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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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86 results | All Hawaii Tours

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Swim with Dolphins on Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii
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Swim with Dolphins on Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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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. The utmost respect and care are given to our aquatic friends to assure that we do not disrupt their rest, nursing and breeding behaviors. Depending on where and when we locate the dolphins there may also be time for a quick snorkel at one of the many beautiful reef areas along the Kona coast line, quite possibly Kealakekua Bay.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.49
From
$160.49
Taking safety measures

Kealakekua Bay Afternoon Snorkel to Captain Cook Monument

Kealakekua Bay Afternoon Snorkel to Captain Cook Monument

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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
$112.02
From
$112.02

Kona Snorkel to Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge
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Kona Snorkel to Captain Cook Monument and 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
$140.03
From
$140.03

Whale Watching On The Big Island

Whale Watching On The Big Island

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Hawaii’s Big Island is home to migrating pods of humpback whales, which often breach as they build up energy for their northward migration. This narrated tour brings you to some of the best viewing grounds via 24-person catamaran. You’re able to hear the whales singing through the provided hydrophones. The tour provider guarantees whale sightings or the next trip is free.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.90
From
$85.90
Taking safety measures

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel to the Captain Cook Monument
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Afternoon Sail & Snorkel to the Captain Cook Monument

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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 to the Captain Cook Monument
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Deluxe Sail & Snorkel to the Captain Cook Monument

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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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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
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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 Tour

'IMILOA - Express Na Pali Sunset Tour

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This tour is perfect for anyone determined to see the Na Pali Coast. This boat was designed to get you out there the fastest way possible 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 shade to protect you from the harsh Hawaiian sun and thick padded seats to ensure your comfort throughout the adventure. A Light casual dinner is offered (please specify option: Pulled Pork, Teriyaki Chicken or a Tofu Salad) 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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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)
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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

6-Hour Lanai Snorkel & Dolphin Tour from Lahaina
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6-Hour Lanai Snorkel & Dolphin Tour 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

Maui Whale-Watching Tour by Raft from Kihei

Maui Whale-Watching Tour by Raft from Kihei

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Spot humpbacks as they travel through Maui’s warm waters on this 1.5-hour whale-watching excursion. Hop aboard a sturdy raft in Kihei with an expert naturalist as your guide, and jet to the southern coastline, which hosts one of the highest whale populations in Hawaii. Your guide will provide commentary about these fascinating creatures as you see them spout and slap the water. To keep this whale-watching tour intimate, your group is limited to 24 people.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$62.80
From
$62.80
Taking safety measures

Lanai Snorkeling & Dolphin Encounter Aboard Quicksilver (MAUI / Lahaina Harbor)

Lanai 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
$129.95
From
$129.95
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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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
$149.67
From
$149.67
Taking safety measures

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

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This whale watch departs directly from Kawaihae Harbor within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Waters so you won’t have to travel far to see the majestic Humpback Whales. Tours include expert interpretation from on board marine naturalists, great photo ops, and an underwater hydrophone to hear the whales as they sing. This trip includes crunchy snacks, tropical juices and soft drinks. The morning light makes for great photos! Guaranteed – see a Humpback or take the trip again for free!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.00
From
$107.00
Taking safety measures

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

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See, hear and photograph the Humpback Whales from our stable catamaran decks. Early morning ocean conditions are generally the calmest of the day! Includes, soft drinks and crunchy granola bar snacks. Guaranteed – see a Humpback or ride again for free!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.00
From
$107.00
Taking safety measures

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu
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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 11:30AM KAYAK & SNORKEL - Captain Cook Monument

ADVENTURES IN PARADISE 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 SNORKELING CRUISES 11:45am SNORKEL & DOLPHIN TOUR - Kealakekua Bay
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CAPTAIN COOK SNORKELING CRUISES 11:45am SNORKEL & DOLPHIN TOUR - Kealakekua Bay

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Cruise, Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure at Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument You'll spend time exploring the sea caves and 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/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
$99.95
From
$99.95
Taking safety measures

ADVENTURES IN PARADISE 7:30AM MORNING KAYAK & SNORKEL - Capt Cook Monument
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ADVENTURES IN PARADISE 7:30AM MORNING KAYAK & SNORKEL - Capt Cook Monument

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With natural beauty, blue waters, and pristine parks all around, no visit to Captain Cook is complete without a day of outdoor activities. With this guided adventure, you get to truly take advantage of the incredible environment, with an itinerary that includes both kayaking and snorkeling. Highlights include padding along the clear waters of Kealakekua Bay, enjoying views of the nearby cliffs, and snorkeling above the island's coral gardens—with all activities and equipment included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.95
From
$99.95
Taking safety measures

West Maui Whale Watching and Snorkeling Excursion

West Maui Whale Watching and Snorkeling Excursion

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Get a different perspective on Maui's whales on this kayak and snorkel adventure tour. Aboard a kayak, paddle through the calm Pacific waters, following your guide to the spots you're most likely to find humpback whales. Afterward jump into the ocean and snorkel the clear water amongst variety of colorful tropical fish, green sea turtles, and more. Throughout the day, get insights into the flora and fauna of West Maui from your guide.
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  • 3 hours
From
$80.81
From
$80.81

Wild Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins on Snorkel Boat Adventure!

Wild Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins on Snorkel Boat Adventure!

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377
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

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