Connect with us


Unmissable Micronesia Wrecks

Pacific DTA Team



A blog by

Micronesia scuba diving has everything a diver could wish for; from thriving reefs to coral-encrusted WWII wrecks, plenty of large marine life and tiny colourful critters. Palau and Truk Lagoon are the places to go if you’re a fan of wreck diving, with numerous wrecks on offer.

There are a variety of liveaboards to choose from at both destinations. The beautiful Palau Siren is an understandably popular choice with its luxurious accommodation. The SS Thorfinn is great for technical divers and has two special technical diving packages; the Rebreather Plan and Truk Tek Unlimited.

Truk lagoon can be dived all year, thanks to its sheltered nature, and Palau has three main diving seasons:

  • The high season from December to March, offering flat seas and dry weather
  • The shoulder months of April, July, August, October and November, when there is more wind and rainfall
  • The low months of May, June and September which offer fewer visitors and the lowest prices

Here is our pick of the top Micronesia wrecks to explore:



Palau is one of Micronesia’s main dive destinations and there is something for all interests; with reef dives, drop-offs, drift dives, caves and multiple wrecks to explore. It is best to visit Palau as an advanced diver, with drift and wreck diving experience, to make the most of the dive sites.


What is it?

This Japanese Navy oiler sank in 1944 and is 143 meters long, with the deck at 25 meters below the surface.

Why dive this wreck?

The Iro Maru is an impressive sight, still sitting upright and giving a complete view of the ship. The deck is covered with clams, oysters and critters and the ship is home to plentiful corals, including black coral trees. There are numerous fish and an array of WWII artifacts, including some live ammunition – so be sure not to touch anything on the wreck. There are two large guns; one on the stern and the other on the bow.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The Iro Maru sits in an area with no currents, making it easily accessible, and it is within recreational dive limits. Wreck penetration is possible at this wreck.


What is it?

This oil tanker came into service just 4 months before being sunk. She is the largest shipwreck in Palau, with a total length of 159 meters.

Why dive this wreck?

This huge shipwreck is also known as the Black Coral Wreck, as the hull is covered in black coral trees. This unique sight is great for photography. The interior still has electrical and radio equipment and you can see damage on the stern from the explosions that sunk it.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The Amatsu Maru lies at 40 meters depth, with the deck at 30 meters, and is best suited to advanced divers. Wreck penetration is possible.


What is it?

The Jake Seaplane is one of the most well-known wrecks and was only discovered in 1994, by a fisherman who spotted it from the surface. It is a WWII Navy Seaplane and is 11 meters long.

Why dive this wreck?

The Jake Seaplane sits upright on a coral head and is mostly intact. The wreck is covered in corals, and there are plenty of coral species to spot on the wreck and in the surrounding area.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

Sitting upright at around 15 meters depth, the Jake Seaplane is easily accessible and suitable for less experienced divers.


Truk Lagoon is known for having more than 48 wreck diving sites and waters up to 100 meters deep. It is one of the best places for wreck diving and offers great opportunities for recreational and technical diving amongst World War II wrecks.


What is it?

This cargo and passenger ship had been sent to Truk lagoon for repairs in 1944 when it was caught up in Operation Hailstone and sunk after being hit by a torpedo. It is one of the most popular wreck dives in the area and she is 133 meters long.

Why dive this wreck?

This is another impressive wreck, with the boat sitting upright, and the outside of the wreck covered in corals and sponges. There is a large bow gun and two fighter aircrafts, and the engine room and tool rooms are a must. You can find many artefacts on this wreck, including artillery. Keep your eyes open for large schools of jacks and barracuda, plus grey reef sharks, whilst you dive there.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The depth range of 5 to 35 meters, with the deck at 18 meters, makes the Fujikawa Maru ideal for all dive experience levels.


What is it?

This 112-meter Japanese army cargo ship was strafed, leading to a fire and explosions that ripped the ship apart. There is a huge 152-meter diameter crater with large metal sections lying around.

Why dive this wreck?

