Black Pearl – Bumphead Parrotfish Spawning

Diving vacation to Palau: discover the unique bumphead parrotfish route and experience the spectacular spawning phenomenon. Diving in Palau offers colorful coral gardens, mysterious caves, historic wrecks and unique spots such as Jellyfish Lake and Blue Corner.
Travel period
All year round
Features
Boatdiving, Wreck diving
Starting at
14 days from €5099,- p.p

Diving in Palau during the 'New Moon '

This special diving vacation to Palau is an experience you can only experience at certain times of the year, namely during the new moon. Every month, thousands of bumphead (humphead) parrotfish congregate at certain sites around Palau to spawn and reproduce.

Diving in Palau

The parrotfish aggregation is one of the underwater highlights of Palau and probably of the entire region. During the new moon phases, thousands of bumphead parrotfish gather to spawn, which is considered the largest bumphead parrotfish aggregation in the world. Besides spawning, you can also enjoy colorful coral gardens, mysterious caves, historic World War II wrecks and other unique dive spots such as Jellyfish Lake, Blue Corner and several steep wall dives and reefs during this liveaboard.

Liveaboard the Black Pearl

You will stay aboard the luxurious Black Pearl, equipped with a Jacuzzi and beautiful cabins for a comfortable stay. The boat leaves from Koror and returns here as well, so you can enjoy this unique experience in comfort.

For this route there are of course selected dates when there is a new moon! This route is only suitable for divers with at least 50 logged dives and nitrox certification.

Best travel time for a diving vacation to Palau

The best time to go to Palau for this diving vacation is during the new moon, when you can experience the unique bumphead parrotfish spawning.

Palau is distinguished by its lack of a monsoon or typhoon season, allowing you to dive year-round. Usually the weather is beautiful with a few rain showers. Underwater visibility is often excellent and depends on the tides. There are four tidal cycles daily, with usually one high tide and one low tide during the day. Palau is rich in marine life throughout the year. From December to February you see more manta rays, while February to May attracts mating sharks. August and September are ideal for schools of juvenile sharks. For wreck diving, June and July are perfect because of better visibility in the lagoon.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for diving in Palau

Diving in Palau is very pleasant all year round. Therefore, a 3mm wetsuit is sufficient.

What will you experience on this diving holiday?

View itinerary here

Day 1 to 3 | The journey to Koror, Palau

Day 1 and 2: you will depart from Europe to Koror, with a flight to Taipei, Taiwan. Depending on your departure point, this may be a direct flight or with a stopover, so your travel time is between 13 and 16 hours. After arrival, you will spend the night near the airport.

Day 3: In the morning, you will fly from Taipei to Koror in about 4.5 hours. Upon arrival you will meet your driver, identified by a sign reading “M/Y Black Pearl.” In about 30 minutes you will arrive at the Black Pearl Liveaboard. Boarding can starts at 3 p.m., so if you arrive early, you will need to wait a while at the airport or go to the liveaboard after three on your own and see something else on the island. After a welcome drink and briefing, your cabin will be ready for you. A safety briefing will follow around 6 p.m., but there will be no diving on the first day.

Day 4 & 5 | Diving at Ulong Channel, Siaes Corner, Siaes Tunnel, Shark City

In the morning, the Black Pearl leaves the port of Koror and sails south. There are some great dive sites scheduled over the next few days.

Sand Bar / Sandy Paradise: on the west side of Palau’s barrier reef is Sandy Bar, a descending coral garden about 5 meters deep, descending to a sandy bottom at 25 meters. The reef is covered with hard corals such as staghorn and brain coral, and is home to a variety of reef fish, garden eels, stingrays and eagle rays. The mild current makes it suitable for all divers.

The Sand Bar dive site is also the dive site where the Bumphead Parrotfish Spawning spectacle takes place. This is always 3 days before new moon. During this event, thousands of humphead parrotfish color the water, simultaneously releasing their eggs and sperm, creating a breathtaking natural phenomenon.

Ulong Channel: known as one of the best drift dives in the world, Ulong Channel offers an adrenaline-pumping experience. The narrow channel is famous for its sharks and seasonal spawning activity. With incoming tides, enjoy coral gardens, schools of fish and turtles.

Siaes Corner: this popular spot is a gathering place for Gray Reef sharks, horse mackerel and barracuda during high tide. You will also see Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles eating corals, offering excellent photo opportunities. The turtles are so focused on their meal that they barely notice the divers.

Siaes Tunnel: a unique location with an underwater cave that has three openings from the reef wall. Ideal for macro photography, the largest entrance begins at a depth of 28 meters and the cave descends to deeper than 45 meters, with a vertical cliff up to 65 meters.

Shark City: this finger-shaped dive site has slopes, vertical walls and canyons that descend to a sandy bottom. The strong currents and ocean swells make it challenging, but the warm waters (26-27°C) are home to gray reef sharks, hammerheads, barracudas and snappers.

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Day 6 | Diving at German Channel

German Channel is a man-made shallow channel that connects the lagoon with the outer reef connects. The canal was created by the Germans in the early 1900s to create phosphated minerals of the island Angaur to the port of Koror. This narrow passage separates the islands Ngemelis and Ngercheu and forms a link between the inner lagoon and the open sea. Nowadays, many manta rays visit the channel and feed on the plankton brought in by the strong currents. The cleaning station is located at 18 meters depth and the beautiful coral garden is between 7 and 13 meters depth. In addition to manta rays you can also find Eagle Rays, Garden Eels, Snappers, Barracudas, Trevallies, Reef Sharks and many species of schooling fish.

