Truk Lagoon, also known as Chuuk Lagoon, is an atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s located in the central Pacific and is considered one of the world’s greatest underwater destinations. The lagoon’s natural harbor encompasses over 800 square miles and contains more than 60 shipwrecks from World War II, creating a unique but vibrant marine ecosystem.
Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving allows travelers to explore this wonderful lagoon and discover its incredible secrets. With its rich history and astonishing beauty, it’s no wonder why Truk Lagoon diving is a must-do for many divers! But with so much to experience, you want to ensure you’re chosen Truk Lagoon liveaboard provides the best possible vacation for your money.
In this Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving guide, you’ll find information about the lagoon itself, the best liveaboards for Truk Lagoon, and all the must-see spots to explore – allowing you to have an unforgettable time!
One of the four states of Micronesia, Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon is a tropical paradise comprised of more than 11 main islands and many smaller islands within the lagoon. Considered by many as the ‘Wreck Capital of the World,’ Truk Lagoon diving has something to offer everyone, no matter your experience level.
Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving is an ideal way to explore the hidden depths of this fantastic location. A firm favorite amongst divers, liveaboards offer the ideal diving getaway without worrying about accommodation, food, and logistics. If your dream vacation is to dive into some of the world’s top wreck sites and explore an abundance of marine life – all from the comfort of a luxurious boat – then Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving is just what you need.
Here are some reasons why Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving is so special:
In 1944, during Operation Hailstone, the US Navy sent an air and surface force to Truk Lagoon to combat Japanese vessels. As a result, the lagoon is now home to the ‘Ghost Fleet.’ These wrecks range from carrier ships to tankers, complete with their cargos which can include aircraft and tanks. Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving is the only way to explore all of these wrecks in one trip – meaning you can pay your respects while admiring the hard and soft coral formations that have grown on each vessel.
If you are traveling with a non-diver, they will be happy to know many of these wrecks are also visible while snorkeling!
Truk Lagoon is a haven for coral reefs, vibrant colors, and abundant marine life. This includes a 225-kilometer-long coral reef teeming with fish, sponges, sea turtles, and much more. If diving with sharks is your thing, then you’ll be delighted to know that Truk Lagoon is home to various species of sharks, including hammerheads and whitetips.
A quick look online will show how many incredible photos have been taken in Truk Lagoon. With its great visibility and breathtaking scenery, Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving here is an excellent choice for underwater photographers. No matter what type of photos you’re looking to take, you won’t be disappointed with the endless opportunities that Truk Lagoon has to offer.
As this diving location is a lagoon, visibility can vary from 30-100ft, depending on location. But what makes Truk Lagoon diving so special is that the water temperature is typically 84-86°F (28-30°C) year-round. As an outer reef surrounds Truk Lagoon, it is also protected from the rougher currents of the Pacific Ocean – meaning divers can expect calm and comfortably warm waters.
Truk Lagoon is one of the more hard-to-reach liveaboard destinations. With only three locations offering flights to Truk Lagoon, which are Guam, Port Moresby, and Hawaii, the lagoon is still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Therefore, you can be sure that your Truk Lagoon liveaboard diving experience will be peaceful and secluded, providing you with the perfect environment to relax and explore.
Truk Lagoon is also renowned as a tech diving location. With so many sunken vessels to explore and depths ranging from 30-200ft+, there is plenty to keep experts entertained. The deeper wrecks are usually less crowded, which allows tech divers to absorb the beauty of Truk Lagoon fully.
There are a small number of dive resorts on Truk Lagoon, but by far, the most popular way to explore this stunning area is with a liveaboard. This way, divers can enjoy all the benefits of having a hotel on board while exploring multiple locations – without spending time arranging transport between dive sites.
Plus, considering the sheer amount of wrecks and spots to visit, you couldn’t possibly explore the entire lagoon in a week by staying at a dive resort. With a liveaboard, you can cover much more ground and make the most of your time in Truk Lagoon!
Truk Lagoon diving is an unforgettable experience and a must for any avid diver. But there are some key points to consider when choosing a liveaboard in Truk Lagoon.
Liveaboards in Truk Lagoon often visit the same wrecks, but some longer trips may cover more remote locations. Pay close attention to which wrecks are included in the itinerary, so you can ensure you get to see the areas that most interest you.
For some inspiration, let’s look at some of the most popular dive sites in Truk Lagoon:
- Fujikawa Maru: With its intact gun at the bow, this cargo ship built in 1938 is home to many marine animals, including barracuda and colorful schools of fish.
