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The shallow, warm waters around the Hawaiian islands are an annual stop-over for Pacific humpback whales, making Hawaii one of the world's best whale watching locales. See below for our tips on seeing these amazing creatures in Hawaiian waters.

When to Go
The arrival of the season's first humpback whale—usually between August and October—is a big deal in the islands. Maui hosts a Whale Festival each year with parades and exhibits at the height of the season in February. Hawaii's humpback whale season is in full swing by November, and winds down with the majority of whales departing in April and May. If viewing whales by boat, opt for an early morning or late afternoon tour to avoid the midday heat and to sail when seas are calmest.

Where to Go
Of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island are best known for their stellar whale watching. The shallow channel between West Maui, Lanai, and Molokai regularly hosts the largest numbers. Land-based watching—from coastal peaks where ocean panoramas make them easy to spot—is also a possibility.

What You'll See
The 45-ton humpbacks display a number of characteristic movements: spouting, breeching (jumping and belly-flopping), smacking the surface with their pectoral fins, and deep diving displaying their tail flukes. But humpbacks aren’t the only species you’re likely to see on a Hawaii whale watch tour—seabirds such as tropicbirds, boobies and albatross as well as marine mammals like Hawaiian spinner dolphins also make frequent appearances.

How to Go
There are many variations on the whale watching cruise in Hawaii. Choose from catamarans, zodiacs, jet-boats and even kayak and outrigger canoe tours that depart from centralized locations including Lahaina and Kaanapali on Maui, Waikiki on Oahu, and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Dedicated charters can last anywhere from two to three hours, but longer adventures combine whale watching with snorkeling or sunset dinner cruising.

What to Bring
Be sure to pack a waterproof camera (an extendable arm can afford incredible underwater shots), sunglasses (polarized are best), a hat, sunscreen, and a light water-resistant jacket. Binoculars and seasickness medication may also be useful.
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91 results | All Hawaii Tours

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Swim with Dolphins Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

Swim with Dolphins Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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164
View dolphins in their natural environment with guides who respect these intelligent creatures’ boundaries. After feeding in deeper waters at night, spinner dolphins come close to the Kona shore where they often interact with boats, playing in their wake. Slip into the water and swim alongside these playful mammals, then enjoy a snorkeling excursion in Kealakekua Bay.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.49
From
$160.49
Taking safety measures

Captain Cook’s (Kealakekua Bay) Afternoon Snorkel

Captain Cook’s (Kealakekua Bay) Afternoon Snorkel

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12
Explore the waters off the coast of Hawaii during a small-group snorkeling excursion from Kailua-Kona. Board an inflatable boat and enjoy easy transportation to Captain Cook's Monument at Kealakekua Bay for a couple hours of snorkeling time. Plus, view the sea caves and lava tubes along the scenic Kona coast and catch sight of dolphins and humpback whales, depending on the season.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.63
From
$106.63

Snorkel Kona-Top 2 Snorkel Spots-Captain Cook Monument & Place of Refuge

Snorkel Kona-Top 2 Snorkel Spots-Captain Cook Monument & Place of Refuge

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It’s common to spot green sea turtles and spinner dolphins while snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay. This snorkel tour departs Keauhou Bay in the morning to avoid the crowds. Explore the coral gardens with a guide who points out the Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge. A tropical lunch, snacks, and beverages are served.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$134.84
From
$134.84

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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28
Set sail down the Kona coastline aboard a trimaran, arriving in the Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve for an afternoon of snorkeling. Splash into the turquoise waters near the Captain Cook Monument, and search for pods of spinner dolphins that frequent the bay. All equipment is provided along with light snacks and reef-safe sunscreen to make the trip convenient.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$82.73
From
$82.73
Taking safety measures

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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This half-day boat cruise takes you to the two best snorkeling sites in Kealakekua Bay: The reef beneath Captain Cook's monument and the underwater lava formations of Red Hill. In addition to breakfast and lunch, your guides provide all necessary equipment, basic snorkeling tips, and identification charts to help you spot fish and dolphins in their natural habitat. Don’t forget your camera—the route showcases sweeping views of the Kona coastline.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.82
From
$141.82
Taking safety measures

Snorkel with Manta Rays Guaranteed

Snorkel with Manta Rays Guaranteed

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126
Embark on an evening adventure and swim near Hawaii’s manta rays. Start the tour with a sunset sail on a comfortable trimaran to ‘Manta Ray Village’. After a safety briefing, put on your snorkel gear and spend an hour in the water using a state-of-the-art, lit up flotation device to stay on the water’s surface and observe the manta rays bellow as they feed on plankton. Finally climb aboard the boat and warm up with hot chocolate and snacks as you return to shore.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$125.70
From
$125.70
Taking safety measures

3 hour Makena Kayak Snorkel Tour w/Free Photos

3 hour Makena Kayak Snorkel Tour w/Free Photos

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The Sustainable choice! 1% for the Planet, Hawaii Ecotourism Association and B Corp Certified. Our certified Marine Naturalist Guides will personally take you on a guided reef tour and also provide FREE Digital Photography. No more than 8 guests per guide on our small group tours.
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  • 3 hours
From
$103.13
From
$103.13

