Best French Polynesia Liveaboard Reviews 2023

scuba dive budget liveaboard french polynesia aquatiki

Tuamotu French Polynesia photo by Aquatiki II

French Polynesia Liveaboard Diving

You do not get more remote then French Polynesia. Indeed, located in the South Pacific, the country lies halfway between the coast of South America and Australia. Thus, you can really say it is in the middle of nowhere!

French Polynesia or the Islands of Tahiti have over 118 islands spread over 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi). However, most of these islands are uninhabited or have only small primitive villages. Also, despite being known to have some of the best scuba diving in the world, the islands of French Polynesia have only 11 dive centers and two liveaboards.

Dive centers can each take you to a wide number of exciting dive sites, but the liveaboards can take you to even to more remote areas. Indeed, diving cruises can make stops to visit small villages in which the liveaboard’s passengers may be the only outsiders the locals see.

There are two liveaboards of note in French Polynesia: the Aqua Tiki II and the French Polynesia Master. Indeed, both liveaboard cruises are excellent choices, each according to its unique features. Also, trips range from 8 days to up to 14 days, so it is up to you to decide which route suits your schedule best!

!!! // Special Notice: The laws of French Polynesia concerning diving are different than most other locations. Open Water divers can dive to a maximum of 18 meters. Advanced Open Water and Rescue divers are limited to 29 meters maximum depth. The Deep Diver Specialty does not influence the depth allowed. Master Scuba Divers (or equivalent) and above are permitted beyond 29m to a maximum of 40m. Most divers around the world see the stated depth for there certification as a suggestion. You will often hear divers say there are no “scuba police”. that does not apply in French Polynesia.  There are regular checks by the authorities that these limits are being maintained so guides will be very strict with them.

Budget French Polynesia Liveaboards

If you enjoy sailing as well as scuba diving and want an adventure where you feel that you are more than a guest, then the Aquatiki II may be the liveaboard for you.

The Aquatiki II is 18 meters long and has a beam of 8 meters. She is an Eleuthera 60 model from the prestigious French builder Fountaine Pajot, the worlds leading builder of cruising catamarans. A review of this model has this to say of it: It is a catamaran that offers a level of comfort, spacious accommodation, and quality of finish more commonly found in custom designed yachts”.


scuba diving liveaboard aqua tiki II

Aqua Tiki II


Fakarava is the base of operations for the Aqua Tiki II, and all of her sailing start and end here. She offers 7 to 15-night cruises with 9 nights being the most common. Being a small vessel she is popular with dive groups, so you will find some sailing sold out even 2 years in advance.

⇒ View the Aqua Tiki’s page and divers reviews!



scuba diving french polyynesia budget liveaboard aquatiki ii

Shore Excursions to Perfect Beaches


Luxury French Polynesia Liveaboards

The French Polynesia Master is the newest liveaboard in French Polynesia and the newest in the Master Fleet. The Master Fleet is a part of Worldwide Dive and Sail. They propose custom built yachts designed as luxury vessels, but mostly for the main task of being a scuba diving liveaboard.

The French Polynesia Master is almost 43 meters long, 10 meters wide, and spreads over four decks. Plus, the vessel displays a choice of 13 en-suite cabins over 3 decks, thus, catering to 25 divers.

scuba liveaboard french polynesia master

French Polynesia Master


The French Polynesia Master offers cruises from 7 days to 11 days. Some of the cruises are round trip but most depart and arrive at different islands. The French Polynesia Master embarks and disembarks at either Fakarava Airport, Quai D’Ohotu in Rangiroa, or Papeete Tahiti depending on your sailing.

⇒ View the FP Master’s page and divers reviews!


French Polynesia Liveaboards Itineraries

The itineraries of both of the French Polynesian liveaboards will vary following the seasons and conditions at the time of the cruise. Also, as mentioned above, the liveaboard scuba diving cruises offer trips of various lengths.

The French Polynesia Master has cruises that cover a wider distance. However, neither liveaboard is locked into a boring repetition of dive sites. Indeed, they both have so many sites to choose from, they always manage to make great itineraries, aiming for the best dive sites of Tahiti!


Best Time to Dive in French Polynesia

The best time to visit French Polynesia is year round.

More specifically, May to October is the peak tourist season and the weather is dry. November to April is the rainy season, and increased plankton has some impact on visibility. However, it also increases the number of larger marine species. November is also the best time to see whales.


French Polynesia Liveaboard last minute

If you wish to sail on a liveaboard in French Polynesia, it is best to plan ahead. In fact, the scuba diving cruises are frequently booked a year in advance, if not more. However, life happens and there are times when divers need to cancel a long-standing reservation. At times some of these cancellations may show on our French Polynesia liveaboards last minute page. If you are considering a trip to French Polynesia in the near future take a look at the last minute pages.


4 comments on “Best French Polynesia Liveaboard Reviews 2023”

  1. Respected:
    Information provided on this page is for rich people ,who can afford this luxury.
    Please think of those divers who are jobless for months.
    Even many will be. happy to help these people / tourists to offer diving services at their quotations.
    If you can intimate my contact to propospective groups / individuals /cruise cos I will remain grateful for ever.

    • Hi Mr. Buddhisagar,
      This page presents the boats that appear to have the very finest cruise features or that have been voted as part of a “best of” list. Plus, this is French Polynesia, which is a generally expensive destination for foreigners scuba divers and even more to have a cruise. We also have budget pages for some destinations where budget diving liveaboards are found. One will eventually be set up for FP.

      Thank you for your input, rest assured we work hard to provide our readers with great and relevant content.
      Best bubbles, always!

  2. Unfortunately, our trip on the French Polynesian Master was ruined when it ran aground a few days into the trip that began January 8. The boat was stuck on a reef after the captain steered it on the wrong side of the channel marker during calm seas with a full moon. I understand they are going to tell the press there was a strong current, but I would like to see proof of that.

    They evacuated the boat the following day, taking us to a “pension” on an atoll forty-five minutes away by skiff. The ride was fairly bumpy and I held on to the rope for dear life. Remember, we were not wearing scuba gear or BCD’s. There were no life jackets in the skiff during this trip, constituting, I believe, terrible judgement. Thank goodness there was no disaster.

    We were put in uncomfortable circumstances for 3 days before they had a chartered flight bring us to Papeete. My husband and I had a room with no bathroom. The toilet around the corner only had a lock on the outside and no light! The outdoor shower we were expected to use was open, so no privacy. Our room had no curtains, so no privacy to change. Super hot and no a/c plus few fans.

    The Master’s communication has been poor regarding several aspects, but especially about what they plan to do to compensate us, the passengers, for their gross negligence. We all want the full cost of the trip back. They stated they are too busy to deal with that now, in part because they have to deal with the press.

    By the way, to be fair, the boat apparently dislodged from the reef last night due to tide and winds.

  3. We are trying to find the owners of the vessel French Polynesia Master. We believe the vessel is for sale and my client Cook island Government is interested in purchasing the vessel. Could I please have contact for the vessel

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