Tonga Whales, Reefs, Jungles and Culture

Dear Friends of Blue Water Ventures

Long before the sun rose one morning last February at Our Baja Whale Camp, I woke up a slumbering Nellie and proclaimed, I have made a decision! Glancing at her watch Nellie informed me that it was 4am but patiently awaited the news.

Our next Blue Water Adventure destination would be to Swim with the Humpback Whales of Tonga, Fall 2014.

You are invited on our first adventure to the South Pacific, to the archipelago kingdom of Tonga. Unlike Palau or Baja where virtually every detail is turned over to a local outfitter, there may be a few bumps along the way as we develop our new program. We have selected a group who we consider to be keen on adventure, flexible and adaptable. We are offering this experience first to a select group of women who have gone on at least 2 extended trips with us. We would appreciate if you don't suggest this trip to others as it is by invitation only.

As I design the program, I soon realize that there is far more to Tonga than swimming with whales. Of course, this will be a trip highlight but our 11 day itinerary offers even more. See Highlights below.

                

Trip Dates
We are still working on a few trip logistics and should have much of that completed in the next few weeks. There will be some details to work out both before and during the trip. Our tentative dates are arrival into Tonga on August 25th which requires that we fly on the evening of August 23rd. We plan to depart on September 4th which puts us back in California on the 4th.

Trip Cost

I am patiently awaiting answers back from Tonga but I've been working on a estimation of trip cost. On future trips, you will not see this price!
12-14 joining us: $2850-3000(includes 3 domestic flights but not the international flight)
10-11 joining us: $3000-3150 (includes 3 domestic flights but not the international flight)

Flights to Tonga
Currently around $1700 with Air New Zealand out of San Francisco. I am working with a local travel agent in Santa Cruz that is holding a block of seats for us.
We require that you purchase travel insurance for at least the international flight. For myself that's only $80 (based on age). As with all of our international programs we strongly recommend travel insurance for the full trip price. If you would like to use miles and want to book your flight separately, please let us know so we can release the seats we are holding.

WHAT DO WE NEED FROM YOU NOW?
* We would like to know your level of interest as soon as possible so we can offer this trip to others on our list. If you are not interested, please respond back.
* Please let us know your level of interest by January 10th and sooner if possible.


* Please let us know if you plan to use miles. We hope to have enough people to guarentee a group rate booking through our local travel agent.
* $200 deposit will be due by January 15th; this deposit is nonrefundable.


* Rough Draft of Deposits, Cancellation Policy and Trip Insurance can be reviewed at: Deposits

I hope you will join us and that we will hear back from you by January 10th. After January 20th, your name will be taken off our roster as we make room for others who have expressed interest. You may always check back with us to see if we have space on the roster.

Highlights Of Our Tonga Adventure

* Snorkeling with Humpback whales and their offspring in the tropical clear waters of Tonga- need we say more?

* Learning about whale behavior from personal observations and guided interpretation

* Sea Kayaking through sheltered lagoons of one of the 176 islands that form the archipelago of Tonga

* Snorkeling in the "Japanese Gardens" a spectacular coral reef just steps away from your hotel room on our private Tongan island

* Hiking through lush tropical rain forest enroute to a series of cave formations with ancient stalactites and stalagmites

* Discovering the unique culture of the Tongan people through a variety of cultural interfacing

* Experiencing the rituals involved in a traditional Tongan Sunday Meal prepared in the Umu, an underground oven

* Watching beautiful sunsets, at times with whales in view while enjoying local island meals and libations

* Daily adventures and a few unpredictable bumps along the way in as you help Blue Water Ventures create a new international program