Even if you’ve never scuba dived you will have the opportunity to come face to face with some of the most amazing marine life at sea and swim among beautiful, rainbow-colored coral reefs within a matter of hours. And Paul Gauguin is the only luxury ship in the French Polynesian islands offering PADI certification onboard.

The PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) diving experiences range from beginners to experts, including the Designated Scuba Dive program—for those who know nothing about diving. This program features an explanation of basic principles, pool dive, and shallow lagoon dive. Dives per day can be arranged and a night dive as well for guests with more experience!

All dives operated while onboard The Gauguin are guided by a professional PADI Dive Master/Instructor. Each instructor is skilled in ensuring that you have the best dive possible, from helping you identify and improve your level of experience to seeking out the most rewarding dive locales.

The Gauguin is fully equipped, including onboard practice pools, a tank-filling station, and two new inflatable dive boats with ladders. Each holds eight divers and two instructors. No tender to shore is needed—you simply leave from the marina platform of the ship and return to it after your dive, where a warm shower awaits.

And on top of that, all the details are taken care of for you, from set-up and gearing you before you enter the water to leading you through the deep. The only thing you have to do is breathe. Pricing for all packages and booking the diving can only be arranged onboard.

Diving Destination Guide

Beneath the waves, you can view black- and white-tip sharks, parrot fish, lion fish, tuna, snappers, jackfish, napoleon fish, and more up close. Here are highlights of what else you might expect to find in dives off specific islands along the path of your itinerary.

Society Islands

Explore the remains of ancient shipwrecks, and catch a glimpse of black-tipped reef sharks, impressively large moray eels, sea turtles, and barracudas.

Bora Bora: View lemon sharks and manta rays up close.

Discover shipwrecks and the marine life that thrives among mushroom-shaped coral formations, including octopus, tuna, and leopard rays.

Tuamotus Islands

Rangiroa and 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.

Marquesas Islands

Nuku Hiva: The steep cliffs and caves off this island reveal a variety of unusual marine life, including hammerhead sharks, melon-headed whales, moray eels, and scorpion fish.

Paul Gauguin Cruises