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Hawaii Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Hawaii Dolphin & whale watching

Lahaina: Turtle Town Snorkel and Whale Watching Cruise

1. Lahaina: Turtle Town Snorkel and Whale Watching Cruise

Spot Hawaii's native marine life in its natural habitat on a snorkel cruise to Turtle Town from Lahaina. Swim past green sea turtles, Moorish idols, and even humpback whales. Enjoy an onboard lunch and drinks. Set sail from Lahaina Harbor towards Turtle Town, aka Mala Wharf (if weather conditions allow). See where, in 1992, a powerful hurricane created an artificial reef and sanctuary where corals and other marine life thrive. Spot Moorish idols, green sea turtles, and saddle wrasse while snorkeling here. If snorkel conditions are not ideal at Turtle Town a.k.a. Mala Wharf, cruise to one of the other premier westside snorkel locations such as Honolua Bay, Airport Beach, or Launiupoko. See Hawaiian green sea turtles, brightly colored tropical fish, and beautiful coral reef formations. During the whale season between December to April, observe humpback whales as they enjoy the warm Hawaiian waters (time permitting). Learn from expert narration about the whales and provide a play-by-play commentary of the whales' behavior as you view them.

Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

2. Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawaii suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. Join a 2.5-hour cruise as you follow these magnificent sea creatures and listen to their singing using the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages will be available during your cruise providing a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

Lahaina: Maui Channel Whale-Watching Catamaran Cruise

3. Lahaina: Maui Channel Whale-Watching Catamaran Cruise

Travel via high-speed catamaran from Lahaina Harbor to the Maui Channel to see the humpback whales, who return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Get up close to these creatures in their native environment from comfortable table and chair seating. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with their very long side fins, tails, or the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body. See them spy-hop, when humpback whales come high out of the water to have a look around at the world above. See the majesty of a breaching whale, if you are lucky. This is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take memorable photos from the shade of a spacious cabin.

From Lahaina: Lana'i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip

4. From Lahaina: Lana'i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip

Start the tour by boarding a brand new luxury catamaran at the dock in Lahaina. Set off on your incredible adventure along the spectacular coastline of Lana'i. Onboard the vessel, enjoy a continental breakfast of tropical fruit, freshly baked banana bread, and locally roasted coffee. Head towards the pristine reefs along Lana’i’s south shores where you'll discover stunning sea cliffs, uncrowded snorkeling sites, and expansive island views. Get geared up with the snorkeling equipment provided and plunge into the warm waters to discover an array of local marine life.  This relaxed tour does not have a set destination, so the experienced crew can select the best locations based on sea conditions, and visit multiple snorkel sites when time and weather allow. After swimming and snorkeling, sit back with a drink and enjoy a full lunch while trying to catch a sighting of Lana’i’s famous spinner dolphins. Finally, return to the dock where your memorable day at sea concludes.

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Malolo

5. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Malolo

Depart from Maalaea Harbor, easily located off the highway with ample parking. This high-speed catamaran is located at Slip 87 near Coast Guard Station. While on board, enjoy complimentary juices and sodas, and a variety of alcoholic beverages. The optimal whale watching season starts in December and goes through April, during which thousands of humpback whales return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Depending on the whales’ behavior during your two-hour whale watching trip, you may see any number of whale activity happening, from tail flapping to full body breaching. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with pectoral fins (their very long side fins), flukes (the tail), and the peduncle (the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body). Keep your fingers crossed for a breach - this is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. And most importantly, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture a picture of these amazing animals.

Oahu: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki

6. Oahu: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki

If adventure is what you seek, join this daily boat tour. Enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s South Shore as you head out from the slip in the Kewalo Basin Harbor and head toward Lē’ahi. Discover the underwater world while staying dry with the glass-bottom boat. Aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks. Keep an eye out for honu sea turtles, eels, reef sharks, dolphins, and schools of tropical fish, all from the deck of the vessel through the glass bottom boat viewports. Experience a unique perspective of Honolulu, above and below the surface.

Kauai: Niihau and Na Pali Coast Full-Day Boat Tour

7. Kauai: Niihau and Na Pali Coast Full-Day Boat Tour

Climb aboard a catamaran, custom-built on Kauai, and explore the awe-inspiring Na Pali Coast. Cruise along the coastline and snorkel by Hawaii’s Forbidden Isle of Niihau on an unforgettable day of adventure. Start your day with continental breakfast onboard, as you head northwest to explore the waterfalls, lush valleys, hidden beaches, and sea caves along the Na Pali Coast. Admire the views and learn the history of this beautiful region. Head across the channel to Niihau, known as the Forbidden Isle. Once you arrive at Lehua Crater, the captain will choose the best place for you to snorkel in the clear waters. Receive snorkeling instructions and gear up in the equipment provided. Admire the unique underwater formations, carved by ocean currents, and look out for diverse aquatic wildlife. After snorkeling, enjoy a deli-style buffet lunch including fresh bread, meats, cheeses, veggie toppings, and crudité, and pasta salad. Assorted soft drinks are served throughout the tour, with beer and wine served after snorkeling. During your meal, listen to stories about the island and history of Niihau, and connect with the culture of Kauai as you sail back to the marina.

