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TRUK LAGOON / BIKINI FAQ

The basics of travel, weather & diving conditions

To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book.   Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure.


BIKINI ATOLL FAQ


There are very specific and strict regulations for entering the Marshall Islands and proceding to Bikini Atoll.  You will receive step-by-step instructions when you book.  For all the basic information you want / need to know pre-booking ... please click open here to continue reading

Getting to Bikini

You will want to take your international flights to and from Kwajalein Airport, which is served by United Airlines 3 times per week from Hawaii.  The flight from Hawaii takes around 7 hours.

(The HNL – MAJ – KWA flight leaves on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so generally you will have to leave the day before that (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday) from Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) to make the connection.)

Ideally, you arrive in Honolulu one day in advance of your flight to Kwajalein, as this flight departs early in the morning.

Keep in mind you will be crossing the date line traveling to Kwajalein Atoll.

There is also a flight from Guam arriving at Kwajalein, however; the itinerary has been scheduled around the Honolulu flight, so it's strongly recommended.


Immigration

All travellers transiting through US airports and United States territories to other destinations are required to obtain a transit visa before commencing their journey.

No visa is required for entering the Marshall Islands for US citizens, EU countries, Canada and most other Western countries.  Nevertheless, we recommend our guests to check for any updates and changes with their nearest Marshall Islands embassy or consulate.

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay in the Marshall Islands. If you are traveling with medication, please ensure to bring your physician’s prescription with you. Please ensure you have a printed copy of the Master Liveaboards Sponsor Letter on hand when arriving in Kwajalein. 


Arrival/Departure

As mentioned above, there are strict entry regulations for the Marshall Islands but we'll walk you through everything before you leave to ensure that you can sail through immigration.


What´s the weather like in the Marshall Islands ?

The climate of the Marshall Islands is a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 27° and 29°C (80°-84°F) all year round, with some trade winds and a light cooling down in the evening. Generally, the northern islands tend not to receive as much rainfall as the southern islands.


What about Water Temperatures ?

Water temperatures at Bikini Atoll generally range between 28-30°C (82-86°F).  A 5 mm suit helps wreck divers to prevent injury. Technical divers are advised to bring appropriate exposure protection for prolonged deco-stops.


Experience Required for Bikini Atoll diving

The wrecks of Bikini Atoll all lie at depths beyond recreational dive limits, with most starting around 50 meters.  Required certification is TDI Extended Range or PADI Tec 50 or equivalent, with previous experience with wreck penetration.

As most of the diving in Bikini Atoll will be extended range, there will be 2 technical dives offered most days.  Each diver is responsible for planning their own dive with their dive buddy, with the assistance of the Cruise Director who is familiar with diving the wrecks of Bikini Atoll.

For safety, there is a mandatory 4-hour surface interval between dives and an afternoon off mid-trip (optional land tour and beach BBQ will be offered instead).


Diving Conditions

Decompression diving is mandatory at Bikini Atoll. M/Y Truk Master is equipped with a ”Deco Bar” under the dive platform. There is a range of technical cylinders available to hire, as well as Sofnolime, helium and oxygen to purchase. Cylinders and Sofnolime are very limited and MUST be requested in advance.


What time of year should I go ?

Truk Master runs trips to Bikini from May through October.  The rest of the year, she is diving Truk Lagoon.


Equipment

Full rental equipment is available and Truk Master is equipped for supporting the rebreather diver.  There are booster pumps and stage tanks available on board. They supply Oxygen and CO2 absorbent (Molecular Products 797 Sofnolime). The scrubber is charged per full 4.5kg tub and O2 is charged per fill. Pre-booking of any rebreather supplies is essential to guarantee availability for you.

They DO NOT have M26 valves or adapters on board. Guests are advised to bring their own if they need them.  Also, they do not supply pre-pack sofnolime cartridges for rebreather units such as Poseidon. Spare oxygen cells and specialist rebreather tools are not available in Truk so divers should bring their own.


Health

In the Marshall Islands, medical care is very basic with the ‘best’ medical facility in Majuro. Any form of treatment other than basic requires evacuation.  Normal precautions should be taken with food and it is advisable to drink bottled water only. No vaccinations are required before entering the Marshall Islands, however; we recommend consulting your doctor for updated information well before departure.

Radioactive radiation to which divers are exposed from the shipwrecks is negligible, since water acts as an excellent insulator. Divers are safe, as long as they do not try to grab souvenirs from the wrecks. Pilfering is forbidden and hazardous.


Flying after Diving

Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.


Money Matters

The local currency in the Marshall Islands is the US Dollar (US$). Major businesses will accept credit cards; traveller’s cheques are accepted by banks and larger businesses. The number of ATMs on the islands is very limited, so we recommend bringing a sufficient amount of USD in cash, preferably in smaller denominations.


