WHALE & DOLPHIN TRIP:
One of the world's most whale-rich areas awaits on this exploratory trip. Our goals are to photograph, film and swim with BLUE WHALES, SPERM WHALES, DOLPHINS or maybe even DUGONGS, in the area experts call the "marine mammal superhighway." East Timor is Asia's youngest country, a hidden gem that has yet to be discovered by the masses, just a 2-hour flight from Bali.
NOVEMBER 17-23, 2019 (7D/6N)
$3450 per person
(until Sept 30)*
Includes: 7D/6N hotel, overland transfers, breakfast, lunches, boat, guides, permits, workshops, access to cameras, and a video of your trip!
Ideal for: Beginner to Advanced
(open ocean swimming).
Does NOT include: Flights, insurance, alcohol, dinners, etc.
*Based on twin sharing, only until Sept 30.
Reg. price $3750
BOOK MY TRIP
Deposit only US$400
There are very few places in the world that allow a person to try to swim with whales. Documentary Trips has chosen East Timor as a top option for the unique setting, immaculate beaches, true exploration away from tourist crowds, and the sheer number of whales. Unlike other destinations, East Timor virtually assures a serene experience, as we are likely to be the only boat looking for whales.
Our group will meet up in Dili, the capital, and make our way based on recent sightings. We will enjoy our own private boat, with a scheduled 5 days on the water, departing early and returning to our hotel in the afternoons. There will be a maximum of 8 guests/snorkelers per boat plus a guide. We will be sailing with an experienced crew with a proven track record, in a region that is only recently being revealed to boast one of the world's highest marine mammal densities.
Blue whales will be our top priority, along with other marine mammals. If we are lucky we will have numerous in-water attempts at up-close encounters. Snorkeling is the best choice for both our own mobility as well as keeping our intrusiveness to a minimum. Guests should be prepared to spend long hours on a boat searching for whales. You can choose to test your underwater camera skills with us or let us do the filming and take home an amazing video of your experience to share online with friends. Sign up to borrow a camera, try out our drone, or join a photo or video workshop.
A RARE EXPERIENCE
This trip is created for the ocean-loving types who are serious about travel and want to experience something few others have, in a country few have even heard of, outside Oceania. Most of our days will be dedicated to achieving in-water encounters with whales, an experience that you will feel in your core and never forget the rest of your life.
Our daily whale searches will center around Atauro Island and the famed Wetar and Ombai straits, home to a major migratory route for numerous whale species. The seafloor here plummets to 3,000 meters (9,890 feet), marking the boundary between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This huge flow of water is the great blue wilderness you've been dreaming of!
No matter what anyone says, we know that in nature there are no guarantees. And we are after one of the rarest sights in the world. The reality is that weather and animal behaviour, of course, are all beyond our control. Yes, it is a long way to go. All of these things are true, but these are Blue Whales! Seeing one up-close underwater or even just near our boat is as unbelievable as it seems. It is worth the effort and with some luck, it could be legendary!
Part of what makes the experience unique is its remoteness. There are few international flights into the country, departing mainly from Indonesia and Australia, which makes for a long journey for many. Being this far off the beaten path means we need to be prepared for the unexpected and pack loads of patience -- a small price to pay for authentic ocean exploration.
If guests are interested, time and weather permitting, we may also be able to scuba dive at various sites, enjoy secluded beach lunches, and connect with the local Indigenous community. Our filming goals will include interviewing elders, researchers, and capturing as much on land as below the waves, and you are free to join us or do your own thing. When you're on board with us, your experience is our priority.
DIEGO A. GARCIA
Producer / UW Camera
Currently the editor of Asian Diver magazine, and field editor for DivePhotoGuide.com, Diego is also a producer and underwater cameraman whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel (Daily Planet, Shark Week), National Geographic, CNN, Crime & Investigation (AETN), CNA, etc. He has filmed in more than 25 countries, from whale sharks in Mozambique, to ancient rituals in Indonesia, to prisons in Mongolia. His first love is the ocean, and he is trained as a PADI Divemaster and DCBC cameraman.
"I have had some amazing moments underwater in my life, but filming the blue whale was the pinnacle of my career. Every glance at this incredible animal is precious."
Producer / Writer
Courtney is where she is today because of an old, dusty National Geographic magazine that she found when she was 10 years old. The vivid images and weighted tales sparked her drive to travel and her love for in-depth storytelling. With a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, Courtney is currently a freelance writer and a producer for Documentary Trips. Previously, she was an associate producer for Discovery Channel's nightly science news show, Daily Planet, where she worked with subjects from around the world, translating dynamic science content into digestible stories.
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All trips to swim with blue whales are subject to local government permit process.
Details may be subject to change. Be in touch before booking your flight or vacation!