swim with whales

Swimming with Whales

June 5, 2022 in Experience

Swimming with Whales in Tahiti

Weighing up to a ton and about the length of a VW bus (10-15 feet), a baby humpback whale nosing up beside you is a breathtaking experience. Now picture her mother, weighing more than 40 tons and at a maximum length of 60 feet as she approaches with amazing grace for a creature the size of a semi-truck. Taking in both together or in a pod of multiple whales and you have a scene which is nothing short of awe-inspiring. 

When people recount their first time swimming with whales in Tahiti they describe it as an almost magical or surreal experience. There are very few places in the world where you can still swim with humpback whales. These majestic creatures come to The Islands of Tahiti from August to October to birth their young in the tranquil and clear waters that are perfect for whale watching. As marine mammals, female humpback whales have live births and may have one baby every two to three years. 

French Polynesia was classified as an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a wildlife sanctuary where, among other things, drift fishing is prohibited, earning French Polynesia top honors from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

swimming with whales
©Gregory Lecoeur

Swim with Humpback Whales in Tahiti

During the right time of year you can book tours to swim with humpbacks whales and dolphins, as well as other species who may wander by including pilot whales, rough toothed dolphins, spinner dolphins, and many species of shark and rays. Whale watching is a regulated activity in The Islands of Tahiti and the territory authorizes professionals who specialize in these types of excursions. Always book your boat tour with an accredited tour guide who follows certain rules such as maintaining a safe distance, letting the whales approach you and never chasing or blocking their path. Swimming with these majestic creatures is a great privilege for visitors who often leave feeling somewhat transformed by the experience.  

Swimming with humpback whales in Moorea, Tahiti and Bora Bora is very common. Moorea is a particularly popular place to have small group tours for ocean adventures to see marine wildlife. When whale watching is not in season you can still do lots of activities on Moorea, including snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, as well as sharks and rays. You can also swim with humpback whales in the Austral Islands a little further south than Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea. These islands are a little more remote but can offer an incredible whale watching experience. 

Please note that humpback whales are a protected species in The Islands of Tahiti. Thus, some observation rules must be respected.



swimming with whales in Tahiti
©Gregory Lecoeur

Book your trip with a Tahiti vacation specialist to help plan your trip to swim with whales and dolphins in Tahiti and other islands.