This year, why not try exploring the ocean with underwater safari that takes you up close and personal to the sea’s biggest creatures—whales.

Deep sea diving expertise is not needed for this one-of-a-kind excursion offered by Natural World Safaris. Sri Lanka is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of  pygmy blue whales and swimmers will get up and close personal with Patrick Dykstra, a blue whale expert and naturalist photographer.

No professional diving gear is required, swimmers need only don a mask, flippers and snorkel to take part in the fun. But Dykstra will only take participants who are good swimmers and people who will respect the natural surroundings. Natural World Safaris utilizes low-emission boats that limit noise in the water.

Guests on this underwater safari are invited help Dykstra gather information that will help scientists better understand whales, including migratory patterns and how they interact with other creatures. Only four people are allowed per excursion to respect the whale’s natural habitat and there is no set time limit to each trip.

“We also don’t settle for merely seeing a blue whale, or even seeing one underwater, we are always seeking that ‘take your breath away’ life changing up close encounter that you will remember for the rest of your life,” said Dykstra.

Only between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales exist and they're classified as an endangered species by the WWF.  The pygmy blue whale native to Sri Lanka can reach up to 82 feet in length.

Blue whale tours are conducted in February, March and April which offer the best sea conditions around Sri Lanka during that time of year. But you should start saving now because each dive costs over $7,000 per person.