuda, and other fascinating fish species are often spotted here, among coral reefs and canyon passes – including Fakarava’s reef, a UNESCO-Classified Nature Reserve.
Aitutaki — Dive along the sheer drop off and large coral bommies to come across impressively large hawksbill turtles, white tip reef sharks resting on the sea floor, friendly emperor angel fish and occasional eagle rays.
The Marquesas Islands are among the best diving spots in the world. The Gauguin offers you your only opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Marquesas, as there are no dive centers in these remote but pristine islands.
Nuku Hiva — The steep cliffs and caves off this island reveal a variety of unusual marine life, including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, moray eels, and scorpion fish. Tahuata — Jump into an underwater wilderness and observe grey sharks, rays, and schools of juvenile fish dancing among predators such as giant trevally or tuna. For the safety of our guests, diving is available in the Marquesas for advanced Open-Water Certified divers only, as dives are 60 feet minimum.
How to Book a Diving Certification Program
If you are not a certified SCUBA diver and have always wanted to try SCUBA, a Discover SCUBA Diving (DSD) class is available. The course consists of one hour of theory and a one-hour pool session. It is brief, safe, and a rewarding experience for those participating. All diving certification courses must be booked on board at the Dive Desk. The DSD class and beginners’ dives can be booked online prior to your cruise.
The resort certification or Discover SCUBA Diving program offered aboard The Gauguin is the beginning of the PADI open-water diver course. If you sign up for one dive on board The Gauguin after completing a Discover SCUBA Diving course, you are registered with PADI and receive credit for one confined-water (pool) session and one open-water dive. This certification can be used for up to one year for a dive of up to 40 feet with a dive instructor at any PADI dive center around the world.
To complete the full PADI open-water diver certification, you must complete five confined-water (pool) sessions, four open-water dives, five chapters of the open-water diver manual, and a final exam, for a total of about 40 hours.
Enriched Air Nitrox allows you to take longer dives before reaching the non-decompression limit and diminishes the risks of decompression sickness for multiple dive trips. You now have the opportunity to get your Nitrox certification on board The Gauguin. Enroll in the course and get certified for $120, including booklet.
Full Open-Water certification includes these requirements:
- Knowledge Development (theory): Text (five chapters of the open-water diver manual) and video study of basic diving techniques and the effects of diving on the body, diving safety, equipment selection and maintenance, and dive planning. Each chapter is completed by passing written exams plus a final exam.
- Confined-Water Training: Demonstration of skills during a session in a pool or shallow lagoon.If possible, guests are also encouraged to complete their pool sessions in a PADI dive shop in advance, to considerably reduce the time involved in getting certified during their cruise. Once these pool sessions are complete and referral forms are obtained, guests need only complete four open-water dives to get certified. These four open-water dives are sold on board for $540 to complete your certification.You must be at least 10 years old to receive a Junior Open-Water Diver certification. Ten- and 11-year-old Junior Open-Water Divers must dive with a certified parent, guardian, or PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 40 feet (12 meters). Twelve- to 14-year-olds must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open-Water Diver Certification. Divers with Junior Open Water and SCUBA Diver certification may not be able to participate in all dives due to limitations imposed by these certifications.Divers who have not dived within the last six months and cannot provide proof of a SCUBA review course since their last dive may be requested to participate in a SCUBA review course on board prior to a dive in the open water.PADI Certification is not available outside of French Polynesia. Diving certifications are subject to availability
- To SCUBA dive safely, you must not be extremely overweight or out of condition. Diving can be strenuous under certain conditions. Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good health. All body air spaces must be normal and healthy. A person with coronary disease, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, or a severe medical problem, or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not dive. If you have asthma, heart disease, or other chronic medical conditions, or if you are taking medications on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor and the instructor before participating in this program. Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant also should not dive.
- RESTRICTIONS: You must be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 yards/meters nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement, or a 300-yard/meter swim with mask, fins, and snorkel. You’ll also perform a ten-minute tread/float.
- Diver Certifications for Minors
- Open-Water certification is usually offered on board at a price of $750 (USD), depending on the availability of the instructors. In order to expedite the process and maximize diving time is available during the cruise, guests are encouraged to complete the theory portion of the training online at the PADI website prior to embarking ship.