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The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the rare places in Hawaii where you can swim in the ocean with wild dolphins.

Dolphin Excursions on "The Big Island" of Hawaii

There are 28 products in this category that range in price from $50.00 to $1050.00.

Swimming with dolphins in the open ocean is often an island visitor's "fantasy". With the possible exception of swimming with dolphins off the Waianae Coast of Oahu, the Big Island is truly the only place that your dolphin fantasy can be realized in the islands.

It is remarkable how many days out of the year we can actually not only find the dolphins off the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii but actually swim with them as well. It is for this reason that dolphin watches and dolphin excursions which offer dolphin viewing, swimming with dolphins and information about dolphins in general are very popular on the Big Island.

Known for their inshore habits, playfulness around vessels and star performances at aquariums, bottlenose dolphins are probably the most popular of all cetacean species.


  • Adult Bottlenose Dolphins in the waters off the Big Island of Hawaii range in size from seven to eleven feet in length and weigh between 600 and 850 pounds. Their backs are medium gray, their sides are lighter gray and their bellies are white or pink. Offshore animals are darker in color than those found inshore and sometimes appear to be less interested in swimming along with boats. A few thousand Bottlenose Dolphins are believed to inhabit the waters around Hawaii, usually living in groups of two to fifteen individuals. Most of these groups are permanent residents of certain coastlines and harbors, and are therefore easy to spot.



Spinner Dolphins are the smallest of the Big Island of Hawaii's common dolphins.


  • The Spinner Dolphins are generally between five and six feet in length and weigh 130 to 200 pounds. Hawaii has its own subspecies that is easy to recognize by its distinctive "three-tone" color pattern which consists of a sharply defined dark gray "cape" on their backs, a stripe of lighter gray on their sides and a white or pink belly.

  • This species gets its name from its spectacular habit of leaping high into the air and spinning several times on their tails before falling back into the water. Researchers are not sure why the dolphins spin, but most people who have had the opportunity to watch these Big Island dolphins don't seem to mind, and find it a real treat.

  • Around Hawaii, spinner dolphins congregate at night in large herds in the deep channels between the islands to feed. During the day, they break up into smaller groups and come near shore to rest and play. A particular place the dolphins of the Big Island can often be seen is Kealake'akua Bay however dolphins can frequent the entire Kona Coast as well. The life cycle of dolphins is similar to that of other cetaceans. As mammals, dolphins bear live young and the mothers nurse them on milk and provide care. A dolphin calf is born tail-first with eyes open, senses alert and enough muscular coordination to follow its mother immediately. At birth, the mother helps her calf to the surface to get its first breath. While nursing lasts between one and a half to two years, the mother will remain with her calf for a period between three and eight years. There is some variation in the age at which sexual maturity is reached, the reproduction rate and the life expectancy among the different species of dolphins. Most species tend to bear one calf every other year or so during their re-productively active years and are believed to have an average life expectancy of about thirty years.



The Hawaiian name for dolphin is Nai'a, and refers to all species of dolphins found in Hawaiian waters. Four species of dolphins are regularly found in the waters around the Big Island of Hawaii. They are the Pacific bottle-nose dolphin, the Rough-toothed dolphin, the Spotted dolphin and the Spinner dolphin. Other dolphin species have been known to pass through the islands but are relatively rare. The two most popular species of dolphins located in Hawaiian waters are the bottle-nose dolphins and the spinner dolphins.

As anyone who has had the opportunity to watch dolphins perform in a show can attest, dolphins have an impressive ability to learn and imitate behaviors, often for what appears the sheer pleasure of doing so. This observation, together with their large brain size, has led to numerous studies of dolphin intelligence. Dolphins' brains are about the size of our own.


We sell tickets to 28 items in the category Dolphin Excursions on "The Big Island" of Hawaii.

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Displaying 28 of 28 Results

$99.38
(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Weather permitting, you will head north looking for dolphins and get in the water for a once in a lifetime encounter. This is nothing like seeing them in captivity. You will be able to see them up close…

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$107.43
(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Your journey will start with a Hawaiian ceremony to greet the day, then it's off to the adventure of a lifetime-- a morning swim with the dolphins. They love to ride the bow wake of the boat. After…

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$121.90
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Journey in a new raft, Kamanu Elua, to the beautiful and historical Kealakekua Bay for some fun snorkeling. This tour includes your snorkel equipment, noodles and life vests. Enjoy a light tropical lunch…

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$124.90
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Your snorkeling adventure will begin in the pristine waters and the vibrant reef of the marine sanctuary at Kealakekua Bay, near the Captain Cook monument. This is perhaps the best snorkeling spot you…

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$92.90
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

If swimming with the dolphins is your specific goal and dream then come explore the Big Island's Kona coast on a 24 foot zodiac inflatable boat. This is the main focus of this 3 hour tour. Sights will…

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$97.96
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Four hour adventure to cruise and explore the historic Kona Coast. View sea caves and lava tubes en route to Captain Cook's Monument at Kealakekua Bay. Guests will snorkel at this premier marine sanctuary…

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$99.13
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Explore the Big Island's Kona coast on a 24 foot zodiac inflatable boat. Sights will include sea caves and grottos, dolphins, manta rays and turtles. Stop to snorkel at the famous Captain Cook Monument…

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$73.31
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Three hour adventures cruise to explore the historic Kona Coast, sea caves and lava tubes en route to Kealakekua Bay. Guests will snorkel at this premier marine sanctuary viewing many species of fish,…

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$83.87
(2 Reviews, 4.5 Stars)

Explore the Big Island's Kona Coast on a 24' Zodiac Inflatable raft. Sights will include sea caves and grottos, dolphins, manta rays and turtles. Stop to snorkel at Captain Cooks Monument in Kealakekua…

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$66.45
(2 Reviews, 4.5 Stars)

After checking in, we will outfit your single or tandem kayak with life jackets, backrests, paddles, snorkel gear and bottled water. We help you launch into calm and picturesque Keauhou Bay, where we conduct…

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$82.90
(3 Reviews, 4.3 Stars)

Get out on the ocean for a sunset sail. Take in the panoramic sunset views and see the light changing colors on the mountains behind you. This trip includes two hours of real sailing. There will also…

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$112.58
(5 Reviews, 4.2 Stars)

Enjoy a 3 hour cruise and set sail to Captain Cook's Monument on Kona's only historical dinner cruise to Kealakekua Bay. This narrative cruise to Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook's Monument…

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$85.00
(3 Reviews, 3 Stars)

Travel 17 miles south to Kealakekua Bay, home of the Captain Cook monument. Along the way, stop at historical sites and hear local legends and see points of interest. