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. The 3 decks provide ample space for relaxation and dive equipment and camera preparation. While the experienced crew ensure you receive only the highest quality service on your diving vacation. Just say the words “French Polynesia” and what springs to mind is a plethora of small islands with stunning white beaches, surrounded by crystal clear warm water. Situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, this island archipelago is home to some of the most wondrous dive sites, where hundreds of hungry sharks gather in schools to be joined by manta rays and bottle-nosed dolphins. Diving Rangiroa’s reefs and channels you can expect to see grey reef hammerheads, black tips, silky, tiger and silver tip shark species cruising the reef, hunting on schools of snapper and fusiliers. While drift diving through the 1200m wide channel at North Fakarava Island, you can experience incredible shark action, see huge Napoleon wrasse and witness marbled groupers spawning. A typical diving day will see you cruising through channels and exploring the outer reefs of the atolls, yet there are numerous of shallow dive sites within the Tuamotu Archipelago, each with stunning hard corals, sheltering all manner of crustaceans and molluscs.
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The French Polynesia Master (formerly Astral Star), a long-range cruiser, has joined the Master Liveaboards brand in May 2016 after having undergone a full refit. Guests may choose between lower deck, middle deck and upper deck cabins, each is en-suite and have individual air conditioning units. Communal relaxation areas are split between the middle and upper decks comprising of a spacious indoor dining area, camera set up station and guest storage drawers, lounge bar with comfortable bench seating and plasma screen, shaded outdoor seating area and a sundeck. Dive equipment is set up and stored on the rear of the middle deck. All guests are allocated an individual set up station, with under bench storage for masks, fins and other personal items.
A central camera table can be used to store prepared equipment ahead of the dive, with dedicated rinse tanks provided. Divers can take advantage of the on-deck shower hoses or use the starboard side deck head to rinse off between dives. The Captain welcomes you to join him at the fly-bridge, from where you can soak up the stunning views of the French Polynesian islands.
Dive in French Polynesia and experience diving itineraries that will 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 maximizes 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. You will dive the optimum tide for each site to bring you the ultimate in pelagic fish action. Strong currents are 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. On a typical day you will be offered 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, while during the 10-night itineraries, up to 30 dives will be possible.
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