2017 Tonga Humpback Tours

Join us to swim with Humpback Whales in Vava’u, Tonga!

September & October is a great time to be in Vava’u Tonga!

The humpacks are used to us being in the water with them, the calves are frisky and friendly and their mothers are chilled out and relaxed !
The weather in October is warming up and usually there are plenty of beautiful sunny days!

We offer personally-escorted, all inclusive, small group ‘snorkelling with whales’ eco-tours tours, with longer days and more time in the water for you – there are NO hidden costs.

Our tours include 7, 8, or 9 nights at beautiful, tropical island or boutique-style accommodation, with friendly and welcoming hosts, delicious food, snorkelling on reefs and in caves, and definitely lots of fun! We also include airport transfers in Vava’u.

We have been operating our swim with whales tours in Vava’u, Tonga for 17 years and our dedicated and passionate crew know how to take care of every detail of your time with us, therefore offering a humpback whale experience your will never, ever forget!

Join us in Vava’u! We want to share this amazing WhaleSwim Adventure with you!

PLEASE NOTE:  SPECIAL ‘Short-Stay’ packages, day trips or boat charters
(Tonga only 3 – 5 nights & Day-Trips during 26 Sept/5 Oct (only) 2017!  Click for dates and  prices!

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Yes, we do still have a few spaces available for 2017!  ONLY tours with spaces available are shown on this page

2017: ‘Island Bliss’ Tours | 9-nights & 7 days on the water with the whales

#1017E    26 September – 5 October 2017    Spaces Available: 5

Prices per person:

Double Bungalow: with king-size bed: AUD$5,950                  Twin Bungalow: with 2 x Queen beds: AUD$5,950
Single Bungalow: with king-size bed:  AUD$6,650
Triple Share Bungalow: 2 adjoining rooms with 4 x Queen beds & 2 ensuite bathrooms AUD$5,780

Tour Inclusions:

  • 9 nights Polynesian-style bungalow accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, at fabulous island resort out in whale nursery
  • All meals – great food | in-house restaurant | a beach BBQ | Traditional Tongan food night
  • 7 full days on the water with the whales guided by certified/experienced/passionate Guides | education/research data collection
  • Opportunities to snorkel on coral reefs | in spectacular caves | beach-comb on uninhabited islands
  • Airport & boat transfers in Vava’u
  • Beach bonfire | board games| beach petanque | snorkelling reef offshore at resort | kayaks available. Lots of fun!

Itinerary:

Arrival Day: We meet you at Vava’u airport | transfer to town | Welcome Lunch |transfer to the island – Dinner.
Day 1: Breakfast | pickup by whaleswim boat from the beach | boat briefing | ‘how to swim with whales’ training (how to have great encounters!) | out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to island resort around 4.30pm | dinner.
Day 2 – 5: Breakfast | pickup by whaleswim boat from beach | out with the whales & lunch | return to island resort around 4.30pm | dinner.
Day 6: Sundays are a compulsory holiday in Tonga. A day to go kayaking, snorkelling, enjoy the beautiful beach or just relax and read a book.
Day 7 & 8: Breakfast | pickup by whaleswim boat from beach | out with the whales & lunch | return to island resort around 4.30pm | Farewell dinner last night.
Day 9: Breakfast | End of tour | transfer to the airport

Click Here to Book this Tour

2017: ‘Encounters with Gentle Giants | 7-nights & 5 days on the water with the whales

#1047H  3 – 10 October 2017        Spaces Available: 4

Prices per person:

Double Room: King or Queen bed  AUD$4,175                                 Twin Room: 2 x large single beds  AUD$4,175
Single Room:   King or Queen bed  AUD$4,730                                Triple Room: Large room with 3 beds AUD$4,120

Tour Inclusions:

  • 7 nights in boutique villa/hotel with ensuite bathrooms.
  • All meals except 3 evening meals – free nights to experience. some local restaurants or a traditional Tongan feast |  great food at the villa and fun indoor/outdoor bar.
  • 5 full days on the water with the whales guided by our certified/experienced/passionate Guides | education/research data collection.
  • Opportunities to snorkel in coral reefs | in underwater caves | beach-comb on uninhabited islands.
  • Airport & boat transfers in Vava’u.
  • Lots of fun!

