Well, that’s a wrap for our whale swims in 2018!

What a brilliant time we had. Our trips enjoyed some of the best weather and whale activity we’ve ever experienced. Guests were treated to whales underwater on every day. Over the course of our two weeks, we covered a distance of 917.3 kilometres, had 72 encounters with cetaceans (whales and dolphins) totalling 24.83 hours of interaction time of which 9.01 hours was spent swimming with whales!! We encountered three species of cetacean (humpback whale, false killer whale a...

Tonga: The Last True Kingdom of the South Pacific

When Captain Cook landed in 1777 he named Tonga the friendly isles. Tonga was never conquered by Cook’s British Empire or Dutchman Abel Tasman before him.  For whatever reason, Cook’s cordial convocation with the Tu’i Tonga (Sacred King of Tonga) was the foundation for self-determining partnerships with the west. This led to a treaty of friendship with Britain, that existed from 1900 until Tonga’s full independence in 1970, giving Britain control of fore...

Dolphin Research Institute Tour to Tonga

BY Jeff Weir, Executive Director, Dolphin Research Institute The experience of being approached by a curious whale five-hundred times your size, affects people in different ways. Some scream with excitement, some concentrate on the viewfinder of their camera, others like myself, take a very deep breath and absorb the moment.  We were in the water with humpback whales off Tongatapu in Tonga’s main island group. The whales circled us, performing g...

Tonga - what is an ethical whale swim?

When I began watching and studying whales Humpbacks were only a quarter as abundant as they are today in Australia. Their population is doubling every ten years. This increase in numbers has fuelled our natural curiosity, creating a new demand for whale experiences - swimming with whales. Our kids are the first for generations to experience whales anywhere near pre-industrial whaling abundance. Ironically, whales from some regions of the world today, may...

Your Guide Dave Donnelly's Aquatic Adventures

 Two moments have defined wildlife expert Dave Donnelly’s life; one was the chance sighting of a breaching Southern Right Whale, old enough to have encountered the whaling industry’s dying days and close enough to intrigue a curious 13 year-old. An enchanting encounter. The second was tragic and brutal, but we’ll get to that. Both moments led him to a life of undersea exploring, an affection for silver wetsuits, an obsession with Orcas and the chance...

What does it take to get a 'really good swim'

There are a lot of videos and photos of whale encounters on the internet but these only represent the highlights of a tour. If you're thinking of going to Tonga, we thought it would be useful for to know, what to expect and how long it takes to get one of those life-changing moments!Over the past three years, we've collected data on: number of hours on the water; distance covered; number of pods encountered (and number of animals in each); and duration of encounter. The data also d...

FAQs Whale Swims

HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT? Swimming with whales isn't something that's particularly natural. It's surprisingly difficult to get the type of experience you're probably thinking of.  ITINERARY AND INCLUSIONSFor more information about what's included and what to expect, read here or download our brochure. ______________