Liveaboard Diving

Bikini Atoll FAQs

Before Your Trip

Is it safe to dive at a former nuclear testing site?
Residual radiation to which divers are exposed from the Bikini Atoll shipwrecks is negligible and poses no significant risk to divers, as long as they do not try to grab any souvenirs. Pilfering items from wrecks in Bikini Atoll is hazardous and forbidden.
About the diving at Bikini Atoll

The wrecks of Bikini Atoll all lie at depths beyond standard recreational dive limits, with most starting around 50 metres.

As most of the diving in Bikini Atoll will be extended range, there will be a maximum of two (2) technical dives offered on most days.

For safety, there is a mandatory 4-hour surface interval between dives and an afternoon off mid-trip (optional land tour and beach BBQ will be offered instead).

Each diver is responsible for planning their own dive profile with their dive buddy, with the assistance of the Cruise Director who is familiar with diving the wrecks of Bikini Atoll.

Is Bikini Atoll suitable for all certified divers?

Due to the depths of the wrecks in Bikini Atoll the diving is only suitable for divers who have deep, technical diving certification (45+ metres) and with wreck diving experience. Bikini Atoll itineraries are NOT suitable for recreational divers, even those who are certified to 40metres.

The minimum required certification for diving with Master Liveaboards in Bikini Atoll is TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures, PADI Tec 45, or equivalent, with at least 100 logged dives and previous experience with wreck penetration.

 

The minimum required certification for Rebreather divers is TDI Air Diluent- 45 metres / Helitrox Decompression- 45 metres, or equivalent.

Special Waiver Form for diving at Bikini Atoll

In addition to standard safe diving practices and medical forms which can be downloaded from the Liability Waivers page, all guests joining a Bikini Atoll itinerary are required to complete the Technical Diving Liability Release  and Bikini Atoll Liability Release.

Equipment & gas preparation

Cylinders, Gases and Sofnolime supplies are limited and subject to availability. All requirements MUST be requested in well in advance by completing the Technical Equipment and Gases Requests Form and returning it to our reservations team as early as possible.

The remoteness of the destination means supplies have to be obtained for the whole Bikini season before the vessel leaves Truk Lagoon (or the Solomon Islands) making it difficult to accommodate any requests without at least 6 months notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to limited supplies of Helium, we are unable to provide Trimix for Open Circuit divers on Bikini Atoll itineraries. Trimix is only available for CCRs

Special considerations for your diving equipment

Please inspect and test all your dive equipment before coming to Bikini as there are no dive centres or facilities for repairing equipment in Kwajalein, Bikini or on board. If you have just had your equipment serviced we still recommend you test it thoroughly before travelling. 

Travel

Coronavirus: Travel Restrictions
See our COVID-19 Travel Requirements page for the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
Pre-Travel Health & vaccinations

We advise all guests to ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date; these include MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio. Other recommended vaccinations for The Marshall Islands include Hepatitis A and Typhoid. 

MEASLES: As part of the RMI’s initiative to reduce the spread of measles, you may be required to show proof of immunisation. Please ensure your are MMR vaccination is up to date and bring your vaccination record card or certificate with you.

It is the travellers’ responsibility to check their own country’s travel advisories for the latest vaccination requirements and recommendations for the Marshall Islands well in advance of travelling. 

Please make sure you use insect repellent and cover exposed skin to prevent any insect-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever. If you are travelling with medication, please bring your physicians prescription with you.

Passports & Visas

• Visa Information
Transit via Guam and Hawai’i: You will need to apply for an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program or acquire a USA visa prior to travelling.
IMPORTANT: All travellers wishing to enter the US or its territories under the VWP need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport).
•  A tourist/visitor visa valid for 30 days is issued on arrival for citizens of the EU, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Citizens of the United States do not require a visa. However, as entry requirements can change at any time, we recommend that guests check with their nearest Marshall Islands embassy or consulate at https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/marshall-islands/

• Passport Validity
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay in the Marshall Islands.

• Airport Taxes
All passengers travelling out of the Marshall Islands are charged a $20 USD departure tax to be paid in cash only. 

International Flight Advice

We suggest that you book your international flight to and from Kwajalein Airport with United Airlines from and to Hawaii. Flights operate 3 times per week, from Honolulu departing early in the morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and takes around 7 hours. 

