Each year Tonga plays host to the migration of the awesome Humpback Whale. These creatures migrate annually from their feeding grounds in Antarctica, along the New Zealand coast, to the Kingdom of Tonga where they stay to court, mate and calve between June and October, with late July through September being the peak season for whale watching in Tonga.
Hunted until 1979 for their oil, meat and bone, scientists now pursue humpbacks for knowledge while travelers seek them for the thrill of their lives. Nai'a journeys every year to the exotic Kingdom of Tonga to bring guests the close whale encounters of a lifetime. Join marine naturalists and filmmakers such as Rob Barrel and Cat Holloway, aboard Nai'a and among Tonga's curious and captivating tribe of humpback whales. Swim and dive with the planet's most mysterious and magical marine giants among remote and pristine coral atolls and reefs.
The excursions start 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, except the fishing canoes 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, the Nai'a crews 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. They always plan to do at least one and sometimes more dives each day. In the past, they have had great luck scuba diving with whales! Night dives are also a spectacular option on coral reefs.
Water temperature in Tonga during winter are between 24-26C (75-77F). Visibility on most dives sites is 30-40m (100-150ft) and can reach up to 60 meters (200 ft)! Air temperature ranges from 21C-30C (low 70s to 85F).