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Snorkel with the humpback whale in Tonga in the South Pacific.
Snorkel with the humpback whale in Tonga in the South Pacific.

Want to go swimming with humpback whales? Add to ...

What's the deal?

Get up close and personal with one of the planet's largest creatures.

Where's it at?

During the austral winter months of July and August, humpback whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic to the South Pacific Islands of Tonga to mate and bear their young in the island nation's warm, sheltered waters. For those wanting a fish's-eye view, it's one of the best places to go.

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Book on a humpback whale excursion with Nai'a Cruises and get up close. Despite averaging 15 metres in length and weighing up to 40 tonnes, humpback whales are spooked by scuba divers, so the best way to interact is with snorkelling gear, staying on the surface. For the most excitement, find a mating pair, but be careful: An aroused male may perform such displays as skyward breaches to show affection for his love interest, with little care for those floating beside him. Interactions can last a few minutes or more than an hour. Once the whales have had enough, they will dive into the abyss, and the show is over.

Who's it for?

Those who do not prefer 3-D nature experiences from the comfort of their living rooms.

Book on a humpback whale excursion with Nai'a Cruises ( www.naia.com.fj) to get up close. Conscious Breath Adventures ( consciousbreathadventures.com) runs humpback whale trips to the Silver Bank region of the Dominican Republic in January and February.

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