- San Francisco Maru: One of the most famous wrecks in Truk Lagoon, this ship was discovered by Jaques Cousteau in 1969. Full of artifacts and historical relics, this wreck is a real treat for tech divers.
- Heian Maru: The largest wreck in Truk Lagoon, the Heian Maru, is 535ft long and rests at a depth of 115ft. Here you will find torpedoes, ammunition, and other remnants from the past.
- Shinkoku Maru: This large oil tanker lies upright and makes for some spectacular night dives. Teeming with various marine life, including anemones and batfish, the Shinkoku Maru is a must-see.
- The Betty Bomber: This is a smaller dive site, making it ideal for novice divers. The plane’s body remains relatively intact, meaning you can swim into the main hold. The missing pieces aren’t too far away either, scattered around the surrounding area waiting to be discovered.
These are just some of the many dive sites you can expect to visit on a Truk Lagoon liveaboard. Whichever you want to see most, you can be sure of an incredible experience.
There aren’t many liveaboards in Truk Lagoon when compared to other dive locations, but it’s still important to research which boat you’re booking. Liveaboards offering Truk Lagoon diving tend to be custom-designed cruisers with various modern amenities.
When deciding which Truk Lagoon liveaboard to book, compare the itineraries, the maximum number of guests, and the required experience level. This will help you ensure that the liveaboard is suitable for your needs.
You can expect your Truk Lagoon diving excursion to last for 8 days and 7 nights. This is the average trip length, although there are some more extended options for 10 or 11 days. These longer trips offer more dives in total, so tech divers often prefer them.
The number of dives you are offered per day can differ between liveaboards and can also be affected by external factors, such as weather. However, on average, you will take part in up to 4 dives per day, which is more than enough to explore Truk Lagoon and its incredible dive sites.
Every Truk Lagoon liveaboard requires an Open Water certificate, but the number of logged dive hours can differ. Some itineraries do not ask for any logged hours, whereas some routes will require an Advanced Certificate and over 50 completed dive hours. The reason for this is the depth of some dive sites in the lagoon, so it’s important to check before you book.
While the wrecks hidden below Truk Lagoons’ surface are fascinating, staying respectful of their history and surroundings is essential. Each of the Japanese wrecks in Truk Lagoon is protected by Chuuk Law, meaning anyone found interfering or taking artifacts from the wrecks could be fined or even arrested.
All divers are expected to invest in dive insurance before their trip – which is often a requirement of liveaboards worldwide, not just for Truk Lagoon diving. Be sure to purchase a policy that covers any potential risks or incidents during your time underwater.
We recommend DiveAssure – the leading dive insurance with the most comprehensive Diving Accident and Dive Travel insurance plans. Get your dive insurance now and enjoy your scuba diving vacation without worries.
Using nitrox is an excellent way to extend your dives, allowing you to explore each wreck and dive site in detail. If you’re a certified nitrox diver, you’ll be happy to know that nitrox is often available on Truk Lagoon liveaboards. Depending on the Truk Lagoon liveaboard you opt for, nitrox may be free or come at a cost. Some liveaboards also offer courses onboard if you do not have a nitrox certification.
Truk Lagoon offers comfortable diving conditions throughout the year, so no special thermal protection is needed. Your chosen Truk Lagoon liveaboard may also provide gear rental, meaning you don’t have to worry about bringing your own equipment. Always check the liveaboard’s specifications for their gear requirements or rental options before you go.
As Truk Lagoon is also great for technical diving and attracts many experienced divers, you may want to bring your own equipment, though. You can find a complete packing list further below.
Truk Lagoon offers a tropical climate and year-round diving opportunities. Land temperatures range from 77-86°F (25-30°C), providing ideal water temperatures for scuba diving and a comfortable environment for your journey.
However, some months of the year can offer less ideal conditions with trade winds and frequent rainfall. While this doesn’t often affect liveaboard diving, the best season for liveaboards in Truk Lagoon is October-April. If you did decide to travel to Truk Lagoon outside of these months, while frequent, rainfall does not often last long but can impair visibility slightly.
Overall, you can go Truk Lagoon diving all year round – so pick the dates that best suit your needs.
While the dive sites do not often differ between Truk Lagoon liveaboards, the duration of the trip can. Each Truk Lagoon liveaboard will depart from Weno, the main island in the Chuuk State. Typically, most routes will take you to the largest wrecks in Truk Lagoon, such as The Fujikawa Maru, The San Francisco Maru, and the Shinkoku Maru.
