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Specials
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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134 results | All Hawaii Tours

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Whale Watching On The Big Island

Whale Watching On The Big Island

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201
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
From
USD94.00
From
USD94.00

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

star-4.5
400
Go whale-watching off the coast of Oahu on this excursion from Waikiki or Ko Olina. During the months from December to May, pods of humpback whales migrate through Hawaii's warm waters, and this tour guarantees whale sightings. With a small group of people, watch the gentle giants swim, feed, breach and play around your boat. In the rare event that you don't see any whales, you will be allowed to do the tour again for free. Snacks are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD75.01
From
USD75.01

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

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948
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
From
USD74.25
From
USD74.25

Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
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Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities

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835
View dolphins in their natural habitat and swim within safe viewing distance to turtles and green sea turtles on this popular Oahu snorkel cruise from Honolulu. Sail into waters home to spinner dolphins, and then glide alongside colorful fish. Snorkel gear, kayaks, and paddle boards are available onboard to help you get the most of this outing. Hotel transport included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD189.00
From
USD189.00

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal

star-4.5
727
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.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD149.00
From
USD149.00

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

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87
Go in search of humpback whales as they pass through the waters off Hawaii on their annual migration. Cruise out in a comfortable and stable catamaran along the Kohala Coast. Enjoy expert commentary from an onboard naturalist, and the change to listen to whale songs with the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages, including alcohol, are all included. Humpback whale sightings are guaranteed, or you can cruise again.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD115.00
From
USD115.00

Up-Close Maui Whale Watch Tour from Lahaina
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Up-Close Maui Whale Watch Tour from Lahaina

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576
This tour departs from the historic Lahaina Harbor to find the majestic humpback whales that frequent the waters surrounding Maui in the winter months. Traveling in a small raft creates an intimate whale watching experience not found on the larger vessels commonly used on whale watching tours. Plus, the raft travels quickly, letting you spend more time whale watching and less time in transit.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD57.48
From
USD57.48

COMBO: Wild Dolphin / Whale Watch & Reef Snorkel Adventure on Speed Boat!

COMBO: Wild Dolphin / Whale Watch & Reef Snorkel Adventure on Speed Boat!

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475
Explore the waters off the Big Island on this exciting combo tour. Get your adrenaline pumping as you cruise out and along the coastline on a speedboat. Look for caves, cliffs, whales, dolphins and other marine life along the way. Afterwards, jump into the clear waters and explore the underwater world as you snorkel around. Snacks, drinks and snorkel equipment are all included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD150.00
From
USD150.00

Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii
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Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii

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1999
Have a unique Big Island experience snorkeling with manta rays on this tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll take a short cruise out to the manta site, where you’ll watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset before dipping into the water to watch the manta rays up close. All necessary equipment will be provided for your excursion, as well as light refreshments and snacks to enjoy on board. Your tour will conclude at its original departure point. If you don't see manta rays on this excursion, book again for another night--no charge.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD85.00
From
USD85.00

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

star-5
198
Winter is the most exciting time to be out on the water in Hawaii, as it’s the time of year when thousands of migrating humpback whales visit the islands. On this exciting Big Island whale watching tour, experience the thrill of traveling aboard a high-speed raft, and then seeing a whale swimming just in front of the boat. Though the boat will obey the federal laws and not approach within 100 feet (30 meters), it isn’t uncommon for the whale to decide to swim up under the boat!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD115.66
From
USD115.66

Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise from Waikiki
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Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise from Waikiki

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1346
Snorkel with green sea turtles in Oahu's Turtle Canyon on this 2- to 3-hour tour departing from Waikiki. Board a power catamaran and sail along the shore of Oahu towards the island's best place to spot the resident turtles. Turtle sightings are guaranteed; if a turtle is not sighted, you will be given a free second cruise. After snorkeling, enjoy lunch (if option selected ) and two provided drinks while you keep your eyes peeled for passing marine life like dolphins and migrating whales.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD107.62
From
USD107.62

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
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Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure

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1219
Ride a personal, self-propelled, electric underwater scooter through Oahu's underwater world. During this 2-hour tour, cruise past Diamond Head Crater through Maunalua Bay on a power catamaran, then dive under the surface on your scooter to see green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and other native marine life. No experience is necessary for this guided tour; all equipment is provided.
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  • 2 hours
From
USD166.50
From
USD166.50

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

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33
Every winter, humpback whales migrate past the waters of Hawaii. Embark on a mid-morning whale-watching cruise on a comfortable catamaran from Kawaihae Harbor to see humpback whales in the waters off the Kohala Coast. Learn about whales from onboard naturalists and listen to their sounds from the underwater hydrophone. Snacks and beverages are included. Humpback whale sightings are guaranteed, or you get to sail again.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD115.00
From
USD115.00

