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“Whale Watching done right”

Beluga Diving Vava'u
Level Contributor
105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Whale Watching done right”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We had a wonderful day watching whales and snorkeling with them as well. Beluga dive do an outstanding job and really want to be sure you have a good experience. The lunch provided was ok... Otherwise, everyone on board had a great day. The guides don't seem to know that much about the whales.

Visited August 2013
Thank Evelyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Professional and helpful diving operation in Vava'u”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

My wife and I booked several days of diving out of Neiafu (Vava'u, Tonga) in advance of a sail. The operation was well run (on-time, curious, professional) the equipment (dive gear, boat) well maintained. We went out 3 different days (6 dives), all were good, and this alone would warrant a 4 star rating.

Why I really rate this operation is that I managed to lose a GoPro video camera in a fairly deep trench under a swim-in underwater cave called "Mariner's Cave". We were sailing at the time, and just swimming/snorkelling the cage without dive gear. I contacted Beluga and asked if they could pass by the cave and try to recover the camera for me. This was a non-trivial request - the trench was down 20m (well below my snorkelling depth!), no longer visible and there was a fairly wide area to search under the entrance to the cave. Sure enough they came through though and the owner and an employee found it after about 20 minutes of running a search pattern at the entrance of the cave.

So the diving was good, but when someone comes through to help you out like this, it really deserves a high rating. Thanks Haub and Sioni.

Visited June 2013
Thank agentofkao s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noosa Heads
Level Contributor
763 reviews
361 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 338 helpful votes
“Beluga Diving”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I had an excellent experience with seeing whales. 2 out of 3 days is not bad as the whales were not that easy to find. But I was lucky !

My only issue was that a day's whale watching was not a day. At around lunch we retired to some reef for snorkelling and lunch and that was the end of the "days" whalewatch experience. If I wanted to go snorkelling I would go somewhere closer !

I also think that Beluga push the numbers - 12 is too many and if I was going again (which I might !) I would look for an operator that a) stays out all day and b) takes less passenegers. I think 8 is the maximum. ON the last day we did se whales but the official story was that we were running out of fuel and we had to go back without getting in the water with the whales.

The actual whale experience is amazing though - just make sure you define what you are getting from the whale operator

Visited September 2012
1 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The experience of a lifetime”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Words can't describe how fantastic our day out on the water with beluga was! We were lucky enough to spend an amazing few hours with the whales. The visibility is great and our local guides Dateline and Conner were skillful made us feel very safe in the water. After a beautiful morning of whaleswimming the boys took us to three of the best local snorkelling spots. All in all it was a fantastic day and well worth the price (its at least T$90 more to do in vava'u than ha'apai). Do take a seasick tablet before though - it can be very rolly out there!

1 Thank kimstarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
87 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Whale Watching in Vava'u”
Reviewed September 27, 2009

This is a must do in Tonga. Not only because the experience is truly amazing but also because the more revenu the Whale Watching business generates the higher a priority we hope the government will give to whale conservation. Japan in particular is alway putting pressure on poor countries like Tonga to vote in favour of resuming commercial whaling by offering money or aids.
We had a great day with Beluga who took a great deal of effort to show us the elusive whales. Whale watching mostly happen during winter so you will need warm clothes if the weather is overcast or windy. Most operators currently charge TOG250 per person for the day which includes a snack and a wetsuit. You will most likely need it!
Most importantly try to go on small boat as you will get more opportunities to swim with the whales. Theoretically you can't put more than 4 people in the water with a whale at anytime. So the more people on a boat the more you wait for your turn. In my opinion the business is run by a few greedy foreign operators who tend to load up 12 people or more per boat. Also the activity is vastly overpriced, we found that only 2-3 years ago the going price was TOG180...We went a second time with Whales in the Wild and that was a waste of time! 8 people on board never went in the water, spend the all day getting cold and wet on an overloaded boat with a crew of a couple of Tongans who didn't say much and kept missing whales when other boats seem to get more lucky. We had to borrow wetsuits from another shop, a two slice snack was TOG20. Sure whales and weather are both unpredictable and therefore not garanted but what a bad start when you hit one of those unscrupulous operators!

6 Thank lucsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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