Moorea, French Polynesia September 2018 Photo Workshop



 Moorea Photo Workshop 2018

This is why you must do this trip:

We would like to invite you on a very special trip. Imagine being picked up by boat directly from your hotel. A trip where you can have a close encounter with a whale 10 minutes after leaving the dock. A location that puts you in warm, clear water and takes 1/3 the time to get to than most other humpback whale destinations, and costs half the price. A trip where the operator never cuts a whale encounter short. A trip where you are in the water with a small group of people, 6 at most, compared to 20 people on the "day boats". And, you can actually travel light on this trip and leave your scuba gear, macro lenses and strobes at home, as it is snorkeling only, using only available light for photography.

Even seeing whales at a distance is exciting, but being up close and personal with such huge, intelligent creatures in their own environment is an experience beyond compare. Encounters with humpbacks are often fleeting, but it’s not unusual for the whales to hang around for 20 minutes or more. You can’t help but be moved by such an experience, especially when a mother whale trusts you enough to allow her calf to approach within touching distance and play among the humans. To say the experience is life-changing is not an exaggeration!

In 2017, Bluewater ran 6 such expeditions in Moorea, with multiple whale encounters nearly every day. Naturally this resulted in some incredible photo ops, and most participants ended up with a number of excellent images. To take best advantage of this amazing opportunity, however, Bluewater is offering one special trip as a dedicated Photo Expedition. While our other Moorea humpback trips also offer excellent photo ops, only this trip, led by highly experienced underwater photographer Mark Strickland, includes daily photo instruction and image reviews, all aimed to prepare our guests to make the most of every photo op. A veteran of many successful photo trips with humpbacks and other marine mammals, Mark will be sharing his extensive photographic knowledge and insights on whale behavior throughout the trip, doing everything possible to ensure that each participant comes home with images they’re proud of. With only 5 spaces available, however, this trip is bound to fill up fast, so best to make reservations sooner rather than later.


Read the exciting recap from our previous trip

Humpback whale season is from August 1st to November 1st. The trip is in the peak of the season.


All photos taken by Mark Strickland during a previous trip to Moorea.
See more amazing photos here

September 15 - 22, 2018

Led by Mark Strickland

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Only $3,245 for 7 nights

*If you can't join Mark on these dates, there are other Moorea trips available. See the dates & details here


✓ Small group size (max 6 guests, incl trip leader)

✓ 5 days on the water looking for whales, weather permitting, on a private boat with captain and guide and 1 day of rest to explore or relax

✓ Lunch provided on the boat

✓ 7 nights accommodation at Hotel Kaveka, twin occupancy

✓ Daily photo workshops


✗ Breakfast & dinner not included. Buying food at the grocery store can be inexpensive. Most restaurants will pick you up free of charge at the hotel, but the restaurants can be pricey. There is a reasonably priced pizza place within walking distance of Hotel Kaveka.

✗ Taxi to/from Airport/Ferry and Ferry/Hotel (~$25 USD, split among passengers), 4 taxi rides total

✗ Upgrading to a single occupancy room

✗ Trip insurance

✗ Ferry Ride to and from Moorea ~$30 USD round trip. You can also fly, though the ferries are cheap and you can buy tickets on site (i.e. they don’t need to be purchased in advance.) There are two ferry companies: (Has 2 ferry boats) (Has 1 ferry boat)

✗ Tips


Boat Details - semi-inflatable 24ft / 7.5m boat.

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Sample Itinerary

> Day 1: International flight arrival, take ferry to Moorea, hotel arrival

> Day 2 - 7: Look for whales 9AM - 4PM (Pickup / dropoff times are sample times and not guaranteed). With a day of rest in the middle.

> Day 8: Depart hotel, take ferry back to Tahiti

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Trip Leader Testimonials

"Over many decades of diving, I've gone on a number of photo workshops on liveaboard trips, but none come close to the standard set by Mark Strickland! Every day we had an hour or more discussion about some aspect of underwater photography, including some specialized topics that helped a lot, plus an image review of three or four shots each diver had taken that day. Mark's critiques were always constructive and our photos got steadily better. Mark is also a great guy, fun to travel with, fun to dive with. He never minded being asked for help, either! All in all one of the best trips ever! And we for sure will go on another of his trips soon!" - Tom Baker

"I'm a better shooter as a result of Mark's instruction" - Mark Hatter

"Mark was patient, knowledgeable, organized, and friendly. He had a concern for all of us--travel-wise and photography-wise. He was one of the best." and "Mark and Adam made me tremendous fan of Blue Water Travel and will absolutely guarantee that I will book another trip with them again. You guys more than rock." - Dr. Ray T

About the Trip Leader

Mark Strickland’s life-long interest in the sea has included over 10,000 dives and careers as lifeguard, boat captain and scuba instructor. His passion for underwater photography has led him to many top dive locales, including Virgin Islands, Australia, and Thailand, where he spent 17 years as Cruise Director on a series of liveaboards. Mark now resides in Ventura county, California.

An avid marine naturalist, Mark has discovered several nudibranch species. He is co-author and principle photographer for Lonely Planet’s award-winning book, “Diving and Snorkeling Thailand”, and his work appears in many magazines, books and displays around the world. Currently, Mark leads several dive trips each year to his favorite destinations, while working on a career-spanning large-format pictorial book.

Mark's photos and articles have appeared in magazines and books around the world, including Action Asia, BBC Wildlife, National Geographic World, Natural History, Scuba Diving, Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Sportdiving, Unterwasser and many others. In addition to representation by several stock photo agencies, Mark operates his own photo library, Mark Strickland Photography,


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About Hotel Kaveka - Family owned and operated, The Hotel Kaveka offers incredible value for discerning travelers from around the world. Nobody knows Moorea better than the team of professionals at The Hotel Kaveka. Portable televisions with local reception are in the bungalows along with a mini refrigerator and air conditioning. The rooms included on this trip are the better rooms with air-conditioning.


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Payment Schedule
> $800 - Due at time of reservation
> $1,000 - Due February 1, 2018
> Remainder - Due July 1, 2018

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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at 310-915-6677 email us at

Or stop by our office at 3961 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 206 Culver City, CA 90230 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Moorea Humpback Whale Photos Taken by Ron Watkins


Moorea Humpback Whale Photos Taken by Katie Yonker


Moorea Humpback Whale Photo Taken by Erik Lukas


Moorea Humpback Whale Photos Taken by Scott Gietler
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