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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. 

Highlights

  • 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

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

You get to visit one of Hawaii's best snorkeling sites known as Kealakekua Bay.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Hawaii Combo: Wild Dolphin Swim and Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling

Hawaiian spinner dolphins are typically active until mid-morning when they enter their rest phase.

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.

Customer Reviews

Sharon M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 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!

Linda B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 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!

Kelly P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 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

Kevin M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 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.

beckyglaze

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 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!

William B USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

This was an aswome time out for us first time snorklers. We had an amazing day saw and swam with tons of dolphins. The crew on our boat were very entertaining and kept the flow of the day filled with laughs and knowledge of dolphin life as well as the sights and stops we were taken too along the way. They were super nice and took one of our tour guides back to the main land because of sea sickness. We were also shown caves and the coast and even went to a more secluded place to snorkel as well a the usual stop. Lunch and snacks were served as well. A must do for first timers.

Stephanie C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Swimming with wild Hawaiian spinner dolphins is amazing!!! My kids (ages 11 and up) will definitely do this again and again. Fantastic crew, boat and equipment. What a wonderful day!!

Marco d

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

We had possibly our most magical day on the island thanks to Mare and Dave, who were both cheery and very knowledgeable about what they are doing. We not only swam with Spinner Dophins more than once, and took in the majestic snorkeling in the bay, but we also had the good luck of seeing two humpbacks breech right in front of the boat. We'll never forget it. But again it was all made that much more fun by the great attitude (very kid friendly) of our hosts and guides! Thanks again! Highly recommend this as a must-do during your stay on the island.

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