HUMPBACK WHALES

Tonga

September 2-13, 2017

August 18-27, 2018

September 8-17, 2018

  • Whale Experience: 28 years
  • Where: Blue Lagoon Resort, Vava’u, Tonga
  • Duration: 9 days whale watching
  • Max No. of Guests: 6
  • Pricing: Please Inquire Below
  • Vessel: Tonga Tango
  • Activities: Snorkeling, free diving & photography
  • Temperature:
    • Water 82 – 86° F (27 – 30° C)
    • Land (day) 82 – 90° F ( 27 – 32C)

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ITINERARYDETAILSTERMS—CONDITIONS
Day 1:
September 2. Arrive Tonga capital city Nuku’alofa and connect with a domestic flight to Vava’u. If you leave from the USA, you may choose to fly to Fiji and Royal Tonga Airline and Air Fiji has a direct
flight to Vava’u avoiding the need to fly to the capital and use another domestic flight. Upon arrival to Vava’u a representative of Blue Lagoon will be waiting for you at the airport for a short drive to Port.
From Port you will be whisked by water taxi for about one hour reaching the outskirts of Vava’u atoll to the picturesque Blue Lagoon. Upon arriving you will assigned to your shared accommodations.
Prepare you free diving gear, go play at the lagoon and attend the dive briefing for the next days. Blue Lagoon will you be your wonderful home, to dive, eat sleep and relax for the next 11 nights and 12 days.Days 2 – 11:
September 3 – 12. You will have 9 incredible days of whale watching, “soft adventure” free diving with the gentle giant – Humpback whales. You have exclusive use of the best vessel on the island, the “Tango Tonga” Zodiac, that is fast, quiet and easy water exit and entry. Reminder – the island is strict observer of Sunday – there is no diving operation on that day by the crew. You may prepare days prior for use of Kayaks or visiting another island. To do this consult your local dive guide.Day 12:
September 13. After another great breakfast, the water taxi will whisk you back to the Vava’u port and by vehicle transfer to the airport to catch your departing flights. It will be hard to say goodbye to such
an amazing location and experience. History has proven that many guests will book a return trip back to this magical area.

Humpback Whales

After what is likely extensive travel, you arrive in the Kingdom of Tonga. This utopian archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean is made up of 170 islands divided into three regions: Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u. Soon you are enjoying the beautiful views of Blue Lagoon Resort on Foiata Island in Vava’u. After settling into one of the picturesque fales (cabins) and relaxing to the incredible backdrop of green trees, blue water, and the calming sounds of the ocean at your doorstep, you’ll be ready for whales.

First thing in the morning, you’ll gear up and get on the boat to begin searching for humpbacks. Before long you see blows and breaches and it’s tempting to jump right in. It is entirely up to the discretion of the guide whether or not we enter the water with a whale.

Our guides work with these animals nearly every day so they know what behaviors to watch for and if the whales will be receptive to an interaction. We never chase whales; we only approach them with respect and let them dictate the terms of the encounter.

After an hour on the water, it seems we have found the perfect whales: a mother humpback and her young calf calmly hanging near the surface. The water is glassy, clear, and perfectly blue. The sun’s rays are reflecting up through the sea, creating a vortex of light beams shooting up from the depths. You slip quietly into the water and slowly approach the whales. You watch them and they watch you back. The baby obviously wants to get closer, but the mother hasn’t decided yet if she approves of this.

Blue Lagoon

The accommodations aren’t the only spectacular part of Blue Lagoon. The food is also wonderful and our host, Feleti, is an incredible story tellers and great chef, who was actually the King’s chef for many years until 2007. Our diving vessel, the Tonga Tango, only takes five guests and one adventure leader/photographer, Amanda Cotton.
The interaction policy in Tonga is only four swimmers at the time to interact with a willing mother & calf, unless advised otherwise by the experience skipper.

Another unique feature of our expedition is that you will not be restricted to just snorkeling on the surface. We observe the restriction of no free diving to protect mother and calf while nursing. However in the right time according to the local skipper, you will be permitted to free dive down to film and photograph the whales in their element. Being able to interact with them on a more intimate level like this is ideal.

Sundays are down days, and this break will give you the chance to explore by kayak the warm, protected waters of Blue Lagoon for which the resort is named. Beautiful rooms, delicious food, great company, a spectacular view, and one of the ocean’s most charismatic giants all in one place.

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES

  • Airport pick up, Vava’u
  • Water tax to Blue Lagoon from Vava’u (60 minute ride)
  • 11 nights accommodations at Blue Lagoon double occupancy
  • All meals, breakfast, lunch box & dinner
  • 9 days exclusive use of the Tonga Tango
  • Only 5 guests plus Amanda Cotton, Expedition Leader

TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International and domestic airfare
  • Hotel arrangement other than mentioned above
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Independent transfers and touring Gratuities to crew
  • Single occupancy
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Unused part of the itinerary

PAYMENT & DEPOSIT POLICY

When we receive your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive and detailed Trip Preparation Bulletin about the experience and the destination. All trip costs are subject to change without prior notice until your reservation is confirmed.

  • A deposit of 33% of the total trip price is required to secure space on the trip.
  • Full payment is due no later than 90 days before departure.
  • We reserve the right to sell any space that is not paid in full by 60 days before departure.
  • Cancellation Policy
    • Must be made in writing.
    • More than 90 days before trip: Deposit will be refunded in full.
    • 90 days or less before trip: Deposit will be refunded if space is sold, less unrecoverable costs of sales, and administration costs.
    • No refund is made for unused part of the itinerary.
  • The following are subject to change:
    • Cost of services which are not included in the expedition price
    • Flight time and schedule
    • Weather, water temperature, and animal behavior

Insurance: you MUST provide proof of travel and diving insurance

Question — how can we help?

 

Amanda Cotton Expedition Leader

Amanda Cotton

Expedition Leader

An expert guide and professional Nikon Photographer specializing in underwater imagery, Amanda’s photos have been published in major publications and news sources worldwide including National Geographic, Discovery, Times Publishing, CNN, and Science Daily.

In addition to being an expert underwater photographer, she is also an excellent coach who will happily work one-on-one with you to ensure you get the best possible shots of the sharks.

Amanda is honored to be a member of of The Women Divers Hall of Fame, The Explorers Club, a member of OAS (Ocean Artists Society), and a recognized shark expert, who’s gentle and friendly style is appreciated by both sharks and guests alike.

HUMPBACK WHALES
PHOTO GALLERY
 

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