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FRENCH POLYNESIA MASTER

Built of steel and giving a cruising speed of 10 knots, the French Polynesia Master is the newest liveaboard to ply the waters of this island archipelago, welcoming aboard 20 guests for 7 or 10 night dive safaris. Our 3 decks provide ample space for relaxation and dive equipment and camera preparation. Whilst our experienced crew ensure you receive only the highest quality service on your diving vacation.

 SPECIFICATIONS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

SCHEDULES 2016

SCHEDULES 2017

DIVE SITES

FRENCH POLYNESIA MASTER SPECIFICATIONS

Deck plan of the French Polynesia Master Liveaboard showing Fly bridge, upper deck and main deck

TECHNICAL DETAILS

The Astral Star, a long range cruiser built by Codecasa and designed by Camper Nicholson, has joined the Master Liveaboards brand and will undergo a full refit prior to her re-launch as the French Polynesia Master, in May 2016. The refit will be overseen by the experienced yacht building team of Worldwide Dive and Sail, Jan & Frank Van Der Linde. with the assistance of  Camper & Nicholsons and Codecasa. Once the refit has been completed the full ships specification will be listed below.

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FRENCH POLYNESIA

Getting there and away… The French Polynesia Master embarks and disembarks at Fakarava Airport. Take your international flight into and out of Fa’a’ā International Airport in Tahiti and that if possible you arrive in French Polynesia 1 day before cruise departure so you‟re well rested before the start of the cruise. There are 6-7 flights per week between Tahiti and Fakarava (depending on the season), which are only around 1 hour in duration. Disembarkation at the end of the cruise will be just before 10am. If you are not remaining in French Polynesia for additional nights after your cruise, please allow plenty of time for the transfer to the airport and for check-in

 

On arrival… French Polynesia is a set of islands that is an overseas country attached to France located in the South Pacific Ocean. Passport holders of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Monaco and Norway only need a valid passport for entry. Passport holders of most Western and Asian countries are exempt from visa requirements for stays of up to 90 days, however, we always advise our guests to check for updates and changes at France Diplomatie. Please make sure that your passport has validity of at least 3-6 months depending on nationality beyond the period you intend to stay in French Polynesia. If you are travelling with medication please ensure to bring your physician‟s prescription with you

 

Staying there… The local currency in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc (CFP). The following forms of payment are accepted: all legal bank notes, international credit cards and traveller’s check. The international banks with foreign exchange offices on Tahiti and the most frequently visited islands are the Bank of Tahiti, the Bank of Polynesia and Socredo. International hotels also provide this service but be careful: some atolls and islands in the Austral and Gambier group have no banking facilities

 

On a typical day we offer up to 4 day dives however the 4th day dive may be substituted for a night dive when the boat is anchored within a lagoon. A 7-night itinerary provides for between 18-20 dives, whilst during our 10-night itineraries, up to 30 dives will be possible.

 

The diving day aboard the French Polynesia Master is scheduled as follows:-

Light Breakfast followed by a briefing and Dive 1. Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 2. Lunch, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 3. Snack relaxation period, briefing and Dive 4, where possible. Dinner. Guests may also take the opportunity to visit the islands and walk upon the pristine beaches.

 

Our diving itineraries take you through the Tuamotu Island chain, from Rangiroa to Fakarava, with a choice of 7 or 10 night safaris between these two hot spots, as well as a Fakarava-Fakarava 7-night loop which maximises the time spent in this area.

 

Dive sites are typically channel or “Pass” dives and the route planning for each trip is highly dependent upon the incoming and out-going tides for each island. We dive the optimum tide for each site to bring you the ultimate in pelagic fish action. Strong currents to be expected and it is therefore recommended divers have experience beyond beginner level to ensure maximum enjoyment. Dive sites also include outer reefs, plateaus and coral gardens found with the lagoon, where currents are less intense and many smaller creatures can be found.

 

Water temperatures throughout the year range from 24-28°C (60-82°F), with January-March being the warmest months and July-November the coolest. The cooler waters bring forth migrating humpback whales and the spawning of marbled groupers, with June/July being the optimum time to see them in large numbers.

