Frequently asked questions

Palau

Before Your Trip

With effect from 1st January 2020, Palau has banned sunscreens which contain ingredients that are toxic to reefs. It is illegal to sell reef-toxic sunscreen products and illegal to bring any into the Republic of Palau; any prohibited reef-toxic sunscreen shall be confiscated upon entry into the Republic of Palau. Reef-toxic sunscreens are those which containoxybenzone, octylmethoxycinnamate, octocrylene, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor, triclosan, methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, butyl paraben, benzyl paraben, phenoxythanol, or other prohibited chemical ingredients. To support this environmental protection regulation, S/Y Palau Siren will have a non-toxic natural sunscreen (locally made and with plastic-free packaging) available to purchase on board, at cost.

Guests arriving from countries which are affected by Cholera or Yellow Fever must show proof of immunisation upon arrival.

Travel

Palau borders are currently closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Visa Information
US, UK, EU, Australian and Canadian nationals visiting Palau do not require a visa for visits of up to 30 days. To find out if you need a visa to enter Palau, please visit the Palau embassy/consulate website at: https://www.passportsandvisas.com/embassy-consulate/palau

Extensions of stay cost 50 USD for an additional 30 days and must be applied for with the Bureau of Immigration at least 7 days before the current permitted stay expires. Contact details for extensions are (+680) 488 2498 or 2678 (Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm); email imm@palaunet.com

Transit Via Guam and Hawaii - ESTA or Visas

You will need to apply for an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program or acquire a US transit visa prior to departure from your home country if you are a non-US citizen travelling to Palau via Guam or Hawaii.

IMPORTANT: All travellers wishing to enter the US or its territories under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport).

If you are in any doubt about whether you qualify for the VWP, or if you are concerned that an existing ESTA may have been cancelled, you should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Passport validity 

Your passport should be valid for a period of at least 6 months from the date of your arrival in Palau.

Yellow Fever vaccination certificate requirements

Guests arriving from countries which are affected by Cholera or Yellow Fever must show proof of immunisation upon arrival.

Country Information

UTC+9

Palauan and English are the official languages of the Republic of Palau, though you may hear Tagalog, Japanese and Mandarin too. The population is predominantly Christian and there is approximately 10% of the population adhering to traditional Palauan customs. We recommend our guests are respectful and wear suitable attire when making island tours or visiting religious buildings.

The US Dollar is the official currency of Palau (USD).
The majority of established hotels, shops and restaurants accept major credit cards or travelers cheques. Occasionally smaller, family-run business will only accept cash. There are several US operated banks and plenty of ATMs so cash is readily accessible, however the rate of exchange is very poor and guests would be advised to change money prior to arrival in Palau.

The mobile phone coverage in Palau is with AT&T which might not compatible with most international mobile phone system. You can however purchase SIM cards upon arrival at the airport. Internet is available in most major towns and at resorts/restaurants.

Palau is 7 degrees north of the equator and enjoys a warm tropical climate year round. Temperatures average 27°C (82°F) and as a tropical island Palau is subject to rainfall throughout the year though more frequently between July and October. Diving is excellent year around though the peak season is considered to be November through May.

Health care is readily available in Palau. The Belau National Hospital is a professionally staffed hospital with an experienced barotraumas team. Follow normal precautions with food whilst travelling to prevent stomach upsets and be sure to drink bottled water only.

For diving related emergencies there is a recompression chamber in Koror. Speedboat evacuation from the Palau Siren may be necessary thus diving specific insurance is a must on any liveaboard dive trip.

During Your Trip

The warm tropical waters of Palau average a pleasant 27°C throughout the year. Most guests find that a 3mm wetsuit or shorty is suitable and many dive with just a skin. For guests who tend to get cold easily, especially after repetitive dives, we recommend bringing whatever you feel most comfortable in.

Palau Siren has 3 dedicated skiffs which are almost vessels of their own: Buils, Sils and Melech. Two of them will accompany you during your cruise and diving will take place from them. Palau Siren is normally at anchor and the skiffs will bring you to the entry points of your dive. The journey can sometimes take up to 1.5hr

Our vessel is fitted for universal power outlets that can fit most of your electrical equipment. We also have some USB power outlets available in the common areas and cabins. The vessel runs on 2200V.

You should be within range for the greater part of your trip (about 60% of the time), but please note that some of the areas are not covered and you may be un-contactable for up to 3 days.

The Marine park fees and permits can be pre-paid or paid onboard. The permits run for a maximum of 10 days, so if you do 2 trips back-to-back, you will need to pay that fee twice.

You can pay all your onboard extras by card or in cash (USD, EUR & GBP). Please note that cash payments not done in USD are subject to a cash fee.

These itienraries maximise your chance your chance to do spawning dives. These happen around full and new moons and you will have the chance to see different species of fishes aggregate to reproduce. These large groups also normally attract predators, giving you a great chance to see different types of sharks.. Spawning itineraries often involve more challenging conditions with strong currents and black-water night dives so, we recommend a minimum of 50 logged dives, including experience with currents.