This is kind of a follow up to my previous question, which was about where I can go for whale watching on budget within 3000 USD. I am from Bangalore, India. I want to hear the songs of whales (which are loud, melodic and very musical from what I have heard).

I know it is impossible to say where a humpback whale might start singing. But is there any place where there is greater probability of hearing these sounds along with watching them?

  • Have you looked at visiting Tonga and an excursion to the Vava’u archipelago? It proximity may make it affordable.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 13:50
  • I swam with humpbacks in Vava'u from Eueiki Island, mother, male and calf, didn't hear any singing though. Surprisingly few tourists in Tonga, and not very expensive, so it's probably good for what the asker wants. You can't scuba dive with whales, snorkel only and not get too close, but Tonga has many great diving sites and I don't think you need to be very near whales to hear them, so a mix of whale swimming and diving hoping to be underwater while a whale sings somewhere not too far away might be a good plan, no guarantees though, these things always need lots of luck Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


Try going to Hawaii in late February and March. That is when the Humpbacks are most commonly seen, young and their mothers spending lots of time near the surface, the males deeper down.

To hear the song best you need to be underwater, so having some diving training and certification helps. But snorkelers can also catch some of the sound.

Airfare will unfortunately eat up a bunch of your budget going that far, so you will need to shop carefully ;-)

  • Any reason why Hawaii of all the varous places you can see whales? South Pacific is closer and also good for whales, or there's south coast of Sri Lanka which is even closer still? (can't vouch for Sri Lanka, not been, but it advertises itself as a place to go to see whales) Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:03
  • Because I know from experience that Hawaii is a really good place to see lots of Humpbacks and where song is frequently heard by folks. That doesn't mean it is the only place. If you know of other locations, write an answer.
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 1:04

I would like to suggest one of two location. One being that of Hawaii and the other being that of the Gulf of Maine. Hawaii is probably your best place to hear the song of the humpback whales.

Habitat and Migration

During the summer months which is their feeding season these whales can be found inhibiting the colder regions of the world such as Alaska and Antarctica where large quantities of fish, squid and krill can be found.

Once the winter time rolls around and large ice caps begin to form these whales can be seen migrating to locations such as Hawaii and the Gulf of Maine where they spend the majority of their time mating and bearing offspring.

As with other species of baleen whale the humpback whale has two primary seasons known as feeding season (the summer months) and mating season (the winter months).

Here is some more information on the North Pacific stock of the humpback whales:

Most of the North Pacific stock of humpback whales winter in three near shore lower latitude mating and calving areas: Hawai‘i, Western Mexico and the islands of southern Japan. During the spring and summer they migrate as far as 3,000 miles to feeding areas over the continental shelf of the Pacific Rim, from the coast of California north to the Bering Sea (between Alaska and Siberia). Humpbacks continuously travel at approximately three to seven miles per hour with very few stops. The main Hawaiian Islands may contain the largest seasonal population of North Pacific humpbacks in the world.

Hawai‘i is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve, and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawai‘i suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths, and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. - Where the Whales Go.

Migration data from SPLASH Research.

Migration data from SPLASH Research.

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