Day 7 & 8 | Blue Corner, Blue Holes, New Drop Off, Big Drop Off

Over the next few days, explore some of Palau’s most spectacular dive sites and enjoy breathtaking underwater landscapes and diverse marine life:

Blue Corner: this is without a doubt the most famous dive site in Palau. This famous location offers strong currents that attract sharks, rays and other pelagic species. You dive onto a plateau that suddenly disappears hundreds of meters into the abyss.

Blue Holes: a beautiful cave diving site with sunlight shining through ceiling vents, ideal for photography. Explore colonies of boulder and cabbage coral and spot unusual nudibranchs and scorpion fish, among others.

Big Drop Off: a world-famous wall dive with a nearly 300-meter drop off. Admire the colorful corals and sea fans and spot turtles and various fish species.

New Drop Off: similar to Blue Corner, this location attracts Gray Reef Sharks and schools of Snappers, barracudas and Napoleon fish.

Day 9 & 10 | Diving at Peleliu

Over the next two days, explore the fascinating dive sites around Peleliu, a small island in southern Palau:

Peleliu Wall: on the west side of Peleliu you will find this spectacular wall dive. The wall starts at a depth of 20 meters and descends to more than 200 meters, with schools of fish and large pelagic species.

Orange Beach: on the east side, this site is known for World War II artifacts such as tanks and planes. The sandy bottom and reef are home to eagle rays, turtles and reef sharks.

Peleliu Express: located at the southern tip, famous for strong currents. Drift along the wall and see sharks, rays and schools of fish.

Peleliu Cut: on the north side, a notch in the reef leads to a lagoon, with schools of fish and reef sharks.

West Wall: also on the west side, famous for its beautiful wall diving and diverse marine life such as sharks, turtles and schools of fish.

Day 11 & 12 | Wrecks, Drop-Offs and Chandelier Cave

Also during your last two diving days during this dive holiday you will dive at some amazing dive sites. These sites include pristine coral gardens, steep precipices, blue holes and historic World War II shipwrecks around Malakal Harbor.

Iro: the Iro, a Japanese Navy oil tanker from World War II, lies at a depth of 30 to 40 meters. The 143-meter-long wreck offers rich marine life, with snappers, horse mackerel and barracuda.

Jake’s Seaplane: this wreck of a seaplane lies in Palau’s lagoon at a depth of 15 meters. Ideal for wreck and reef diving, with colorful reef fish.

Chuyo Maru Wreck: the Chuyo Maru, a Japanese freighter, offers a popular diving site with many lionfish.

Chandelier Cave: this cave at 8 meters depth offers underwater tunnels and beautiful crystalline formations, suitable for adventurous divers.

You will also visit Jellyfish Lake where you can snorkel with the unique Golden Jellyfish. Spend the last night in Malakal Harbor, with free time for paddleboarding, kayaking or snorkeling.

UPDATE on Jellyfish Lake (May 2024): due to exceptional weather conditions, the population of Golden Jellyfish has seriously declined since October 2021. Despite this, the excursion to Jellyfish Lake is still conducted, as there are still many Moon Jellyfish to be seen.

Day 13 to 15 | Return home

Wake up to breakfast on board between 06:30 and 07:00. Leave the liveaboard around 8 a.m. and head to Koror International Airport for your flight to Taipei. You will stay overnight in Taipei and fly home the next day.

You can extend the trip with a stay at a (dive) resort on Palau or a beach vacation in the Philippines. There are direct flights between Koror and Manila.

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The liveaboard

The ship and cabins

M/Y Black Pearl

The M/Y Black Pearl Explorer is a luxurious 46-meter vessel, perfect for divers seeking comfort. The ship accommodates 24 guests in a variety of cabins, including two Master Seaview cabins. Each cabin has air conditioning, LED TV, wireless charging pods, universal outlets and a private bathroom with eco-friendly amenities. The ship has excellent diving facilities, including a waterline-level dive deck, an indoor gear station and a dedicated camera station. Two fiber optic transmitters make diving expeditions smooth. Safety is a priority with comprehensive safety equipment. Relaxation is available on the main deck with an outdoor lounge, bar, hot tub, and on the upper deck with an entertainment lounge and 360° views of Palau.

All cabins have private bathrooms, air conditioning, a safe, reading lights, international plugs and safe, reading lights, international plugs and USB charging ports.

2 x Master Seaview Cabins (18m2) – Cabin 301 & 302
These cabins are on the upper deck, have large windows and feature a queen double bed.

4 x Seaview Cabins (16m2) – Cabin 201 to 204
These cabins are on the middle deck, have large windows and with two twin beds or a queen bed and large windows.

6 x Deluxe Cabins (14m2) – Cabins 101 to 106
These cabins are on the lower deck and have portholes and only two twin beds.

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Travel costs

What is included

This diving holidayto Palau is available from €5099 per person. The diving trip can be expanded as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about this diving holiday to Palau? Get in touch with us!

Included in this diving trip, from €5099,- p.p.
Excluding
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FAQ's about diving on the Black Pearl

General dive information

Diving from the liveaboard and small dive boats sailing with the big boat. Combination of wreck diving, coral diving, drift diving and cave diving (not deep).

3 to 4, except on arrival and day before departure.

Yes, but you can’t learn to dive here.

Diving equipment

The tanks are DIN, but can also be used with adapter to INT

Yes, for the 10-night trip it costs 150 USD P.P.

Yes, is included in the price.

Yes, for the 10 nights it costs 450 USD P.P.

Liveaboard

No, it does have satellite internet and you can buy a SIM card for $11.

Yes. Unless you also take the second spot off against 80% of the price.

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