2024 Tonga Whale Swim Adventures

Aug 24-Sept 2 and September 3 - 11, 2024

in Vavau', Tonga

Two trips adventures are offered in 2024

 

 

Aug 26-Sept 3,  includes 8 nights accommodation and 6 days of Private Charter.  $4950

Sept 2 -11,  Includes 9 nights accommodations and 7 days Private Charter $5,350

Accommodations and boat are provided by Portwine Guest House.

The boat goes out every day but Sunday.   We will head out for whales each morning after a homemade breakfast and spend the day looking for whales that show signs of being open for mutual interactions. We won’t stop for whales that are tracking, or showing behavior we know is less likely to lead to mutual interaction.

The trip takes place during the time of the season that most of the females have given birth. Many are six weeks old and quite playful.  We will also look for logging whales, & heat runs otherwise known as competition pods.

Over the course of the charter, we will likely have some days that are better than others.  We can’t control the wind, rain, waves, visibility, or whales. Some days the whales just breach, other days are great for swimming.
Participants should make sure to have a good rain jacket and hat.  The water temp will be warm enough that wetsuits are not necessary (78-80 degrees). That said about half the people bring shorty 3 mm suits. I have a lava core skin I love, but most of the time I just wear a rash guard. The sun is bright in Tonga so be sure to bring sunscreen.  I suggest Stream2Sea brand.  It is good for you and the environment.
The area we will search for whales in is huge and picturesque. There are many islands and during the season the whales pop up everywhere.  Many times we will see whales in the inside group of islands and you will wonder why we don’t stop. The reason is the visibility.   Inside the islands the visibility is often poor.  Outside the islands, in the bays, and around seamounts the visibility is better.   We will concentrate on those areas.  Many of the operators that take people whale swimming prefer to stay inside so they can conserve fuel. Most whale swimmers do not know the difference as they have not been to Tonga before.
Every day but Sunday our schedule is to wake up, eat, then get on the boat. The harbor is a five-minute walk or two in the truck.   We will return in mid to late afternoon depending upon the action.  Once on land, you can relax at the Guesthouse, take a taxi to look around the island, process images, or check out the coffee shops, bars, little souvenir shops, and small stores to buy snacks to keep you going.  There is a bank machine for getting Tongan money as well.  They sell beer and some liquor but if you want to have something good pick it up at the duty-free.
As far as packing goes, bring as little as possible as they weigh everything. If you do have extra baggage they will charge you for it.  It is not crazy expensive like some places but be prepared and have local currency.  That is the most critical part.    If you want to be a hero for the local kids bring a bunch of colored pencils and pens to give away.

Three Requirements

There are three requirements for this trip.
  1. You must have six months left on your passport to do this trip.
  2. You must also have DAN or other travel insurance.  I have DAN and I am alive today because it works.
  3. You must have trip insurance.    Get the best you can get and hope it's money well spent that the trip goes off without a hitch.  As hard as I try to make things go smooth there are things that happen beyond my control.  Obviously, there is the pandemic, but there is a chance Tonga could close its borders, A tsunami comes, the boat sinks or breaks, you get sick prior to the trip, you break your leg before the trip, or something else.   This way you are covered.  I have been doing these trips a long time and have seen a lot both things.  Insurance is the best way to protect yourself.

Payments

A non refundable deposit of $750 is required to hold your place.   50% of the balance is due March 1st, 2024 30% of balance due is due June 1st.  Balance is due upon arrival in Tonga.