The best itineraries for Truk Lagoon liveaboards depend entirely on your needs and how long you want to stay onboard. An 8-day trip is enough time to explore these wrecks and some of the smaller sites around them. If you want an even deeper dive into Truk Lagoon’s history, longer 10 or 11-day trips are also available – offering more time to explore each wreck.
An 8-day Truk Lagoon diving excursion will cost you around $2500. This is a reasonable mid-price point for liveaboards but is still a considerable amount for many people. When budgeting for a Truk Lagoon liveaboard trip, it’s important to remember all meals, snacks, and sometimes extras such as airport transfers or private dive guides are included in the price.
If you like the idea of a longer liveaboard vacation, you can expect to pay $3000-3500 for 10 or 11 days of diving.
You might assume choosing the best liveaboards for Truk Lagoon is easy due to the small selection of trips available. However, there are still plenty of things to compare and consider when selecting the perfect liveaboard for you.
Let’s take a look at the best liveaboards for Truk Lagoon and what they can offer you:
Length: 58m Width: 10m Nitrox: Yes (paid) Cabins: 10 Maximum capacity: 20 guests Rental Gear: Yes
The deluxe SS Thorfinn offers plenty of onboard amenities, such as free internet, five decks with multiple entertainment options, a BBQ area, and even a hot tub. With an impressive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, visitors can expect personalized service and attention throughout their stay.
The various itineraries offered on the SS Thornfinn cater to all levels of divers – from beginners to experts. Excursions last for 8 days and 7 nights, exploring some of the most spectacular dive sites in Truk Lagoon, including the famous Fujikawa Maru and San Francisco Maru wrecks.
Length: 30m Width: Not Specified Nitrox: Yes (paid) Cabins: 12 Maximum capacity: 20 guests Rental Gear: Yes
The Pacific Master Truk Lagoon is an excellent option for both divers and non-divers. Certified divers can use the rebreather and tech diving opportunities, while non-divers can enjoy onboard kayaks and snorkeling. This luxurious liveaboard features air conditioning, warm showers, and a sun deck, to name a few.
The Pacific Master also offers 8, 10, and 11-day trips allowing visitors to explore all of the best dive spots in Truk Lagoon. With an experienced crew providing excellent service onboard the Pacific Master, it promises to be an unforgettable journey – filled with adventure, luxury, and relaxation.
Length: 40m Width: 7.31m Nitrox: Yes (free) Cabins: 9 Maximum capacity: 16 guests Rental Gear: Yes
Boasting an abundance of luxurious amenities, the large Truk Odyssey offers airport transfers and fully airconditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms, as standard. Plus, with only 16 guests on board, it is the ideal boat for a peaceful and intimate sailing experience.
If you’re an underwater photographer, you’ll be happy to know the Truk Odyssey offers camera tables and rinse tanks free of charge. With a dedicated dive deck, free nitrox, and tech diving opportunities, this liveaboard is perfect for experienced divers.
Before you embark on a Truk Lagoon liveaboard vacation, you must ensure you have all the necessary items packed. If you need some inspiration, here is a list of what to bring for a Truk Lagoon liveaboard trip:
- Nitrox certificate, dive log, and Open Water/Advanced certificates
- Scuba gear – unless you decide to rent
- Surface marker buoy (SMB or DSMB) – if needed
- Credit card or local currency – you may need to pay additional fees, so be sure to check first
- Evidence of dive insurance
- Up-to-date passport
- Travel documents
- Outfits best suited for tropical weather
- Sun protection (sunglasses, sunhat, and sunscreen)
- Medication – if needed
- Towels – unless your Truk Lagoon liveaboard provides these (although it always pays off to bring an extra towel)
- Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, etc.)
- Photography and videography equipment
- Dry bag for wet gear
- Water bottle – unless drinks are provided throughout the say
- Entertainment (books, small board games.)
- Electronics (phone, charger, etc.)
A liveaboard trip in Truk Lagoon is an excellent way to explore WWII wrecks and discover some of the lagoon’s best dive sites. While the range of liveaboards is limited, there’s no doubt each option offers something unique – from luxury amenities to excellent diving opportunities.
With the proper preparation, a Truk Lagoon liveaboard cruise can be a fun and truly unforgettable experience. So make sure to choose the right boat for you, pack all of your essentials, and get ready to explore the best diving spots in Truk Lagoon!