Thanks to the consistently warm weather in Hawaii, we have visitors year-round, and every year, more individuals and families come over to swim with the manta rays.
In this article, we address the minimum age for going on a nighttime swim – as well as the maximum age for this bucket list experience.
Swimming with Mantas at Night can be Scary…
We often hear an adult participant leave the water saying:
“I can’t believe I just did this! Since childhood, I’ve always been afraid of water!”
Whether it was a daytime or nighttime sea adventure with dolphins, manta rays, or other magnificent marine life, they had just experienced the ocean in its full glory and that’s a truly amazing experience.
What these people have in common, is a traumatic experience at a young age – maybe at the pool, or on a boat, or even in the bathtub. These experiences can have a lasting effect and even lead to aquaphobia.
Because of that, growing up or even when older they never wanted to go on a water adventure (like diving with manta rays) … that’s a lot to miss out on.
What we can all learn from these stories, is that it’s uber-important that a first underwater experience needs to be safe and fun.
However, going into the ocean at night can be rather scary, especially for impressionable young minds. And while most adults can easily understand the briefings and know how to stay perfectly safe on a moonlight swim, that’s not the case for most children.
Minimum Age for the Manta Ray Moonlight Swim
We believe the minimum age needs to be 12 years old and request that the child is accompanied by an adult.
Even when the child is 12 or older, we’ve seen youngsters getting scared during the briefing. On several occasions, we checked with the parents and gave the guests a way out. No one should be forced to join a manta dive!
For our team, it is morally imperative that everyone has positive memories of a lifetime ocean experience and for a child younger than 12 the risk might be that the precious mind associates water and ocean with fear. This isn’t about being a good swimmer or snorkeler, it is about emotional maturity and participating in an activity that takes 99 % of all of our guests outside their comfort zone. We never want to be the reason a child may develop fear at a young age.
To Old for a Manta Ray Dive?
Meet Gita, a great-grandmother who just can’t get enough of manta rays. 🙂
At 64, she was introduced to daytime scuba diving and nighttime snorkeling with manta rays.
At 70, Gita snorkeled with them the second time.
At the young age of 82, she experienced the mantas again in March 2019 – and 82 was the maximum age we’ve had on a manta swim up until then.
This is what she said afterward, “Es war [wieder] wunderschön!”
(Translation: It was beautiful again!)
Check out this brief video of Gita’s breathtaking experience:
Maximum Age for Swimming with Mantas
Gita (who also happens to my mother) definitely proved the maximum age for manta dives is more than 82!
It never ceases to amaze me how youthful my mom is and how blessed our family is to have her as a role model full of courage and uplifting spirits.
Gita is not the only one though: over the years, we have had several guests in their eighties or even over ninety years old.
What’s important is that you’re a good swimmer (so you’re comfortable in the ocean, even at night) and that you’re physically healthy enough to go snorkeling for over an hour.
What Are You Waiting For?
Gita traveled 28 hours from Germany to Hawaii to swim with the gentle giants.
You can do it too!
For more information about our Manta Ray Moonlight Swim, click here.
If you’re not ready to book yet but it’s on your bucket list, download our Guide to Swimming with Manta Rays in Hawaii – which includes our green list of tour operators, more information about equipment and safety, and everything else you need to know before you dive in. Download it here!