This is a great open wreck where you can see holds filled with machine gun and rifle shells, plus truck frames, aircraft engines and propellers. The aft is missing but the stern sits upright 100 meters away from the rest of the ship. The mast rising to the surface is covered in corals and there is also plenty of coral cover on the deck. It offers some of the best soft coral cover in the lagoon.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The average depth is 24 meters, with a maximum depth of 27 meters, making this wreck suitable for advanced divers.


What is it?

This passenger cargo ship is Truk’s most famous deep dive, lying at a depth of around 63 meters.

Why dive this wreck?

The San Francisco Maru contains mines, bombs, tanks and trucks. She is a popular choice in the 40 to 60-meter (131 to 196 feet) depth range and the four cargo holds contain aircraft bombs, artillery shells, tanker trucks, a flatbed truck, and torpedo warheads.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

This wreck is a favourite among technical divers.


What is it?

The Shinkoku Maru is around 152 meters long and was originally built as an oil tanker, later converted to a fleet oiler. She survived two days of attacks and two aerial torpedo strikes, until finally sinking.

Why dive this wreck?

This wreck is fantastic for night diving and has plentiful soft corals and hydroids that emerge after dark. This is one of the most colourful wrecks in Truk and truly comes alive at night. You can see into the engine room from the bridge and the galley still holds many utensils on the stove. The medical bay and huge engines are not to be missed.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The depth range of 10 to 38 meters makes this wreck suitable for a variety of dive experience levels.

This article was written by divers and writers at

Photo Credits: SS Thorfinn Liveaboard

Discover liveaboard diving holiday solutions around the world at

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Top 12 Dive Destinations in Oceania – Part 2

Scuba Schools International (SSI)



Oceania has a fascinating mixture of well-known romantic destinations and wild, remote dive spots that few people ever get to visit. It is a region of contrasts with enough dive destinations and cultural highlights to satisfy even the most adventurous divers. In part II of 12 great places to go diving in Oceania, we take a deep dive into some of this region’s most famous and little-known islands. Get inspired for your next dive trip to Oceania here.

French Polynesia

French Polynesia’s Society Islands have a stellar list of dive destinations, including Tahiti and Moorea. Between them, they offer easy coral reef diving and calm, turquoise lagoons with friendly stingrays and blacktip reef sharks. You can also swim with humpback whales, tiger sharks, lemon and nurse sharks there.

This beautiful nation’s best-known dive spots, Fakarava and Rangiroa atolls, are just a short flight away from the Society Islands. Both of these huge atolls offer exciting pass dives with hundreds of grey reef sharks and resident dolphins.

For a completely different dive experience, visit the Marquesas Islands. This island group is the farthest from any landfall on Earth and has a unique underwater world that hosts unusually large mantas and melon-headed whales.

And if that all sounds like too much effort, go Bora Bora scuba diving instead. This ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ has fantastic diving, and you can spend your downtime relaxing with champagne lunches on deserted islands.

The Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are a haven for more than 1000 reef fish species and numerous prized critters, plus dolphins, sharks, rays and six species of sea turtle. Hosting hundreds of wrecks and remote hard coral reefs, there is something for every diver there.

The Russell Islands host some of the best-known dive sites in all of the Solomon Islands. There, you can glide between the walls of a crevasse that cuts through an island, immerse yourself in wreck diving at White Sand Beach, swim through a halocline at Custom Caves, or go in search of pygmy seahorses.

For the best wreck diving, make sure you visit Iron Bottom Sound. This stretch of water hosts around 200 ships and more than 600 aircraft wrecks from World War II. It is a wreck diving mecca that offers excellent tech-wreck dives.

The Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands is a chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls that few people know about. As the fifth least visited country in the world, these islands offer remote diving among exciting deep wrecks and vibrant coral reefs.

Bikini Atoll is the main dive destination in the Marshall Islands. Made famous by US atomic bomb tests in the 1940s, this atoll hosts numerous deep wrecks that offer incredible tech diving.

As well as some of the best tech-wreck dives imaginable, the Marshall Islands also have thriving hard coral reefs without any dive crowds. There are pinnacles, drop-offs, channels and shallow coral gardens to explore, busy with colorful reef life.

