SS Thorfinn is one of the world’s largest and best equipped liveaboard dive cruisers, having cruised Micronesian waters since the 1980's. Great space, fine appointments, tasty food, and extensive comforts without pretensions, she is big, rugged, and built for the world’s most challenging oceans. The vessel has 10 double occupancy rooms with space for 20 guests. Containing numerous yacht type facilities, SS Thorfinn delivers a highly experienced crew and great value.
From its operating base at Truk Lagoon, continuous non-stop diving is conducted 7 days per week, with up to 5 dives per day, on 5 differing sites – giving opportunity to view 30+ wrecks during a one week trip.
Offering 10 air conditioned staterooms, the vessel accommodates up to 20 guests in double occupancy.
A new luxury room labelled as ‘Thor’s Lair’ is optionally available on request featuring a huge king size bed, adjoining bed settee, 44” TV monitor/player, PC table / chair, carpeted walls, 4 view windows, large closet, bar fridge, bedside lighting controls, and large shower/toilet room.
All cabins have in room vanities, TV’s and DVD players, indirect lighting and full length closets. Eight rooms located on ‘D’ and ‘E’ decks have double or queen size beds, plus adjacent single berths. Private showers and toilets are fitted in each of these rooms. Three additional rooms on ‘C’ deck are bright and spacious with two shared shower rooms and two shared toilets.
Up to 20 island staff deliver personalised service on a 1:1 crew to guest ratio. They range from individually assigned dive crews attending each diver's needs, to full time hostesses, deck maintenance staff, large machinery staff, and two chefs preparing a variety of tasty international cuisine.
Fast, clear, Wi-Fi Internet within bandwidth limits is served via Inmarsat’s FleetBroaband 500 system keeping the entire ship in close contact with worlds away.
Thorfinn’s structures and safety gear comply with IMO (International Maritime Organisation) standards.
Diving is conducted from powerful, well designed, covered 32ft tenders equipped with radios, sonars, under seat gear bins, fresh water showers, and seat edge lighting. Each craft dives separate sites to avoid crowding over a single mooring. Diving in small groups with experienced local guides to show you the very best attractions at each site. Some guides have been with Thorfinn for more than 18 years.
Schedules & prices
7 days / nights in double occupancy cabin
Up to 5 dives a day depending on conditions / location from 32 ft. launches
Free Nitrox 32% to single cylinder users. Optional Multi-cylinders with custom blends
7 actual dive days on Saturday itineraries, with optional pro-rated daily extensions as available
Full board + snacks, teas, coffee, soft drinks, juices
Free Wi-fi Internet to 70MB
Final Friday night barbecue buffet, with cultural party along with selected local crew members.
Chuuk State consists of 11 mangrove fringed islands in the Chuuk Lagoon – known to divers worldwide as Truk Lagoon. There is also a further series of 14 outlying atolls and low islands.
Truk Lagoon is enclosed by a 225 kilometre barrier reef, covering more than 2,000 square kilometres, and is home to an entire Japanese fleet, sunk in 1944. Frozen in time, complete with sake cups, a submarine, jeeps, tanks and fighter planes still waiting in the hangars, all encrusted with coral, the area has been declared an underwater museum.
Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks tightly packed into a coral reef lagoon and with many situated in shallow water, so perfectly visible for snorkelling. Incredible corals in a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes attract divers of all levels. Schooling tropical fish smother the ships, with grey reef sharks, common octopus, spotted eagle rays, Pacific blue-fin tuna and black-tip reef sharks. Excellent coral pinnacles and deep channels with schooling pelagics too
Enjoy Truk Lagoon by liveaboard to experience the best diving in this unique dive destination, with quite simply, the finest wreck diving in the world!
BEST TIMES TO DIVE
Truk Lagoon is fortunate to have great diving conditions all year-round!
CLIMATE, WATER TEMPERATURE AND VISIBILITY
Truk, as part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a tropical country and the climate is fairly even all year round. The average high is 30°C whilst the average low is 25°C throughout the year. The more humid climate is during in the summer months (Jun-Sep) whilst trade winds come mainly from the northeast between December and June.
You are in a lagoon, so visibility is good but not excellent, 40-60ft is the norm and 30ft visibility would be a bad day. Sometimes visibility can reach 80ft or more, especially if it hasn't been raining (Nov - Feb).
Dry season: November to April
Wet season: May to October - higher humidity and more rainfall. July to October has the highest rainfall.
For Truk Lagoon, you will need to first fly from the UK into Manila International Airport (MNL) and there are various airlines to choose from. You will then take another flight from Manila to Chuuk (TKK) with United Airlines. Please note that the United Airlines flights operate via Guam (GUM) both ways. Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States, and as such, all passengers travelling via Guam need to complete an ESTA. This must be done online in advance of UK departure.
The Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days. The types of journey allowed under the VWP include tourism, certain types of business visit and transit to another country.
All travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP now need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport).
