Drone Ocean Whale Swims 1600x550 - Swim with Humpback Whales in Tonga 2026

Swim with Humpback Whales in Tonga

I’m excited to announce that in 2026 I’ll be heading back to Ha’apai Tonga to run 2 humpback whale trips.

The Ha’apai island group can be found about midway between Tongatapu and Vava’u.

I base the trips from Ha’a’api because there are several more sheltered and shallow areas that are visited frequently by the whales here. There’s also very few boats.

It’s common around Ha’apai to find mother and calf pairs resting on the sandy seabed. This is a great opportunity to swim with the whales when they’re more relaxed, and it’s a very different experience from the fast-paced action in the further north islands.

It’s not uncommon to be sat having your morning coffee whilst watching the whales off the reef infront of the resort.

As always, I keep the groups small, with a maximum of 7 guests at a time, allowing more quality time with the whales.

During the trip, we’ll keep a record of the whale sightings/Fluke ID and behaviour.

*Please note: ONLY snorkelling/swimming experience is required for the whale swims.

This is truly an adventure of a lifetime and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Bookings are taken via email – vicky@bluesharksnorkel.co.uk

Deposit of £800 to secure spaces. This can be paid in instalments as long as the full £800 is received by July 1st 2024.

Remaining balance is due 2026.

Group 1 – Matafonua Lodge

Friday 25th Sept-Friday 2nd Oct ’26

Matafonua Lodge cost: £3600 pp

Package includes:

  •   7 nights beachfront accommodation at Matafonua Lodge (bungalow style/shared bathrooms)
  •   5 days of guided whale swims including lunches, snacks & drinks
  •   Return flight from Tonga to Ha’apai
  •   Breakfasts
  •   Transfers to/from the airport
  •   Kayaking, stand-up-paddle boarding or snorkelling
  •   Cultural night – dinner and local dance
  •   Photography advice, footage and photos.
  •   Snorkelling gear – mask, fins & wetsuits (or take your own)
  •   Return internal island transfers


Package does not include

  • beverages/alcohol
  • Dinners
  • lunches on non-whale swim days
  • international flights
  • accommodation on the mainland (Tongatapu)

Deposit of £800 to secure spaces. This can be paid in instalments as long as the full £800 is received by July 1st 2024.

Remaining balance is due 2026.

Group 2 – Sandy Beach Resort

Friday 2nd Oct-Friday 9th Oct ’26

Sandy Beach Resort cost: £4000 pp

Package includes:

  •   7 nights beachfront accommodation at Sandy Beach Resort (incl. ensuite bathroom)
  •   5 days guided whale swims including lunches, snacks & drinks.
  •   Breakfast and 3 course evening meals.
  •   Return flight from Tonga to Ha’apai
  •   Cultural night – dinner and local dance
  •   Transfers to/from the airport
  •   Kayaking or stand-up-paddle boarding or snorkeling
  •  Photography advice, footage and photos.
  •   Snorkelling gear – mask, fins & wetsuits (or take your own)


Package does not include:

  • beverages/alcohol
  • international flights
  • lunch on the non-whale swim days
  • accommodation on the mainland (Tongatapu)

Deposit of £800 to secure spaces. This can be paid in instalments as long as the full £800 is received by July 1st 2024.

Remaining balance is due 2026.


The Ha’apai islands are very remote but with lots of character. I choose Ha’apai as it’s much quieter and has very few boats compared to other areas that offer these trips.

The local people are great and life is very simple there. The island is quite basic and quiet but it’s a true paradise.

We will be staying with Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort– check out their website for more information.

Safe swimming and phenomenal snorkeling in crystal clear blue water is available a few steps from the shoreline and just a 100 meters swim or kayak is a deserted island waiting for you to explore! All of the reefs and waters surrounding Matafonua and Sandy Beach are a designated Marine Park area.

Sandy Beach Resort: the bungalow fales are situated in a beachfront tropical garden setting. The comfortably furnished rooms have tiled floors and each fale has a private terrace with a view of the crystal clear Pacific Ocean. There’s a twin bed available or  king-sized bed and each has it’s own table and chairs, fan, wardrobe and tea and coffee making facilities. Spacious ensuite bathrooms have a large washbasin, WC and shower. There is plenty of solar-powered hot water with good water pressure. The main building incorporates the reception, office, restaurant and bar.

Matafonua Lodge: the traditional Pacific style fales are absolute beachfront. Step off the covered terrace onto the sandy beach or meander through our lush tropical gardens to the main house, which contains the reception, restaurant and bar. Double Fales have a king size bed or 2 singles. Family Fales have two rooms and can be made up as a king bed and 2 singles or 4 singles. Bathrooms are centrally located in the resort are clean and luxurious with a solar hot water system. Each fale is equipped with electric lights and power points to charge personal electronic devices. Voltage is 220V, outlets are the same as Australia and New Zealand.

Getting to Tonga from UK

I find the best option is to fly via Auckland from the UK.

Ticket 1: UK– Auckland New Zealand (you may want to overnight in Auckland)

Ticket 2: AUK – TBU Tonga (Air New Zealand )

  • Your domestic flight from Tonga (TBU) to HA’APAI is included in your booking and arranged by us. Flight time approx 40 mins.
  • You’ll need an overnight stay on Tongatapu before your flight to Ha’apai. I’m happy to help with accommodation suggestions in Tongatapu.




