In Tonga’s enchanting and remote Ha’apai Islands, we paddle sea kayaks, snorkel amid tropical fish, and delight in encounters with the humpback whales who migrate here annually to court, mate, and bear their young. This is one of the few places in the world where you can swim right alongside these majestic creatures, and our heart-pounding experiences may include witnessing mother-calf interactions. Swimming with whales, sea kayaking in crystalline waters, and overnights in a traditional beach lodge set on a white-sand beach—this is true adventure in the South Seas!
A very well designed itinerary, with plenty of time swimming with the whales..couldn't get enough of that! The time with the whales was the highlight of the trip.
— Jeanne S., Charlotte, NC
Tongatapu / Snorkeling / Kayaking
From Tongatapu, fly to the remote Ha’apai Islands, a group of low coral isles with miles of picture-perfect beaches. We can snorkel right out the front door of our beach lodge, with coral gardens possibly featuring Moorish idol, butterfly fish, wrasse, and clown fish. At night, we stargaze under the bright Milky Way and learn how early Polynesians used the stars to navigate.
Whale Watching / Snorkeling / Kayaking
We’re off on our search for humpback whales! To swim with a 40-ton whale in its natural environment is surely one of the biggest thrills and greatest privileges the natural world has to offer. We set out by boat in search of them, with the chance for up-close observations of the whales as they breach, “spy hop,” and slap the water with their fins. Then, with snorkel, mask, and fins, we slip into the water and swim alongside them! (All appropriate protocol for safe whale interactions is observed.) In the late afternoons, we can kayak or enjoy a bike ride around the island. On Sunday, we’ll have the opportunity to attend a church service at a village and listen to the harmonies of Tongan singing. Depart on Day 9.