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South Pacific cruise diving

Discussion in 'Cruises' started by Altamira, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Altamira

    Altamira ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: TX
    1,968
    2,017
    I would love to hear from anyone that has taken cruises (not dive liveaboards) to hit some dive spots throughout the Pacific. There are numerous cruise options that can give us a quick diving experience in a lot of places that I would ultimately like to spend a few weeks diving at each. There are cruises originating in Sydney, Australia that hit places like Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Isle of Pines, etc, and some make the rounds around Tahiti, Bora-Bora, Moorea, etc. While the locations look great on paper, and are no doubt fantastic for cruising/sightseeing, very few of the cruises we looked at had dive excursions at most of the stops. That makes me wonder if the cruise ports are too far from the good dive spots, especially considering the arrival and departure times (usually 8AM to 5 or 6PM), and the fact that many require tender operations. I would hate to jump on one of these cruises expecting to dive at some wonderful dive spots only to find out that diving is not feasible from the cruise ports or diving within close proximity to the ports is not worth the effort. We have dived on cruises in Coz, Roatan, Costa Maya, St. Thomas, Grenada, and Bonaire with some very good dives with both the cruise ship ops and off-ship ops, so I don't want to start another discussion of the pros/cons of cruise ship operators. Thank you in advance for any thoughts or recommendations.
     
    petsin likes this.
  2. petsin

    petsin Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chile
    28
    3
    Actually I have exactly the same question! I have a reservation (not yet decided on booking it) for a 12 day cruise from Sydney on December with 7 ports of call in New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands and Vanuatu. My previous experience has been in the Caribbean as well, where I have been in more than 10 different islands diving from cruise ships in the past 3 years which have been great! Now I wanted to try it on the South Pacific so I wonder if it as easy as in the Caribbean. I hope somebody can say something here... though with no replys since a year it does not look promising...
     
  3. CanadianTravelAgent

    CanadianTravelAgent Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brighton, ON Canada
    106
    7
    HI, I tend to read through posts on Scuba Board in fits and spurts and haven't really looked at the cruise forum before. I recently attended a webinar by Paul Gauguin Cruises. They are best known for their cruises originating in Tahiti. Some of their itineraries venture as far as the Cook Islands. I learned that they have their own dive staff on board and diving can be done from their own dingy at almost any of their ports. I was very excited about this prospect. I spent my honeymoon in French Polynesia. The diving among the islands is wonderful and varied. Most of the islands are quite small, making accessing the dive sites very feasible in most cases.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a PM.
     
    Altamira likes this.
  4. mark99

    mark99 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Redlands, CA
    330
    3
    I came here with the very same questions. I am leaving on a cruise in 2 weeks from Sydney to Hawaii via Tahiti /Moorea/ Bora Bora. I booked with a co. called Top Dive that has ops on all 3 islands. I will give you a report on return. You are right there were no ship sponsored dive excursions for some reason.
    We also have a stop in Noumea New Caledonia - anyone with experience there?
     
    Altamira likes this.
  5. Altamira

    Altamira ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: TX
    1,968
    2,017
    Thank you. Looking forward to your report.
     
  6. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,267
    Also looking forward to your opinions on TopDive especially their Bora Bora outfit.

    The best way to do French Polynesia at leisure is the Aranui cargo supply ship. aranui: tahiti cruise, tahiti tours and french polynesia cruise vacation in Marquesas this lets you on and off so you can stay a few weeks somewhere you find tickles your fancy.

    The Paul Gaugin cruises are also very popular and cater for divers but are not a hop on hop off option.
     
  7. medic5

    medic5 Registered

    64
    1
    We have completed 2 Paul Gauguin cruises and our third is in June. The first was 11 nights including French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Due to the distance from NY we stayed 4 nights pre cruise on Moorea and did some dives with Top Dive. They are very good. The diving in Moorea is good but not great (as compared to Fiji). From the ship I did dives again in Moorea as well as in Bora Bora. With only 1 or 2 days at each port it is tough to decide what to do. On Aitutaki we used Teking for a snorkel trip and it was great.

    On our second trip (January 2012) we sailed the PG from Brisbane to Tahiti, hitting 2 cyclones along the way. We missed some ports, hid in others, and had lousy weather until we got back to Tahiti. No diving during that trip.

    This June we will spend 4 nights pre cruise on Moorea and 6 post cruise on Rangiora. I will use Top Dive (they have a 10 pack) for the dives and do a few off the ship. Cousteau is on the ship for lectures and dives so it should be interesting.



     

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