• Tour code: 3196WHALE
  • Location: Kona, Hawaii
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

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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!

Highlights

  • 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

What You Can Expect

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

This Kona whale watch departs from the slips of Honokohau Marina, which is just north of Kailua-Kona in the direction of Waikoloa. As you scour the coastline in search of a spout, your captain will discuss everything from Hawaiian history to the island’s unique geology, all while scanning the cobalt horizon for signs of a breach or a splash. 

In winter, humpback whales travel here to these waters to mate and give birth to their young. The captain also serves as a naturalist and has a wealth of info on the whales, and also carries a hydrophone on board so you can hear the haunting and eerie song of whales singing underwater. In addition to pods of humpback whales, there’s also the chance you could see turtles, dolphins, manta rays or other marine life, and the Kona coast is also home to some lesser-known species of whales.

Depending on where the whales are spotted, you’ll also have the chance to see coastal sea caves and small, volcanic lava tubes, and hear some tales about how the island is still continuing to grow. 

Since the boat only holds up to 16 passengers you’re guaranteed a personalized experience. Although the smaller Zodiac raft can be bouncy, and isn’t recommended for anyone pregnant or with back or neck problems, it's able to cut through the water without the stomach-churning rock. Many say it navigates the waters of the Kona coast better than any other style of boat.

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