The Cook Islands

When it comes to warm welcomes, it’s hard to beat the Cook Islands. From the moment you arrive, you will be drawn into one of the friendliest nations in the world and won’t want to leave.

This wonderful country is a perfect place to get your Open Water Diver certification or take your family diving. Rarotonga is the main destination for tourism and is a charming island with fresh markets, cafes, restaurants, and resorts tucked away among the palms. There are around 25 dive sites just offshore and gorgeous beaches for laid-back surface intervals.

Nearby Aitutaki has fewer visitors, yet it hosts around 22 dive sites, with many still being discovered. It is a great place to dive among remote coral-covered landscapes and forget the rest of the world exists. Whichever island you choose, the waters are warm and full of colorful reef life.

New Caledonia

New Caledonia is one of those wish-list destinations known for its spectacular diving, crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. Unlike some remote destinations in Oceania, New Caledonia has modern infrastructure that makes it easy to explore at your pace – by car or island hopping with regular domestic flights.

There are over 100 dive sites scatted around New Caledonia, offering a tempting mix of deep drop-offs, thrilling drift dives, wrecks, and easy reef diving. Most diving is conducted at the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, a vast 1500 km-long reef that encloses a UNESCO World Heritage lagoon. Within the lagoon, you can explore coral-encrusted walls, channels, and easy dive sites in shallow waters.

New Caledonia’s extensive marine reserves ensure these dive sites are teeming with life. For the best chance to see mantas and sharks, visit from April until September.


Vanuatu is the perfect place to reconnect with nature, offering untouched rainforests, natural swimming holes and excellent scuba diving.

Pristine reefs abound in Vanuatu, with many dive sites accessible simply by walking off the beach. Million Dollar Point is one of the most unique dive spots and hosts an array of machinery and equipment dumped by the US after World War II. The SS President Coolidge, a former World War II troop carrier, and the 1874 three-masted Star of Russia are excellent wrecks to dive.

The amount of marine life at Vanuatu’s dive sites is staggering. As well as rainbow-hued corals and countless reef fish, there are sea turtles, sharks, rays, and numerous pelagic fish. You can also go swimming with dugongs there.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, home to more than 850 known languages and hundreds of different tribes. It is unlike anywhere else in Oceania.

Along with the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea has some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world, including at Kimbe Bay. This special bay was once ranked as the most beautiful reef by National Geographic.

The nearby Witu Islands are a great place to go critter hunting and drift dive among schools of tuna and barracuda. Milne Bay is the home of muck diving and offers excellent shallow muck and reef diving with numerous critters.

There are seamounts busy with reef sharks and exciting walls at Fathers Reefs, and you can dive in the shadow of jungle-covered fjords at Tufi.

Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for SSI (Scuba Schools International), wrote this article.


Continue Reading


Top 12 Dive Destinations in Oceania – Part I

Scuba Schools International (SSI)



Encompassing over 8 million square kilometers of clear blue waters, Oceania hosts some of the world’s most sought-after dive destinations. There are remote, untouched reefs and wreck diving meccas, countless forest-draped islands, and volcanic landscapes with rich black sands full of critters. With abundant marine megafauna as well, including mantas, whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, and tens of thousands of sea turtles, Oceania is a paradise for every diver. Read on for part I of our round-up of 12 great places to go diving in Oceania.


Drop a pin on a map of Australia’s vast coastline and you will likely land close to some epic scuba diving. There are dozens of places to experience the best of Australia’s rich and varied dive scene.

In the remote northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef, you can dive Raine Island, a famous coral cay and sea turtle nesting area that hosts more than 60,000 green turtles each nesting season.

A little further south at Cairns, there is classic Great barrier Reef scuba diving, including shark diving, snorkeling with dwarf minke whales, and numerous offshore reefs. It is also one of the best places to get your diving license.

The southern Great Barrier Reef hosts Australia’s best-known manta ray hotspots, Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island. As well hosting over 100 mantas, the southern Great Barrier Reef also hosts one of the world’s best-preserved wrecks, the SS Yongala.

