The experience of watching 40 foot (12 meter) whales from a 24 foot (7 meter) Zodiac raft is something you'll never forget! Following Hawaiian Marine Park laws of stopping at least 100 yards (90 meters) away from these magnificent animals, you get a close up look at the migrating humpback whales. It is not uncommon for them to be curious about the raft and come right under the boat!
- Whale watching adventure off the coast of Hawaii
- Travel along Kona coast with spectacular views
- Look out for spinner dolphins, green sea turtles, manta rays and humpback whales
- Explore the geology of Hawaii through lava tubes and sea caves
Departing from Honokohau Marina located 3 miles (4.8km) north of Kailua-Kona, your captain will entertain you with Hawaiian folklore and Kona history as you travel along the scenic Kona coast. Every winter, the humpback whales migrate to Hawaii to mate and give birth in the warm waters. Your naturalist captain will provide narration on the whale's behavior and the hydrophones onboard allow you to listen for the whale song. There are also frequent sightings of dolphins, manta rays, turtles and other marine life during the expedition.
Time allowing, you'll get close to many lava tubes, sea caves, sea grottos and wave powered blow holes. Learn how the island of Hawaii was formed as your captain shares their knowledge about the geology of the island's lava flows.
The Rigid Hull Inflatable Zodiac vessels used are 24 feet (7 meters) in length, powered by twin outboard motors to produce a quick moving and highly maneuverable ride. The rafts are perfect for exploring the shallow coves, sea caves and lava tubes located along this coastline. Each boat can hold up to 16 passengers.
Due to the bouncy nature of the ride, the Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure is not recommended for those with back or neck problems, or pregnant women. The Kona Coast has the calmest water and the fast moving Zodiac is the least likely vessel to cause seasickness.
Reviewed by Mark J F, March 2013
Our Whale Watching adventure was a major highlight of our trip! While we were a bit worried about being around whales in such a small "boat", there were no upsets and it was such a spectacular sight that none of us even thought about worrying how close they came.The raft took us out about 3 miles from shore and we traveled about 7 miles along the coast. Saw MANY whales. Jumping out of water as in the picture, spouting, tail slapping etc. One whale did go right under the bow of our raft. My husband was sitting on the bow and we all got a wonderful look as it slid right under without touching our raft. We saw lots of dolphins as well. Several swam along side our raft. We went with a couple in their late 70's and they enjoyed the adventure as well. You do have to have the ability to "hang on tight" as the raft moves quickly across the waves, but I never felt fearful. Wonderful trip for less money than the usual boat excursion. Mark and Kathy
Reviewed by Simon A, March 2013
This tour was excellent. Was a bunch of fun and we saw plenty of Whales!