Taxes & Fees

Guests returning from the Marshall Islands will be required to pay an airport departure tax of $20 USD. This can be paid upon departure at the airport.


Do I need insurance ?

We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections.  We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances

Diving insurance:  the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure.  This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.

We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.

Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.


Return to Bikini Atoll Overview

or close to read about Truk Lagoon


TRUK LAGOON FAQ


Getting to Truk

Book your international flight in and out of Chuuk International Airport (TKK) on Weno Island.  Most flights to Chuuk International Airport (TKK) require transit via Hawaii or Guam.

Flights options to Truk/Chuuk (TKK):

• from Honolulu, Hawaii via the Marshall Islands with United Airlines (Island Hopper)
• from Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo or lncheon (South Korea) ... via Guam on United Airlines (visa/ESTA for USA needed, ) 
• via Port Moresby with Air Nuigini; possible to connect via Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, lncheon (South Korea), Australia and Narita (Japan)


Immigration

Transit through the United States: Most flights to Chuuk International Airport require transit via Guam or Hawaii, both part of the United States. All non-US citizens must obtain a US visa or Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel.  Citizens of 37 countries, including most European nations, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are eligible for the ESTA and should apply online at least 72 hours prior to travel. An ESTA is valid for 2 years and allows for multiple entries into US territories within that period. Guests without visa or ESTA may be denied boarding.

For the state of Chuuk, [assport holders of most western countries may obtain a visa on arrival allowing stays up to 30 days.  Travelers from the United States may obtain a tourist visa for up to a 1-year stay.  Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 4 months upon arrival.  Also, you are required to show a confirmed ticket to leave Chuuk, or any country you are transiting through, prior to boarding your flight


Arrival/Departure

Passengers travelling within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) are required to pay an airport departure tax, for Chuuk this is currently 30 US$. This varies from airport to airport and must be paid in local currency 


What´s the weather like in Truk Lagoon ?

Truk, as part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a tropical country and the climate is fairly even all year round. The average high is 30°C (86°F) whilst the average low is 25°C (77°F) throughout the year. The more humid climate is during in the summer months (June -September) while trade winds come mainly from the northeast between December and June.


What about Water Temperatures ?

Warm temperatures have very little variation year-round from the norm of 28-30°C (82-86°F).  Most divers will find a 3mm suit sufficient, however; a full length exposure suit is strongly recommended for wreck divers to avoid injury from the wreckage and Tech divers should bring appropriate exposure protection for prolonged deco-stops. 


Experience Required for Truk

Many of the wrecks are accessible to any diving experience level. Shallower ships have become overgrown reefs hosting hundreds of species of corals, fish & critters. Due to the depth & conditions around some of some of the wrecks, there are some dives that are not suitable for less-experienced divers ... and others that are only suitable for trained technical divers. Your cruise director will be able to advise you.


Diving Conditions

Decompression diving is common at Truk Lagoon and the liveaboards are equipped with all that is necessary for it.


Best Time to Go

Truk is a year-round destination.


Equipment

Full rental equipment is available and Truk Master is equipped for supporting the rebreather diver.  There are booster pumps and stage tanks available on board. They supply Oxygen and CO2 absorbent (Molecular Products 797 Sofnolime). The scrubber is charged per full 4.5kg tub and O2 is charged per fill. Pre-booking of any rebreather supplies is essential to guarantee availability for you.

They DO NOT have M26 valves or adapters on board. Guests are advised to bring their own if they need them.  Also, they do not supply pre-pack sofnolime cartridges for rebreather units such as Poseidon. Spare oxygen cells and specialist rebreather tools are not available in Truk so divers should bring their own.


Health

There is a major hospital located within each of the states in Chuuk.  There are no tropical diseases known at this time.  We do, however, recommend normal precautions with food and drinking bottled water only.  Please consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. Visitors arriving from countries which are affected by Cholera or Yellow Fever must show proof of immunization upon arrival.


Flying after Diving

Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.


Money Matters

The local currency is the US Dollar (US$). The majority of established hotels, shops and restaurants accept major credit cards. However, smaller establishments are likely to only accept cash payments. ATMs are available however guests are advised to exchange money prior to arrival and to ensure you have small denominations on hand.

Credit card payment systems, as well as ATM services, can be limited. We therefore recommend having cash on hand for park & port fees, and optional extras.  You're well advised to bring from $250 to $600 USD.


Taxes & Fees

The marine park & port fees currently range from $195 to $250 per person and are dependent on trip duration. They will be paid on board at the end of your cruise 


Do I need insurance ?

We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections.  We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances

Diving insurance:  the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure.  This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.

We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.

Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.

Return to Truk Lagoon

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