'IMILOA - Express Na Pali Sunset Cruise

'IMILOA - Express Na Pali Sunset Cruise

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10
This tour is perfect for anyone determined to see the Na Pali Coast. This boat was designed to get you out there in comfort and back in style. Get ready for some dolphin encounters, magnificent peaks and valleys, waterfalls, sea caves and more. Our USCG licensed captain will be narrating the tour as our friendly crew will be serving you to your seats. This boat has full shade to protect you from the harsh Hawaiian sun and thick padded seats to ensure your comfort throughout the adventure. A Turkey or Vegetarian meal is offered (please specify option) Beer, wine & Mai Tai's are also available.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$156.76
From
$156.76
Taking safety measures

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet

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304
Sail on a catamaran down Oahu's western coast during this cruise from Ko Olina. Glide through the unspoiled waters on this side of the island in search of dolphins and whales, then dive in for a snorkeling experience in a hidden local spot rich with marine life. Enjoy a Hawaiian buffet, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, before heading back to shore. Choose from three daily departure times. Round-trip transportation from select Oahu hotels is included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$154.00
From
$154.00
Taking safety measures

Swim with Sharks (cage-free)

Swim with Sharks (cage-free)

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Leave your preconceptions about sharks at the door and get up close to these sleek creatures on this unique ocean experience. Head out from Haleiwa, on the North Shore of O’ahu, and spend roughly half an hour swimming with the sharks living in the area. Don’t worry, though: even if you aren’t swimming in a cage, you’re still in safe hands, with a guide on board and a safety diver swimming with each group.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$153.85
Price varies by group size
From
$153.85
Price varies by group size

Private Snorkel Trip from Oahu on a Yacht

Private Snorkel Trip from Oahu on a Yacht

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There are snorkeling trips, and then there are snorkeling trips on a famous, 46-foot yacht with three bedrooms, three restrooms, a full kitchen, lounging areas, a fully-stocked bar, and a prepared lunch. If you’re up for leaving your luxurious accommodations, follow your guide on a 45-minute tour of a reef and the wildlife that calls it home. After snorkeling, return to the yacht (not boat) and bask in the Hawaiian sun as you sail back to the marina. Snorkeling equipment, lunch, drinks from the bar, and bean bags for lounging included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,420.85
per group
From
$1,420.85
per group

Lanai Snorkel & Dolphin Tour (6 Hours) from Lahaina

Lanai Snorkel & Dolphin Tour (6 Hours) from Lahaina

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Skip the crowded boat tours and embark on a more personalized snorkeling adventure in the waters around Lahaina. Make multiple snorkel stops and explore the underwater world with your guide, as well as sea cliffs, blow holes, and offshore pinnacles. You may also encounter the resident pod of dolphins. Use of all snorkeling gear is included, as well as lunch onboard.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$195.59
From
$195.59
Taking safety measures

Lana'i Snorkeling & Dolphin Encounter Aboard Quicksilver (MAUI / Lahaina Harbor)

Lana'i Snorkeling & Dolphin Encounter Aboard Quicksilver (MAUI / Lahaina Harbor)

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Sail to one of Hawaii's less-frequented islands on this snorkeling tour form Lahaina to Lanai, or the Pineapple Island. Snorkel beneath 300-foot tall cliffs near Shark Fin and Manele Bay, and look out for sightings of Lanai's resident pod of Spinner dolphins. This tour also includes breakfast and lunch to fuel a full day of fun.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.95
From
$109.95
Taking safety measures

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

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In terms of history, scenery, and marine life, there isn’t anywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii that compares to Kealakekua Bay. This protected cove on the island’s west shore is where Captain Cook met his end, and today a memorial stands at the bay to honor the famous explorer. On this guided Big Island kayaking tour, hear the history of Captain Cook as well as surrounding temples, and, after paddling past rugged sea cliffs and caves, snorkel and swim in the clear waters of this Marine Life Conservation District.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.42
From
$110.42
Taking safety measures

Four Winds II Molokini Snorkeling Tour from Maalaea Harbor

Four Winds II Molokini Snorkeling Tour from Maalaea Harbor

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326
Snorkeling in Molokini Crater is undeniably one of the best parts about visiting Maui. Here in this crescent, submerged volcano off Maui’s southern coastline, over 250 species of fish inhabit a world-class reef. Experience water so exceptionally clear you can see down 75 feet, and swim with schools of tropical fish while cruising the vibrant reef. You can also just sit and suntan on the deck, with sweeping views of Haleakala set just off the back of the boat.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.24
From
$128.24
Taking safety measures

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

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Snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins off the west shore of Oahu during this full-day excursion. Sail up the Waianae Coast, then hop in the water to commune with green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and dolphins. From January to March, you may get an up-close look at the migrating humpback whales. All necessary snorkel gear, lunch after the cruise and round-trip hotel transportation from Waikiki hotels are provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.80
From
$150.80
Taking safety measures

