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This was the best day ever. We got to swim with a mother whale and her calf for almost two hours. it was incredible and so peaceful at the same time. Never in my life have I been that close to a whale and I have done a lot of whale and dolphin watch cruises.
A really EXCELLENT tour. The small boat just 4 guests aboard left the Top Dive Centre at the InterContinental Resort in Papeete
. We saw a number of Humpback whales, mostly mothers and calves. But more than that we, unexpctedly, got the opportunity to swim and snorkel with the whales. My wife choose not to enter the water with the whales, having had a knee replacement operation less than five months before. I came away with the great memory of seeing a whale and its calf swim 10-15 feet below me.
My only criticism of this tour are with the communication. We thought we were going on a whale watching tour, but from the outset swimming/snorkelling with whales was what the operators were offering. Thats great, but the actual nature of the tour needs to be made clear to prospective clients
First, the trip confirmation email from Viator said it was 8am, where when we arrived at 7:50am, the captain said the departure time was 7:30am and waited us for long time already. This is really unacceptable.
Second of all, we chose to have English tour guide. When the guide talk, they all talk in French and all other guests are French. Albeit the guide explained a little in English afterwards, but it also feel like not too welcoming for us.
Third, the joining instruction did not say anything about what we will need to prepare for joining the trip. When we arrive, they told us we can wear the gear and swim next to the whale which we didn't expect. Also, there was no any life jacket, but only diving suits and snorkeling gears, which I feel so dangerous after jumping into the ocean and got up immediately, since I know how to swim but not in the ocean with waves without life jacket.
Overall, the trip experience could be much better if the instruction sent to us in email could be much more clearer.
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