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Depart Return Itinerary Nights Lower (Fwd) Lower (Aft) Middle Upper
15-05-16 25-05-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
25-05-16 01-06-16 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
01-06-16 11-06-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
11-06-16 18-06-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
18-06-16 25-06-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
29-06-16 09-07-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
09-07-16 16-07-16 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
17-07-16 27-07-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
27-07-16 03-08-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
03-08-16 13-08-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
31-08-16 10-09-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
10-09-16 17-09-16 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
18-09-16 28-09-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
28-09-16 05-10-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
05-10-16 15-10-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
15-10-16 22-10-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
22-10-16 29-10-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
02-11-16 12-11-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
12-11-16 19-11-16 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
19-11-16 26-11-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
27-11-16 07-12-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
07-12-16 17-12-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
21-12-16 28-12-16 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
28-12-16 07-01-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD

Note: Please do not book any travel arrangements until you have received your booking confirmation from us.

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Depart Return Itinerary Nights Lower (Fwd) Lower (Aft) Middle Upper
07-01-17 14-01-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
14-01-17 21-01-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
25-01-17 04-02-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
04-02-17 11-02-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
12-02-17 21-02-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 9 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
21-02-17 01-03-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 8 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
01-03-17 11-03-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
12-03-17 22-03-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
22-03-17 01-04-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
05-04-17 15-04-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
15-04-17 22-04-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
23-04-17 03-05-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
03-05-17 10-05-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
10-05-17 17-05-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
17-05-17 27-05-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
27-05-17 03-06-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
03-06-17 10-06-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
14-06-17 24-06-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
24-06-17 01-07-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
02-07-17 12-07-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
12-07-17 19-07-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
19-07-17 29-07-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
30-07-17 09-08-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
09-08-17 19-08-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
23-08-17 02-09-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
02-09-17 09-09-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
10-09-17 20-09-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
20-09-17 27-09-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
27-09-17 07-10-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
08-10-17 18-10-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
18-10-17 28-10-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
01-11-17 11-11-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
11-11-17 18-11-17 Fakarava and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserv 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
19-11-17 29-11-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
29-11-17 06-12-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 7 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD
06-12-17 16-12-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
17-12-17 27-12-17 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 5250 USD 5400 USD 5400 USD 5700 USD
27-12-17 06-01-18 Tuamotu Archipelago 10 3750 USD 3900 USD 3900 USD 4200 USD

Note: Please do not book any travel arrangements until you have received your booking confirmation from us.

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FRENCH POLYNESIA

RANGIROA DIVE SITES

Sharks_French_PolynesiaTiputa Pass - Dropping in at the outer edge divers can hook in to the reef wall and watch the amazing shark display. Hammerheads, tiger shark and huge schools of grey reef shark are the main draw. Drift on the incoming tide through The Canyons, where schools of big eyes hang out and mantas can be seen hanging in the cross current. End the dive at Shark Cave where white tips typically come to rest. Other common fish species are grouper and Napoleon wrasse.

 

Tiputa Reef – On the ocean side of the pass the reef plateaus out at 20m into a magnificent coral garden. Schools of barracuda, turtles, white tip sharks, small wrasse and many colourful reef fish species can be seen. Mantas put in an occasional appearance, bottle nose dolphins too.

 

Deep Blue - Or simply “The Blue” is the deep water on the ocean side of Tiputa Pass. Here we drop divers directly from the boat to descend to 20m and hang in the blue as the sharks are tempted up to the shallower depths by dropping stones. Expect to see grey reef, silky and silver tip sharks as well as bottlenose dolphins.

 

Nuhi Nuhi – A shallow coral garden where angel fish, butterfly fish, anthias and all manner of small creatures can be spotted. Look out for leaf fish

FAKARAVA DIVE SITES

Garaue Pass – The northernmost channel of Fakarava Island and arguable the best site in the region for consistent shark sightings. The pass itself is 1600m wide and should only be dived at slack water due to the very strong currents. Starting at the outer wall we encounter the huge “wall of sharks” where hundreds of greys congregate. Black tip, white tip, hammerhead, tiger, silky and oceanic white tip are amongst the other species seen. Napoleon wrasse, surgeon fish and the typical schools of big eyes and yellow snapper swarm over the reefs, joined by turtles, morays and lionfish. In June and July, large numbers of grouper aggregate to spawn, a truly spectacular sight. Manta rays also visit.

