When you sign up for a dive, everything is included except the dive computer. You will get a BCD, a regulator, a 3mm shorty (only for divers), and a weight belt (or weight for your integrated weight BCD). The tanks provided are 12L aluminum (80 cubic). Noncompensated 15L (100 cubic) steel tanks are also available for heavier breathers.
- $50 Refresher course (compulsory for those who have not been diving for over a year)
- $99 PADI Discover SCUBA Dive course pool session
- $129 PADI Discover SCUBA Dive course per any additional dive
- $109 Single-tank day dive
- $120 Single-tank night dive
- $129 Intro dive (see question below about beginning divers who would like to try SCUBA diving)
- $215 Two-tank day dive
- PADI Enriched-Air Nitrox Course • $120 — This course is for certified divers who wish to extend their skills with enriched-gas-mix diving. Price includes book, exam, and certification fee.
- PADI SCUBA Referral Diver Course • $319 — This course is for divers who have completed the pool session and a class before embarking the ship. Two dives are required to complete your SCUBA diver certification. You will obtain the certification on board.
- PADI SCUBA Diver Course • $499 — This is a complete course that includes three pool sessions, theory lessons and exams, and two open-water dives. You will obtain the certification on board.
- PADI SCUBA Referral Open-Water Course • $599 — This course is for those who require only four dives to complete their Open-Water Diver certification. You will obtain the certification on board.
- PADI Advanced Diver Course • $570 — For those who already have the Open-Water Diver certification but would like to advance to the next level): Five dives are required, including one deep dive of 100 feet and one navigation dive. You will obtain the certification on board.
- PADI Deep Diver Specialty Certification • $99 — This certification is for those who already have Advanced Open Water Certification and wish to participate in dives in the Marquesas Islands.
- PADI Open-Water Diver Course • $859 — This is a complete course and includes five pool sessions, theory lessons and exams, and four open-water dives. You will obtain the certification on board.
As soon as you are on board The Gauguin, you should visit the Dive Desk (Deck 4 lobby) to complete the requested forms and to sign up for dives. A medical questionnaire is part of the form, so if you have a preexisting condition that might affect your safety, we recommend that you bring a note from your physician. The forms are also found online, so you can also complete them in advance of your cruise. Some dives may be pre-reserved and some dives must be booked onboard. Please refer to the dive descriptions for additional details.
All diving excursions must be booked onboard. Please refer to the dive descriptions for additional details. In Rangiroa and the Cooks Islands, we use the services of local third-party operators. These dives are operated on a space-available basis only and might not be available.
Divers can store their SCUBA gear at the marina.
There are two ways to try SCUBA diving during your cruise:
1. Intro Dive ($129):
Available only in Taha’a, this dive occurs in the lagoon in very shallow water (maximum depth: 18 feet) for 45 minutes. This dive is a tour only; no skills are required. Ratio: 1 instructor to 2 divers.
2. PADI Discover SCUBA Diving (DSD) class ($99 per session):
This class is for those who would like to begin the process of being certified. Each DSD class consists of a swimming-pool session, with an overview of the SCUBA rules and skills. It is usually held in Huahine on the first day of the cruise.
After completing the class, you can sign up for beginners’ dives ($129 per dive), which are sequenced at progressive depths: Toopua in Bora Bora (maximum 20ft); Shark Gallery in Moorea (maximum 40ft); and Nuhi Nuhi in Rangiroa).
No, but it gives you credit toward the Open-Water certification. You will be registered in the PADI network, and if you want to complete your certification, you will have three months to do so.
We always try our best, but we cannot guarantee that it is going to be possible, due to variables such as the number of interested divers and the dive schedule during the cruise.
You can, however, prepare your certification at home and arrive at the ship with a PADI referral form. You will then need only four open-water dives in order to complete the full certification.
Yes. You have two options for refresher courses:
- $50: Held in the swimming pool on board during the first day of the cruise, in Huahine, depending on the itinerary.
- $129: Held later in the cruise, in the lagoon off Taha’a. This option consists of a refresher course followed by a dive.
Please see the Dive Desk (Deck 4 Lobby) for more information during embarkation day.
Yes, if you haven’t dived for more than a year, the policy of the ship requires you to take the refresher class in the swimming pool on board during the first day of the cruise.
No, French Polynesian diving regulations are very strict and require that you always dive with a PADI or CMAS Instructor.
We have two Zodiacs® that can carry ten divers each.
No, for safety reasons it is forbidden to dive, swim, or snorkel from the marina platform.
We use Zodiacs® as dive boats. We never dive or swim from the marina platform for safety reasons. On our dive boats, the most convenient way to make entry is by side roll.
The member of our marina team who is doing the surface watch on the dive boats takes your weight belt, BCD and tank, and other gear, after which you exit the water and enter the dive boat by means of a ladder.
We have regulators (Aqualung) and some BCD spare parts (Aqualung) on board. If we can repair some of our guests’ equipment, we will do it.
We have yoke-valve tanks. If you have a DIN regulator, please bring your own adaptor, or you can dive with one of our regulators.
There are generally two seasons, comparable to America's summer and winter:
- The summer runs from December through June, when the water temperature is around 83°F (29°C).
- The winter runs from July through November, when the water temperature is about 76°F (26°C)
Depending on weather conditions, the average visibility is about 100 feet (30 m) except in particular locations (the Marquesas and the manta dive in Bora Bora).
All the dive instructors on board are EFR (Emergency First Response) certified, and the dive boats have oxygen and a first-aid kit as required by local and ship regulations. A doctor and nurse are also standing by on board The Gauguin, and there is direct communication among the dive boats, the bridge, the ship’s medical center, and the Safety Officer. There is a decompression chamber in Tahiti. Emergency evacuations are performed by helicopter.
Overall depth is around 70 feet, and we always dive within the NO decompression time limit so that no decompression stops are required. Some dives for advanced divers with the deep diver certification are around 100 feet. PADI standards and procedures are strictly applied on board The Gauguin.
No, only divers are allowed on the dive boat.
For a single-tank dive operation, it usually takes about two hours from the meeting time at the marina to the time you are back on board the ship.
According to French Polynesian law, PADI instructors are able to conduct a group of five divers maximum. We have three PADI instructors on board The Gauguin, so the maximum number of divers is fifteen, divided between two Zodiac® dive boats.
It is allowed but not really necessary.
When we arrive on a non-drift dive site, either we attach the boat to an existing mooring, or we drop the anchor. This is for assisting guests in their descent, especially for beginners so they do not need to control their buoyancy. There will most likely be a mooring line on every dive, but is not guaranteed.