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

star-4.5
250
Sail along the Leeward Coast of Oahu on this morning cruise. Snorkel with an expert guide and watch for spinner dolphins on this family-friendly adventure off the scenic southwestern coast of the island. This excursion, complete with spectacular scenery and fun water activities includes breakfast and lunch
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD161.99
From
USD161.99

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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463
Head to the west shore of Oahu to view Hawaii’s spinner dolphins and other local marine mammals! Our lifeguard certified crew of marine biologists and naturalists with decades of experience will try to find as much as possible during your tour. Cruise along the Waianae Coast and snorkel with tropical fish and Hawaiian green sea turtles. During the winter months (January to March), the Waianae Coast has more visitors -- humpback whales! Avoid crowds on our 32 foot USCG inspected vessel. We only allow 15 guests on board, and every seat has a great view of the animals. You may bring your own snacks and beverages on the boat. You may also purchase food and drinks at Spinners Cafe next to check in before or after your tour with us. You will receive 10% of your food purchase.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD193.88
From
USD193.88

Oahu Shark Dive
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Oahu Shark Dive

star-5
1421
Set out from Oahu’s scenic North Shore to the depths of the big blue Pacific, where you have the chance to observe wild sharks from inside an underwater shark cage. Thanks to your professional, experienced crew, the Oahu shark dive is completely safe as they know the predators’ behavior, and the underwater cage provides proven safety against all different species of sharks. Whether you’re in the cage with sharks right in front of you or watching from up in the boat, Oahu shark diving is a Hawaii activity you’ll definitely never forget.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD120.42
From
USD120.42

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island

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112
Get up close with humpback whales near the Big Island of Hawaii on this guided, whale watching excursion. During Hawaii's whale season, the ocean is full of activity from humpback whales migrating from the Pacific Northwest to breed and nurse their young. Hear the whales with a hydrophone and learn about their behavior patterns from the certified naturalist guide. Snacks and light refreshments are provided.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD105.95
From
USD105.95

Moana’s 2-Hour Guided Turtle Snorkel Adventure at Waikiki

Moana’s 2-Hour Guided Turtle Snorkel Adventure at Waikiki

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240
Discover all the vibrant marine life that calls Turtle Canyon’s reefs home—and enjoy an accessible way to snorkel and explore—on this family-friendly catamaran trip. Make your own way to the Kewalo Harbor, and hop aboard your well-appointed catamaran: snorkels, fins, masks, and more are all provided on board. Once you make it to the reefs, dive in, spot sea turtles and other marine life, and admire the underwater scenery.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD106.71
From
USD106.71

1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki
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1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki

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750
Fly over the sparkling waters of Oahu on 1-hour parasailing adventure in Waikiki. Hop aboard your 12-person boat, soaring up into the skies with one or two other people for 10 minutes. Then, spend the rest of your hour gliding across the ocean, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins, tropical fish and sea turtles. This small-group tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off for up to 12 travelers, and offers both morning and afternoon departures.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD94.00
From
USD94.00

Maunalua Bay Higher Flyer Parasailing Adventure

Maunalua Bay Higher Flyer Parasailing Adventure

star-4.5
189
Go parasaling over Maunalua Bay on this 1-hour adventure from Honolulu. Choose from two flights that take you 500 feet (152 meters) or 700 feet (213 meters) in the air for views of the Ko'olau Mountain Range, Koko Head and the Hawaii Kai coastline. GoPro videos and digital photos of your tandem flight and dip in the warm ocean water are available upon return to land.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD89.01
From
USD89.01

Four Winds II Molokini Snorkeling Tour from Maalaea Harbor
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Four Winds II Molokini Snorkeling Tour from Maalaea Harbor

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517
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
From
USD149.67
From
USD149.67

Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, Hawaii
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Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, Hawaii

star-5
1582
Share the warm Hawaiian waters with green sea turtles, tropical fish, and more on a 2-hour snorkel excursion from Waikiki. No need to wear your flippers and mask on the plane, as all necessary gear is provided. Under the careful guidance of a tour leader, discover the vibrant sea life of Turtle Canyons. Above water wildlife sightings may include spinner dolphins, flying fish, and - in winter months - humpback whales.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD85.28
From
USD85.28

Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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260
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
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD160.49
From
USD160.49

Swim with Sharks (cage-free) from Haleiwa, Oahu
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Swim with Sharks (cage-free) from Haleiwa, Oahu

star-5
280
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
USD153.85
Price varies by group size
From
USD153.85
Price varies by group size

