Cetaceans are an important part of Polynesian myths and culture. Whales and dolphins are fascinating animals, whether by their size, their intelligence or their surprising behavior. During your vacation in French Polynesia, you will have the opportunity to encounter cetaceans. In this article, discover the activities of swimming with dolphins and whale watching in Moorea!
Whale Watching in Moorea
This is an extraordinary experience. To see a marine mammal of several tens of meters splitting the surface of the water before diving back into the depths of the ocean… With whale watching in Moorea, you will have the opportunity to see the whales up close. But what is the best time of the year to see these majestic cetaceans? And how are this kind of whale watching activities conducted?
The first thing you need to know is the type of whales you can observe in Moorea. They are humpback whales, also called megapteres or jubarte. They can reach 17 meters, and weigh about 30 tons. These whales are known for the spectacular jumps they are able to make, up to 5 meters high. A show that you will not forget, and which is part of their nuptial parade.
You are lucky, because it is precisely when they are in the vicinity of Moorea that humpback whales play these seduction games. The best time to see them is during the southern winter, from July to November. The months where you will have the best chance to see them are August, September and October. Getting to Moorea is the promise of the most beautiful of wildlife spectacles.
How Are These Whale Watching Activities Conducted?
Many local companies offer this type of excursion. They usually take place in a relatively small boat that heads out to the area of the ocean where the whales have been spotted. This sighting can be done in different ways: mainly by helicopter, by fishing boats or by listening to underwater sounds.
While you are there, your tour guide will teach you more about the biology and behavior of the whales. These educational moments are an integral part of the tour. They allow you to better understand these animals that you are about to meet. Your guide will also tell you more about the special circumstances of the day. For example, there may be whale gatherings, which is an opportunity for a magical water show.
If your boat trip is only for whale watching, your boat will make sure to follow the animals. You will have the chance to see them breathe on the surface, but also to make jumps. But that’s not the only choice you have…
Swim With Humpback Whales in Moorea
French Polynesia is one of the only countries in the world where swimming with whales is allowed. It is an exceptional opportunity for you to make this experience. Especially since it takes place in a respectful environment, which is an essential prerequisite. The government imposes strict rules inspired by international recommendations. This allows for safe interactions that are also respectful of the animals’ well-being.
Following the instructions given by your guide, you will dive underwater and discover an unforgettable spectacle… It can be a mother and her calf, a couple engaged in a love parade, or simply an adult whale that will observe you with an attentive eye. Every day is different, but the magic remains the same.
When swimming with cetaceans, there are several recommendations to follow. The first is to have the proper equipment: fins, mask, snorkel and possibly wetsuits. This is an opportunity to experience snorkeling and diving in Moorea, essential activities on the island. The tour company you will be going through will provide you with these different materials. The other recommendations concern the attitude to adopt while you are in contact with the animals. The key words are distance and respect.
Swimming With Dolphins in Moorea
When you go out to sea to see the whales, there is a good chance that you will come across other animals. These include turtles, reef sharks, but also several species of dolphins. In Moorea, you can see Spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. The Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) population is resident. In other words, they live all year round in the lagoon or off the island.
You can meet these fascinating animals during a whale watching trip, but not only. We offer dolphin watching and swimming with dolphins tours in Moorea. Here again, these interactions are strictly regulated by a set of rules. They aim, as for the whales, to promote good safety conditions and a respectful interaction with the dolphins. Swimming with dolphins under these conditions is often an extraordinary experience.
To maximize your chances of interaction, remember the advice given by your guide. He will remind you of the basics of this kind of aquatic encounter. First, don’t try to touch the animals. Then, try to attract their attention, for example by making funny noises… They are curious animals: if you stand out, they will be interested in you! Finally, establish and maintain eye contact. For a summary of tips, we recommend this article: Some tips for swimming with dolphins.
Moorea, an Exceptional Place to Discover Marine Animals
As you can see, Moorea is an exceptional place to discover whales and dolphins. Whether it is by its landscapes, its seabed or its supervision conditions, the island offers you ideal conditions. So don’t hesitate and jump into the water! You can already book your swim with the whales and whale-watching activity with us online today :
Our team is at your disposal to recommend you the best activities on Moorea and in all French Polynesia. Contact us if you have any questions. It will be our pleasure to organize with you the best possible vacation in this little corner of paradise!
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