French Polynesia Snorkeling Trip

Join This 10 or 11 Day Liveaboard Trip Seeing Big Pelagics and Gorgeous Atoll Reefs

March 4-13 or 14-24, 2023, and March 5-15 or 16-25, 2024

This French Polynesia snorkeling trip offers a very small group of six snorkelers a unique opportunity for swimming with big schools of pelagics (sharks, rays, dolphins) that are rarely seen by snorkelers. From a private catamaran yacht you will have eight or nine days exploring in some of the very remote atolls of the Tuamotu Island chain, deep in the South Pacific, starting in Fakarava.

French Polynesia Snorkeling Trip with many sharks and rainbow runners
Spotted Eagle Rays in French Polynesia

This is truly an underwater safari. You will be seeing huge schools of different types of sharks, including hammerhead, black and white tip and gray reef, silky, and tiger sharks.

The sharks, along with manta rays and bottlenose dolphins, are drawn here for feeding because of strong ocean currents that flow through channels in the reefs that are filled with massive schools of smaller fish like snappers and fusiliers.

Also commonly seen are other large species, like Napoleon Wrasse, Marbled Groupers, and jackfish.

In addition to drift snorkeling channels, you will also be snorkeling shallow reefs filled with pristine hard corals and smaller tropical fish schools.

The Tuamotu Islands are ringed in fringing hard coral reefs, in perfect depths for snorkeling.

This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts at running amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world. Your trip includes a tour guide from Ben’s team.

School of Convict Tang over a shallow reef in French Polynesia
Aqua Tiki II anchored near island and reefs in French Polynesia

Where Are the Tuamotu Atolls?

World map with Pacific Islands area highlighted

The Tuamotu Islands are a chain of pristine white sandy beach atolls located 220 miles northeast of Tahiti and Moorea, nearly 2500 miles south of Hawaii, in the South Pacific Ocean.

International flights will arrive in Fa’a’ā International Airport in Papeete, Tahiti. From the USA, there are flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. Other countries with flights to Tahiti are France, Japan, and New Zealand.

Your group will stay your first night at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa.

Next your group will take a short flight together to Fakarava Atoll, where you will board your private catamaran yacht, your home base for the eight or nine night snorkeling cruise. At the end of the snorkel charter you will fly as a group back to Tahiti, before returning home again on your international flight.

French Polynesia Snorkeling Trip Map

What Will This Snorkeling Trip Aboard the Aqua Tiki II Liveaboard Be Like?

Aqua Tiki II at anchor with island in background
Snorkeler over a shallow hard coral reef in French Polynesia

After relaxing for a night on Tahiti your group will fly together to Fakarava Atoll, where you will board the Aqua Tiki II yacht. This is not your typical huge liveaboard with 20 guests. This will be a more intimate way to experience these islands with just six snorkelers. One of Ben’s snorkel guides will also be on board, and there are three crew members. It’s the perfect platform for snorkelers to experience the great variety of habitats and sea life that this area has to offer.

Three to four times a day you will go out on different snorkel outings, and night snorkeling will also be offered.

You will be visiting three different atolls in the Tuamotus on this trip, Fakarava, Kauehi, and Toau.

There will be ample opportunities for snorkeling in protected bays, and over stunning shallow reefs filled with pristine hard corals and tropical fish schools. Snorkelers without much experience will find these outings well within their capability and a joy.

Large school of goatfish over a hard coral reef in French Polynesia

There will also be many opportunities to partake in drift snorkels through passes or channels between the atolls, for encounters with the larger pelagics and schools of big fish. These drift snorkels will only be offered when the currents are not extreme, but they do require confident snorkelers with some experience and physical ability. You will always have two guides in the water with you, and a small zodiac boat will always be on hand for safety.

Black-tip Reef Shark over a shallow coral reef in French Polynesia

The Aqua Tiki II is a 60 foot (18 meters) sailing yacht, that is 28 feet wide (8.5 meters), so it is very stable, with lots of room on board.

Each cabin on board is air-conditioned with private restrooms and hot showers. The rooms and beds are comfortable, but being on a sailing catamaran they are relatively compact.

The sailboat has a large air-conditioned lounge and saloon area, and there is WiFi available. The onboard chief will be creating a feast of meals, and there will be an assortment of soft drinks and alcohol available (for an extra fee).

There are large outdoor areas for lounging on the boat, including huge trampolines between the hulls at the front of the boat.

Aqua Tiki II layout
Aqua Tiki II cabin and lounge
Aqua Tiki II kitchen and dining area

Trip Details and How to Sign Up

This is a very small group trip and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.

Trip Dates:
2023
March 4-13 – 9 nights –  Two double occupancy cabins available.
March 14-24 – 10 nights – Available.

2024
March 5-15 – 10 nights – Available.
March 16-25 – 9 nights – Available.

Trip Prices:
9 Nights:
$6350 US per person double occupancy

10 Nights:
$6750 US per person double occupancy

The initial deposit for this trip is $800 US per person. At 12 months before departure there is a $1000 US per person interim deposit, and at six months there is another $1500 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.

Inclusions:

  • 1 night Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa in a King Classic room with arrival dinner and breakfast
  • Return flights from Tahiti to Fakarava with 20kg/44lbs luggage
  • 8 or 9 nights aboard Aqua Tiki II Liveaboard with full board
  • Unlimited snorkeling, typically 3-4 sessions per day
  • All land and beach excursions

Exclusions:

  • International flight
  • Pick up from Tahiti Airport on arrival. $25 US (day rate) / $35 US (night rate) paid in USD to licensed taxi
  • Alcohol and soft drinks
  • Tips

Trip Organizers
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben’s team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.

How to Sign Up or Learn More?

Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.


More About Ben and Our Partnership

Ben and Nicole in Alor

Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have over 20 years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.

From our experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides’ years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.

All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they are with experiences, they are affordable.

His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.

Learn More About the Liveaboard Boat

Aqua Tiki II Catamaran website


Completed Trip Dates

2022
May 2-11
May 11-20


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