French Polynesia is one of the best places on the planet to observe cetaceans. Tahiti is no exception. Off the coast, you can meet these fascinating animals on a tour organized by whale-watching professionals. Find out more about whale watching in Tahiti today!

A Must-Do Activity in French Polynesia

Humpback whale jumping in Tahiti

Whale watching in Tahiti is an extraordinary experience. You’ll be able to witness the fascinating spectacle of these majestic cetaceans, marine mammals several dozen meters in length, emerging majestically from the surface of the water to plunge gracefully back into the depths of the ocean. But to get the most out of this unique adventure, it’s essential to know the ideal time of year to see whales, and to understand how these sea excursions work.

In Tahiti, we’re talking about humpback whales, impressive creatures that can reach up to 17 meters in length and weigh around 30 tons. What particularly sets them apart are their spectacular jumps, which can reach heights of up to 5 meters. An integral part of their courtship ritual, these jumps are a sight you’ll never forget.

Meet the Humpback Whales

Majestic Humpback Whales on the Tahiti Tour

Every year, humpback whales leave the polar regions for tropical waters. Indeed, the waters off French Polynesia are the ideal place for them to experience the mating season and give birth to their calves. This migration of several thousand kilometers is one of nature’s miracles.

The first whales arrive in the island’s warm waters as early as June. However, regulations are very strict, and whale-watching trips are only permitted from August to November. Four Polynesian islands are particularly popular with cetaceans: Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti in the Society archipelago, and Rurutu in the Australes archipelago. At the end of the mating season, the whales head back towards the South Pole.

Whale watching can be done from the beach, the road or even your hotel room window. Keep your eyes peeled for the geyser-like blasts of adult whales! Take your chances and embark on a whale-watching excursion with professional whale-watchers. The good news is that whale encounters are almost guaranteed, and every outing is different.

Respectful Whale Watching in Tahiti

Search phase during the whale watching tour in Tahiti

A Respectful Approach to the Animal

Whale Watching in Tahiti allows tourists from all over the world to get up close and personal with these immense marine mammals. The experience is sure to be unforgettable, awe-inspiring for young and old alike, and even highly photogenic. However, this is not an activity in the strict sense of the word. Each outing is supervised by professionals who know the animal and its environment inside out. The key words are respect and safety, not only for the whales but also for you.

The first stage is devoted to safety instructions, as well as biology and the ecosystem. Then it’s time to search for whales, either by sight or by hearing with a hydrophone. Nature is unpredictable, and whale watching means accepting the luck factor. When a whale is spotted, the observation begins. How many individuals accompany it? Males, females with calves?

Above all, don’t rush! Contact must not be forced. On the contrary, the approach must be discreet and distant. The animal needs to gradually get used to the presence of intruders. If the animal accepts, the boat can get closer, but always at a safe distance to avoid collisions.

Swimming with Whales

Swimming with the whales in Tahiti, French Polynesia

After assessing the situation, your captain will authorize you to take to the water, but only if all safety conditions are met: animal behavior, safety of those on board, and weather conditions. Using a mask, snorkel and flippers, you can swim towards the whale. The pace is slow so as not to disturb the animal. As a result, only people who know how to swim well and feel up to swimming in the ocean can dive in. You can also stay on board!

Of course, your guide will accompany you to ensure the safety of all participants. You don’t have to dive to observe the whales; you can observe them from the surface. Whether it’s a mother whale and her calf, a couple in the throes of amorous seduction, or simply an adult whale scrutinizing you intently, each day offers a unique experience. The variety is constant, but the magic endures.

Discover Whale Watching in Tahiti

When you’re in French Polynesia, come and enjoy the most vibrant of experiences in contact with nature. Whale watching in Tahiti will be an unforgettable experience, but not the only one! Other sights await you on the island: hiking in Tahiti and the Papeete market also deserve your full attention. Start planning your trip to the South Pacific and contact us to organize your activities!