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Kauai Whale Watching

Kauai Whale Watching is a favorite activity in the winter time.

There are 10 tours in this category with adult prices that range in price from $58.70 to $500.00 Skip Directly to Tours.

Kauai Whale Season

Kauai Whale season operates roughly from Christmas time till Easter.

Kauai whale watching is 'the' popular activity during the winter months.   The Kauai sea coast could by no means be considered dull or uneventful during any time of year, but when the whales arrive in the winter months the Kauai waters become absolutely alive with an extra pulse of energy.  Although these enormous animals can often be seen from the shoreline, the very best way to view them would be from the deck of one of the Kauai whale watching boats.

If the Dolphins along Kauai's coast could be considered the court-jesters of this sea kingdom with all their jumping, spinning and gymnastic antics, the whales in this environment would be likened to the kings and the queens of the realm. The majesty of these magnificent and regal animals is second to none. The whales swim in these waters with an attitude suggesting they were viewing the boundaries of their own private sanctuary, and in many ways it could be said that they are.

What should you expect to see on a Kauai Whale Watching Tour:

  • They travel in pods and are often spotted initially, not by eye, but by the sound of their tremendous blow when they first reach the surface.
  • This is often followed by the visual sighting of others whales in the pod.
  • Once on surface off Kauai's coastline it is not unusual for whales to remain for ten or fifteen minutes playing with each other, slapping their flukes on the water and launching themselves high in the air in what is referred to as a "breach".
  • Soon thereafter there will be the familiar flip of the tail as the whales "sound" or dive deep to the ocean's depths.
  • Each step of the whale watching process will be narrated or interpreted by your whale watch boat's captain or a whale watching specialist who is there for the purpose of providing information and answering your questions.

There is so much to know and learn about these fascinating animals that you may not satiate your appetite for knowledge in one two-hour whale watch and it's not a bad idea to go on a couple different trips during your holiday.

We have many different boats on Kauai that go out to whale watch.

  • Some people prefer the sense of stability of the larger whale watching vessels.  It's not a bad idea to find one that has two decks as you often get a better vantage point from the upper level.
  • Others of you may prefer the more adventurous rafting boats or 'Zodiacs' that zip across the ocean surface at great speed. These vessels carry small groups of people, are more intimate, and allow you to ask more questions.
  • Some would prefer a totally private whale watch for only six or less, and we can provide those whale tours as well.

Regardless of the type of whale watch you choose you will become mesmerized by these fantastic animals.

Norwegian Cruise Line - Pride of America Cruise Ship:

Whale watching tours will not pick you up at the cruise ship pier. Your best bet is to either arrange for a taxi to take you to and from the departure location or to have Tom Barefoot's Tours arrange for a Rent-A-Car shuttle to pick you up at the cruise ship pier. The best timing for most of these Kauai Whale Watching Tours is going to be on the Thursday or Friday of your cruise schedule.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Whale Watching Tours Sorted by Specific Tour

Whale Watching Tours Sorted by Company

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Kauai Sea Tours

3 Activity Options

24' Rigid Hull Inflatable Rafts, Lucky Lady' 60' Sailing, Power Catamaran

Kauai Sea Tours is a large charter boat company that offers tours off the coast of Kauai and particularly the NaPali Coast with its beautiful 'signature' boat , Lucky Lady. In addition it also provides romantic dinner cruises and whale watches and also has a fleet of specially designed raft boats which are great for exploring caves, snorkeling and racing dolphins.
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(3 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Catamaran Kahanu

1 Activity Option

36' Sailing Catamaran, 36' double hull Hawaiian Catamaran

Catamaran Kahanu is a boat tour company that offers tours of the spectacular NaPali Coastline on Kauai's North Shore and also offers dinner cruises and whale watches. With a maximum capacity of only eighteen passengers these tours are very personalized and your captain and crew are of Hawaiian ancestry and have been lifelong residents of Kauai.
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Blue Dolphin Charters

1 Activity Option

56 foot wide-beam sailing Trimaran, 27' Raft and 63' Catamaran

Blue Dolphin Charters offers spectacular motor sailing cruises to the NaPali Coast of Kauai and to the 'forbidden island' of Niihau. In addition Blue Dolphin also offers whale watches, snorkeling, snuba, dinner cruises, sunset sails and rafting excursions. All emphasis is placed upon customer comfort and its large boats each maintain large walk-in restrooms, fresh water showers and plenty of deck space.
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Captain Andy's Expedition

1 Activity Option

55' Sailing Catamaran, 55' Gold Coast Yachts, 30' and 38' RAIV

Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures for years has offered tours to see the spectacular NaPali Coastline of Kauai. Sailing large and luxurious Gold Coast Yacht Sailing Catamarans, Captain Andy's will take you snorkeling and dolphin watching as well as provide romantic dinner and sunset cruises. In addition you can enjoy rafting adventures to the NaPali Coast.
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Holo-Holo Charters

1 Activity Option

61' and 48' Sailing Catamarans, 38' Raft

Holo Holo Charters offers a variety of boat tours on Kauai on large, powerful and stable catamarans. Tours include beautiful snorkel and dolphin watch excursions to the NaPali Coastline, raft tours of NaPali during the summer months, dinner sunset cruises, whale watching and tours to the forbidden island of Niihau.
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Kauai Z Tourz

1 Activity Option

Dolphin tours on a 24 foot Zodiac Inflatable Raft.

