Hawaii, United States
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clock-o5 hours (Approx.)
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Overview

On this Kealakekua Bay snorkeling adventure, experience the thrill of swimming with dolphins in the crystal-clear waters off Kona. You’ll head to one of Hawaii’s best snorkeling spots to swim with tropical fish above colorful corals in a protected turquoise cove. Later as you cruise along the volcanic shoreline, look for lava tubes and sea caves, turtles. Throughout the 5-hour excursion, expect to see wildlife splashing in the water — in the winter months, you could even spot breaching Humpback whales. Groups are limited to 14 people, ensuring a personalized experience. 
  • 5-hour combination tour to swim with dolphins and snorkel on the Kona coast
  • Swim with wild dolphins in their ocean habitat
  • Admire the acrobatic antics of bottlenose or spinner dolphins offshore from the Big Island
  • Marvel at the colorful fish and coral in the sheltered waters of Kealakekua Bay
  • See the Captain Cook Monument, which marks the shore where the explorer first landed in Hawaii and later perished
  • Check out lava tubes and sea caves as your boat cruises along the coastline
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 14 people allows a more customized experience with your guide
Drive to Keauhou Bay on your own to meet your professional guide, who will provide you with a safety briefing and help you aboard the boat. This inflatable raft has a rigid hull as well as a canvas sun shade, which makes the boat exceptionally maneuverable and keeps you out of the sun.
Once on the water you’ll search for pods of Spinner and Bottlenose dolphins, and when you locate a pod in the cobalt waters, your captain will cut the engine and allow you to jump on in for a swim. All the gear you’ll need is provided, and don’t be surprised if you hear whistles and clicks as the dolphins circle around you. If you’re lucky, there’s the chance that one could even jump up out of the water right by you—showing off for their newborn young and teaching them how to play.
After the thrilling dolphin encounter, continue on to Kealakekua Bay to snorkel the colorful reefs, which have been protected as a marine reserve for over 30 years. Thanks to the schools of tropical fish and crystal clear conditions, this spot is often considered as one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii.
Back in the boat your guide will point out the famous Captain Cook Monument, which stands where the village of Kaawaloa once stood in ancient times. This is the spot where Captain Cook first ventured ashore on the Big Island—and also the place where he met his eventual, untimely, and violent demise.
Over the course of this 5-hour tour, you’ll have the chance to buzz by sea caves that are formed by volcanic lava tubes, and you might even spot a Hawaiian green sea turtle as it comes to the surface for air. Your guide will explain the area’s history as well as discuss the marine life, and there are drinks, snacks, and a deli lunch to help you refuel on the water.
Finally, this Kona snorkeling tour comes to a close when you return to Keauhou Bay, having swam with dolphins, snorkeled with fish, and a scoured the volcanic coast.
Please note: Kealakekua Bay is the preferred destination for snorkeling, although an alternate site might have to be substituted depending on the location of the dolphins.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

5.0
13 reviews
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s
, Nov 2017

We went with Sea Quest. First of all, this is swimming with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. So don't be expecting the tour where the dolphin pops up in the water next to you, takes a nice picture, and kisses you.

Our tour guides were informative, engaging, and personable Manu spelling? and Sam. We had a blast with them and felt like they were close friends instantly. We only had 4 guests on our tour as opposed to 10-14, so the boat was comfortable, we got plenty of attention from the crew, and they did whatever we were comfortable with.

I imagine it is difficult to track these dolphins, but our tour company did a great job finding them and dropping us off directly in their swimming path so that they dolphin pods swam right through us. They made sure we got multiple swim-throughs. We then went to the snorkel site and had plenty of time to snorkel me or hang out on the boat and chat with Manu and Sam my wife and the 2 other ladies on the tour. A nice lunch with deli sandwich wraps, chips, juice/water, and small chocolates was provided.

C
, Oct 2017

Skyler and Kendra were amazing a captured the Hawaiin spirit in their laid back and fun ways. Kendra taught us about Hawaiin history. Reefs and caves were great. Only giving 4 bc we didn't swim with dolphins but that's not something they can control. I'd recommend it!

L
, Oct 2017

I can't say enough about this tour!! Everyone, including the store staff, was so nice and seemed to genuinely care that you had a great time. I wish I had known about their other tours before I booked them with other companies.

m
, Sep 2017

The guides were quick off the mark with any dolphin sitings and we were off of the boat in seconds and swam three times over a pod of six dolphins. The snorkelling stops were many and lengthy. The guides were fun and knowledgeable and Kendra gave a great narrative at the Cook monument, which was especially important to us as Cptn Cook's fellow Brits and Yorkshire folk. The speed of the raft over the water was also fun as were the visits to several shoreline caves.
The lunch sandwiches hit the spot real good and the offer of refreshments was constant. We pondered for quite some time over which trip to take and I'm pleased to say that we chose well. I can't imagine any other trip giving us as much variety as this one. We'll do it again when we return here.

W
, Dec 2016

This was the most fun experience I have ever had in Hawaii. The young lady that gave us the ecological background did a great job. The swimming with the dolphins was great. I had a great time and saw dozens of dolphins of all different sizes. They have life preservers and flotation devices for those that are weak or poor swimmers. I felt very safe. The continental breakfast on the boat was good and the sandwiches for lunch were very good. After lunch we visited a reef and once again the experience was fabulous. On my next trip to the Big Island, I will definitely do this again.

S
, Sep 2016

The crew was excellent! Very personable and concerned for the safety of all passengers. We got to swim with MANY dolphins! Snorkeling in the Bay was also fantastic! Great overall trip!

L
, Dec 2015

Captain Mike and his First Mate Katelyn were fantastic! The snorkeling spots were top notch and were everything they promised. We were able to swim with a large pod of dolphins, snorkeled in Captain Cook, which is the BEST coral and fish area on the Big Island!
Lunch was perfect fresh and many choices..
All in all a wonderful pick!

K
, Oct 2015

This was a great day. We got to see dolphins and they got very close to us. Then we got to go to the coral reef and see some beautiful coral and very beautiful fish. They fed us a great lunch out on the boat. It was a very fun day

K
, Aug 2015

GREAT TRIP!!!! The guides at Sea Quest Capt. Dave, his first mate, and snorkel guide - I just wish I could remember their names were GREAT!!! Got us to the spots where spinner dolphins were at. Unfortunately, some of the dolphins were on the move and we could never get in front of them long enough to swim with them and the second set of dolphins were swimming in a boating channel that made it too dangerous for us to swim it. We loved seeing them swim - just too bad we couldn't really get to, but that's the way it goes.

Capt. Dave took us to a coral reef by the Capt. Cook monument. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! Beautiful fish and coral. Absolutely wonderful. On the way back, Capt. Dave took to and sometimes into!! lava tubes that were at water level. TOO COOL!!! Wonderful trip! Would have/should have paid to do it again! Definitely will do it again when we come back.

b
, May 2015

The captain and crew were great! Swimming with the wild dolphins was an amazing experince-- and we also saw Pacific bottle nose dolphins on our way back. Swimming at Captain Cook was also great fun. I would do this tour over and over again!


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