Swimming with blue whales - free dive

Swimming with Blue Whales in Sri Lanka

Arabella Worthington

Arabella Worthington

01 Jul 2015


Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take part on our extraordinary Sri Lanka Blue Whale Safari getting up close and personal with these magnificent creatures and learning about their behaviour and habitats.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Sri Lanka with Patrick Dykstra, our specialist guide. You can tell how incredibly passionate the whole team are about what they do and in particular the respect that they have for these giants of the ocean.

This whale watching season in Sri Lanka has proven to be one of the best in the last decade. For the first time ever, footage of a mother blue whale nursing her calf was captured on film. The stunning footage was taken as part of a research trip where the team also filmed of a pair of pygmy sperm whales – which may be first footage ever recorded of live pygmy sperm whales in the wild in Sri Lanka!

Swimming with blue whales - video

Patrick excitedly told me: ‘our understanding of these animals and ability to protect them continues to improve with each passing year which is a thrill for me and vital for future conservation efforts.’

The Sri Lanka Blue Whale Safari allows travellers the once in a lifetime opportunity to go alongside photographer Patrick Dykstra as he photographs the whales and also assists researchers on their studies of the whales. This pioneering itinerary allows a handful of travellers the chance to swim and be photographed alongside them. A portion of the trip cost is donated towards whale conservation and the photographs are made available to wildlife and tourism authorities to help marine conservation efforts.

Swimming with blue whales - paddle

We are running three group departures (maximum 4 guests per departure) in March/April next year. These are so popular that there are only 4 spaces left and I imagine they’ll be fully booked very soon. We also can put together private departures for couples/families (with a minimum of 5 days to maximise chances with the whales), who wish to have a more exclusive safari. So, if you’re keen on making a booking or have any questions please get in touch with me as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on this extraordinary experience.



18/9/2018 2:17 PM

Hello friends! I plan to visit Mirissa in the middle of November this year, and really want to swim with whales, is it possible, what is the cost per person?


17/9/2018 7:29 PM

Hi, do you have the contacts for me to join them this year? I would love to be swimming with these gentle giants. Thank you.


17/3/2018 2:47 PM

Hi, We are planning to go to Srilanka in March end this year. Where in Srilanka is this? Where can we book this experience? Thanks!

NWS Arabella

21/2/2017 3:24 PM

Hi Mathilde, Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately this trip does not run in May as it is not the best time to swim with blue whales in Sri Lanka. We have a number of marine safaris that give you immersive experiences with whales though, so check out our marine guide or contact for more information on these trips (links on the right side of the header). Best wishes, Arabella

Mathilde Limito

21/2/2017 3:16 PM

Hello Arabella, I just watched your video on Youtube, that was incredible. I'm going to Sri Lanka on may 2017 and I really want to share the same experience than you. I'm passionated about whales since a long time and that would be a real dream for me to live such a experience. I wanted to know what is the name of the safari and where you can book. Thank you so much in advance. And congratulations for your article and video.

NWS Arabella

12/1/2017 9:44 AM

Hi Levi, Thanks for getting in touch. The swimming with blue whales trip only takes part during the best season to see the whales which lies between March & April in Sri Lanka. We prefer not to run day trips as wildlife/weather/visibility can be unpredictable which may restrict the amount of time you can spend in the water with the whales. In September the east coast is better for whale and dolphin watching but this can only be done from a boat rather than swimming with them. Best, Arabella.


11/1/2017 8:42 PM

Hallo, We are visiting Sri Lanka with 4 adults next September. Is iT possible to do daytrips to swim with blue whales? What are the costs? Where does the trip start? Kind regards, Levi


2/7/2015 12:30 PM

This is possibly one of the most unique and exciting trips that we have done and it is great to see that money we have raised also goes to the right places. Wildlife tourism is never an easy thing and we don't claim to be the ultimate conservationists, however hopefully little by little we can contribute to the survival of species that without this tourism would vanish into thin air...

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