May 27 – June 3, 2017
$4,295 per person cabin lower deck
$4,595 per person cabin upper deck
May 24 – 27, 2017
Rangiroa – Kia Ora Dive Resort
Resort Module (optional) – $1757 pp/double, includes inter-island flights, 3 nights Kia Ora Resort, 2 days diving with 4 boat dives, Nitrox, taxes and transfers – For many a week is not enough in the Tuamotus, and we agree. Rangiroa is an iconic destination, known for silver tip sharks, turtles, dolphins, and of course massive schools of gray reef sharks. Our land-based dive option allows us to accommodate to our new time zone, make certain bags arrive, and most importantly dive the best of Rangiroa for a couple of days before flying to Fakarava to join the boat.
The Master Live-Aboard Fleet is a new offering from Worldwide Dive and Sail, the team behind the Siren Fleet we have chartered previously in numerous destinations worldwide. The “Master” concept is a bit different, for instead of the Indonesian-built wooden sailing Phinisi, these are steel hulled vessels designed for cruising and the ultimate in dive convenience. This one is still under construction and will begin operations in 2016. Note that our charter is in June 2017, so plenty of time to refine itinerary and find the very best of the best dive spots off Fakarava.
Why Fakarava, and why by boat? The north and the south passes of Fakarava Lagoon offer spectacular diving … impressive concentrations of schooling fish, friendly Napolean wrasse, and of course the quantities of sharks we associate with a bountiful marine habitat. The water clarity is stunning, and the electric blue color that makes wide-angle photography so productive in these waters. This is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, meant to protect the large concentrations of grey reef sharks, schooling tropical, turtles, and manta rays and turtles so abundant here.
By land these are fairly long boat rides, and the topside amenities are pretty basic. But, the French Polynesia Master gives us the range we need to maximize dive time, and also will pump Nitrox to provide for safer, longer dives. Actually, the live-aboard also provides great economy relative to land-based dive options in Fakarava as well. For so many reasons, this is definitely the way and engaged diver and underwater photographer would wish to do French Polynesia.
The French Polynesia Master is designed to accommodate 25 passengers, but ours is a limited participation cruise, for only 20 guests in double occupancy cabins. This is a remote and pristine place on the planet, and the quality of the diving reflects the marine wilderness. Despite all that, French Polynesia itself is exceedingly accessible, with the flight from LAX to Papeete on the island of Tahiti only 8 ½ hours.