French Polynesia Whale Season

French Polynesia is a popular destination for whale watching during the winter months, from July to October. The warm waters of the South Pacific are home to several species of whales, including humpback whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales.


tail of a whaleThe different types of whales found in French Polynesia

 Whales of various species, such as humpback whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales, can be found in French Polynesia. Since they move to the warm waters of French Polynesia in the winter to breed and give birth, humpback whales are the most frequently seen whales. For visitors taking a whale watching cruise, these whales’ acrobatic displays, such breaching and tail slapping, can be a breathtaking sight. A humpback whale can reach a length of 50 feet and a weight of 40 tons. They are renowned for their peculiar songs, which are audible miles beneath the surface.

Year-round sightings of sperm whales are possible in the waters off French Polynesia as well. The huge heads of these whales, which account for nearly one-third of their body length, are well known. They are also renowned for their lengthy, 3,000-foot-deep dives, which may last up to an hour. Also considered to be very gregarious animals, sperm whales frequently congregate in big groups.


Even though they are less frequent, pilot whales can be observed in the winter. These whales are distinguished by their sleek black bodies, prominent dorsal fins, and large size. They are very gregarious animals and frequently exist in big groups called pods. In addition to being intelligent, pilot whales have been seen to engage in sophisticated problem-solving techniques.


The best places to go whale watching in French Polynesia

The islands of Moorea and Bora Bora are the best locations in French Polynesia for whale watching. Moorea is well-known for its pristine waters and verdant scenery and is a well-liked location for whale-watching and snorkeling. Tourists may reach this island with ease because it is just a short ferry trip from Tahiti’s main island.


With its turquoise waters and gorgeous coral reefs, Bora Bora is also a well-liked spot for whale watching. The island is a well-liked honeymoon destination because of its opulent resorts and overwater bungalows. Bora Bora is a fantastic location for diving, snorkeling, and other water sports. In addition, there are excellent prospects for whale viewing on the islands of Raiatea, Taha’a, and Huahine. These islands are renowned for their seclusion and untainted beauty, which makes them ideal for a more personal and genuine whale watching experience.


whale watchingThe importance of responsible whale watching practices

To have as little of an influence as possible on the whale population and their habitat, proper whale viewing is essential. This entails keeping a respectful distance from the whales, refraining from pursuing or approaching them, and refraining from interfering with their natural behaviors. Boats should keep at least 200 yards away from sperm whales and 100 yards away from humpback whales, according to the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Additionally, it’s critical to pick a whale-watching tour provider with a solid track record for treating whales and their habitat with care. Additionally, ethical tour companies will have qualified naturalists on board who can answer questions about the whales and their environment and provide advice on how to behave around them.


The impact of climate change on French Polynesia’s whale population

 French Polynesia’s whale population is significantly impacted by climate change. Warmer waters may have an impact on the whales’ travel and breeding patterns, as well as reduce their access to food sources. The whale population is also threatened by acidification of the ocean and rising sea levels. The tiny marine creatures that whales depend on for food may suffer as a result of coral reefs dying off as the oceans warm. Additionally, modifications in ocean currents might impede whale migration patterns, making it more challenging for them to locate food and calving areas.

Storm frequency and intensity can rise due to climate change, which can harm whale habitats and make it harder for animals to survive. Along with beach erosion and sea level rise, these storms pose a threat to the coastal regions where many whale watching cruises are offered.


In order to conserve the whale population and their environment in French Polynesia, it is crucial that we take action to lessen our carbon impact. This entails lowering our reliance on fossil fuels, encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, and cutting back on waste and pollution. Additionally, we may aid conservation groups that seek to safeguard the whale population and their environment in French Polynesia as well as other parts of the world.


man watching whaleHow to plan a sustainable whale watching trip to French Polynesia

It’s crucial to pick a tour company that uses sustainable techniques when organizing a whale-watching vacation to French Polynesia. This entails employing boats that are powered by clean energy, respecting the habitat of whales, and participating in conservation initiatives. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider your personal environmental impact while choosing your lodging and mode of transportation.


In order to support sustainable tourism practices, look for accommodations that have received certification from groups like Green Globe or Rainforest Alliance. Additionally, instead of hiring a gas-guzzling car or flying, think about using public transportation or renting a fuel-efficient vehicle to go around.


When selecting a tour company, search for one that supports ethical whale watching methods by being a member of groups like the International Whaling Commission (IWC) or the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Additionally, make sure you are mindful of and completely adhere to the rules and legislation regulating whale viewing in French Polynesia. This will make your vacation more pleasurable and environmentally friendly while also helping to save the whale population and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations.


Finally, French Polynesia is a stunning location for whale watching, with a variety of whale species that may be seen all year long. To reduce the negative effects on the whale population and their habitat, responsible and sustainable whale watching must be practiced. We can ensure that future generations will be able to appreciate the beauty of the whales in French Polynesia by adopting sustainable behaviors, lowering our carbon footprint, and supporting conservation efforts.

Our Top FAQ's

French Polynesia is home to several species of whales, including humpback whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales. Humpback whales are the most commonly sighted during the winter months, as they migrate to the warm waters of French Polynesia to breed and give birth. Sperm whales can be spotted year-round, and pilot whales are less common but can also be seen during the winter months.

The best places to go whale watching in French Polynesia are the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora. Moorea is known for its crystal-clear waters and lush green landscapes, while Bora Bora is known for its turquoise waters and stunning coral reefs. Other islands such as Raiatea, Taha’a, and Huahine are also great places to spot whales.

Responsible whale watching guidelines include staying at a safe distance from the whales, not chasing or approaching them, and not disturbing their natural behaviors. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) recommends staying at least 100 yards away from humpback whales and 200 yards away from sperm whales. It is also important to choose a tour operator that follows sustainable practices and has a good reputation for respecting the whales and their habitat.

Climate change can affect the breeding and migration patterns of the whales, and can also lead to a decline in the availability of their food sources. Rising sea levels and ocean acidification also threaten the whale population. Climate change can also increase the frequency and intensity of storms, which can damage the habitats of the whales and make it more difficult for them to survive. It is important to take measures to reduce our carbon footprint and support conservation efforts to protect the whale population and their habitat in French Polynesia.

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