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1DOM TONGA FINALExclusive Charters ... a note from Dom

Every year, we offer special charters on around the world  ...  in the finest dive destinations  ...  at the best time to be there ...  on our favorite liveaboards. See what's on offer in the upcoming months & years ..... then, check out the rest of our Special Expeditions.

NIUE ISLAND WHALES

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swimming with whales & free diving
August 14 - 18, 2023


Niue is a Pacific Island paradise like no other – one of the smallest countries and one of the largest raised coral atolls on earth !  Humans are enthralled with it's pure beauty & simple lifestyle ... but, even better humpback whales adore it ... coming back for more thrills year after year.


LONGING TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL ?


How is this for an answer ?  Niue Island in the South Pacific.

Niue, a large upraised coral atoll standing alone in the center of a triangle of nations made up of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands, is located 2400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand.  It lies on the eastern side of the international dateline.  This is a place where it’s normal for complete strangers to wave at each other ... a place where the natural beauty is intact and life is ‘the way it used to be’. 

The fact that Niue is a coral atoll means that there are no lakes or rivers that run off into the ocean.  That means you find crystal clear water year round. The island is dotted with a myriad of caves, sheltered rocky coves and secret beaches, some of which have yet to be explored. The Huvalu Rain Forest is home to amazing indigenous trees and has been designated as a Conservation Area to protect and conserve the island's primary rain forest and natural fauna and flora.

Scattered throughout the 14 colorful villages are Niue’s residents (fewer than 1500).  The country is a self-governing nation in association with New Zealand & residents have dual-nationality.  You will find them to be friendly and hospitable to visitors, having accepted tourism as an important component to their economic development and well-being.

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SNORKELING & FREE-DIVING WITH WHALES


From July to October each year the humpback whales arrive in Niue’s waters to nurse their young and lucky visitors are allowed to be in the water with them.

Mother nature of course doesn’t guarantee any experience  ... so whale interactions are strictly dependent on the whales being in the vicinity and settled enough to accept "non-native" creatures in their habitat.  And, of course, weather conditions play a huge role ... for the whales and for you.

To the best of our knowledge, the number of whales is not as high as in Tonga. However, there are only three operators with a handful of boats for whale watching, so expect little or no traffic on the water.

The clarity of the water is ranked amongst the very best in the world (again, thanks to the lack of run off) so, coupled with the warm water, Niue Island makes for an exceptional dive, snorkel and free-diving experience.

At night, you can sometimes hear the whales slapping their giant fins against the water and you may even be kept awake by their calls, unlike anywhere else in the world – they can come that close to the shore because the water is so deep.

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SCENIC MATAVAI RESORT  ... YOUR HOME FOR 14 AMAZING NIGHTS


As the only full service resort on Niue, the Scenic Matavai Resort offers the best of both worlds — an uncrowded, authentic Niuean experience with the convenience of contemporary luxury.

Enjoy watching humpback whales and spinner dolphins right from the deck while enjoying a meal from of the two onsite restaurants and finish the evening with cocktails by the pool.

The rooms feature ocean or garden views, balcony or patio, air conditioning, WiFi, minibar, TV, in-room safe, bathrobes and tea and coffee making facilities. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and toiletries. All include bathrobes, in-room safe and interconnecting options.  There are swimming pools, a swim-up pool bar, laundry service and an elegant restaurant and bar with cuisine influenced by both local & European traditions.ARENUI Special Exp opt


ITINERARY


Your adventure will begin in Auckland, New Zealand.  Depending on where you travel from, your departure date might be 2 days before the 12th of August ... as you'll be crossing the international date line.

Your tour leader will be in a hotel near the airport the night prior to the departure. We will publish further details as soon as flights are available (11 months before departure). Feel free to ask us about packages including your international flights or also extension programs in New Zealand  .... open to see the plan of activity

August 14 – 28, 2023

Action plan:

The days' activities and schedule will remain fluid.  Each day, meeting times will be discussed and determined for the next day.  Much will be weather-dependent and based on whale action & locations of the previous days. 

For whale and free-diving adventures you will be in a private boat with maximum 6 passengers.The whale trips normally take up to 4 hours and will happen either in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on weather conditions, guests or the trip leader’s decision. If there are days when the whales are being capricious & hiding out somewhere, no worries !   You can use the time to explore the magical caves and the reefs of Niue. 

The package includes 10 days of excursions on the water. On 2 of those days you can add a free-diving experience, either before or after the whale search, in the caves and reefs around the island.

There is also a free day on which a special island tour has been organized and another 2 full days for your own activities and adventures ... or just lazing by the pool.

Please note that in Niue there are no shops or companies working on Sundays. It’s a strictly sabbatical day, same as in the Kingdom of Tonga. This local tradition should be kept in mind and respected. 


DATES, RATES, WHAT'S INCLUDED,  WHAT'S EXTRA, GETTING THERE & AWAY


Getting there:  The only way to reach Niue is a 3-hour direct flight from Auckland International Airport which operates 2 times per week  ... every Tuesday and Saturday.   As you will be crossing the international dateline, the arrival will be one day before. You will then catch the early morning flight (around 9 a.m.) from Auckland to Niue on Tuesday August 15, 2023 to arrive on the Monday before. ....... click to continue reading for dates, rates & what's included ....

Getting away :  Your flight arrival back to Auckland will be on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.

DATES:  August 14 - 28, 2023

RATE:   € 4.445 € (euros) per person

INCLUDED IN THE RATE:

  • 14 nights at the lovely Scenic Matavai Resort in an ocean-view room
  • breakfast
  • airport transfers
  • 10 half-days on the water scouting for whales (and swimming with them when possible)
  • 2 half-day tours free-diving caves, pools and reefs
  • island tour
  • Behind the Mask Travel Tour leader

EXTRAS:

  • International flights to Auckland & to Niue
  • food & drinks on the island
  • hotels before or after the trip
  • dive & travel insurance
  • scuba diving or additional tours
  • local taxes (approximately 1 € / day)
  • single supplement for solo travelers

Important: We highly recommend Dive Assure insurance which also covers force majeure and single missed days of diving due to sickness. Feel free to ask us about it. Further extensions in New Zealand are always possible and we’re happy to assist!

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