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Top Hawaii Whale Watching

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We’re committed to helping you feel confident as you get back out there. Check out our flexible cancellation policies and learn what steps operators are taking to keep you safe. As conditions evolve, check local regulations for the latest information.

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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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94 Hawaii Whale Watching | All Hawaii Tours

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Wake Up With the Whales CruiseWhale Watching

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

star-5
Wake up for a morning whale-watching cruise when the ocean is most likely to be calm and conditions ideal for spotting humpback whales. Accompanied by an experienced captain and a naturist guide, set out from Anaeho'omalu Bay to look for humpback whales from the decks of the stable catamaran. Your crew serves up hot Kona coffee, tropical juices and snacks for you to enjoy on board. Whale sightings are guaranteed — if your guide doesn’t spot whales, you get to come back for a complimentary tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$107.00
From
US$107.00

Oahu Whale-Watching ExcursionWhale Watching

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

star-4.5
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 and round-trip transportation from Waikiki hotels are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$75.01
From
US$75.01
Taking safety measures

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from OahuWhale Watching

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

star-5
Snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins off the west shore of Oahu during this full-day excursion. Sail up the Waianae Coast, then hop in the water to commune with green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and dolphins. From January to March, you may get an up-close look at the migrating humpback whales. All necessary snorkel gear, lunch after the cruise and round-trip hotel transportation from Waikiki hotels are provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$150.80
From
US$150.80
Taking safety measures

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional SnorkelWhale Watching

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional Snorkel

star-4.5
On this two-hour Oahu eco-tour, explore the shoreline of Oahu’s western coast in search of Hawaiian spinner dolphins. In addition to the pods of playful dolphins that leap and spin in the air, there’s also the chance you’ll find Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and whales (December-April). Dolphin sightings are guaranteed, and select the lunch option for the chance to build your own burger from the BBQ lunch station aboard the boat. A fun outing for the entire family!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$72.00
From
US$72.00

Whale Watching On The Big IslandWhale Watching

Whale Watching On The Big Island

star-4.5
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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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
From
US$76.93
From
US$76.93

Guaranteed Whale Watch in KonaNature and Wildlife

Guaranteed Whale Watch in Kona

star-4.5
Go on a whale watching adventure on this cruise in Kailua-Kona. Board a 48-foot (15-meter) Delta boat in Honokohau Harbor, and set sail on the water to try and spot whales in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales, pilot whales, and false killer whales, which all might make an appearance during your cruise.  
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$80.00
From
US$80.00

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big IslandNature and Wildlife

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island

star-4
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$105.95
From
US$105.95
Taking safety measures

Whale Watch, Dolphins, Turtles and Sightseeing Cruise - 3pmDay Cruises

Whale Watch, Dolphins, Turtles and Sightseeing Cruise - 3pm

star-3.5
Explore Oahu's wildlife-rich waters on a sightseeing cruise that conveniently departs from Honolulu. Get a fresh perspective on Diamond Head and other South Shore landmarks as you stretch out on the spacious decks or under a shade cover. The seasoned crew helps spot dolphins, sea turtles, and occasionally humpback whales—plus, you can peer through magnifying glass portholes for a look underwater.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$39.44
From
US$39.44

Kanaio Molokini AdventureSnorkeling

Kanaio Molokini Adventure

star-4.5
Get off the beaten path and explore the beautiful Kanaio Coast and the islet of Molokini with this tour from the Kihei Boat Ramp. You'll start your day with an included continental breakfast before sailing up to the Kanaio Coastline, with its caves and lava arches. You'll then stop at La Perouse Bay for snorkeling, followed by additional snorkel stops at Molokini and another location. You'll be served lunch before returning to Kihei.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$160.26
From
US$160.26

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian BuffetDay Cruises

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet

star-4.5
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. Round-trip transportation from select Oahu hotels is included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$134.00
From
US$134.00
Taking safety measures

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina HarborNature and Wildlife

Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

star-4.5
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
US$31.74
From
US$31.74

Kanaio Coast AdventureSnorkeling

Kanaio Coast Adventure

star-5
Take a boat trip up the Kanaio Coast with a couple of stops for snorkeling along the way with this tour. You'll visit the sea caves and lava arches around Kanaio followed by snorkeling stops at both La Perouse Bay and a turtle spot, stopping for a included lunch before returning to shore.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$128.21
From
US$128.21

Whalewatch Sail from LahainaSailing

Whalewatch Sail from Lahaina

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Maximize your chances of seeing humpback whales by embarking on a catamaran cruise from Lahaina Harbor. In the company of certified marine naturalists and marine biologists who provide insights into whale behavior, head out onto the water in search of the gentle giants. Snacks and drinks are available on board upon purchase.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$57.01
From
US$57.01
Taking safety measures

Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and SailSailing

Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail

star-5
Experience the wild beauty of Kauai’s breathtaking Na Pali Coast on this sailing and snorkeling cruise from Port Allen. Witness the ‘Eighth Natural Wonder of the World’ the way it was meant to be seen — from the water. Get a fantastic perspective on towering emerald sea cliffs, sparkling waterfalls and remote beaches from the deck of a well-equipped catamaran, and explore the island’s vibrant underwater world during a snorkeling stop. An included buffet lunch and entertaining legends shared by the captain and crew make this an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$192.47
From
US$192.47
Taking safety measures