Kauai Z-Tours operates 16 passenger rafts along the southern coastlines of Kauai. Their complement of tours includes snorkeling excursions, whale watches and dolphin watches. The southern coastline of Kauai is ideal for rafting the majority of the year as opposed to the 'north shore' where the waves can become too dangerous in the winter. Sunny weather is usually on hand all year also so it makes for a great snorkeling destination.
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Lahela Ocean Adventures

1 Activity Option

34' Sportfisher, 33' Bertram interior seating is for 5

The 34' Radon Sport Fisher 'Lahela' is the boat used by Lahela Ocean Adventures. The boat is certified for as many as 12 passengers and is ideal for both sport or bottom fishing. The primary asset of this vessel is its extremely experienced crew and each of the three captains who man the boat have put in years trolling the waters surrounding Kauai.
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NaPali Explorer

1 Activity Option

Na Pali Coast Snorkel and Raft

Boasting two very fast and maneuverable rigid hull inflatables, Napali Explorer provides adventurous boats that are ideal for the conditions that can be found along the Napali Coast. The small groups taken on these tours make them very personalized and these boats are perfect for exploring the numerous caves and sheer cliff formations that make the Napali Coast so famous.
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Recent Reviews

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Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

Well as you probably know, the whales come to Kauai every year.

Actually they come to all the islands every year. They come in the winter time, usually. Mostly we say between Christmas and Easter. They actually come long before that, a few of them and a few of them stay a little bit later afterwards, but the bulk of them are here during that portion of the year. They come to all the islands and a good question that's often brought up is, which island do they go to most. It's really kind of a difficult study. There's a number of viewpoints that have happened amongst scientists regarding that. I think it's generally accepted that they, probably the majority of them will hang out more in Maui County in the narrow or shallow seabeds between Lanai and Kaho'olawe and Molokai and Maui. Also, the island of Hawaii sees a lot of whales and also the penguin banks between Molokai and Oahu.

As far as Kauai, as far as really trying to get a handle on, do these whales come back to the same spot every year and is that where they hang out? Well, it's been documented that the same whale has been seen on the southern point of The Big Island. Then, within two weeks, has been as far as Kauai. So, they travel around. There's no question, there are lots of whales that we see every year on Kauai. We have lots of whale watching tours that go out, generally from Port Allen or from Nawiliwili Harbor. You're going out in either larger boats or smaller ones. You're going out in big catamarans, possibly, that carry a number of people. You could also go out in the little zodiac type rafts and smaller vessels.

Each one of them has an advantage. The larger ones are a little bit more stable in the water, if that's a situation that you don't want to have to deal with. You're going to be able to, at some points, actually get higher up on the vessel, as well, and have a nice view of the whales. Generally, you're seeing dolphins as a bonus on these trips, as well, so that's neat. The smaller ones, like the zodiac type, those are a treat, too. They're a bit more adventurous, I think. Generally a younger group of person, or younger at heart, will do those. You're with smaller groups of people. You're able to ask maybe a bit more questions of the captain of the boat and get a few more answers in that way. If there's a downside, for some people, it's that it may be a little bit harder on your back to be able to deal with the pounding, which occasionally can happen as you're going against surf. It's a decision you need to make.

Anyway you get out there, it's going to be fantastic to see these amazing, giant creatures that come all the way across the ocean from Alaska and Canada every year, making the entire journey, just to come here to mate, to calve, and to frolic and enjoy the Hawaiian environment. Just like you.

If you have any questions about Tours or Activities in Hawaii, just give us a call or check out TomBarefoot.com. We're here to help.

The Hawaii whale watching season is the most anticipated time of year regarding activities in the islands. Whale watching is available for visitors to enjoy between December and May.

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The whale watching season is usually under way by the 15th of December and usually lasts through Easter. The best way to observe humpback whales, is by taking one of the many whale watching tours on one of a variety of whale watch boats off the coast of Oahu.

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Narration and interpretation of whale movements are provided on Maui whale watching boats. You'll find yourself wanting to know more about these fascinating creatures.

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Unlike other locations in Hawaii, the Big Island of Hawaii is not only the seasonal home for the famous Humpback whales but is also home year round to a selection of Sperm whales, Pilot whales, Pygmy Killer whales, the Melon Headed whales and the rare Beaked whales.

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