Big Island, Hawaii
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Our most recommended Big Island, Hawaii Dolphin & Whale Watching

Hawaii: Afternoon Snorkeling Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

1. Hawaii: Afternoon Snorkeling Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

Set sail along the beautiful Kona coast on a 3-hour snorkeling trip. At historic Kealakekua Bay, you’ll see the Captain Cook Monument. Snorkel in pristine waters along the reef in the marine sanctuary. With your marine camera, take photos of the colorful fish, pods of spinner dolphins, and the landscaped ledges of ancient lava flows. Enjoy site briefings and snorkeling tips from the crew members. Life jackets, floatation noodles, viewfinder boards, masks, fins, and snorkels are all provided. The crew will help you enter and exit the water if needed and will provide fish identification cards. They will even take you on a guided snorkeling tour.

Big Island: 3 Hour Waikoloa Snorkeling & Sailing Adventure

2. Big Island: 3 Hour Waikoloa Snorkeling & Sailing Adventure

The iconic Spirit of Aloha provides the ultimate in sailing comfort and snorkeling fun. Choose from morning or afternoon excursions, where you are likely to see dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life unique to the warm waters of Hawaii. Explore parts of the Big Island Kona coast on the Waikoloa and Kohala-Kona coastline aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran. Dolphins, green sea turtles and seasonal whales are some of the creatures that can be seen. Board from Anaehoomalu Bay to snorkel, sail, enjoy and relax. The custom-designed sunset-orange and maile lei sail is a stunning contrast to the azure Pacific as it sails along the blue Pacific ocean. Itineraries include morning and afternoon snorkel sails, and sunset cruises. The beautiful 53-foot (16-m), custom-built catamaran offers a smooth, comfortable, and relaxing ride. There is onboard bar, plenty of shade, 2 restrooms, ample seating both indoors and outside, fresh-water shower rinse, and a sound system. Lifeguard-certified, in-water guides are there for your service and comfort. During whale season December through April, majestic humpbacks are likely to be spotted. Snacks and beverages served aboard.

Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Expereince and BBQ

3. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Expereince and BBQ

You will need to arrive at 7:30 AM for your 8 AM departure and cruise through protected marine sanctuaries. Cruise ten miles down the Kona Coast to the snorkel destination, a protected marine sanctuary. Relax, you will have over two hours of water time to enjoy the marine life, underwater topography, and coral reef. Cruise in comfort! The boat’s main lower deck features a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, tables, a premium bar, three restrooms, and freshwater showers. You won’t go hungry. Enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. While you're taking in the fun, the crew prepares lunch. After snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. This boat hosts one of the only blenders on the Kona Coast. Your mask, fins, snorkel, and prescription masks will be provided to you. For beginners, a friendly “Snorkel 101 Class” is available from the lifeguard-trained crew. A host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and even “Sea View Boards” for those who don’t want to get their face wet. They even include the use of stand-up paddleboards and an array of other flotation devices at no additional cost. Kids of all ages love the 20’ waterslide and high dive platform. If you want to kick back and do nothing, check out the floating “relaxation station”, the crew will swim you out refreshments. More adventurous guests can rent a GoPro or wetsuit.

Hilo: 2-Hour Historic Hawaii Hamakua Cruise

4. Hilo: 2-Hour Historic Hawaii Hamakua Cruise

Grab your camera and get ready for a sightseeing cruise that will provide you with stunning photographs and beautiful memories for years to come. During this small and intimate tour, spend 2 hours viewing lush tropical landscapes, secret coves, beautiful waterfalls, and visiting ancient Hawaiian villages. You will see the remains of Hilo's plantation-era sugar mills including the 1900s-era Papaikou Mill that is now a popular spot with surfers. Be sure to capture majestic photos of Mauna Kea, the world's largest volcano, as well as Kilauea, the world's most active one. The two tallest and most active volcanoes in the world, all visitors should be sure to make time to see these mountains of fire, which are both located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While on the waters keep an eye out for playful spinner and bottle-nose dolphins; these crowd favorites love to put on an acrobatic show next to the boat. Throughout the tour, your guides will share insightful stories and fascinating facts about the history and culture of Hilo and Hamakua. Reserve your spot in the boat today.

Honokohau: Kona Snorkel and Sail with Drinks and Snacks

5. Honokohau: Kona Snorkel and Sail with Drinks and Snacks

Head to the meeting point and step aboard a stunning 53-foot catamaran. Be greeted by the friendly captain and crew, then set off along the scenic Kona coastline.  Soak up stunning views of the shore and the ocean, and look out for dolphins, green sea turtles, and seasonal whales (December to April). Enjoy a stop to cool off in the crystal clear water, and go snorkeling in search of colorful fish and fascinating coral reef. Back onboard, enjoy a refreshing alcoholic drink and some tasty snacks. 