Generally you will need to leave from Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) the day before (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)  to make the early connection in Honolulu. Ideally, you should plan to arrive in Honolulu one day in advance of your flight to Kwajalein and book a hotel for the night. 

Keep in mind you will be crossing the International Date Line when travelling from Hawaii to Kwajalein Atoll so you will arrive the day after departure from Honolulu. 

IMPORTANT: Please be aware of the possibility of luggage not arriving on the same flight due to aircraft weight limits. Delayed luggage will usually arrive on the next flight, i.e. two (2) days later. Therefore, we strongly recommend making arrangements to arrive in Kwajalein before your liveaboard departure date to allow for flight schedule changes or luggage not arriving on the same flight. We are unable to delay departure of the liveaboard to wait for missing luggage and can not be held liable for such events.

 

United Airlines also operate a flight from Guam to Kwajalein on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which arrives on the same day, although there can also be issues with delayed luggage on this route too. 

Getting there and away

Our Bikini Atoll itineraries are built around the United Airlines flight schedule from Honolulu, Hawaii which serves both Kwajalein and Majuro. However, due to the possibility of luggage not being on the same flight, we strongly recommend making arrangements to arrive in the Marshall Islands at least two (2) days before your liveaboard departure date. 

Passengers travelling from and within the Marshall Islands are required to pay an airport departure tax; for International departures from Kwajalein and Majuro this is currently 20US$. 

Must I spend a night in Hawaii on either side of my liveaboard trip?

As the United Airlines flight from Honolulu to Kwajalein departs around 7am, we strongly recommend guests spend a night in Hawaii to ensure they are well rested and make the flight connection.

The return flight from Kwajalein arrives in Honolulu in the very early hours of the morning (between 2am and 3am) so we also suggest an additional night in Hawaii after your liveaboard.

Arrival Procedures in Kwajalein

Please be aware that there are specific requirements for your arrival in Kwajalein for Bikini trips. For full details, please read the following documentation: Procedure for guests arrival in Kwajalein for Bikini.

Country Information

Time zone
UTC+12
Language & religion

The Marshall Islands official languages are English and Marshallese, and Christianity is the predominant religion.

Currency

The local currency for the Marshall Islands (Bikini Atoll) is the US Dollar (USD). Some of the hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants may accept credit and debit cards, however the great majority may only deal in cash.The Marshall Islands have limited ATMs. Only the ATM at the Bank of Guam accepts international cards and it sometimes does not work. It is recommended to bring sufficient USD in cash, preferably in smaller denominations for convenience.
There is no ATM in Ebeye, but there are three in Majuro.

Communications

Cellular cover and internet are available around Majuro and Kwajelein Atolls. Once you leave these islands, the cover will be non-existent and communciations are covered mostly by shortwave radio.

Climate & weather

The climate of the Marshall Islands is a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 27 and 29C (80-84F) all year round, with some trade winds and a light cooling down in the evening. Generally, the northern islands tend not to receive as much rainfall as the southern islands.

Health

In the Marshall Islands, medical care is very basic with the ‘best’ medical facility in Majuro. Any form of treatment other than basic requires evacuation. Normal precautions should be taken with food and it is advisable to drink bottled water only.

Recompression chambers

There is no recompression chamber available to civilians anywhere in the Marshall Islands. In the event of a diving emergency while in Bikini Atoll, the vessel will immediately return to Kwajalein to facilitate transfer by emergency air evacuation for treatment (either to Hawaii or Australia) or, if circumstances allow, standby for an emergency evacuation from the airfield at Bikini. 

PLEASE NOTE: We do not support ‘in-water’ recompression.

During Your Trip

Diving Courses
We are unable to offer any diving courses on the Bikini Atoll itineraries.
 
All divers must have the minimum required certifications and experience before the start of their trip.
What equipment is required for diving in Bikini Atoll?

To dive in Bikini Atoll with Master Liveaboards, you will need the following items:

  • Two (2) methods of buoyancy. This can be achieved by using a wing with a redundant bladder, drysuit or lift bag with a minimum of 20kg/45lb  positive lift.
  • Multi-gas Dive Computer – capable of switching between a minimum of 2 gases, but ideally more.
  • Backup Computer or depth/bottom timer.
  • Two (2) Surface Marker Buoys – One (1) red or orange SMB and one (1) yellow SMB with a slate or wet notes attached for emergency use.
  • Two (2) Reels or spools – One with a minimum 15m of line and one with a minimum of 60m of line.
  • Dive Slate or Wet Notes – Additional to the one used with the emergency SMB or a set of wet notes.
  • Minimum of two dive torches* (primary and back-up).


