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Dive Review of The Six Passengers/Hotel Kia Ora in
French Polynesia/Rangiroa

The Six Passengers/Hotel Kia Ora, Sep, 2006,

by Vicky Polashock, GA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 3005.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Atlantic, Red Sea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No place at all for cameras on the boats - you had to hold your camera throughout the trip

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Six Passengers was a short walk down the beach from our hotel. Most of the staff spoke little English, but enough to provide briefings. Because of the currents, you drift dive, so you stay together and dive a similar profile. The staff don't believe in wasting air, and kept us down until the heaviest breather was down to only 10 bar! Their goal is to maximize bottom time, and see the biggest fish - no complaints here. We played with a school of dolphins on two of the five dives we went on in Rangiroa, and saw tons of sharks. Most of our diving was in and around Tiputa Pass, and diving through the pass on an inward current was incredible. We were swept along with large schools of barracuda, butterflyfish, and mating pufferfish. We saw mantas at the surface on one dive. The coral was in much better shape than on Bora Bora, due to both the lack of crowds, and probably that the divers that make it here are more serious conscientious divers. The boats are all zodiacs, and the ship tries to limit them to a captain and six passengers, though we had eight on one trip. You have to wade out to the boats with your gear, though the staff will carry dressed tanks out for the ladies. There is a dive operation affiliated with our hotel, but our agent told us ahead of time that it was more expensive and geared toward resort divers, which other guests at the hotel confirmed.

The Kia Ora was beautiful. We had a "deluxe beach bungalow with pool", which had its own infinity-edged pool, and a garden tub outside surrounded by a coral wall for privacy. The garden bungalows were smaller and a bit cramped but nice as well. The overwater bungalows were also a little small, but most of them were spread out and appeared to have more privacy than some of the resorts on Bora Bora where the overwater units were packed tightly together. The hotel made reservations for us at other restaurants on the island but charged us $1 to do so, which was not explained in advance, but it's about the cheapest thing you can pay for in French Polynesia! For the lack of crowds, we liked Rangiroa much more than Bora Bora.
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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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