I will be travelling to Tonga in September, mostly to swim with the whales.

If you've been, what is this like? Is it easy physically to swim in the open ocean with the whales, or hard? I'm a reasonable swimmer, but not super fit. Also, did you see many whales when you went out?


2 Answers 2


I booked for 3 days. One day didn't see whales (sea very rough). On the other 2 days, had a couple of swims each day.

I found that I needed to wear a life jacket to not get swamped. With the life jacket, I was fine. Even a wetsuit didn't give me enough buoyancy. However, the other people in the boat where fine just in their bathers.

It was 100% worth it. The water was very clear, we got pretty close to the whales. Amazing.

  • Thanks for the follow-up, glad you enjoyed it
    – meego
    Oct 16, 2023 at 14:17

We did this in Vavau about 15 years ago and it was a beautiful experience. I'm not a strong or confident swimmer but the water was lovely and you just snorkel around. We were there for a week and saw many whales, mothers with young, groups of males and larger pods. Relax and enjoy!

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