- As of April 1, 2023 – Tonga no longer requires COVID-19 Vaccination for foreign travelers.
These trips take place in Vava’u, Tonga. Where is Tonga? It’s near Fiji! Go ahead and take a look on Google Maps!
- Smiles and Fun: Our Humpback swims provide an amazing lifetime experience that can be enjoyed by a solo traveler or in a SMALL group that will leave you wanting more.
- Top Accommodations: The island of Vava’u is small and quite undeveloped, there are not many places to stay. We book our accommodations years in advance, to ensure our guests have some of the best options available for their stay.
- Weather: The weather can be flat calm or you can have rough seas and everything in between — it’s the ocean, after all. We go out to sea as long as our captain says it’s safe. You should expect to be out on the boat all day; we don’t come back to dock unless there is an emergency on board. The water temp is roughly 77 F (25 C), and you will want to bring a boating jacket for wind protection.The whales visit Tonga outside of cyclone season, so there is no concern regarding cyclones.
INCLUDED IN THE COST
- Hot Breakfast
- Lunches on whale swim days
- Best Boat in Vava’u
- Whale Sim Days
- Return Ground Transport from VAV airport
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
- International Airfare
- Domestic Airfare
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory) * Must include evacuation coverage*
- Crew Gratuity
Well, that’s up to you! Fins, mask, wetsuit and snorkel are not included in the tour. Gear quickly deteriorates in Tonga during the summer months, as the humidity in Tonga is quite unbearable. We spend so much time on the water, nobody wants to deal with fins that sort of fit, a mask that fogs all the time, or a wetsuit that doesn’t keep you warm. So we strongly advise bringing your own gear. We have amazing fins that you can rent for $100 USD per week.
- Wetsuit or swimsuit (We wear a 3mm full wetsuit in the water)
- Boat jacket
Let’s not forget about cameras to capture this amazing experience to share with your friends and family!
- Well, it’s the ocean, so you never know, we can’t guarantee anything. However, these trips are scheduled during the peak season to optimize the chance of great encounters. We are quite confident that you will get in the water with the whales.
- Swimming with the whales is a craft. Knowledge and respect for these animals go hand-in-hand to create a good encounter. Being able to read the whales, how comfortable they are, and giving them space when they need it — we implement many tactics borne of experience to help ensure long, safe, and fun encounters for our guests and the whales
- All our guides and skippers are local to Vava’u and are great watermen, with years of on- and in-water experience in local waters. They’re a great team with high respect and regard within the community and industry. All our guides and skippers are local to Vava’u and are great watermen, with years of on- and in-water experience in local waters. They’re a great team with high respect and regard within the community and industry, Bottom line…they know what they’re doing, and they are good at it!
- The humpback whale trips are snorkeling only; There is no need for freediving experience or a diving certification as most of the whale encounters happen at the surface.
- These encounters are quite intimate and special. We work as a group when in the water, and we stay close to one another, making sure we don’t spook the whales or cause them any stress. You will see on your tour that every encounter is different, and some whales will be much more interactive than others.
- There is a lot of respect for the whales and for these in-water encounters with them in Tonga. Another boat will never come and jump in on your whale encounter. If a boat is with a whale, it’s their whale until they sign off to another boat, if there is one in the area.
- To travel independently you must be at least 18 years old. There are no upper age limits for most of our tours.
- We suggest October tours for kids under 17 as the whales are much more settled, and it will be easier for your children.
- Group size is key to having a great time with the whales in Tongan, the whale-swimming laws in Tonga allow for four guests in the water, plus the accredited guide, which equals five people in the water at a time. Guests will rotate turns in and out of the water.
- Day boats take anywhere from eight to 12 people out on a boat — our boats have a maximum of six guests.
- Each group takes turns in the water; the group on the boat takes a little time to relax or photograph surface activity, which can be just as thrilling!
- A single supplement rooms are available for single travellers, however prices will vary based on the trip chosen by the traveller, for me information please contact us
All trips require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 USD to confirm and reserve your spot on any trip. Each trip offers different due dates on payments leading up to the actual trip. 2022 Payment Plan is as follows :
- $1000 USD deposit
- 50% of the remaining balance is due on January 15, 2022
- Final balance is due on April 15, 2022
You can pay using a credit card with a 3.5% processing fee or, if you live in the United States, you can pay via an online bank transfer for $25 USD. You can also ask to pay via bank wire.
Tips are not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion. We generally advise 10% – 20% of the tour cost. These tips go directly to the boat crew, who work long hard hours, making sure we swim with whales and have a great time.
90 days or more: 20% of the trip cost + deposit Less than 90 days: 100% cancellation fee
- Due to limited space, our clients tend to book their whale tours a year in advance before their trip. The sooner the better!
- To sign up for your trip please click on the “Book Now” button to reserve your space for a trip. Once we have received your non-refundable deposit, your space will be confirmed. Please note that all our trips offer payment plans to suit each budget.
- Our clients have experienced a fantastic time at the accommodations at Mystic Sands, Naturally beautiful caves and and snorkeling in beautiful natural caves
- It is illegal to operate a business on Sundays in Tonga. There are a few restaurants and resorts open for meals, however, you will see that most things are closed, even the airport. These can be great days to visit the local church and see how the locals spend their day. Usually, we head over to a resort and relax for the day on the beach.
Visitors from most countries do not need a visa to enter Tonga (for a period of no longer than 31 days). These include
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cook Islands
- Czech Republic
- Federated States of Micronesia
- French Polynesia (New Caledonia, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna)
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Republic of Korea
- The Solomon Islands
- St Kitts & Nevis
- St Lusia
- St Vincent & the Grenadines
- The Bahamas
- United Kingdom & Northern Ireland
- United States of America
Please note, visitors from all other countries need visas prior to arrival. If you do require a visa, it is always best to make those inquiries with a travel agent or contact the Tongan Immigration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +676 26 696 or +676 26 970. Tonga Visitors Bureau Tel: +676 25 334 Fax: +676 23 507 Email: email@example.com
Your Tour Organizer: Nadia Aly
Our tours are managed by Destination Tonga, a tourism management company, located in Tonga, and owned by Nadia Aly. Nadia is an award winning underwater photographer who leads numerous expeditions around the world throughout the year.