Every year from July to November, comes the long-awaited "whale season". These great migrants honor us with their presence in Polynesian waters for several months for mating, calving and resting.
Following these few months off, they make their way back to Antarctica for the main purpose of feeding.
This seasonal migration represents about 8,000 miles round trip.
The population of humpback whales in French Polynesia is now estimated between 934 and 1849 individuals according to Dr. Poole and Dr. Baker. This is only an estimate, the actual number of individuals is not yet exactly known.
Whale watching in French Polynesia is regulated but possible during a boat trip organized by one of the many approved providers by the Directorate of the Environment (DIREN).
These tours will take you behind the reef barrier and sometimes even a little further offshore, and will allow you to observe the mammals from the boat or below the surface, equipped with your fins, mask and snorkel, if all the conditions are met. An extraordinary experience!
If no visual observation is possible, you may have the chance to hear vocalizations... : around Moorea, it is common that male singers place themselves at each corner of the island which are ideal for a wide acoustic diffusion and thus reach more females in order to have a greater reproductive success. Vibrato assured when you are close to a male singer!
In order for you to choose the right operator that most suits you, check out their rating online and make sure they have been certified for the current year.
From the hotel, humpback whales observations are frequent during the season because the bay is ideal for the mammals to rest as they take shelter from predators or boats sometimes getting too invasive.
The species is considered "endangered" (very high risk of extinction in the wild) according to the IUCN Red List. To learn more and participate in the growth of the humpback whale population in French Polynesia, contact the cetacean protection association OCEANIA, whose team is based in Moorea. Each year they carry out various projects for the protection of cetacean habitat: https://www.asso-oceania.com