South Seas - Tuamotu Archipelago
Accompany the JBL research team on a catamaran under sail to the untouched areas of the dreamlike South Seas of French Polynesia. It has to rank amongst the world’s most remote, yet paradise-like island landscapes for marine water research!
Travel period: May 25 - June 09, 2023
Miniature, absolutely unspoilt islands in the dreamlike South Seas. Who could resist? Sharks galore, intact coral reefs, marine research and a small group of like-minded people on a catamaran are the ingredients for this unique expedition to the lonely atolls of the South Pacific.
The crew of the Aquatiki III, a perfectly equipped 16 m catamaran, has gathered the most beautiful dive sites of the entire region over 10 years and packed them into this expedition. Away from the normal dive cruises and tourists, we’ll travel together to where the reefs are still really healthy and the biodiversity is high. The countless sharks are proof of the intact nature. If hundreds of sharks find enough food, the reefs must offer food in abundance! The region of the Tuamotu Archipelago is a protected area where commercial fishing has not been allowed for years. This explains the high fish density and the number of sharks. There is a good chance of seeing tiger and hammerhead sharks. Grey reef sharks are among the daily companions on the dives!
We’ll visit the most beautiful and interesting places of the Tuamotu atolls and observe the marine fauna while diving or snorkelling. Those who don't want to dive on this expedition but only can or want to snorkel are also welcome. Unfortunately, they will not be able to experience the underwater passages with currents, in which the really big shark groups swim. But every participant can go by dinghy to a small palm island and play Robinson Crusoe - almost any time! With two dives a day, there is enough time for water analyses, light measurements above and under water, UV and lux measurements and of course individual research on the topics that interest the participants.
Marine biologist Heiko Blessin will be there as JBL's scientific advisor to answer any questions about marine biology. Two dive guides will be available for the 10 participants, so that a dive group never comprises more than five participants (+ guide). Some dive sites can be approached directly from the catamaran, others, especially the shark-rich current passages, are approached by dinghy. Dive tanks (also Nitrox) and weights are provided for all participants on board. The rest of the equipment needs to be brought by each participant. Due to the pleasant water temperatures around 28 °C, only a space-saving thin suit will be necessary.
Fresh food is cooked daily. Vegetarians or vegans are also welcome. The problem is more about still fitting into the diving suit at the end of the expedition ☺.
What do you do on board when you are not diving? Kayaks, stand-up boards and the dinghy are available for our participants. Snorkelling is thus possible (almost) at any time near the islands, if the currents allow it. Drones are allowed - there is no one around!
The on-board language is French/English. Because we have a German-French JBL research team, however, German is also spoken. For scuba divers, an open water diving certificate (better an AOWD) and a certificate of diving fitness are required. Snorkellers do not need to show a certificate. A full Corona vaccination is also required by the team and on entry to Polynesia. The minimum age is 18 years - or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian. The dives take place at depths of around 20-30m, maximum 30-35m. It doesn't get more exciting below that - but the air consumption increases and the dive becomes shorter. Visibility is usually around 70-80 m, as the nearest mainland is around 8000 km away. Ideal for filming and taking photos underwater. Night dives are unfortunately prohibited in French Polynesia.
Group rate for the 15 nights on board: € 6190 - 10 % (JBL discount) = € 5571 per person.
Accommodation is in five double cabins. Two dives per day with 12 or 15 l tanks (DIN connection) are also included in the price
Nitrox is available for € 350,- extra for the whole tour.
Flights can be booked directly with the trip or on your own. Example of the flight route:
- Frankfurt - Los Angeles - Tahiti - Los Angeles - Frankfurt: € 2000 per person (*)
- Tahiti - Fakarava/Rairoa - Tahiti: € 500,- per person
*) The flight can be interrupted in Los Angeles and/or Tahiti if desired
What is not included in the travel price?
Tips, drinks on board (water, coffee and tea are included), travel cancellation insurance, visa fees.
In addition, each participant has the option of booking a follow-up programme with "Schöner Tauchen", e.g. to visit other islands such as Bora Bora, Rangiroa as well as others or to stay on Tahiti and the neighbouring island of Moorea.