2/17/2023     by Justin Gibson

3 Must-See Marine Creatures on a Tahiti Cruise with Paul Gauguin

When sailing with Paul Gauguin Cruises through the remote corner of the world that is the South Pacific, it’ll be tough to not be starstruck — in every sense of the word, this is literally paradise. Tropical isles and shimmering lagoons peek out from the ocean’s surface, specks of oases surrounded by deep blue sea. The real views, however, are underwater: rainbow-colored coral reefs stretch across the sea beds surrounding the isles, teeming with life that few have the luxury to witness in person. Luckily, the m/s Paul Gauguin serves as the perfect launching point for seeing this underwater world for yourself. Here are a few of the ocean’s denizens to keep an eye out for when you go diving.
It's not Photoshop; lemon sharks are truly this yellow.

Make Friends With Lemon Sharks On A Bora Bora Cruise

Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) are a vulnerable species of shark that make their home along the sandy bottoms of mangroves and reefs. They get their name from their yellow hue (perfect for blending into the ocean’s sandy bottom). They’re surprisingly social creatures, preferring to stick together in groups. While they’re not aggressive or considered a threat to people, it’s best to keep a little distance so that they never feel threatened. You’ll likely see lemon sharks while in the waters of Moorea and Bora Bora.

Swimming with a manta ray is an awe-inducing experience.

Glide Through The Waves With Manta Rays On A South Pacific Cruise

While they glide through the water (and if you’re lucky, sometimes the air) like something out of the latest sci-fi film, manta rays (Manta birostris and Manta alfredi) can grow to have a wingspan of 29 feet. Despite this — and their nickname, “devil fish,” due to two horn-shaped fins at the front of their heads — they are exceedingly gentle giants, feeding almost exclusively on planktonic organisms. As this species is also vulnerable, observing these majestic creatures in the wild is like finding a needle in a haystack … or a fish in the ocean. They’ve been known to frequent Rangiroa and Fakarava from September to October, and you’re also likely to see them in the waters of Nuka Hiva.

In addition to their birdlike beak, hawksbill turtles also sport a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales.

Snorkel or Scuba With Hawksbill Turtles On A Cook Islands Cruise

When you close your eyes and picture a sea turtle, it’s likely you’re imagining a hawksbill. Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are named for their narrow, pointed beaks — perfect for preying on the sponges, sea anemones and jellyfish of coral reefs. While they can be found throughout the world’s tropical oceans, they are critically endangered, with their population having declined by over 80% in the last century. Despite this, there’s still an outsized chance you cross paths with one on your trip, so long as it includes the chance to snorkel or scuba dive in the waters of Aitutaki.

Again, an ideal way to visit the isles of the South Pacific is on a cruise with Paul Gauguin Cruises. Not only will you have the opportunity to dive thanks to their retractable watersports marina and onboard PADI certification course, but you’ll also enjoy all the modern trappings of a luxury cruise — butler service (in category B and above), three sumptuous dining venues, and a book library as well as spa and beauty services. Our agents know Paul Gauguin Cruises well, so we can help you choose, plan and book your cruise vacation to perfection.

Connect with a travel agent to get started planning your tropical adventure today.

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