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sailing & diving the Tuamotus
May 5 - 20, 2024
Do the names Tahiti & French Polynesia conjure up in your mind images of the perfect tropical paradise ? Good. Then, you're half-way to being ready for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure ! Let the luxurious AquaTiki liveaboard whisk you away to experience the magic of a 15-night French Polynesia odyssey !
The region of French Polynesia known as The Tuamotus, is an archipelago of 76 stunningly beautiful atolls, half of which are uninhabited. The archipelago lies to the north and east of Tahiti.
Life here is simple and livelihoods consist largely of fishing and pearl farming. Those large, luscious Tahitian black pearls can be found in abundance here (they are farmed in peaceful, turquoise, fish-filled lagoons you'll encounter. Most of you, however, aren’t coming for pearls ! You're looking for the pulsating buzz of pass-diving at Rangiroa and Fakarava, the two iconic Polynesian diving atolls.
The 2nd largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Fakarava is an immense barrier reef of coral, forming a ring 37 miles long by 15 miles wide which contains a spectacular lagoon. Due to the rich diversity of the ecosystem, Fakarava and 6 neighboring islands in the archipelago, make up a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
A one hour and 10-minute flight from Tahiti brings you to Fakarava and it's awe-inspiring diving. The two most sought-after passes in Fakarava are – in the north, Garuae Pass which is more than 1/2-mile wide & the largest in the Tuamotus; in the south the much narrower Tumakohua Pass, around 200 meters wide. Both are the wildest rides imaginable.
The underwater life found in the two channels(and other smaller but similar channels you'll visit) is abundant and varied - including some glorious corals.You will encounter huge schools of sharks (large concentrations of gray sharks, but also white tips, black tips, sleepers, great hammerhead sharks, sometimes tigers).
You will also see barracudas, eagle rays and manta rays, napoleon wrasse, as well as dolphins and a multitude of different schools of fish: big-eye snapper, goatfish, groupers and lots of moray eels & sting rays.
There are no words to describe the rush of diving in the channels with immense numbers of these animals, as the water carries divers and wildlife alike surging in or out of the lagoon, to or from the blue waters of the ocean.
There's no Disneyland ride to equal this !
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Your home for 15 nights will be the very special Aquatiki III, a 20-meter (67-foot) catamaran which sleeps 10 guests in 5 modern cabins. She offers luxurious accommodation suitable to the luscious surroundings of French Polynesia ... plus, stunning food.
New, sleek and sturdy, she's also spacious and offers traditional catamaran comforts. The covered sun deck at the top is roughly as wide as it is long and features skylights to ensure plenty of light illuminating this lovely salon area .
For serious sun worshipers, you'll have the trampolines on the main deck and a seating area located just behind the trampolines in front of the large interior salon & dining area. In the light & airy salon, you'll find a video corner, library and cocktail bar.
At the stern end of this deck is more exterior living space as well as the dive set up. The 5 roomy cabins are all located on the lower level.
The meals consist mainly of fresh fish and rice as fresh fruits and vegetables in this region are very limited. The fish is often quick cooked on the plancha. Your hostess is a trained chef and will cook up succulent & inventive local recipes. Bread, brioches, pancakes, yogurts are all “home” prepared on board. Table water and lemonade are freely available throughout the day, however, drinks (sodas, mineral water, alcohol, …) are extra.
Your 15-night cruise starts and ends in Fakarava, an hour’s flight from Tahiti and includes the best dive sites in the Tuamoto archipelago. Depending on the weather and conditions, you can expect 13 diving days with 2 daily dives plus swimming, kayaking, beach combing, island visits ... even fishing for your dinner, if you choose.
Arrival at the airport of Fakarava. Welcome by the Aqua Tiki crew. Transfer onto the boat & settle into your private cabin. Enjoy a tour of the village, water sports, swimming ... then a sunset cocktail, presentation of the trip & welcome party.
Early morning departure for Toau, sunrise at sea, smooth sailing helped by the trade winds followed by breakfast. Anchorage off of a stunning coral sand beach. Plunge into your first dive ... then enjoy lunch before an optional to visit a pearl farm. After your 2nd dive of the day, it’s sunset on the lagoon & an evening BBQ..
Sunrise on the spectacular Toau lagoon followed by diving, then a land excursion to look for shells, or swimming or coconut tasting (you will learn how to extract the coconut milk that is so prevalent in Polynesian cooking). An after lunch dive and water sports of your choice lead to sunset & dinnertime.
Early-morning sail towards the Amyot bay where you’ll anchor in a cove and enjoy your next dive followed by lunch and your next dive. BBQ evening.
Early morning sail for Aratika where you’ll anchor in front of a sublime bay and follow the same dive, lunch, dive BBQ routine.
Sunrise, then a smooth sail in the lagoon, followed by a lovely wall dive and a tour of the charming little village of Aratika, where you will meet many pearl farmers. After lunch, your next dive plus a swim in the divine lagoon, then dinner.
Early morning dive, then departure for Kauehi where you’ll anchor at the reef. Dive, lunch, dive and sun-downers yet again ... followed by another BBQ.
Morning dive followed by lunch, an optional land excursion and another dive. Late afternoon departure for Tahanea.
Anchorage off of a stunning, wild motu in Tahanea, where you can dive and /or kayak, opt for another land excursion on a beautiful, deserted beach, and swim in “paradise”. Lunch, 2nd dive, back to the boat and BBQ evening.
Morning rise in Tahanea’s heavenly lagoon, early-morning dive looking for manta rays, then lunch, a swim in crystal clear waters, a tour of the island in the RIB, and another dive (potentially in the company of beautiful dolphins). Back to the boat for sunset & dinner.
Early-morning departure for Fakarava’s southern end where you’ll anchor off the Tetamanu village (population 6). Morning dive, then lunch, land excursion, tour of the ancient village of Tetamanu and its church, another dive and/or kayaking. Option of a Polynesian party on land.
Morning in Fakarava’s stunning lagoon, followed by the day’s first dive, then an xcursion to the untamed beauty of the “pink sand motu” to enjoy the beach & go for a swim. Lunch, dive, sunset on the lagoon, BBQ evening.
Early morning sailing departure for the northern end of Fakarava. Anchorage near the famous Garuae pass (over half a mile wide) where you’ll experience the wildest ride of your life. Lunch, afternoon dive, then a smooth short sail in the lagoon. Anchorage near the village of Rotoava. Dinner.
Anchorage near the Garuae pass. Morning dive, lunch, afternoon dive, then a smooth short sail in the lagoon. Anchorage near the village of Rotoava. Dinner.
Village tour & your final last swims or water sports morning. Back to shore and transfer to the airport. Polynesian farewell !
Dates: May 5 - 20, 2024
Rate: 6400 € (euros) per person
INCLUDED IN THE RATE:
Important: We highly recommend Dive Assure insurance which also covers force majeure and single missed days of diving due to sickness. Feel free to ask us about it. Further extensions in Ecuador or South America are always possible and we’re happy to assist!