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Dive Review of Paul Gauguin/Cruise Ship Paul Gauguin in
French Polynesia

December, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Russell Schroeder, TX, USA
Report Number 1963
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
3 stars    
There is a reason Radisson Seven Seas "Paul Gauguin" received
Conde Nast's rating of the number one cruise ship in the world and that is
the fantastic six star facilities and service.

They are one of the few small cruise ships that have their own dive program
on board with 2-3 Dive Instructors and a dropdown water sports platform.
Zodiacs with four divers each leave the platform for the outside reef at
different times for students and certified.  They attempt to sort by skill
level. They also will arrange for you to use shore based operations if you
interested in more challenging dives or shark feedings.

The ship cruises at night and anchors in the lagoons at five different
islands for the day this makes it more like a moving hotel rather than a
"cruise ship".  Standard cruise is eight days seven nights.

Of all the islands diving, I would rate Moorea the highest with 10-20
blacktips on each dive as well as turtles and lionfish.  The corals were
pristine. The dive from the ship also does a dive/fin/by the local Shark
feeding and most of the large lemon sharks will come to check you out. 
Next time I will spend four days in Moorea diving and then do the Paul

There is nothing cheap in French Polynesia you can check out hotel rates,
inter-island airfare and meal prices on the net. I found this to make the
small ship a relative bargain for seeing multiple islands and at least
allowing some diving. I checked a lot of web sites for prices. I found to have the best rates and agent Susan Walsh has
been diving with the ship five times and has a lot of great info and video
to send.

If you can swing it, Dive Moorea first and then do the Paul Gauguin.   The
exceptional food and service on the ship will spoil you for anything after
it.  No tips, liquor in your room and 24hr room service (included). 

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All French Polynesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to French Polynesia
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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