Itinerary:

Arrival Day: We meet you at Vava’u airport | transfer to hotel | Welcome Dinner
Day 1: Breakfast | transfer to jetty board whaleswim boat |boat briefing | how to swim with whales training (how to have great encounters!) | out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to jetty around 4.30pm | transfer to hotel | dinner.
Day 2: Breakfast |transfer to jetty – board whaleswim boat|out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to jetty around 4.30pm | transfer to hotel | dinner (you have 3 free evenings during your tour to experience the restaurants in town or attend a traditional Tonga feast)
Day 3: Sunday’s are a compulsory holiday in Tonga. A day to go kayaking, snorkelling, enjoy a beautiful beach or just relax and read a book.
Day 4 – 6: Breakfast | transfer to jetty – board whaleswim boat |out with the whales & lunch |arrive island resort around 4.30 | Farewell dinner on last night.
Day 7: Breakfast | End of tour | transfer to the airport

Click Here to Book this Tour

2017: ‘SPECIAL Photography Enthusiasts Tour with Larry Bead | 7-nights & 5 days on the water with the whales

#1047G  14 – 21 September 2017 Photography Enthusiasts Tour with Larry Beard   Spaces left: 4

Click Here for more information.   Larry’s website www.store.lbeard.com  @larrybeard

Double or Twin Room with ensuite bathroom: AUD$5,170 per person
Solo Traveller to share twin room with ensuite bathroom: AUD$5,170 per person
Single Room with ensuite bathroom: AUD$5,700

Tour Inclusions:

  • 7 nights in boutique villa/hotel/bar & restaurant – with ensuite bathrooms.
  • All meals except 3 evening meals – free nights to experience. some local restaurants or a traditional Tongan feast |  great food at the villa and fun indoor/outdoor bar.
  • 5 full days on the water with the whales guided by our certified/experienced/passionate Guide and Larry Beard advising on aspects of photography for best images possible.
  • Opportunities to snorkel and photograph coral reefs | underwater caves | beach-comb on uninhabited islands.
  • Learn camera photographing techniques
  • A textured fine art print of your best image taken over the 5 days. A beautiful keep-sake.
  • Evening sessions to process images with Larry
  • Airport & boat transfers in Vava’u.
  • 6 guests ONLY
  • Lots of fun!

Itinerary:

Arrival Day: We will meet you at Vava’u airport | transfer to guest house | Welcome Dinner
Day 1: Breakfast | transfer to jetty board whaleswim boat |boat briefing | how to swim with whales training (how to have great encounters!) | camera & photography advice | out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to jetty around 3.00 – 4.00pm | transfer to guesthouse | image processing session | free evening
Day 2: Breakfast |transfer to jetty – board whaleswim boat|camera & photography advice | out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to jetty around 4.00pm | transfer to guesthouse|image processing session | free evening to experience the restaurants in town, attend a traditional Tonga feast and other local evening events & entertainment.
Day 3: Sunday’s are a compulsory holiday in Tonga. A perfect opportunity to photograph the people, scenery, churches around the town and island of vava’u and workshop-session.
Day 4 – 6: Breakfast |transfer to jetty – board whaleswim boat|camera & photography advice | out with the whales & lunch | lots of fun | return to jetty around 4.00pm | transfer to guesthouse|image processing session | free evening to experience the restaurants in town, attend a traditional Tonga feast and other local evening events & entertainment | Farewell dinner on last night.
Day 7: Breakfast | End of tour | transfer to the airport

Click Here to Book this Tour

Information for Photography Tour with Larry Beard

  • Each day we will be on the water with the whales from 7.30am – 3.- 3.30pm leaving time for Image Processing sessions in the early evenings and on Sundays
  • We will be given the itinerary with scheduled times to the 5 days, at the Welcome dinner on your arrival day.
  • You have 3 free evenings to arrange your dinner at restaurants of your choice.
  • Whether you are new to underwater photography or a seasoned photographer, this tour is suitable to all levels of photography experience.
  • You will need to bring your own underwater camera to get the most out of this tour – anything from a compact UW camera to a full DSLR in an underwater housing. A wide-angle lense is highly recommended too! Please note, we will not be using strobes when photographing the whales.
  • There will also be ample opportunities for land based photography so bring your favourite lenses and tripods too.
  • Most days, we will put aside time for post-production sessions, to get the most from your images. This will be predominantly Lightroom based (and a small amount of Photoshop) so please bring your own laptop if you have one, with software already loaded and updated.
  • Due to the remote nature of the location, please ensure you bring spare batteries, chargers, memory cards and accessories as this equipment will not be available to purchase in town.
  • Contact Larry to discuss cameras and what gear to bring.   larry@lbeard.com

 

Your Tour Leaders

Annah Evington

Annah is a valued, long time member of the WhaleSwim team.  She is passionate about sharing her deep love of all things ocean and Pacific with you. Annah is our Tours Manager in Tonga and your Tour Leader on our ‘Island Bliss’ and ‘Whales in Paradise’ tours. She is a Qualified/Certified WhaleSwim Guide and will be right there for your in-the-water experiences!