Whale Watching from Ma'alaea HarborDay Cruises

Whale Watching from Ma'alaea Harbor

star-4.5
Experience the magic of whale watching off the coast of Maui with this incredible tour from Ma'alaea Harbor. Spend two-hours cruising the waters with a team of certified marine naturalists and listen in as they unlock the secretes of humpback whales. You'll have the chance to hear whale songs through underwater hydrophones and learn about interactions between these giant marine mammals. Travelers are guaranteed to see whales on this is a once-in-a-lifetime tour or the next trip is free.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$45.22
From
US$45.22
Taking safety measures

Whalewatch Sail Deluxe Tour from LahainaWhale Watching

Whalewatch Sail Deluxe Tour from Lahaina

star-5
Get an up-close look at Hawaii’s Humpback whales during this 3-hour cruise run by a team of marine naturalists and biologists at the Pacific Whale Foundation. Each trip is different, but you’re likely to watch mothers interacting with their calves, observe mating behavior, and listen to whale songs through an underwater hydrophone. A buffet-style lunch and two complimentary drinks are also included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$95.59
From
US$95.59
Taking safety measures

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching AdventurePhotography Tours

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

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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
US$108.09
From
US$108.09

Whale Watching from Lahaina HarborDay Cruises

Whale Watching from Lahaina Harbor

star-4.5
Don’t miss one of the most popular whale-watching tours in Maui! This 2-hour catamaran cruise takes you from the historic Lahaina Harbor out to waters home to humpback whales. Using underwater hydrophones, listen to them sing, and watch males compete for mates or mother whales calving — you never know you might see on this adventure that guarantees whale sightings. Enjoy the views from the open upper deck or the shaded cabins below, and hear informative commentary from naturalist-guides on board. This family-friendly outing includes a Naturalist Program for kids.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$45.22
From
US$45.22
Taking safety measures

Small Group Whale Watching AdventureWhale Watching

Small Group Whale Watching Adventure

star-5
Our small group experience takes place in a big boat atmosphere! With a maximum of 20 guests onboard, our captain and crew can focus on providing each guest with the very best experience possible. Our boat is really what sets us apart from other companies- we have a fast, fun, and very comfortable boat where everyone has a cushioned seat, large open platform for viewing the whales, and fast, quiet engines to help us spend the most possible time with the whales during your tour. Knowledgeable Captains who have worked amongst the whales for years will share what they know and answer your questions. Its a great photo opportunity and most people who do it come back for more!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$54.97
From
US$54.97

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel SailSnorkeling

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

star-4.5
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, lunch, and optional round-trip transportation from Oahu hotels
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$140.24
From
US$140.24
Taking safety measures

Kohala Coast Whale GuaranteedWhale Watching

Kohala Coast Whale Guaranteed

star-3.5
Get up, close, and personal with some of the most impressive creatures on earth during this Hawaiian whale-watching tour. Enjoy the serene journey along the Kohala Coast—looking out for lava walls and sandy stretches of beach—before reaching a spot infrequently visited by other boats for a near-exclusive and unspoiled whale-spotting experience. Learn about the whales along the way, as you sip on complimentary soft drinks.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$85.88
From
US$85.88
Taking safety measures

Lanai Island Dolphin and Snorkel Cruise from Lahaina HarborSnorkeling

Lanai Island Dolphin and Snorkel Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

star-4.5
Leave the busy streets of Lahaina splashing behind in your wake, as you cross the channel to snorkel the crystal clear waters off of Lanai.  During this Maui snorkeling tour, spend 45 minutes motoring towards the isolated coast of Lanai, where sea turtles, fish, and occasionally dolphins swim circles above the reef. Once tied to a mooring off eastern Lanai, splash down the water slide that leads from the boat to the turquoise waters below, and enjoy a hot, BBQ lunch on the leisurely cruise back to Maui.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$119.50
From
US$119.50

Snorkel & Dolphin Watch Adventure Aboard Luxury CatamaranDay Cruises

Snorkel & Dolphin Watch Adventure Aboard Luxury Catamaran

star-4.5
Discover Kona’s underwater paradise on this snorkeling cruise and dolphin watch. Cruise through the protected marine sanctuaries of Red Hill, home to more than 600 species of enchanting ocean wildlife. After a safety briefing and some basic instruction from the lifeguard-trained crew, jump in the water for a snorkel. Also, enjoy dolphin watching and a Hawaiian-style barbecue lunch. Then relax with a cocktail from the premium cash bar and enjoy the timeless beauty of the Kona coastline on the return trip. Bring a towel. Everything else is included.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$149.19
From
US$149.19
Taking safety measures

Mid-Morning Whale Watch from Kawaihae HarborWhale Watching

Mid-Morning Whale Watch from Kawaihae Harbor

star-5
Spot humpback whales in their natural habitat on this whale-watching tour from Kawaihae Harbor. Hop on a catamaran, and learn all about humpback whales from an onboard naturalist. Enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks throughout your cruise, as your group tries to see the big mammals swimming through the nearby waters. As well as getting great photo opportunities, you’ll also be able to hear the whales’ songs by using an underwater hydrophone.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$107.00
From
US$107.00

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