Finding the perfect Liveaboard in French Polynesia
Best time to go
Diving in French Polynesia is good all year round. January until March are the warmest and most humid months with the water temperature of around 28 degrees °C.
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French Polynesia is a collection of islands that make up this overseas French territory in the South Pacific. There are more than 100 islands that make up French Polynesia. These islands cover more than 2,000km of the Pacific Ocean and are divided into the Marquesas, Society, Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral archipelagos. These archipelagos are known for their incredible coral-fringed lagoons, impeccable hotels, and over-water bungalows. The islands are volcanic, meaning that they feature black and white sandy beaches, giant waterfalls, rugged scenery, and epic mountains. If you get a chance to take a liveaboard trip, make sure you choose French Polynesia.
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There are two main liveaboard trips around the islands of French Polynesia. One dive safari caters for all levels of diver including beginners, however the other liveaboard available takes a slightly different journey visiting dive sites that have stronger currents and that may require a little more experience.
Liveaboard Top Dive Sites
If you are an avid photographer, then Tiki is one of the best dive sites to visit. Blooming with huge varieties of fish, coral species as well as predators including blacktip reef sharks, grey and lemon sharks this really is a dive site not to be missed. When the conditions are correct, divers may get to see whales and even dolphins in the area.
Rose Garden, Moorea
If you’re a newbie diver, this dive site is perfect for you. It is located off the north coast of Moorea, with a reef covered in Montipora coral, which looks remarkably like roses, hence its name. Surrounding this underwater rose garden are shark-filled waters with depths from 30-40m, depending on what your qualification level is.
Anau, Bora Bora
Anau is known for its incredible manta ray population that glides around this epic dive site. If you are experienced enough, diving down to 30m-40m you’ll get to see between 5 and 10 manta rays at one time. If you are planning a trip to this dive site then the best time to see the mantas is between the months of May and December. If you are traveling with a non-diver, then snorkeling at this location is great.
Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa
This dive site is known for its strong currents and great visibility. There are hundreds of sharks to observe at Tiputa Pass. Travel to this dive site from December through to March to see hammerhead sharks and manta rays.
Information to know about liveaboard diving in French Polynesia
- Make sure you check how much experience is required before booking your liveaboard trip around French Polynesia.
- This location is also ideal for non-divers. They can snorkel off the boat whilst you are diving.
- If you’re looking to dive with sharks, then Moorea is the location for you. You can have the opportunity to dive with reef sharks as well as lemon sharks.
- If sharks and manta rays are what you’re hoping to see, then Bora Bora is known for sightings of these gentle giants.
- French Polynesia has a tropical climate, which allows for diving pretty much all year round. November through to April is usually warm and rainy, whilst May through to October is mostly cool and dry. Even though diving is all year round, divers agree that the best time to go diving is between November through to April. The reason for this is because around this time a huge influx of plankton makes its way around the islands, attracting large pelagics as well as larger predators.
- Water temperature usually averages around 25C/76F throughout the winter and 30C/86F in the summer months. Visibility is excellent all year round and often surpasses 40m.
- Getting there is easy, with international flights going into Faa’a International Airport, which is around 3 miles west of Papeete on the island of Tahiti. From here you can take a ferry to one of the islands of your choice.
- If you would like to travel on the islands, then why not take advantage of the well-maintained seaside roads that link between towns.
- The local currency is the French Polynesian Franc, where $1 equates to 105 French Polynesian Francs.