“5 STARS & cheers to Humpback Swims & Nadia! Simply extraordinary & amazing!!
Every aspect of our expedition was very well organized & executed perfectly. Nadia’s communication, responsiveness & follow up was outstanding. Nadia made suggestions for all we needed before & all along our travel journey. The boats, crew & all affiliates delivered top notch. The crew worked hard to find the whales, kept us safe & were very respectful of the whales. I have been fascinated & learning about humpbacks for many years, so it was truly a dream come true! The gentle giants were majestic & every encounter was different & magnificent. Some days better than others. The trip was everything I had hoped for & then some! I can’t stop looking at my videos & photos! Lots of playful calfs. We met some lovely people during our trip & it’s great to share the experience with others who were as excited & as mesmerized as we were. I had a glitch with my bag arriving & Nadia came to the rescue with things I needed & gear until my bag arrived. She sent someone to the airport & actually had it delivered to me. This spunky girl gets it done! Flying Annie Moa accommodations were basic but very clean & provided everything we needed. The host ladies are so kind. The Tongans are special people with beautiful souls & we loved getting to know them. Truly the trip of a lifetime!!”
“We had a trip of a lifetime!
We spent seven days swimming with the whales and each day was a unique encounter - some long, some short. We mostly had mom-calf interactions, and the calf sometimes would be very curious and playful. We saw a singing whale and spent almost an hour listening to the otherworldly music.
The crew was very experienced and did a splendid job spotting the whales and guiding us. Our captain Datey was awesome. He'd always drop us off at the right spot. Our boat crew - Sifa, Pula and David were really good guides and gave their 100% in order to get us the best experience while always being respectful of whales and paying attention to our safety. We even got to explore some very cool caves and reefs, although most of Tonga's reefs are sadly dead. Also, our boats were very spacious, which I really appreciated.
The entire trip was very well organized. Nadia was extremely helpful about everything - getting visas, finding lost luggage, getting around in Tonga and guiding us about the best ways to swim with the whales. She was extremely responsive and this trip wouldn't have been possible without her.
Our stay at Flying Annie Moa was lovely! The caretakers were so helpful and made us feel at home :)
Overall, we absolutely enjoyed being in Tonga and swimming with the whales. What an incredible experience!!! I would definitely come back again.”
“I’ll try to keep this short… my wife loves humpback whales. I know some people love horses or puppies, but this is a whole next level. I think she was probably a humpback whale in a previous life.
We’ve done a ton of whale watching trips where, from a boat we watch the surface activity and hope and pray for an occasional breach. We have even stuck a GoPro under water and pointed it in the general direction of the whales hoping for footage of their under water activity.
When she discovered Nadia’s swim with the whales trips, there was no stopping her.
We signed up in 2019 for a trip in 2020. And you know the story; in 2020 it was postponed until 2021 and so on until earlier this year when it was postponed until 2023. That is, until Tonga suddenly opened their borders in September and Nadia said there was availability for a few trips this year. We decided to drop everything and go to the other side of the world (we live in the states).
We trusted Nadia and she did not let us down. She helped us with every step along the way from travel arrangements, to lodging, to what gear to bring, to of course the whale swims. Just getting to the small island of Vava’u would have been nearly impossible without her guidance.
Nadia’s boat was crewed by a skipper and a guide. The skipper found the whales and kept us safe in all conditions (there were a couple days with rough seas) and the guide was nothing short of an ocean Sherpa.
And finally, about the whales… everyday was different, but the common theme was OMG we are swimming with whales! Our favorite encounters include moms and calves where the baby was super curious about us and Mom seemed to enjoy us entertaining her baby, and a group of 5 or 6 adults where we think one might have been a pregnant mom close to giving birth.
We were really there to be with the whales so we didn’t have the big professional looking underwater cameras, just GoPros. I’ve added a few of the shots from our GoPros.
There are almost no words for how fantastic this trip was. We met some new friends from all over the world and we are currently planning our trip back for next year.”
“Swimming with humpbacks in Tonga has been on my bucket list for years, but it still managed to exceed every expectation. A big part of that was thanks to Nadia. It's hard to believe there's someone out there who knows these incredible creatures better than she does. Her never-ending enthusiasm, knowledge and day-to-day help made our incredible whale encounters even more special. If there was an option for 6 stars, I'd be clicking it. Can't wait for next year.”
“I really can't explain the trip... it's hard... it's like the most amazing the I have ever done.