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What people are saying about Whale Watching in Hawaii

star-5
Whale Watching On The Big Island
"Being on a boat on such a beautiful day, with a great speedy view on deck and seeing a few of the humpbacks for a couple hours, plus sightings of spinners and manta rays."..."
star-5
Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion
"We had a wonderful afternoon out on the Honu Lani. The crew was exceptional and it was a beautiful day out on the water.. We did not sea any whales as it is very late in the season, but we had a great time and enjoyed the ride."..."
star-5
Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor
"We took this late in the season whale watching tour and was happily surprised to find a momma, baby and bull whale."..."
star-5
Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
"Capt Danni and the crew were fantastic! Snorkeling was great, had a huge turtle about 10’ from us. Saw many dolphins and the views were gorgeous."..."
star-5
Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal
"Great staff who kept the group safe, engaged and informed. Got to see a whale shark, turtle and dolphins. Food was decent too. Everything went very well and I would do this trip again in the future."..."
star-5
Wake Up With the Whales Cruise
"Unfortunately the Whales left a little early for Alaska (and we were plenty warned that whale sightings were slim) but we welcomed the visit by the spinner dolphins and the lovely boat ride with plenty of good information! The crew was very friendly and gracious. Would recommend!!"..."
star-5
Up-Close Maui Whale Watch Tour from Lahaina
"We all had an amazing time watching mama, baby and escort whales. The captain was very knowledgeable and took us to the right area to see the whales. I would definitively recommend this tour."..."
star-5
COMBO: Wild Dolphin / Whale Watch & Reef Snorkel Adventure on Speed Boat!
"Great trip! Amazing snorkelling and awesome staff. They were so helpful and made it lots of fun. Thank you!"..."
star-5
Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii
"The boys on the boat were AWESOME!!! Such an amazing trip!!! HIGHLY recommended!! The maya rays were INCHES from us!! The only negative thing was it was hard to find the meeting point in the dark."..."
star-5
Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure
"I loved this tour! My boat guide Ashley was awesome and very knowledgeable and even gave us some recommendations for things to do on the island. We saw a lot bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, one sea turtle, and lots of humpbacks! We were able to see a heat run which included a breach! It was amazing. Thank you!!!"..."
star-5
Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise from Waikiki
"Our entire family absolutely loved the experience! The crew was helpful, knowledgeable and pointed out so many turtles. Highly recommend!!"..."
star-5
Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
"Excellent experience!!! The boat crew was fantastic and the snorkeling added was a plus we were unaware but pleased to know of that bonus experience!!! Thank you captain and crew!!"..."
star-5
Mid-Morning Whale Watch
"We saw whales at the end of the season! My kids had fun and my wife didn't yell at me! Capt was super knowledgeable and I leaned many tales of Hawaiian lore!"..."
star-5
Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail
"Staff were super friendly and very well organized. 3 hours was perfect duration too - not too long, not too short. All in all an excellent excursion!"..."
star-5
Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu
"The guides were great very friendly and knowledgeable. We were able to see many dolphins, even gave some of us the opportunity to get in the water with them. Afterwards the guides found us a couple great spots for us to snorkel and see turtles. Great experience"..."
star-5
Oahu Shark Dive
"The shark dive was awesome. We’d never seen anything like this in our lives obviously so it was really really cool. The dive operator and ship captain were extremely funny and welcoming. We even saw a group of 15 + dolphins jumping up out of the water around the boat on the way back."..."
star-5
Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island
"We had a great time . It was a beautiful day. We knew it was the end of the season but we’re still able to see a whale"..."
star-5
Moana’s 2-Hour Guided Turtle Snorkel Adventure at Waikiki
"It’s crazy in the middle of the ocean it was great we got to see a turtle so close to us! Thank you for the experience"..."
star-5
1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki
"Amazing view of Hawaii from 1,000 feet up! I was afraid to go initially, but I’m so glad I did! I encourage everyone to do it at least once!"..."
star-5
Maunalua Bay Higher Flyer Parasailing Adventure
"This was an awesome experience. I was nervous at first but definitely want to do it again. This is a must do. The staff n each boat were amazing and our actual parasailing crew were fun and made the experience so much better."..."
star-5
Four Winds II Molokini Snorkeling Tour from Maalaea Harbor
"Overall it was a nice snorkel trip. Food was OK. I don’t have nothing bad to say about this snorkeling aventure."..."
star-5
Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, Hawaii
"The crew members were amazing! So informative and genuinely love the open sea and love to interact with their guests! A must-do on your Oahu bucket list! Thank you for an amazing time! And thank you for watching over my little girl while I was with the other group!"..."
star-5
Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii
"Bianca and Kai (hopefully I spelled that right) were awesome captains. They were very sociable. Kai was a wealth of knowledge about the island and the animal life. I was scared in the beginning but they set me at ease. My son loved the snorkeling. Kia gave wonderful tips and hints to encourage my son. Definitely worth the money."..."
star-5
Swim with Sharks (cage-free) from Haleiwa, Oahu
"Absolutely amazing time. Like all excursions the crew makes it good or bad. These guys were super cool. Very relaxed environment and well rehearsed."..."
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the best Whale Watching in Hawaii?
Q:
What Whale Watching in Hawaii are taking additional safety precautions?
Q:
What Whale Watching in Hawaii are good for avoiding crowds?