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Dive Review of Master Liveaboards/French Polynesia Master in
French Polynesia/Marquesas Islands

Master Liveaboards/French Polynesia Master: "Mixed bag in the Marquesas", Mar, 2018,

by THOMAS SMITH, MO, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10230 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Standard travel into Papeete, overnighted, then local flight to Nuju Hiva in the Marguesas. Tahiti Airways was very by-the-book on weight allowances, and overages were expensive both directions.

We were met at the airport by friendly staff from the boat, and made a brief drive to the marina. One guest needed to stop by a pharmacy and staff accomodated them without complaint.

The boat seemed quite large in comparison to other liveaboards. There are 14 staterooms and mine was the largest I recall on any liveaboard. In some ways the space was wasted, as there was a huge empty space between the bunks, yet the bunks seemed smaller than a standard twin. Shower/head combos. Our trip had only 8 divers (standard is ~24) so the mess area seemed fine for us. Food was plentiful if not gourmet. Lots of fish and fried food, and steamed rice at every meal. The lounge was not too big but I didn't spend any time there. Plenty of room on the dive deck. Huge sundeck.

Although new (built 2016), the Chinese-built boat was having some issues. After only 2-3 months from drydock, the paint was already peeling on the sundeck. There were repeated generator problems (kept going off, but never for long), and the main engine had issues that kept us from going all the way north, though that turned into good luck as we had probably the best dive of the trip the 3rd day at Nuku Hiva.

Diving was from inflatables. Crew handled all the gear. Vis was not great, and there were sometimes currents. Not much coral. Smaller fish varied by island and dive site. Lots of larger stuff, though. Many mantas, eagle rays (some schools), sharks (silvertips, whitetips, grey reef, couple of hammerhead one dive), couple of mobula, tuna pretty regularly, barracuda, large schools of jacks. You could tell there was lots of stuff out there, you just couldn't necessarily see it. Tons of morays at some sites. Dolphin on surface but never underwater. Never saw the acclaimed melon-headed whales, either.

Our trip got a pretty big discount, as the boat had been booked for a charter that cancelled fairly last minute, otherwise the trip is pricey. Crew was great. Handled even the 'issues' with aplomb. Mark the cruise director was outstanding.

Verdict? I enjoyed seeing the Marquesas, but when I go back to French Polynesia it will be to the Tuamotus. I would repeat this boat, which primarily is in the Tuamotus.
Websites Master Liveaboards   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Cayman, Dominica, Saba, Bonaire, Fiji, Cocos, Galapagos, Palua, PNG, Solomons, French Polynesia, etc etc
Closest Airport Getting There Into Papeete, then local flight to Nuku Hiva

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max dive times for air, MOD for nitrox
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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