Diving Policies

Diving Policies

The m/s Paul Gauguin offers PADI certification on board. All dives offered are guided by a professional PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Dive Master/Instructor. Each is skilled in ensuring that you have the best dive possible, from helping you identify and improve your level of experience to seeking out the most rewarding dive locales.

Plus, The Gauguin is fully equipped, including an onboard practice pool, a tank-filling station, and two inflatable dive boats with ladders. Each holds eight divers and two instructors. No tender to shore is needed—you simply leave from the marina platform of the ship and return to it after your dive, where a warm shower awaits.

And on top of that, we take care of all the details for you, from set-up and gearing you before you enter the water to leading you through the deep. The only thing you have to do is breathe.

How to Sign Up for SCUBA Diving Aboard The Gauguin

All guests wishing to dive from The Gauguin need to bring either proof of certification and a logbook or take a diving course. You may sign up for a dive at the dive desk, located near the Travel Concierge Desk. If you are a certified diver, simply identify yourself to the Sport Coordinators at the Dive Desk on the first day of the cruise. As a licensed PADI Resort,The Gauguin recognizes divers from all international certifying agencies.

Before signing up for a dive, divers at all levels of experience must meet with one of our dive instructors and also fill out a medical questionnaire and a liability disclaimer. Depending on the results of the questionnaire, you may also be asked to consult with the ship’s doctor.

Many dives are available to pre-reserve. Please check the tour description for dives available to pre-reserve.

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.

Certification Offered

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

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.

Open-Water Certification

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.

Open-Water certification is usually offered on board at a price of $859 (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</a > prior to embarking ship.

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 $599 to complete your certification.

Diver Certifications for Minors

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.

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.</em >

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.</em >

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.</em >

PADI Certification is not available outside of French Polynesia. Diving certifications are subject to availability.</i >