*Divers who wish to penetrate overhead environments in Bikini, must bring their own primary lights. Divers must also follow their training standards for overhead diving with respect to back-up lights.

There are no primary lights available to rent on either vessel so guests are required to bring their own. A limited number of back-up lights are available if required.

Recommended Equipment

  • Backplate, harness and wing – capable of carrying manifolded twin 11.1L  (80cuft) aluminium cylinders AND one or two 40/80cuft aluminium stage cylinders. The wing should have a minimum of 20kg/45lb of positive lift.
  • Two DIN regulator sets one with long hose configured for twin cylinder operation.
  • One or two DIN stage regulators for use with up to 95% oxygen.
  • Protection – full-length wetsuit or semi-dry and gloves. Some divers also like to use a hood or helmet. Water temperature is between 27°–29°C with no thermoclines.
  • Spare mask – to be carried on all dives.
What thickness wetsuit is suitable?

Divers are advised to bring appropriate exposure protection for extended bottom times and prolonged deco-stops.

Generally, either 3mm or 5mm full-length exposure suits are suitable. A 3mm suit may be appropriate for those who do not feel the cold, although a 5mm suit may help wreck divers reduce the risk of injury from sharp objects and provide additional thermal insulation for extended dive times. 

Rebreather support & equipment

Rebreather divers joining a Master Liveaboards Bikini Atoll itinerary are required to have TDI Air Diluent- 45 metres / Helitrox Decompression- 45 metres, or equivalent certification.

Our vessels operating in Bikini Atoll are equipped with booster pumps for supporting the rebreather diver and have additional stage / bail-out cylinders available on board to rent.

We can supply Oxygen, Helium and CO2 absorbent (Molecular Products 797 Sofnolime); The scrubber is charged per 20kg tub and gases are charged per fill.

Pre-booking of all rebreather supplies is essential to guarantee availability for you. Please complete the Technical Equipment & Gases Request form, and return it as early as possible to contact our reservations team to place your order.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • The majority of our rebreather cylinders have 3/4 NPS neck threads.
  • We also have a limited number of M25 thread cylinders.
  • We DO NOT have any cylinders with M26 neck threads or adaptors for them on board. Guests are advised to bring their own if they need them.
  • We cannot supply pre-packed scrubber cartridges for rebreather units such as Poseidon.
  • Spare oxygen cells and specialist rebreather tools are not available so rebreather divers should bring their own.
Electricity

Pacific Master is fitted with 220V-50 Hz, Australian style sockets. Although there are some universal adapters on board, we strongly advise bringing your own to ensure you have the type and quantity you need for all of your personal equipment.

Solomons Master (previously Truk Master) runs on 110V/220V-60Hz and is fitted with universal power outlets that can fit most European and US plugs.

However, as European, and the majority of other non-US electrical equipment generally requires 220V at 50 Hz we advise bringing power converters and plug adapters with you to avoid potential damage to your equipment and ensure it charges correctly.

Communications during your trip

Most of the areas visited are out of range from normal mobile phone cover, specifically once the vessel is outside of Kwajalein or Ebeye. 

Pacific Master is fitted with a Starlink satellite system making Wi-Fi internet access available on board (Charges apply – please refer to the on board extras for price details).

You can find useful information and advice on how to get the most out of your purchased data in our Onboard Internet Access Guidelines

Marine, Park and Port Fees

The applicable fees will be added to your invoice as an on board payment at the time of booking your liveaboard.
The full amount collected on board is paid directly to the Bikini Council and can not be fully or partially reimbursed if a trip is cut short for any reason.

Onboard payments

You can pay Marine, Park and Port fees and any other onboard extras by card or in cash.

All prices are given in USD, but can be also paid in EUR, GBP, and AUD calculated using the applicable exchange rate on the last day of your liveaboard. 

We accept Mastercard and Visa credit card payments onboard for which there is a 3% surcharge.