AS BOOKED BY EXPLORE VAVA’U
Our extensive experience exploring the Vava’u Island group has given us an intimate knowledge of every anchorage and snorkelling reef in the group. Vava’u waters are crystal clear with visibility often exceeding 30 meters.
WHALE WATCH & SWIM
If you plan to visit between July and October, we offer whale watching and swimming with the Antarctic Humpback whales as they visit Vava’u to mate and bask with their young calves. Choose between single or multi-day tours and private charters. Day tours take up to 8 guests on board, rotating up to 4 guests at a time gently slipping into the water with their licensed guide. Private charters may take more guests on board, with the understanding that we will still rotate with up to 4 guest swimmers at a time
BOATS & AMENITIES
Luminescence ~~ purpose-built 2017 aluminium, twin 150hp engines, sunshade, observation deck for spotting, bow and aft seating, ample storage for all gear, toilet, easy access in and out of the water on both sides of the boat, nice lunch, coffee/tea/water/snacks, wetsuits for flotation safety, hooded neoprene jackets to wear while on board, experienced skipper, surveyed, and licensed.
Emersion ~~ Century 3000, twin 225hp engines, sunshade, observation deck for spotting, bow and aft seating, ample storage for all gear, toilet, easy access in and out of the water on both sides of the boat, nice lunch, coffee/tea/water/snacks, wetsuits for flotation safety, hooded neoprene jackets to wear while on board, experienced skipper, surveyed, and licensed.
Enjoy a day out with our licensed crew who have many combined years of chartering, ocean cruising and local knowledge. Our crews are Tongans who have grown-up in the Vava’u islands and love to share their stunning home and culture with guests from afar.
THE DAY OUT – WHALE WATCH, SNORKEL, EXPLORE
We meet-up at the Explore Vava’u dock at the Fangafoa Marina on the Fungamisi waterfront by 7:15 am. Guidelines and Tongan law permit us 7-hours out with the whales and we usually return to the dock sometime between 1 pm and 3 pm, depending on how the day goes. We’ll suit up, have our safety briefing, sign waivers, and head out of the harbour, picking up any scheduled guests at resort docks along the way. We will be looking for whale spouts and above-water breaching and spy-hop action, hopefully have a few swims, then give the whales a break from our encounters. We’ll have a nice lunch along the way, either on the boat or on an island’s beach, and then continue the searching for and swimming with whales again. Depending on how the day goes we might have a chance to stop for a snorkel along the way, up to your Captain.
SOME DETAILS & A BIT OF THE FINE PRINT
Please remember to bring your coral-friendly sunscreen or sun cover, hats and sunglasses and to take them with you when we’re back at the dock again. Towels are not recommended as they get wet quickly. To ensure the best experience for you and everyone on board, please take your seasickness meds if you require them. You’re welcome to bring your cameras, but please be mindful with them. We highly encourage enjoying at least some of your whale encounter experiences without being behind the lens as well. Our boats are TPL insured. Additionally, we require all guests to sign a liability waiver before boarding the tour boat. Bookings are confirmed with a 25% non-refundable deposit and the balance is due and non-refundable 90-days prior. Timely payments are the guest’s responsibility and unpaid bookings may be canceled without notice. We follow Tongan law and conservation guidelines and only swim with the whales if the conditions are conducive for safety for all.