  • Is single occupancy available? Please get in touch for availability and options.
  • How much are meals at Matafonua? The onsite restaurant serves lunch, dinner and a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. Continental Breakfast is included and cooked breakfast (which is served all day) is available from £6. A standard menu is available all day, and includes things like sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizzas and burgers and the prices range from £5-12. Each day different dinner specials are on offer with prices ranging between £12-15. There is also a full-cooked breakfast option from the kitchen although a continental breakfast is included in your room price.
  • What are the shared bathrooms like at Matafonua? The separate male and female bathroom block is a very short stroll from all fales, and has solar hot water in the showers.
  • How many people are on the boat? We take a maximum of 8 people on the boat with 4 in the water at a time plus your local guide.
  • What other activities are available?  Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) offers an exiting way to see the reef. The SUP’s are large and very stable offering a good platform for all abilities. Rent the boards and go off on your own adventure, if needed take a quick lesson and you’ll be off on your own in no time.Kayaks, bicycles, snorkel gear are all free. There is also a book library where you can take, swap or borrow a book and a selection of board games for you to play.
  • How much is the deposit and when is the balance due? All trips require a non-refundable deposit of £800 to confirm and reserve your spot on any trip. Each trip offers different due dates on payments leading up to the actual trip. Payment Plan schedule;

      £800 deposit pp

      50% of the remaining balance is due Feb 2026

      Final balance is due June 2026

  • What’s the sea temperature like?  The water temp is roughly 77 F (25 C), and you will want to bring a boating jacket/Robey for wind protection. The whales visit Tonga outside of cyclone season, so there is no concern regarding cyclones.
  • What to Pack? Fins, mask, snorkel and wetsuits are included but we spend so much time on the water, that you don’t want to deal with fins that sort of fit, a mask that fogs all the time, or a wetsuit that doesn’t keep you warm. So we strongly advise bringing your own gear.
  • Wetsuit or swimsuit (3mm shorty/full wetsuit)
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Boat jacket
  • Camera!
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Snacks

Most important one – camera!


Bookings, Payment, Cancellation Policy and Force Majeure concerning the Trip

  • Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd highly recommends you purchase travel and dive insurance as soon as possible after confirming your travel plans. We recommend Dive Assure or DAN for diving insurance. Dive Assure offers Dive and Travel Insurance annual and short-term (per trip). You can purchase it here: https://app.diveassure.com/#/registration/main/process/0/int/0/18669/en-intl
  • Evidence of adequate travel and dive insurance must be provided before departure.
  • Bookings made more than 100 days out from the start of a trip require a deposit of £800 per passenger.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Bookings made less than 100 days out from tour commencement require payment in full to secure your booking.
  • Payment in full is required 100 days out from the start of the trip. We will email you a final payment reminder. No refunds will be given within 100 days of the start of any trip, under any circumstances.
  • If you cancel your spot more than 100 days before the start of a trip, and we/you can resell/fill the spot, a trip credit for your remaining balance (minus a £200 service fee deducted) will be issued for use on another Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd trip within 2 years of the cancellation.
  • If you cancel your spot less than 99 days before the start of a trip, no refund or credit will be issued for deposits that have been paid.
  • If our In-Country Providers cancel or if a Force Majeure Event occurs, meaning any act of God, war, terrorism, fire, flood or any other extreme weather conditions, loss of power, epidemics or pandemics, industrial disputes, slow-downs or other strike activities, riots or civil disturbances, acts of government, semi-government or other authorities, inability to obtain any necessary license or consent and delays caused by sub-contractors, suppliers or other third parties (including telecommunications carriers), material shortages or other disruption to the trip beyond our control, Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd shall not be held responsible for matters outside of our control or any failure to deliver the trip.
  • The affiliated and established company such as Sandy Beach Resort or Matafonua Lodge, holds the relevant insurances and maintains responsibility for the dive and snorkel insurance policies and procedures. As such when in the water diving, snorkeling or swimming you are diving under the affiliated company’s policies and procedures and must adhere to either the Captain, Dive Instructor or Divemaster’s instructions.
  • Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd takes no responsibility for loss, damage or injury arising from any shortfall, error or omission in the information passed to the customer during the course of the sale or subsequent delivery of the product. The company takes no responsibility nor can be held liable for loss, damage, or injury that occurs on a supplier’s or service provider’s premises or transport, or between two such premises.
  • Participation in any of the Activities involves certain risks which may result in injury or death. This warning does not purport to describe or disclose all risks associated with participation of the Activities. There are a wide range of inherent risks when engaging in sports and particularly underwater sports; for example, Open water snorkelling trips may be conducted at remote sites, either by time or distance, from emergency services. Snorkeling and tours will involve uncontrolled encounters with wild animals which bear the risk of stings, bites, and at the extreme end, more serious injury and death. Participants should be responsible and aware of animal behaviours and their own interactions and engage in these activities entirely at their own risk.
  • We will not be liable to you in respect of any personal injury (including without limitation serious injury or death) that you may suffer or sustain directly or indirectly as a result of attending the trip or participation in the Activities. Nor will we be liable to you in respect of any other losses arising as a result of any such personal injury (including without limitation loss of profit or earnings or other consequential losses). We will not be liable to you in respect of any of your personal property that is lost, stolen or damaged before, during or after a trip.
  • Please ensure you understand our cancellation policy prior to providing any deposits and agree to the booking and trip. By placing a booking with Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd, this implies that you accept these booking terms and conditions and cancellation policy.

Trading as Blue Shark Snorkel Ltd.

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