Dream Trip - Swim with Whales in Tonga and then spend a week diving the Bligh Waters of Fiji
Hosted by Douglas J Hoffman & Volivoli Beach Resort
September 11 - September 28, 2025
This trip combines swimming with whales and Scuba Diving the most colorful and vibrant reefs in Fiji
This is a once-in-a-lifetime Dream Trip Limited To Six People
$9,885 per person.
The adventure begins with 9 nights and 7 days of private boat charter in Vavau' Tonga, and continues with 9 nights and 8 days of boat diving the famous Bligh Water in Fiji.Guests will fly into Nadi Fiji and connect to Vavau, Tonga. We will be met airport and taken to our guest house. Each room has two queen beds and private bathroom. Breakfast is provided each morning, as is lunch on the boat. We are on our own for dinners and lunch on Sunday. There are several restaurants within a 5 -10 minute walk, and the guest house has a full kitchen so we can cook whatever we want.
We have the boat for 7 days of private charter. The goal for the trip is to find a mother and calf that are displaying behavior we know from experience may develop into an extended mutual interaction. This is when the whales accept us and float along with us for multiple breathing cycles.
Most females breathe every 20 minutes or so. Calf’s on the other hand need to breathe every 4-5 minutes. This means the baby is hanging with mom and going to the surface a lot. When we humans behave in a nonthreatening manner and the female trusts us, she allows us to stay above her while she sleeps. After a few breathing cycles the baby usually swims close to the swimmers and puts on a show. It’s all good as long as we stay together so the female can keep an eye on us.
After our time Tonga, we will fly back to Nadi. Private transportation has been arranged to take everyone to VoliVoli Resort, which is about a 3 hour drive to the North. The resort is the gateway to the Vatu I Ra Passage, better known as the Bligh Water. Deep Upwellings and strong tidal flow between the islands create the perfect conditions for vibrant soft coral, stunning hard coral, and myriads of tropical fish to thrive. Volivoli, is the only land-based resort currently diving in these waters.
We will spend 9 nights and enjoy 20 boat dives in the Bligh Water, unlimited Nitrox and shore dives. The shoreline in front of the resort is sandy, and often mucky, but has all kinds of critters including sea horses. I have seen different anemones, & nudibranchs, as well as Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish on the house reef. The accommodations are ocean view and have two beds in each. This trip is based on double occupancy. If interested in upgrading to own room, deluxe ocean view, or to a villa with its own pool, it’s easy to do. The resort has many levels to offer.
The camera room has space for 14 big housings and is located next to the dive shop. The shop has a lot of gear available for rent which is great because I use my baggage allowance for camera equipment and rent dive gear. The compressor room is the cleanest of any dive resort I have seen which is incredible as they pump a lot of tanks. The restaurant is amazing with menu service for every meal with the exception of the Fiji Cultural Night. and BBQ night down t the beach. You can order appetizer, main, and dessert each day. The resort has three bars. One is on the beach next to the dive shop, another by the pol, and in the main dining room.
Transportation to and from the airport is included, as is Wifi, use of SUP and Kayaks at the beach.
What to Pack
Participants should make sure to have a good rain jacket, hat, sunscreen, and waterproof bag. The water temp will be about 78 degrees. Everyone is different when it comes to getting cold in the water. For Tonga, I usually wear just a long sleeve rash guard but bring a lava core hooded vest just in case. For Fiji I need a 5 mm suit.
When it comes to whale swimming we will have two groups rotate in and out of the water, in conjunction with the breathing cycles of the mom. This gives people plenty of opportunity to view from the surface as well as underwater.
As far as packing goes, bring as little as possible as they weigh everything. Fiji Airways has recently introduced a new way to buy a ticket so you can pre pay for a second piece of luggage. If you want to bring your own dive gear, and have underwater camera gear this will be necessary. The prices are not cheap but having your gear is priceless. If you want to be a hero for the local kids bring a bunch of colored pencils and pens to give away. In 2023, the airline had some issues with getting baggage from Nadi to Vavau, so just in case, bring your mask, fins, and camera in your carry on, as well as an extra pair of clothes. I have used Fiji Airways for 15 years and not had this problem before but it's smart to be prepared.
Getting there. There is no easy way to get to Tonga. Flights are not included. The good news I work with a travel agent from the resort who handles all the air and ground transportation. Audrey, work for the Resort so their is no fee for this service. Having everyone on the same master ticket just solves problems from ever arising.
There are four requirements for this trip.
- You must have six months left on your passport to do this trip.
- You must also have DAN or other travel insurance. I have DAN and I am alive today because it works.
- You must have trip insurance. Get the best you can get and hope its 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.
- By the time of the trip this may not be required but for now everyone entering Tonga must show proof of Covid vaccination.
You can pay for the trip all at once or in installments. Pay $1,500 as a non refundable retainer at sign up. Pay 30% of balance a year out, At six months before the trip another 30% is due, and the final balance is due 3 months prior to the adventure. International bank fees fluctuate and these costs are not included and will be shared by everyone going. That amount will go on last payment.
Call for further details
+1 808 870 3686
About the Dive Sites
Bligh Water & Vatu-I Ra Passage - With over 80 dive sites avaialble, here are a few of my favorites.
Arguably one of Fiji’s most famous sites. Starting just three feet from the surface this large pinnacle drops to over 900 meters. There are abundant hard and soft corals along with a cathedral-like overhang adorned with gorgonian fans. Along the pinnacle, the wall has many crevices, swim-throughs, and tunnels. This is a massive pinnacle that divers always enjoy.
Soft coral-encrusted coral heads with pinnacles that is home to marine life ranging from tiny pipefishand nudibranches, to larger pelagic fish in the blue. The entire site is fantastic with the slopes covered with soft coral and reef top with beautfil hard coral gardens. Everywhere you look there are bright colored Anthias fish darting around. My personal favorite site in Fiji.
Black Magic Mountain
Another world class pinnacle starting just 10 feet from the surface. Everywhere you look are colorful soft corals and gorgonian fans. While deep is an option,best part in my opinion is between 60 and and the surface.
Named after Captain Bligh and the famous mutiny on the Bounty this is another large pinnacle starting near the surface and dropping off into the abyss. Healthy soft coral walls can easily keep a diver busy for many hours. This is by far one of the most requested sites in Fiji.