When you sign up for a dive, the following equipment is included: a dive computer for all dives above 20 meters, a BCD with integrated weight, a regulator, a 3mm shorty or a full wetsuit (only for divers), and weight for your integrated weight BCD. The tanks provided are 12L aluminum (80 cubic). 15L (100 cubic) steel tanks are also available for heavier breathers.
At the watersports marina, you can also pick up snorkeling equipment (mask, fins, and snorkel), which you can keep for the entire cruise. The fins are not adjustable and are to be worn barefoot. Dive fins are provided per dive per person; snorkel fins can be kept for the duration of the cruise.
- $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
- $120 Single-tank day dive
- $130 Long distance dives
- $130 Intro dive (see question below about beginning divers who would like to try SCUBA diving)
- $230 Two-tank day dive
- $330 Excellence Package (3 dives)
- $660 Passion Package (6 dives)
- $1,080 Master Package (10 dives)
Prices are subject to change.
- $120 PADI Enriched-Air Nitrox Course (for certified divers who wish to extend their skills with enriched-gas-mix diving): Price includes book, exam, and certification fee.
- $319 PADI SCUBA Referral Diver Course (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.
- $499 PADI SCUBA Diver Course (complete course): Includes three pool sessions, theory lessons and exams, and two open-water dives. You will obtain the certification on board.
- $599 PADI SCUBA Referral Open-Water Course (for those who require only four dives to complete their Open-Water Diver certification: You will obtain the certification on board.
- $570 PADI Advanced Diver Course (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.
- $99 PADI Deep Diver Specialty Certification (for those who already have Advanced Open Water Certification and wishing to participate in dives in the Marquesas).
Prices are subject to change.
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. Divers must possess a valid recent medical certificate less than a year old of no contraindication to scuba diving before signing up for a dive, divers at all levels of experience must meet with one of our dive instructors and also fill a liability disclaimer form. The doctor on board will not be able to issue this certificate.
All diving excursions must be booked onboard. For additional information, please refer to the Required Forms.
Please find the onboard booking forms here:
Dives can be booked on board with the Marina Supervisor. Dives at Rangiroa and Fakarava are organised by the Paul Gauguin Cruises Marina team. Only the drift in Tiputa pass (Rangiroa) and the South pass (Fakarava) are not organized.
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, Bora Bora and Moorea, 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 one year 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 in the lagoon off Taha’a, Bora Bora and Moorea. 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 compensated regulators from Beuchat and some BCD spare parts (Beuchat) 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, only safety stop 3 minutes at 15 feet. 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, diving instructors are able to conduct a group of five divers maximum. We have four French state-certified diving instructors/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 we attach the boat to an existing mooring. 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.