whale swimming Tahiti
Get back to nature around the Islands of Tahiti

Everywhere we look, be it on our screens, in papers, on posters, we are being reminded of the climate crisis happening on our planet. We are all consciously trying to help in every way we can, from small changes, such as buying reusable containers to bigger choices such as purchasing electric cars. We may not all be world-renowned scientists, but we are now all aware of how precious our home planet is. What comes alongside this realisation is how priceless the other living organisms with which we share this planet are. It seems our appreciation for the flora and fauna has certainly increased over recent years. Maybe partially helped by the Corona Virus pandemic which gave us all the chance to experience it for ourselves in our own back gardens and local areas. Despite being ‘locked in’ we all started to see what was there on our doorstep.

Now that the world has reopened, we are able to spread our wings once more, however, this time with a rejuvenated passion to discover new and exciting species that may not be around for much longer. For those of us that desire to travel further afield and seek once in a lifetime experiences with wildlife, then chartering a yacht around the Islands of Tahiti is for you.

There are fantastic crewed yacht charter opportunities in this area with yachts and crews that have spent some time there getting familiar with this beautiful part of the world. You will be shown the best of the area by excellent guides.


The Islands of Tahiti in French Polynesia are simply stunning. A playground for your senses. The vibrant shades of blue that look as if they have taken every colour off a paint swatch. The scents of jasmine, vanilla and copra consume you. The feel of the soft sand between your toes and the sounds of the waves lapping over calling bird song are beyond stimulating. However, the Islands of Tahiti have so much more to offer than just sun, sand and sea. These islands are home to an array of rare and exotic species that can be seen and joined in their natural habitats. Swimming with Humpback whales, diving through a wall of sharks, snorkelling with rays and turtles are all possible here.

snorkelling whales

When people describe swimming with whales, they often find that the English language doesn’t have the words to describe the experience; they are left to use words such as ‘magical’ or ‘surreal’ which don’t do the experience justice. There are very few places in the world where one can swim with humpback whales, however, in the Islands of Tahiti from August through to October, you can. These impressive mammals return to the Islands of Tahiti each year to birth their young in the islands clear, protected waters. Swimming takes place in Moorea, Tahiti and Bora Bora although Moorea is particularly popular for whale swimming.

Tahiti sting rays

Moorea is a marine wildlife haven. As we have already seen Moorea is one of the best spots for humpback whale diving, but it also offers amazing encounters with stingrays in its shallow, sand bar lagoon. The shallow waters (around 1.3m deep) mean that you can easily stand, snorkel and get close to stingrays. The stingrays in this area are accustomed to sharing their home with snorkelers and as a result are very inquisitive and sociable. These characterful creatures have so much personality to share and provide the perfect subject for any photographer.

Due to the shallow nature of this lagoon, it offers the perfect encounter opportunities for those visitors less confident in the water. It is the ideal place for first timers, as you can clearly see not only stingrays, but other marine wildlife such as pink whiprays, blacktip sharks and bluefin trevallies in the crystal waters.

swimming with turtles

The surrounding seas are also home to the graceful sea turtle, most commonly hawksbill turtles and green turtles. Snorkel in the turtles’ foraging and resting areas and if you are luckily enough to come across a turtle, watch it glide through its native habitat. These turtles are best seen first thing in the morning however, they are found year-round in Moorea. To respect the turtles, some companies reduce the number of turtle snorkelling trips during high season as the number of boats in the areas increases.

shark swimming 2

The island of Fakarava is called home by many rare, endemic and protected species of marine and land wildlife. What places this small island on the map, however, is that it is believed to have one of the largest concentrations of grey sharks in the world.  Due to its natural importance, it is a designated UNESCO biosphere. Silent, peaceful and mystifying, observing sharks in their natural habitats is an out-of-this-world experience that only a small number of people get to enjoy. There are two passes that make for unforgettable shark dives. The Tetamanu Pass will display a towering wall of hundreds of sharks that gather annually. You have to see it to believe it.

The Garuae Pass is another hot spot for divers. Around 30–40 meters in depth, this is one of the largest passes on offer. Due to its depth larger predators can be seen from barracudas, groupers and rays.

whales Tahiti

Polynesia is an exceptional place but also fragile. The waters around the island are clear and pollution is minimal. Many of the local inhabitants use the ocean as their main source of food. It is therefore very important that all visitors on yacht charters in the Tahitian Islands do as much as possible to protect the undersea environment, so the future of Tahiti remains healthy. To help ensure this always book excursions through reputable companies such as Moorea Ocean Adventures.

Moorea Ocean Adventures is a small company dedicated to private tours for small groups. Their philosophy is to keep their guests safe and to provide them with the most personalized and exciting experience, while minimizing their impact on the marine wildlife and their environment. They are all warm and fun-loving people, passionate and dedicated to giving professional naturalist guides around the Islands of Tahiti, specifically Moorea.

swimming stingrays

To find out more information about chartering around the Islands of Tahiti please get in touch..

  • Photo credits: Joaquin Fregoni for Moorea Ocean Adventures

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