Kauai: Napali Coast Sunset Sail with Dinner

8. Kauai: Napali Coast Sunset Sail with Dinner

Marvel at the stunning beauty of the Napali Coast glowing in the afternoon sunlight during an unforgettable evening on the water. Hop onboard a modern, state-of-the-art, fully-equipped vessel for a ride along Kauai’s coastline. The 50’ catamaran features indoor and outdoor seating areas, restrooms, and unrestricted views of the coast. On your journey, the friendly and knowledgeable crew will share their knowledge of the coast and stories of the people who made this area their home. Watch the colors of the coastline change as the sun heads toward the horizon. Be on the lookout for marine life like manta rays, dolphins, turtles, seals and humpback whales (in season). A delicious selection of appetizers and a Hawaiian-style dinner are provided, along with island juices, soft drinks, beer, wine, and mai-tais. Sip champagne at sunset before heading back to Port Allen to complete the evening. The tour operator is committed to responsible tourism by minimizing their impact on natural resources and preserving the natural beauty and unique history of Kauai. Certified as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant and member of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association, help the operator encourage others to travel lightly by taking the Holo Holo Pono Pledge.

Kaanapali: Whale Watching Cruise with Open Bar

9. Kaanapali: Whale Watching Cruise with Open Bar

Experience the beauty of the Hawaiian coastline on this whale-watching tour from Kaanapali. Hop aboard for the chance to see Pacific humpback whales in their native environment. Embark from Ka’anapali beach and take in sweeping views of the sandy shore as the captain and the trained naturalist guides set off in search of the most active whale pods in the area. Listen as your guides provide you with fun and interesting facts about Pacific humpback whales. Pass the time between the shore and the whale sightings with a cool drink in hand from the premium open bar. Enjoy a tour that operates with hours that are specifically dedicated to the whales to ensure that you get to see these magnificent creatures in action. Ask the naturalist guides all your burning questions about whales, as they are eager to share their passion for whales with you. Take a tour that is suitable for beginner whale watchers or for those that are more seasoned. Know that no two whale watching tours are alike Let a breaching whale take your breath away at a location that is host to the largest population of Humpback Whales on the planet. Return to your starting point at Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina. 

From Ka'anapali Beach: West Maui Half-Day Snorkel Adventure

10. From Ka'anapali Beach: West Maui Half-Day Snorkel Adventure

Begin your snorkeling adventure by departing from Kaanapali Beach on a luxury catamaran. On the way to the snorkel spot, enjoy some breakfast while keeping your eyes open for Hawaiian spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and during the winter months, large humpback whales. The captain will determine the best spots to visit on the day, based upon the weather conditions. Once in the water, observe beautiful tropical fish, honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), colorful coral reefs, and potentially some other rare underwater species. After the snorkeling session, have a delicious lunch with premium beers, cocktails, and other liberations. Relax as you cruise back to Kaanapali Beach, enjoying the scenery along the way.

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What people are saying about Hawaii

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 154 reviews

The booking online was easy with a very clear calendar on what dates were available. From the start of the early morning boarding process (7:30am) til the end(about 11am) it was fantastic. There was an awesome breakfast of fresh fruit, breakfast sandwiches and banana bread PLUS drinks (and mimosas for adults). The catamaran is big and roomy with plenty of walk around space and my kids loved to sit up front on the netting. I will say we were lucky and had a half dozen whales breach (jumping out of the water) in front of us plus another 12/15 sightings of heads and tails. It was AMAZING!! granted we were there in late December which is start of the season but we will be back and book again on our next rip to Maui. Just a very relaxing, exciting adventure to share with my two sons and wife. Also it goes without saying the crew is the best and will answer literally every question you and your kids have, they are all the friendly and you can tell they love their job.

This was a great experience for a great price. I was a little skeptical at first that we would see any whales, as the ocean is so large and there’s no knowing when and where exactly they will show, but I booked anyway to see the beautiful Hawaiian sunset on a boat. We ended up seeing a couple of whales tails come above the water 4 different times! I appreciated that the boat captain would quickly drive the boat to any location that we saw whales off in the distance. Would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see whales and a beautiful sunset at the same time!

We had an amazing experience with Dive Maui and the 2-hr Whale Watching experience! The captain and her co captain were fantastic and so knowledgeable. We saw so many pods. They knew where to go and then kept moving to find more. It was an amazing experience and we learned so much! We were a group of 6 adults and all of us were in awe. Take some motion sickness precautions if you tend to get motion sickness, you are in a small boat in a big ocean. Highly recommended~

It was great!! enjoyed the atmosphere and saw lots of cool animals!! We saw turtles, dolphins, and lots of fishes. The view made it a 1,000 times better!! Definitely recommend!

the driver of the boat kind of looks like Revolver Ocelot from the series Metal Gear Solid. You should get that guy to cosplay as the character for Halloween