Tanoa Expeditions

Introduction
Location
Accommodation
Diving
Pricing & Schedules
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Tanoa Expeditions is part of the Tanoa Group of hotels in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa and runs whale swim tours on Tonga’s main island, from Nuku’Alofa. The main island is easy to get to with several flights each week on Fiji Airways, via Nadi, and no domestic flights required.

The hotel facilities are the best on the island and they have one of the newest and most comfortable vessels. Tanoa and its partners have been delivering whale swim experiences for over seven years. All Tanoa’s whale swim guides are professionally trained and accredited and the company undertakes continuous risk monitoring to ensure guests remain safe in the water.

The whale swim season runs from late July until mid-October and Tanoa Expeditions has two types of set departure each season. Each departure includes all meals, transfers, accommodation and experiences, as listed in the inclusions section.

Premium Whale Swim Tour

These premium small group 8-day tours run from Wed-Wed weekly from late July to the start of September. They have optimal comfort for a max of 6 people, 5 full whale swim days, a flexible schedule, and led by one of Tanoa Expeditions’ expert guides. Tours run during the main season for young adult whales.

Budget Whale Swim Tours

These 5-day tours have two variations, either running Sat-Thu, or Mon-Sat, from early September until mid-October. These trips include a maximum 8-10 guests on a boat shared with some day-trip swimmers. There are 3 whale swim days led by experienced local guides. Note, the two variations have slightly different arrival and departure plans, due to flight schedule differences.

The Tanoa Hotel facilities are the best on the island and will ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

5 tanoa expeditions whale swim tonga exterior entrance

Buffet breakfast is served from 6:30 AM daily at Tu’ Imalila Restaurant. Lunch and dinner are served at Fresh Bar & Grill from 11 AM to 9:30 PM.

9 tanoa expeditions whale swim tonga pool

Premium rooms include: King / Twin Single beds, ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, safe, bar fridge, international direct calling phone, coffee & tea making facilities, flat screen TV, wifi access. Upgrades to OCean View and Premium Balcony Rooms are available.

3 tanoa expeditions whale swim tonga superior room

Premium Whale Swim Tours

An 8-day schedule runs as follows:

  1. Wed. For guests arriving from overseas or those who wish to fly in a day earlier, check in is from 2pm and you are welcome to join the previous week’s guests for dinner.
  2. Thu. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and leave at 7:45am for the 5-minute bus journey to the boat.
  3. Fri. Breakfast starts at 6:30am. Transfer at 7:45am for an 8:00 am departure. Full day on the water looking for and swimming with whales.
  4. Sat. Breakfast starts at 6:30am. At 7:45am the bus takes you to the harbour for an 8:00 am departure.
  5. Sun. Rest day, for Tongan cultural reasons. Optional Pangaimotu snorkelling / day relaxing
  6. Mon. Breakfast starts at 6:30am. Transfer at 7:45am for an 8:00 am departure. Full day on the water looking for whales.
  7. Tue. Breakfast starts at 6:30am. Transfer at 7:45am for an 8:00 am departure. Full day on the water looking for whales.
  8. Wed. Settle your account at the hotel before your last full day on the water.
  9. Thu. Airport transfer for those departing Tonga.

Lunch, morning and afternoon teas are provided. Evening meals are provided on all whale swim days
On one of the evenings, your guide will give a presentation about Humpback whales in Tonga.
On the last night we will eat together for a final farewell and may be joined by some guests arriving for the following week.

*For clarity, tour lasts 8 days from morning of Day 1 (Thursday) to morning of Day 8 (following Thursday) to coincide with standard flight arrival times. Package includes night of arrival (i.e. the Wednesday night), as many of the flights come in late and you may not clear customs until about 2:30AM. We will have a comfortable bed waiting for you. This additional night included, brings this tour to 8 days and 8 nights.

Budget Whale Swim Tours

There are two options for the 5-day Budget Whale Swim Tour:

Option 1 – Saturday to Thursday

  • Saturday – arrive in Nuku’alofa about 16:45 by Fiji Airways from Nadi.
  • Sunday – A statutory rest day in Tonga.
  • Monday – 8AM-2PM boat trip to search for whales.
  • Tuesday – 8AM-2PM boat trip to search for whales.
  • Wednesday – Island cultural tour.
  • Thursday – 7AM-midday boat trip to search for whales. Return to the hotel by midday and check out at 1PM before lunch. Then transfer to the airport in time to depart 4:45PM for Nadi.

Option 2: Monday to Saturday

  • Monday – Arrive in Nadi and catch the 22:00 flight*
  • Tuesday – Land in Nuku’alofa about 1:20AM. Your transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel room.
  • Wednesday – 8AM-2PM boat trip to search for whales.
  • Thursday – Island cultural tour.
  • Friday – 8AM-2PM boat trip to search for whales.
  • Saturday – 7AM-midday boat trip to search for whales. Return to the hotel by midday and check out at 1PM before lunch. Then transfer to the airport in time to depart 4:45PM for Nadi.

*NB: Option 2 may require a flight into Tonga late at night. If guests wish to arrive earlier, the Monday night accommodation is already included to accommodate these early morning arrivals.

Pricing for Tanoa Expeditions Tonga

2024 Main Season
8-day dedicated, expert-led swimAUD7700
Upgrade to Ocean View RoomAUD250
Single SupplementAUD850
2024 Fringe Season
5-day shared experienceAUD3072
Upgrade to Ocean View RoomAUD145
Single SupplementAUD528
2025 Main Season
8-day dedicated, expert-led swimAUD7780
Upgrade to Ocean View RoomAUD250
Single SupplementAUD850
2025 Fringe Season
5-day shared experienceAUD3330
Upgrade to Ocean View RoomAUD145
Single SupplementAUD528
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8 Night Trip includes:
8 nights accommodation in a Superior Room at the Tanoa Dateline Hotel. 5 days of whale swimming (lunches included). Airport and vessel transfers. Free hotel Wifi. Expert guides and hospitality staff on hand 24/7. Use of snorkelling gear and wetsuits. All breakfasts and dinners. Lunches on whale swim days. Kava night. Tongan feast.

Excludes: Flights. Any meals which are not mentioned on itinerary. Alcoholic or soft drinks with dinner. Personal expenses & tipping. Laundry, souvenirs. Anything else not mentioned in 'inclusions'.
5 Night Trip includes:
5 nights accommodation in a Superior Room. Group of 8-10 guests. 2.5 days of whale watching / swimming. Cultural tour and island experience. Tongan feast. 5 nights in Superior Room, twin share. All meals.

Excludes: Flights. Any meals which are not mentioned on itinerary. Alcoholic or soft drinks with dinner. Personal expenses & tipping. Laundry, souvenirs. Anything else not mentioned in 'inclusions'.
Currency Exchange Surcharge
Most Pacific Island nation currency is either linked to, or heavily influenced by the USD. Tonga operates under its own currency, the Tongan Pa’anga (TOP). In recent months, however, this exchange has become increasingly volatile as the US treasury further buys out its own debt. The current product price is based on an exchange rate of 1.00 AUD = 1.52 TOP and 1.00 AUD = 0.64 USD. If the rates vary and prices alter by more than 1.5%, we reserve the right to revise the price with a surcharge.