The Kingdom of Tonga is a beautiful unspoilt Pacific paradise and every year, between July and October, majestic humpbacks whale return with their calves from feeding in Antarctica, to Tonga’s warm waters where the calves were born the previous season. Tonga is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with humpbacks and, eco operator, Majestic Whale Encounters, has been running responsible whale swim holidays in Tonga for the past six years.
Unsurprisingly, the company says this season guest numbers were up substantially on 2016, due in no small measure to increased interest in both Tonga and this uniquely memorable experience.
The biggest-ever whale swim season in Tonga – both in numbers of whales and travellers – has been chronicled in two compelling short videos, shot by videographer Darren Rice who owns Sandy Beach Resort where Majestic Whale Encounters’ guests stay on the Ha’apai group of reef islands 40 minutes by air north of the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa.
Majestic Whale Encounters is offering eight 8-night whale swim tours in Tonga in 2018 with three already fully booked. Spaces on the remaining departures, in August and September 2018, are available from $4300 per person, twin-share, including local, inter-island flights, main meals, transfers and five memorable days of swimming with whales. Majestic Whale Encounters staff also remain with guests throughout the eight-day experience, assisting with the whale swims and sharing their knowledge of and love for the humpbacks.
Flights to Tonga from Australia (five hours direct) with Virgin Australia or via New Zealand are extra.
IMAGE: Whale swim,Tonga/Grant Thomas/Majestic Whale Encounters