Humpbacks are known for their complex, imaginative songs which have the largest frequency range used by whales. In warm waters, they create beautiful, sometimes eerie sequences of squeaks and howls that travel through calm oceans. When the water is cold, the sounds become rougher, sounding more like groans. The reason for their songs and the difference in temperature in not known but could be to do with mating season or hunting, although only males have been recorded singing.
These powerful swimmers are found in all major ocean basins and are migratory, spending the summer in cooler polar waters, and then calving in tropical waters. The population living in the Arabian Sea is an exception to the rule, sticking to tropical waters year round. Humpbacks are seen as far south as Antarctica and as far north as the Canadian and Norwegian Arctic then can be seen in destinations such as Canada, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Alaska and Colombia. The four populations of humpback are known as North Atlantic, North Pacific, Northern Indian Ocean and Southern Hemisphere.
Our Swimming with Humpback Whales in the Cook Islands Safari is in September
The best time to see humpbacks in the Polar Regions is the summer, bearing in mind that the summer in the Arctic will be end of May to August, and in Antarctica will be end of October to February. Despite there being less daylight, you can also swim with Humpbacks in Norway on our Swimming with Orca Safari in November.
In Madagascar, Humpback whales migrate from July to September through a channel between the mainland and Ile Sainte Marie on their way to the breeding grounds, providing an excellent opportunity to view them.
Swimming alongside these magnificent animals in the Cook Islands, with just a snorkel, is a fascinating privilege. Staying in your water facing villa at Aitutaki Private Island Resort, you will spend your days on the boat and swimming with the humpbacks.