There is also excellent diving close to many of Australia’s coastal towns and cities. You can go diving with beautiful weedy sea dragons near Melbourne, go cage diving with great white sharks off Port Lincoln, or hang out with enormous stingrays in Port Philip Bay.

With Ningaloo Reef’s many whale sharks, remote coral atoll diving at Rowley Shoals, and diving with nurse sharks at Fish Rock Cave as well, you’ll be spoiled for choice wherever you go.

New Zealand

New Zealand may be a lot smaller than Australia, but it packs a punch when it comes to scuba diving. With over 600 islands, 44 marine reserves, and the 9th longest coastline in the world, diving in New Zealand is diverse and fascinating.

Sun-soaked Northland is the best place to start your diving trip and features the colorful Rainbow Warrior and HMNZS Canterbury wrecks and the Poor Knights Islands. These unique islands were rated as one of the world’s top ten dives by Jacques Cousteau and offer sub-tropical diving with both temperate species and tropical visitors.

Further south, the Mercury and Aldermen Islands are dotted with white sand beaches and have fantastic warm-water diving. There are enough submerged caves, pinnacles and drop-offs to keep any diver busy. Seasonal visitors include whales, bronze whaler sharks, makos and marlin.

If you love wreck diving, make sure you dive the Mikhael Lermontov in the Marlborough Sounds. This 155-meter-long cruise ship is one of the largest modern diving wrecks and has many of its original furnishings.

Make sure you drive south to Kaikoura if you love whales and sea birds. Kaikoura is one of the only places in the world with a resident population of sperm whales, plus visiting orcas, humpback whales and numerous albatrosses. You can also swim with seals and dolphins there.

Last but by no means least, visit Fiordland – a jaw-dropping 2.6 million hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vast wilderness area hosts spectacular multi-day hikes and has excellent cold-water diving and rare black corals in Milford Sound.


Fiji is a classic dive destination in Oceania, offering a wealth of palm-fringed islands and dive highlights worthy of any bucket list. If you’re looking for a destination that has something for every dive experience level, and plenty for non-divers too, Fiji could be for you.

Viti Levu, the main tourism hub, is famous for its shark dives with bull, tiger and reef sharks. There are also beautiful coral reefs just offshore. Go island hopping from Viti Levu and you’ll be immersed in a world of vibrant soft coral landscapes, with manta ray cleaning stations, thrilling drift dives and fast-paced pelagic action.

If you like laid-back diving, you could easily while away your days drifting over Fiji’s many shallow coral gardens. That said, it pays to go deep and experience Fiji’s famously colorful Great White Wall and Purple Wall dive sites.

On your non-diving days, be sure to explore topside. The friendly Fijian welcome, excellent jungle hikes, lush rainforests and waterfalls are not to be missed.

The Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesia is high on the wish list for many divers and is a tropical paradise destination with over 600 islands. It is best-known as a wreck diving mecca, with dozens of World War II wrecks.

The wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon are renowned among divers as some of the best in the world. This calm, warm lagoon was the site of a fierce battle in World War II that resulted in hundreds of ships, planes and submarines sinking. Today, around 50 of the wrecks can be dived and they are covered in rainbow-hued corals. Diving among the tanks, trucks and airplanes of the lagoon brings history to life in the most vivid way.

Micronesia’s rich waters also host countless shallow reefs, famous manta ray diving at Yap, exciting walls, caverns and drop-offs. If you’re prepared to go off the beaten path, Kosrae has some of the most pristine diving in the world.


Palau is ideal for divers who like to experience a range of dive styles in one trip and encounter marine life large and small.

This picture-perfect destination has diverse underwater highlights, including diving at a natural corner in the ocean, plunging walls, World War II wrecks, and famous manta ray dives. There is also excellent cave diving, and you can swim with millions of harmless jellyfish.

Wherever you dive, you can tick off some of Palau’s 1300 fish species and 700 coral species. Dugongs, Napoleon wrasse and giant clams are some of the more unusual big marine species to find and you can spot rare mandarinfish at Chandelier Caves. Being the world’s first shark sanctuary, Palau’s waters are also busy with sharks.

Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for SSI (Scuba Schools International), wrote this article.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!