This journey brings participants to two regions of French Polynesia to experience something like no other: swimming with humpback whales. These gentle giants are incredibly sentient and aware, and the quality of our interactions with them will depend on our ability to demonstrate that we mean them no harm. In addition to whales, we will also swim with sharks and there's a great chance we'll also see dolphins, turtles, rays and of course tons of fish.
Our first stop is Rurutu-- known as the island of whales-- where we spend our first four days. Located five hundred kilometres south of Tahiti, Rurutu is part of the remote and rarely visited Austral Archipelago. The island is surrounded by a fringe reef, making it an ideal breeding spot for humpbacks. Each year, hundreds of humpbacks migrate from the frigid, nutrient rich waters of Antarctica to this region to birth and raise their calves. With just under 2,500 inhabitants, Rurutu is a quiet, traditional Polynesian paradise with palm fringed beaches accessible all over the island.
We begin our days at 6am for breakfast, before leaving from the shore at 7am on our private boat for a full day's journey in search of whales. Our days each end at 5pm, when we return to shore in time to relax, lounge on the beach and explore the island. Every evening we host an optional photography and editing lesson and brief for the next morning.
After our stay on Rurutu, we return by plane to the island of Tahiti and transfer by ferry to Moorea for four more days of adventure. Moorea also has a significant population of humpbacks who make the migration north, as well as dolphins, reef sharks, sea turtles and rays, all of which are relatively common along the reefs that surround the island. We start our days early, spending our mornings and early afternoons searching out oceanic wildlife to explore and swim with. For those looking to try some diving or explore the rugged inland of the island, we will have one day for optional excursions as well before returning to Tahiti to fly home.
August 13-21, 2018
Starting in: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Ending in: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Activities: 9-day underwater trip
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Want to learn more about this trip? Check out the full itinerary for descriptions on our daily activities, a list of highlights, and images from this location.