Whale Watching Experience

Whale Watching Experience
Price: $145.00
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Small
Shore Excursion Type Scenic, Water/Beach
Shore Excursion Duration 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level ? Easy
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? An approximately 5 minute walk from the Cruise Pier.
Food/Beverage Provided Tea, juices, and cookies are included.
Recommended Dress We recommend wearing your bathing suit under comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and walking shoes. A towel, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen is suggested. .
Restrictions Guests must be able to step in and out of the vehicle and boat. Children under 12 must be in a life jacket. Participants must be 8 to snorkel and be accompanied by an adult. Pregnant women are prohibited from snorkeling/swimming with the whales. This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible.

Whale Watching Experience

Every year over the same time period, humpback whales come to French Polynesia from Antarctica to breed and give birth before returning to feed in the colder waters when the newborn calves are strong enough to make the migration. The peak season is between August and the beginning of November, which always punctuates the year for Polynesians and is also called the whale tree, heralding in the arrival of the whales to Tahiti. Encounters during this period are very frequent, and one can often encounter the whales in solitary or with their offspring.

Board your boat with your professionally trained guide who will have the skills to determine the whale's activity phases (such as socializing, resting, or moving). Unlike other places for whale-watching (Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada), here it is much more intimate and respectful as the mammals are sheltered from their natural off-shore predators. Polynesia has been declared a Marine Mammal Sanctuary and there has been a moratorium on whale-hunting since 1986. Whale-watching is regulated and a permit has been required since 2002.

Observe the whales as your boat guide will adopt a proper behavior so that they are respected and not bothered. You can see whales from a distance when they breach or expel water from their blowholes. The boat will slowly approach to line up with the whales' path without actually pursuing them.

If conditions are suitable and the whales are in a resting phase, the tour guide determines the best time to get into the water with flippers, diving masks, and snorkels. Before your encounter with this fascinating creature, it is customary to listen to the males sing by putting your head underwater. The magic happens when a whale approaches your group to let you admire its magnificence. You will be guided by one of the team members to ensure your safety and to maximize your enjoyment.

Upon your return boat ride a light snack and beverages are served as you share this memorable experience with the others on board.

Please Note: Descending into the water with the whales is not guaranteed. Also, if you wish to bring your own snorkeling gear, you can certainly do so; however, please let us know in advance.

5 Stars5.0 / 5  |  4 ReviewsReview This Tour
Great experience!
October 26, 2018
This trip was run by two young French men with a third assistant. They picked us up in their fast and modern dive boat right next to the cruise ship dock. Our guide spoke excellent english and was very knowledgeable about the whales and where to find them. We entered the water on 2 occasions and where able to swim over both whales (mother and pup) and reef sharks. Our guides showed particular attention to safety while we were in the water and equipment provided (wet suit, snorkel and fins) was of high quality and in good condition. This was an excellent experience!
Reviewer: Paul van de Bospoort
5 Stars
Awesome experience
November 11, 2017
There was a little mix up about where to meet. But they found us and of we went. The crew were outstanding and we found a Mother and calf and in the water we went. I could not believe we actually did it. Overall the highlight of our trip.
Reviewer: Tracey Smith
5 Stars
Humpback whales
October 31, 2017
Snorkeled with the mama and baby. The best thing to do ever. Absolutely incredible. A must do!
Reviewer: Mike Hafkey
5 Stars
October 16, 2017
absolute magic, a once in a life time experience. Met eye to eye with a whale calf, hope he got the experience I did. Crew were great, lots of information, and after a first time fail, got a group of us in the water and up close to a mother and calf. 12 out of 10!
Reviewer: Robin Dunlop
5 Stars