Eco-Friendly Whale Watch and Whaleswim
in Vava'u Tonga

home yacht getting there tonga    

“All in one PARADISE sea adventure with WHALES”

Eoc-Friendly Whale Watching And Whaleswim tours

Melinda Sea Adventures offers the only live-aboard whale watching tours in Vava'u. Our sailing yachts are comfortable and stable and give you the opprtunity to be totally immersed with the whales. From our reviews: "Melinda Sea Adventures gave a very knowledgeable briefing. They work closely with research groups and have up-to-date information on whale movements and behaviour. We saw single whales, mother and calf pairs, groups of 7-10. One night a singer spent the night beneath the yacht and sang to us most of the the night."

Most of our guests spend from 3-6 nights onboard our comfortable yachts. Meals are delicious with an emphasis on heathly fresh vegetables, fruits and fish. Evenings can be spent reviewing photos from the day, learning more about the whales, or just relaxing under the stars..

Humpback whales in Tonga Islands

With an explosion of energy, a humpback whale raises her 40 tonnes out of the water next to the boat, then pauses for a pirouettte before crashing back into the sea, leaving us with our mouths hanging open in awe. We are lulled by the steady motion of the boat and the silence of sailing. Watching the aerial show is as spellbinding as having extraterrestrials land on your doorstep. Accommodation onboard one of our beautiful sailing yachts is the perfect way to see the Tonga whales in the tranquil and unspoiled enviroment of the Tonga islands, anchoring overnight at uninhabited islands close to the tonga whales. There is opportunity to explore the island and snorkel at each anchorage.

Humpback whales have visited Vava'u for millenia. They migrate from their summer feeding grounds in Antarctica to winter breeding and birthing grounds in Tonga's warm tropical waters. The whales start arriving in June, and most new calves are born between July and September. Boisterious courtship displays, male competition, and mothers caring for their calves make this an exciting time to be watching whales in Tonga.
By October many of the new calves are old enough to travel, and by November, most of the whales have left the Tonga islands to begin their journey south to the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica where the whales gorge themselves on
krill. They do not feed on their winter breeding grounds and must subsist on fat reserves stored in their blubber through the season.


Tonga Whale Watching Regulations

Other links:
Save the Whales sign a petition
The Great Whale Trail
Ocean Alliance
Sea Sheperd


Photos © Bruce Watkins

Protecting the Whales

Today, in most areas, humpback whales are protected but that has not always been the case. l9th Century whalers slaughtered the whales in great numbers in the Tonga islands, other South Pacific Islands and in the Antarctic. Over 200,000 Southern Hemisphere humpbacks were killed from l904 until l963, when Southern Hemisphere humpback whales were protected from commercial whaling. Tongan whaling ended in l978 when a moratorium was imposed by Royal decree. Since l99l, Tongan humpback whales have been studied and monitored by University of Auckland research teams. The researchers have identified and catalogued over 400 individuals to date. But the legacy of whaling remains, two hundred years ago, an estimated 7,000 humpbacks visited Tonga's waters, but by the time whaling was ended there were as few as 15 mature breeding females arriving annually. Recovery is happening, but it is slow, the current population is estimated at between 250-700 individuals.

Responsible Whale Watching

Whale watch operators in Tonga are aware of the delicate balance which must be maintained between viewing and harrassing the whales so they have developed a code of conduct to help insure this population of humpback whales continues to find a safe and peaceful haven in the Kingdom of Tonga. We feel that contact with these ancient and gentle creatures inspires our guests to participate in the worldwide effort to protect them. And bringing tourists to Tonga to see the whales, ensures a sustainable economic benefit to Tonga that will help them fend off the pressure from some ex-whaling nations to resume "harvesting" whales.

Melinda Sea Adventures began a program in 1998 taking groups of Tongan high school students out on our sailing boat to see the whales. In this way Tongan students get to learn about and appreciate the whales, and hopefully will want to protect them. We are committed to making sure that the whales and the ocean environment are preserved.


Melinda Sea Adventures