Scuba Diving

Float effortlessly over rainbow-colored coral reefs and come nose to nose with parrotfish, clownfish, giant clams, and sea turtles. Dive deeper to swim alongside colorful sea anemones, eagle rays, sharks, and octopi. Polynesia’s translucent, shimmering aqua lagoons are begging to be explored. And there’s no better place to do so than from the m/s Paul Gauguin’s retractable watersports marina, where you can embark on an optional SCUBA adventure.

Even if you have never SCUBA dived before, as a guest aboard The Gauguin, you can witness spectacular marine life up close and swim among beautiful, rainbow-colored coral reefs within a matter of hours. The Gauguin’s SCUBA diving excursions are designed for all levels of experience, and we offer PADI certification on board for novice divers, as well as refresher courses.

Here are highlights of what else you might expect to find in dives off specific islands along the path of your itinerary:


Moorea — Catch a glimpse of black-tipped reef sharks, lemon sharks, impressively large moray eel, sea turtles, and barracudas.
Bora Bora — View lemon sharks and manta rays up close.


Rangiroa & Fakarava — In this premier diving location, look for hammerhead sharks (December-February) or manta rays (September-October). In addition, dolphins, turtles, eagle rays, barracuda, and other fascinating fish species are often spotted here, among coral reefs and canyon passes – including Fakarava’s reef, a UNESCO-Classified Nature Reserve.


Aitutaki — Dive along the sheer drop off and large coral bommies to come across impressively large hawksbill turtles, white tip reef sharks resting on the sea floor, friendly emperor angel fish and occasional eagle rays.


The Marquesas Islands are among the best diving spots in the world. The Gauguin offers you your only opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Marquesas, as there are no dive centers in these remote but pristine islands.

Nuku Hiva — The steep cliffs and caves off this island reveal a variety of unusual marine life, including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, moray eel, manta rays, and scorpion fish.
Tahuata — Jump into an underwater wilderness and observe grey sharks, Hiva Oa manta rays, dragon moray eel, lobster, and schools of juvenile fish dancing among predators such as giant trevally or tuna.

For the safety of our guests, diving is available in the Marquesas for advanced Open-Water Certified divers with the Deep Diver Specialty Certification only, as dives are 60 feet minimum. 

PADI Certification is not available outside of French Polynesia. Diving certifications are subject to availability.