Discover the beauty of the ocean’s most inquisitive creatures ... look into a whale’s eye, an encounter that moves many to tears and leaves none unchanged. This trip caters for anyone wanting a dedicated, once-in-a-lifetime minke whale snorkel. Maybe you are a photographer? Or you simply want to spend quality time in the company of awe-inspiring wildlife.
Why this is the right trip for you
This trip is designed for people who only wish to swim with Minke Whales.
This very special trip and one of the very few entirely dedicated to snorkelling with Minke Whales;
It is led by Vanessa Mignon, a multi-award winning photographer and conservationist who has spent a lifetime convening with underwater creatures. Vanessa will can help you with everything from your understanding of animals to photography tips;
Argo is a medium-sized (27m), stable superyacht. The small group means you won't be sharing the water with lots of other people (you could, if you wished, spend hours in the water);
We won't be heading off diving in the middle of a life-altering encounter. We have three full days dedicated to Minke Whale swims (plus the option for another half day on day 5); and
Argo is stable enough to allow 'drift snorkels' ... this is where the vessel and swimmers are unanchored. Not all vessels are equipped for this and it offers the best chance for multiple or group encounters with whales.
Cabin options (twin, triple)
Note, from price shown when you entered this page is for the Standard Cabin (no ensuite), triple-share
There are ONLY FOUR CABINS available:
Standard cabin #1 (BLUE) = without ensuite (twin / triple sharing)
Standard cabin #2 (BLUE) = without ensuite
Ensuite cabin #3 (RED) = (twin / triple sharing)
Ensuite cabin #4 (RED) = (twin / triple sharing)
There are four cabins in total, two with ensuite and two without. Each cabin is suitable for 2-3 adults.
$0 deposit & COVID-forced cancellation policy
If you want to reserve a spot, you can choose to book with a $0 deposit for 10 days, while we answer your questions. We will need a 20% deposit from you to secure the booking, once you are satisfied with the full terms and conditions.
Accommodation is on board MV Argo. This 27m comfortable motor yacht has a cruising range of 3,000 kilometres. She can accommodate up to 16 passengers in comfortable and well-appointed cabins below deck. A large and comfortable saloon area allows guests to spread out and have their own space when not enjoying the outdoors.
The aft deck space is ideal for a BBQ lunch or dinner, and the aft duckboard provides plenty of space for preparation before your next snorkel. The large top deck is partially covered to enjoy a quiet drink in comfort as you contemplate the sunset, while the uncovered area gives the perfect viewing platform to observe the day’s activities or simply enjoy the starry skies on the Great Barrier Reef after sunset.
Vanessa Mignon Vanessa Mignon was born in Brittany, in the West of France, and spent most of her childhood on the beaches of that wild coast. In 2003 she moved to Australia, got her first SLR camera and travelled to remote locations to witness amazing wildlife spectacles including Humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga and Sperm Whales in Africa. Vanessa is focused on sharing the beauty of the world and playing a part in protecting it. She is a member of the Ocean Artists Society and an Ambassador for the Undersea Soft Encounter Alliance. She was also awarded the 2015 International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Action Award as Marine Photographer of the Year. Vanessa's is responsible for the photos on this page and led the Minke Whale trip with Argo in 2021.
Two have ensuite and are available as either twin or triple.
Two have no ensuite and are available as either twin, triple or quad share.
The cabins without ensuite share a single bathroom. There is an additional bathroom also located on the top deck.
Best Time to Visit
Day 1 - Cairns
Arriving in Cairns, make your way to the city centre where you will meet our expert expedition leader. After dinner (own expense), we will head to the marina where you’ll board the vessel and meet the crew for a 9:00 PM departure and steam overnight to our first minke whale swim destination.
Day 2 - Ribbon Reefs
A light breakfast will be served as you wake up to the Ribbon Reefs stretching out before you take your first dive or snorkel followed by a hot cooked meal. In the evening you’ll be entertained by your expert guide who will teach you about the whales.
Day 3-4 - Ribbon Reefs and Surrounds
Help us look for more whales (though often find us) and explore the northern Ribbon Reefs. During encounters you’ll help the identify individual whales and key behaviours - be sure to keep an ear out for the Minke’s unique acoustic repertoire.
Day 5 - Ribbon Reefs
Another chance to enjoy a swim with the Minkes in the morning before steaming south back towards Cairns.
Day 6 - Cairns
Disembark at 9:00 AM and arrange travel for your onward journey, or back home.
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$100 per itinerary. Creating unique travel itineraries is our specialty. For detailed quotations providing tailored recommendations for custom designed tours, a non-refundable planning fee applies. Should you proceed with booking, this fee is credited towards your trip.
$30 Domestic airfare per person
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$140 International package, tour or cruise per booking
$35 Hotels only per booking
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