You just have to do it yourself. I booked with Nadia in 2018 and because of the Pandemic, finally got to go this year in 2022. Nadia was with me, and I am sure everyone else, every step of the way. The minute I emailed her, it seemed within minutes she would email me back. She is a serious rockstar at what she does, not just at photography, but literally everything else when it comes to business.
I stayed at Flying Annie and had such a wonderful time. The staff there are just amazing. The rooms were super comfortable, and it is very obvious that Flying Annie is the best place to stay in/near town.
Vava'u is very undeveloped and it's clear that Humpback Swims/ Nadia has the best of everything.
The boat was very comfortable and to my surprise had a great head! I had Nadia show me all the boats she uses, and it's clear they are the best in Vava'u. When we were out and saw the other boats, I was kind of surprised, they were nothing like the boat we were on. I would certainly not be happy if I was on any of the other boats that I saw out on the water.
The whales were amazing, I don't know what it's like to go out with other people, but our crew were amazing. They worked hard every day, and got us the best of the best. I have attached one of my best clips to this review. This mom was amazing. She came up to us with her calf, and when we could not keep up, she came back to us. The experience on this day was over 1 hour. It was amazing.
Every day was different and every whale was different. I felt like each day it just got better and better!!!
Nadia puts on great trips, and is always there every day. Even if she doesn't go out on the boat. She meets you in the morning and when you get back. She joins for dinner most nights, and honestly, I can't think of anyone else in the world who cares so much about your trip and expeicne. She is very unique and her energy is contagious!
I am so happy to have my dreams come true! I am still in shock! I hope to come back in 2024!”
“WOW, Just WOW! It doesn't seem real...But it IS! The whale encounters are an experience of a lifetime. With only 4 in the water at a time and some encounters with moms, calves and escorts lasting over an hour...Simply Incredible! We even had a singer!! It's always exciting to hear the whale's song but to be close enough to physically feel it resonate through your body... UNFORGETABLE! As for Nadia... total rockstar! Her attention to detail and knowledge of Tongan logistics are invaluable. She's operated for years on Vava'u securing access to the best resorts, boats, captains and guides. She is very quick to respond to any questions/concerns you might have pre-trip and is always available throughout your stay. Factor in her infectious energy along with the warmth and kindness of the Tongan people, and you can't go wrong. Do not hesitate to book this trip!”
“The best in Vavau!
I just got back from a wonderful 8 swim day trip in Tonga. This is my third time to Tonga and my best so far. The reason being that I booked with this company. It is very clear to me now that booking with the right company does matter in Vavau. Nadia by far has the best boats in the area, the staff seem to be the best. I don’t day this lightly, as in 2019 and 2018, I went with other companies, and it’s clear that having well trained staff with the whales can make or break your trip. I actually met Nadia as she saved me from a terrible experience in 2019, allowing me a great day of whale swimming. I was so happy, I booked 2021 right away! Of course the tours got pushed, but communication was great and rescheduling was easy!
I had amazing encounters this year, and have already signed up for next year! Thank you!”
“This was one of the most memorable trips we've ever been on! It's absolutely magical to get to swim with humpbacks! Nadia and all the staff were so helpful before and during the trip! They answered all our questions and concerns and were very accommodating throughout the trip. Every day on the boat was so much fun, comfortable and I learned loads from the guides and staff - I can't recommend Humpback swims enough!”
“I made the mistake of visiting Vava’u 5 years ago and not making any bookings. Nadia and her team saved me. Just showing up doesn’t work on this small island and the boats that had space available were a 1 star in comparison to what this company has. Everything makes a difference and it’s worth going with a company who knows what they are doing. I can’t say enough good things about this company. Look no further.”
“Thank you nadia! This was the experience and trip of a lifetime! Everyday was different on the water. Just when we thought it couldn't get better, it did. The whale encounters were fantastic. Our captain and crew were top notch. They were very helpful and more importantly, very respectful of the whales. Our accommodations were lovely. A beautiful property that was very clean and equipped with everything we needed. Small kitchen, with refrigerator, gas cooktop, microwave, kettle. Nice sized bathroom. Mosey, the property manager, and her family and staff were so sweet. Anything you needed, she made happen. Breakfast on the patio was always a treat. You will not be disappointed! I can't wait to go back!”
“This experience was amazing, It absolutely exceeded any expectations I thought I had and the time spent in the water and interactions with the whales is now a lifetime memory, The crew were amazing, knowledgeable and experienced. The accommodation was fantastic and hosts warm and welcoming. Thank you Nadia for an awesome adventure”