ADVENTURES IN PARADISE AFTERNOON 11:30AM KAYAK & SNORKEL - Captain Cook Monument

ADVENTURES IN PARADISE AFTERNOON 11:30AM KAYAK & SNORKEL - Captain Cook Monument

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Enjoy the waters of Kealakekua Bay with this kayak-and-snorkel combo adventure. You'll climb aboard a two-person kayak and make your way out to the still waters of the Ka'awaloa Cove to swim and snorkel. You'll also get the chance to visit the Captain Cook Monument before heading back to shore.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.95
From
$99.95
Taking safety measures

Captain Cook Cruises Deluxe 11:45am Private Boat Charter - Snorkel & Dolphin

Captain Cook Cruises Deluxe 11:45am Private Boat Charter - Snorkel & Dolphin

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This is a private charter that caters to your group alone. You'll enjoy this trip with only your friends and family on board. Enjoy this cruise, snorkel and Dolphin trip to Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument without the distractions of other guests. The group can be as small as 2 or as large as 14 of your friends and family. You'll spend time on this private tour exploring the sea caves and the rugged Kona coast as well as snorkel Hawaii's best underwater preserve! This tour takes you to the calmest waters on the big island with the most spectacular snorkeling and enjoyable emerald green and cobalt blue ocean water. You will appreciate the fast boat ride, avoiding the normally long trip from Keauhou Bay to Kealakekua Bay. We bring the snorkel gear and snacks and bottled water. We'll provide snorkeling instruction and flotation noodles for a relaxed snorkel experience. You bring the sunblock, sunglasses, towel and camera! Join us!
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$978.60
per group
From
$978.60
per group
Taking safety measures

Snorkel by Wild Dolphins, Guarantee! Boat Adventure

Snorkel by Wild Dolphins, Guarantee! Boat Adventure

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Limited to minimum of 6 & maximum of 14 people, this guided snorkeling adventure by speedboat provides a more intimate experience of Hawaii’s marine life and coral reefs than is possible on a larger group tour. The schedule is customizable, but swimming near wild dolphins. All snorkeling gear, snacks, and drinks are provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$130.00
From
$130.00

Kona Private Charter Ocean Adventure

Kona Private Charter Ocean Adventure

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11
Skip the hassle and disappointment of crowded tourist boats on this private charter ocean excursion from Kona. In the company of just your party (up to 14 people), cruise by speedboat along the coastline and enjoy the flexibility of customizing the route and activities to your preferences. Jump off to experience Hawaii’s rich marine life and coral reefs—snorkeling equipment is provided—explore lava tubes, trenches, and sea caves, and spot dolphins and (in season) whales.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,493.34
per group
From
$1,493.34
per group

Ali'i VIP Whale Tour

Ali'i VIP Whale Tour

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26
VIP Whale Tour - limited to 12 passengers max. The Whales Love Us! Maybe it’s our Aloha? One thing is for sure, you will love getting up close and personal with the magical giants! You're experience will not just viewing whales, but listening live to the majestic whale songs through the use of our high performance Hydrophone Audio System which mixes the whale songs over gentle island tunes. Ali'i VIP Whale Tour Get the Royal treatment on our Ali'i VIP Whale Tour! We limit this tour to a maximum of 11 guests, so you have more opportunities to view the Humpback whales, and other sea life, in the most comfort possible. Our vessels are USCG rated to carry 26 guests, but this tour is all about you and your experience and is limited to 11 guests. The Ali'i VIP Whale Tour is only offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.99
From
$99.99

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional Snorkel

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional Snorkel

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27
On this two-hour Oahu eco-tour, explore the shoreline of Oahu’s western coast in search of Hawaiian spinner dolphins. In addition to the pods of playful dolphins that leap and spin in the air, there’s also the chance you’ll find Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and whales (December-April). Dolphin sightings are guaranteed, and select the lunch option for the chance to build your own burger from the BBQ lunch station aboard the boat. A fun outing for the entire family!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.00
From
$72.00
Taking safety measures

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

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481
Catch an exciting peek at the underwater world on this whale-watching cruise in Maui. Your excursion includes narration from your captain and crew, as you learn more about these majestic creatures. Enjoy stunning views and photo opportunities while traveling along Maui’s exquisite coastline. Your family-friendly cruise comes with a guarantee that you spot a whale during your adventure.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.74
From
$36.74
Taking safety measures

Private Stand Up Paddling Lesson in Makena

Private Stand Up Paddling Lesson in Makena

Makena Bay is one of the most popular launching points for so many water activities as it offers such a great experience. Calm waters over a shallow bay teeming with turtles and easy to access coral reef systems. Many sandy beaches hug this area making it a very special place for locals and visitors alike. The ease of access to the water combined with the spectacular bay make this the top spot and one you should visit and enjoy. The guest experience here is easy to tailor to meet what you'd like to see & do. We do privates here only as it provides the best experience - you are in total control and can have your say! Paddle more, rest more, spend more time at your new favorite spot, etc. Its you're private outing and that's what we do. You won't be disappointed in this decision!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$149.43
From
$149.43

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