Humpback whales migrate from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the Kingdom of Tonga, where they stay from July through September to court, mate and calve.
Tonga Humpback Whales
Every year since 1996 NAI'A has voyaged to Tonga to conduct expeditions among the humpback whales who have traveled north from the Antarctic to mate and give birth in Tonga's (relatively) warm tropical waters.
NAI'A's 9-day trips begin in Tonga's capital "city" of Nuku'alofa and extend north into the untrammeled coral atoll wilderness of the Ha'apai Group, where the greatest number of humpback whale pods are found -- but almost no other boats, save the small timber fishing boats of villagers.
Sailing throughout this maze of islands and reefs, the location and activity of the whales largely determines the precise course of each new day. These are wild animals and this is no zoo! However, our experience has proven the mornings to be the best time for whale spotting and swimming encounters. Later in the afternoon NAI'A finds a safe evening anchorage near a dive site. We always plan to do at least one and sometimes more dives each day. Night dives are also a spectacular option on coral reefs.
From the sight of the first breach at dawn, to the silhouette of whales resting at sundown, these expeditions are a special and rare kind of ocean adventure in a particularly picturesque part of the world. It's no wonder the whales like it here.
Swimming with humpback whales is a rare treat. We have over 20 years’ experience choosing the right whales to help you enjoy the best encounter possible.
“We loved every minute of our time with you in Tonga! It could not have been any better. Each and every member of the NAI’A team was outstanding and each of you made our whale expedition unforgettable. The whales, the hospitality, the guides, the skiff driving, the dinners and the singing and kava… Everything was wonderful. It was the best honeymoon ever!”
~ Buzz & Ellie