Swim with Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in June and July. Limited departures and availability for this unique 7 day liveaboard marine encounter. Swimming with Minke Whales, diving with Sharks, hanging with Giant Potato Cod fish and playing with puppy like Humphead Maori Wrasse
Swimming in the water with the Minke Whales is described as a life-changing experience.
It’s not uncommon for people to emerge from the water screaming with joy, crying with happiness, or just with a blank look on their faces and speechless.
It’s astounding watching and listening to the stories as the snorkelers emerge from the waters of the Great Barrier Reef after just spending time swimming with the Dwarf Minke whales.
Blindly chattering away at what they saw, how they felt and what the Minke Whale did and what it looked like, and how it sounded.
It’s an animal encounter experience they simply cannot wait to do again.
If you too want to add this amazing marine encounter to your Australia Holiday Bucketlist, then you need to book your berth on our 7 day swim with the Dwarf Minke Whale tours today!
Dwarf Minke Whales travel through the Great Barrier Reef waters each tropical winter, with most sightings occurring during the months of June and July.
To date the Great Barrier Reef is the only location in the world where snorkel and dive tours with Minke Whales are available as it is the only known place in our vast oceans where these whales can be predicted to gather in numbers at the same place annually.
Most Minke Whale sightings occur at Ribbon Reef # 10, where some of our best scuba dive sites are located.
When Swimming with Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef you can hear them communicating under the water with a robotic type of sound that is entrancing.
It is a truly remarkable moment when these inquisitive whales slowly approach you and glide gracefully past, and they sneak a look directly at you eye to eye.
Your body and brain spasm in unison with the feelings and emotions of what just occurred, you nearly forget to exhale the water from your snorkel.
Spending time with these amazing marine creatures you’ll realise just how privileged we are to share the ocean with them.
A Great Barrier Reef Marine Park code of practice is in place to manage safety for both snorkelers and whales, providing the maximum opportunity to see whales at very close range while ensuring the whales interact purely on their terms.
When the whales are spotted the boat turns off it’s engines and lays flotation ropes in the water.
The guests put on their snorkel gear and slide quietly into the water and await the approach from the whales whist holding onto the floating ropes.
Whilst the whale sightings are not guaranteed, to date we have had 98% success of swimming with the whales.
These encounters can be brief or they can last for 10 hours or more dependant on how inquisitive and playful they wish to be.
Every day we will be looking for the whales and using every single opportunity to swim with them.
Most diver and whale interactions occur while snorkelling as the whales do not seem to like the scuba tanks on the backs of divers.
Our swim with Minke Whale expeditions are suitable for both snorkelers and certified open water scuba divers.
The close-up whale action combined with excellent winter visibility on the Ribbon Reefs makes for some of the best scuba diving in the world.
Advanced divers come from the world over to dive these same reefs the Minke Whales seem to love and over the 7 days on board the liveaboard dive boat you will have the opportunity to tick off some other bucket list items such as diving with a gam of sharks, and diving with the famous Giant Potato Cod at the Cod Hole.
The Ribbon Reefs
The most prized dive region of Great Barrier Reef, this stretch of reef from Lizard Island to Cooktown is also where the Minke Whales migrate each year to breed and calve.
Nutrient rich waters from the Continental Shelf attract abundant fish and coral species.
A sloping reef, rich with hard and soft corals and reef fish.
Minke Whales are sometimes spotted here.
This site makes a very exciting night dive with congregations of hunting fish such as gams of sharks and trevally
This is one of the best places to see dwarf minke whales but it’s also an excellent dive site in its own right with one large pinnacle attracting tonnes of marine life including sharks, rays, turtles and reef fish, olive sea snakes, stonefish and other critters.
Mid-expedition we moor off Lizard Island, saying goodbye to some guests and welcoming new ones.
You will have a few hours to relax on the beach, go for a swim or climb the hill to Chinaman’s Ridge for a view.
One of our crew members will show you around.
The Cod Hole
The Cod Hole is famous for its diver-sized potato cod.
These fish are incredibly inquisitive and don’t mind getting very chummy with divers.
A great opportunity to capture photographs of these magnificent characters or simply hang out and enjoy their company.
An exciting pinnacle dive, draped in soft corals and absolutely heaving with fish life.
Spiral your way up the pinnacle and search for interesting critters such as the flame file clam, or ‘disco clam’, named for the flashing light that appears to pulse along its mantle.
Steve’s Bommie is a photographers dream with an incredible quantity of diverse marine life. Hunt out such creatures as stonefish, scorpionfish, octopus, clown anemone fish and turtles, not to mention the many schools of fish that call this place home.
We have a passenger average of 22 with a maximum of 28 and onboard boat crew of 12.
Our boat was custom designed for the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and its twin hills reduce potential seasickness.
Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.
Friday (4 dives + night dive)
This is a sample of a ‘typical day’, however exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.
Saturday (4 dives + night dive)
As per above
Sunday (4 dives)
As per above, however all diving is finished by 5:00pm. We moor off Lizard Island for the evening.
As the sun sets we pour the sparkling wine, lay out the nibbles and get ready for an Aussie BBQ party night. Don’t forget to wear your loudest tropical shirt or dress and sing along to music played by our talented crew.
Monday (2 dives + night dive)
Tuesday (4 dives + night dive)
Wednesday (4 dives)
As per above.
Exit last dive 5:00pm.
As the sun sets we pour the sparkling wine, lay out the nibbles and get ready for a final farewell party!
Overnight cruise to Cairns
We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5:00pm Wednesday).
Book your Swim with Minke Whale liveaboard dive trip early to ensure your berth on this amazing Great Barrier Reef tour.
Where the Dwarf Minke Whales hang out, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Pinnacle, Steve’s Bommie, The Cod Hole, Gotham City, Ribbon Reefs, Dynamite Pass, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Wall, Coral Kingdom, Flare Point, Blue Lagoon, Vertical Gardens
June - July
2023 Departure dates: 8 June | 15 June | 22 June | 29 June | 6 July | 13 July
Scuba Diving Restrictions
From January 2022 all passengers must be fully vaccinated against COVID 19
All cancellations must be in writing.
Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee.
Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.
Operator’s Cancellation Policy:
Insurance should be taken to cover: weather problem; expedition cancellations; airline difficulties; medical problems and lost or damaged luggage. Unforeseen weather or machinery problems may cause us to cancel or change an itinerary. No refund is offered for time lost due to the medical evacuation of a guest or reduction of dives due to weather conditions. No compensation is offered to guests to change flights or holiday plans. DiveAssure offers cover for both Australian residents & non-residents traveling to Australia.
Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.
Tour Code: 672