Big Island: Morning Snorkel Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

6. Big Island: Morning Snorkel Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

The Hoku Nui sets sail from Keauhou Bay at 8:30 am. Keep a watchful eye out for Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, Hawaiian Humpback Whales (seasonal Dec-April), and other marine life while you sail down the beautiful Kona Coast. As you enjoy your tropical style breakfast, entering Historic Kealakekua Bay, you will observe the World Famous Captain Cook Monument (sail time approx. 45 min.) Your snorkeling adventure will begin in the pristine waters and the vibrant reef of the Marine Sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay. Your captain will select the best snorkeling sites in Kealakekua Bay, as the friendly and professional crew members provide site briefings and historical facts. The crew members will provide snorkel tips and basic instructions to guests of all ages and experience levels. Life jackets, floatation noodles, and viewfinder boards as well as masks, fins, and snorkels are provided aboard the Hoku Nui. The crew members will help you enter and exit the water if needed and will provide fish identification cards. They will even take you on a guided snorkeling tour and have lunch ready when you have snorkeled up an appetite. Snorkel time is approximately one hour at each location. Make sure to bring an underwater camera to capture the colorful schools of fish, pods of spinner dolphins that are also commonly spotted in the bay, and the landscaped ledges of ancient lava flows. You will then have a moment for another breath taking view of the bay while you enjoy a sumptuous lunch with beverages. Exiting the bay, you set sail for “Red Hill” (weather permitting). The Red Hill area is home to unique underwater lava formations such as archways and lava tubes, and more snorkeling with schools of vibrant sea life. As your snorkel adventure comes to an end, you will set sail back to Keauhou Bay arriving by 1 pm (approx.), with majestic memories of your Sea Paradise trip that will last a lifetime.

Hilo: Small-Group Humpback Whale Expedition

7. Hilo: Small-Group Humpback Whale Expedition

Prepare for an awe-inspiring whale watching trip offering you intimate wildlife encounters off Hilo's shoreline. Begin your journey at Wailoa Boat Harbor where you will set sail aboard the Moana Mea a'a (Hawaiian for "Ocean Adventurer").  Venture out of Hilo’s breakwall in search of these majestic creatures for an up-close and personal, once in a lifetime experience. Throughout your tour catch glimpses of Hawaii’s gentle giants and its winter visitor, the Humpback Whale. These fascinating mammals come to the warm Hawaiian waters every year to breed and give birth to new calves. While in search of whales, be delighted by pods of dolphins following and frolicking near your vessel. Before you know it, you will see one of these 40-ton giants breach the water for an unforgettable sight. Learn from your knowledgeable captain about the nonstop 6-8 week and 6,000-mile migration from Alaska, while encountering a few of the 12,000 North Pacific Humpbacks that arrive in the Hawaiian Islands each year for a season of mating, birthing, and nurturing their newborns.

Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

8. Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

See majestic humpback whales and listen to them sing on this whale watching cruise from Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Over 8,000 humpback whales journey over 3,500 miles to Hawaii every year. Between December and April, these incredible creatures gather to breed and raise their young. This 2.5-hour whale-watching experience in Kona offers you an incredible opportunity to view humpback whales up close in their natural habitats. Hear the whales sing with unique underwater hydrophones. Keep your eyes open for other marine creatures like spinner dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and more. Whale sightings are guaranteed or you can join the cruise again for free.

Frequently asked questions about Big Island, Hawaii Dolphin & Whale Watching

What are other things to do than Dolphin & Whale Watching that are worth visiting in Big Island, Hawaii?

The other unmissable things to do in Big Island, Hawaii are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Big Island, Hawaii

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What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

Overall rating

2.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

This was one of the highlights of our trip to the Big Island. Great crew, so friendly and helpful, and the boat was spacious and comfortable. The captain gave us some interesting history as we cruised along the coast. We saw dolphins, flying fish and had a great time snorkeling. They provided breakfast and a BBQ lunch, both were great! We would do it again in a heartbeat, and wish they had an all-day trip, 1/2 day was too short!

The crew did an incredible job. They were all very friendly and helpful. The boat was super clean and the the snorkel gear provided was great quality. I would highly recommend going in the morning vs. the afternoon. Apparently the volcano produces a fog every afternoon around 2:00ish. The fish and reef were still incredible with the heavy cloud cover, but I’m sure it would have been even more amazing when the sun was shining.

The crew was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I have been on other snorkeling trips on different islands and new what to expect. This trip we had four of our grandchildren and did not know how they would react to the whole experience. The captain and crew did a great job of teaching and making everyone feel safe and comfortable. We all had a blast.

This was a fantastic experience! Captain Mike and his crew are the best! This was the most beautiful boat, as well. We had so much fun!

Great views of the coast kine via boat and snorkeling.