 

Tumakohua – The southern pass of Fakarava is just as dramatic as the north, though only 200m across, it can be dived with both incoming and outgoing tides. Big schools of grey reef sharks can be seen in the deeper water whilst along the shallower reef black tips dart about. Manta rays and leopard whiprays are also frequently seen.

 

Maiuru – A submerged plateau on the outer edge of the pass, levels out at 18m into a lovely hard coral garden. At the ‘drop off’ you can encounter shark activity, whilst over the reef paddletail snapper and barracuda form large schools. Manta rays and eagle rays come by for cleaning and a quick meal and there are plenty of smaller creatures including nudibranchs and crabs to spot amongst the corals and sponges.

 

Ohutu – The second plateau starts at 12m  and drops to 30m with vibrant corals this is a superb place to watch manta rays.

 

Restaurant Pier – This shallow site is perfect for an afternoon dive where schools of snapper, black tip reef sharks and Napoleon wrasse are common with a stunning atmosphere for photography.

APATAKI ISLAND DIVE SITES

Tehere Pass – The strong currents through the pass mean divers can literally hang like a flag in the breeze! Reef hooks are essential if you want to stay and enjoy the hundreds of grey reef sharks hunting on fusiliers. Tuna, dolphins and swordfish can also be seen. The seabed and wall is more rubble than coral reef so simply drift in the current and enjoy the large pelagics.

 

Pakaka Pass – A more gentle drift than the Tehere Pass brings you through a pristine coral garden with table and staghorn corals. Silver tip and black tip reef sharks are seen darting in about the shallow corals, whilst numerous eagle rays are frequently sighted.

TOUA DIVE SITES

Otugi Pass – The 400m wide channel is best dived on an incoming tide for the schools of grey reef sharks and silvertips.

 

Teahuroa – The outer reef wall is where huge schools of snapper congregate. Reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, barracuda, surgeon fish and big eyes join them, whilst manta ray sightings are possible too.

TIKEHAU ISLAND DIVE SITES

Tuheiava Pass – A channel dive providing predictable encounters with grey reef and white tip reef sharks, schooling snappers in huge numbers and dolphins. Turtles and solitary barracudas are also seen.

 

The Shark Hole - Diving down a vertical break in the reef brings you through schooling sharks onto even bigger schools of snapper. The archway at 50m is adorned with anemones.

 

The Old Pearl Farm – is the place for watching mantas as they come to the reef for cleaning.

KAUEHI ISLAND DIVE SITES

Outer Wall – The sloping outer wall of Kauehi Island is encrusted with huge hard coral formations and sponges. Butterfly fish, surgeon fish, banner fish and snappers all form large schools over the reef. Puffer fish, morays, tuna, barracuda, wrasse and lionfish are a common sight, whilst mantas, grey reef shark, eagle rays and the occasional hammerhead make up the larger visitors. Great for spotting leaf fish and nudibranchs.

MANIHI ISLAND DIVE SITES

Tairapa Pass – Drift through the shallow channel at incoming tide for a spectacular view of reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, manta rays and eagle rays. Jacks, triggerfish, moray eels and grouper are also amongst the common visitors.

 

The Circus – Dependent on currents this is a superb spot for consistent sightings of manta rays. Wathc as the graceful mantas come for feeding and cleaning. The visibility can drop to just 10m due to the plankton rich waters.

 

The Drop Off – On the Southwest of the Tairapa Pass this stunning wall drops to over 1500m . We of course don’t dive that deep! Staying at an average of 20m we encounter many white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks, large schools of tang and triggerfish and plenty of snappers.

 

West Point – This gentle dive with less current than at the channels, great for turtles, black tips, barracudas and groupers.

FRENCH POLYNESIAN DIVE SITE MAP

Map showing scuba diving sites in French Polynesia accessible with the French Polynesia Master Liveaboard

FRENCH POLYNESIAN DIVE SITE VIDEO

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FRENCH POLYNESIA MASTER