All passengers must clear US immigration in Guam and this can take several hours! With this in mind, we like to see a decent lay-over period before your take a connecting flight from Guam to Truk. With this in mind, we normally recommend you take a day room at an airport hotel, so you can freshen up and relax for a couple of hours, before taking a late afternoon / evening flight from Guam to Truk.
We can of course discuss these options with you at quote stage.
We can arrange hotel stays and local transfers in Manila, if required, and we can book your room at Blue Lagoon Dive Resort (Truk Lagoon) as required, to fit in with domestic flights and the operation of the liveaboard.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Manila As a tourist you need to be able to show the immigration officers that your passport is valid for at least another six months. You also have to hand over your duly filled-in arrival card. This arrival card is issued during your flight. Often you have to show an onward international flight ticket, that allows you to leave the country. If you meet these requirements, then you will be automatically allowed entry for up to 30 days without a visa. This is called a tourist visa-waver. It can be extended to 59 days directly at the airport.
Guam Guam is a territory of the United States. All passengers travelling via Guam need to apply online for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This must be done at least 14 days before UK departure and it is easy to apply for online at the following website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
In addition to the ESTA, all visitors arriving in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) (i.e. Guam / Truk) must have and present proof of citizenship or nationality, by possessing a valid passport or other travel document issued by the government of the country of citizenship or nationality. The document must be valid for at least 120 days beyond the date of entry into the FSM.
Citizens and nationals of the FSM, Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the United States may prove citizenship or nationality by possessing a passport, birth certificate or FSM entry permit.
Upon arrival, all non-citizens without a valid entry permit must present a completed 'FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record.' This form is provided by the airline carrier prior to arrival at the point of entry. Those wishing to visit the FSM for a period exceeding 30 days, must also complete an entry permit. A permit is not required for a person visiting the FSM for 30 days or less.
Every visitor must demonstrate the ability to travel onward beyond the FSM and to leave the FSM at the end of the visit. This can be shown by possession of a return or onward ticket to a destination outside of the FSM to a place where his or her travel documents will allow entry. At the discretion of Immigration, in lieu of a ticket, the visitor may present any other form of proof to show that the non-citizen will be able to leave the FSM upon expiration of the visit or otherwise.
Citizens and nationals of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States may be issued an entry permit for the duration of the visit which shall not exceed one year.
All other noncitizens may be issued an entry permit for an additional period not to exceed 60 days.
All non-citizens, other than visitors must have their entry permits applied for prior to arrival in the FSM. The Entry Permit application can be downloaded here. Other restrictions apply for these categories. For more information, see the General Guide below or contact the FSM agencies (Government office) in the list provided.
Please always check for last minute changes in entry requirements at the Foreign & Commonwealth website. Nationalities other than British citizens should check with their own consular office. Please always check your own entry requirements, regardless of your nationality.
There is currently a departure tax of USD 20 when leaving the country by air. Please make sure you have cash available as credit cards are not accepted and ATM machines are not available at the airports.
VACCINATIONS & HEALTH INFORMATION
There are no compulsory vaccinations, but we do recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A, polio and rabies. The risk of malaria in Australasia is generally very low and therefore anti-malarials are not immediately recommended.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up to date advice please consult your local travel clinic.
Current information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
Within Truk Lagoon, seven days of continuous diving from speedy ‘state of art’ tenders is performed in close range to the mothership, positioned at various lagoon anchorages. Includes visits to up to five different daily dive sites in small groups, as conditions permit. This provides an opportunity to visit an unmatched 30 or more wrecks in one week. The crew aims to take guests to the finest dive sites within this great location.
Technical divers can choose from various sets of banded, twin manifolded cylinders in 3 sizes from 7, 11, and 15 ltrs. Pony bottles, and broadly assorted sizes of re-breather bottles are freely supplied on certain plans. Twin onboard oxygen generators produce gas at 40 cu ft/ hr and 93% +or-3% purity, supported by 3 levels of electric and air driven boosters for final custom gas blends. Sofnolime is stocked and distributed freely to Rebreather users, along with optional Helium to meet most requests from today’s discerning technical divers.
Diving conditions in Truk Lagoon are comfortably easy, with minimal currents, bath-like water temperature (29’C/84’F) and very good light. Anytime is the ‘best’ time for diving here, as there are no real seasons. NE trade-winds from January to April create a cooling effect with a light sea chop. Rainfall is fairly consistent year round with short sharp showers followed by ample quantities of sun! Anyone with basic qualifications and skills can dive here on single cylinders to nearly all sites within their comfort zones, as has been amply demonstrated by the team here over the past 30 years.
The attraction of the numerous wrecked ships, planes and a submarine, can be supplemented with occasional runs to pristine outer barrier reefs with bright corals, sharks, eagle rays, huge schools of barracudas, big eyed jacks, batfish and a profusion of reef fish! Shark feeding dives are optionally provided at several locations.
Neighboring island visits and tours are easily arranged as desired, without shipboard fees. Snorkelers or non-divers often accompany divers aboard dive launches, to view activities below, at many shallower dive sites are scheduled daily. Regular charters run from Saturday to Saturday throughout the year.