Claire Hodgson

Claire is Tour Leader and Qualified/Certified WhaleSwim Guide for our ‘Encounters with Gentle Giants’ tours.  She has a wonderful way with people and her sense of humour will endear her to you. Claire lives in Adelaide some of the year and the whale season in Vava’u.

 

About our Tours –
to find the informationfor each title below – click the title (with light blue background) and the information will drop down!

Why we do packaged tours and do not operate day-trips

What's not included in our tours

Our Terms & Conditions

Getting to Vava'u, Tonga

Accommodation in Tongatapu (the main island of Tonga)

Accommodation in the Vava'u Islands

Gear you will need to bring

Experience required

How many people in the group?

Why you will have longer time in the water on a WhaleSwim Adventure

Your days in Vava'u & on the water

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you guarantee seeing whales?

Q: Do you guarantee being able to swim with the whales?

Q: What is the average snorkelling time that I could expect to have every day with the whales?

Q: Can we scuba dive with the whales?

Q: Can we swim off with the whales?

Q: How long is the day on the water with the whales?

Q: When is the best time during the season to see whales and where?

Q: What month during the whale season is the best weather?

Q: I am a Solo traveller and would like to share a room?

Q: Can I use a drone on the whaleswim boat?

Q: Do I need seasick tablets?

Q: Are the boats safe?

Q: Can my children join a Whaleswim tour?

Q: Can WhaleSwim Adventures book my International or Domestic airfares?

Q: I would like to apply for a job as guide, researcher or volunteer with your tours to swim with the whales.

Your Accommodation

Mala Island Resort

Mala Island Resort is a perfect paradise island in the middle of the humpback whale ‘nursery’, with a snorkelling reef just off the beautiful white sandy beach.

Enjoy lovely Polynesian-style fales (bungalows) some with king beds and others with 2 x Queen beds – all with ensuite bathrooms and verandah. All bungalows are being upgraded with new furniture, beautiful 100% cotton bedding and towels – all overlooking the fabulous beach and turquoise lagoon.

Fresh delicious meals prepared by manager/chef Teresa James (ex-owner of Reef Resort) who is renown for her food and her personal service – nothing is too much trouble.

Your time there will include: great food, a bonfire on the beach with Tongan music, fresh coconuts, kayaks, beach games and more.

Vava’u Villa & Glam-Tent Hotel

Your hosts Ian and Vanessa Jones are fun people and have created an amazing adjoining business with sustainability in mind with their coconut & vanilla production. Along with their team, they will make you very welcome and make sure your stay with them is as memorable as your encounters with the whales!

The rooms in the villa are light and airy with a distinctively Tongan motif and comfortable beds provide you with a quiet and relaxing refuge. The sheets are made from 100% high quality linen fabric and you have a choice of pillows for extreme comfort.  Personal Wifi is available in your room.

Vanessa is a foodie and her food is fresh and delicious (much of it from her on-site organic vegetable garden!) and full of local and international flavours.

You will enjoy the friendly bar too. They make excellent cocktails and have a good range of local and international beer as well as spirits and liqueurs.  They have an outdoor fire in the bar, perfect place to enjoy a drink and a chat on the cooler evenings. You will get to meet some of the locals here too!

The beautiful Glamping Tents have full en-suite bathrooms and will have timber floors before July 2017. It is a unique glam-camping experience – with all the comforts of a standard hotel room, but in a tent. Temperatures July – October are typically 19C – 22C at night and 24C – 26C during the day.

Vava’u Villa and Glam-Tent Hotel sits amidst a tropical paradise with cool ocean breezes and a cozy home away from home atmosphere. It is the very best place to rest your mind and soul.

    

 

 

 

Rooms in the Villa with ensuite bathrooms



 

A glimpse at how to watch humpback whales underwater: Doug Allan’s amazing whale encounters in Tonga
while filming for the incredible BBC ‘Blue Planet’ series.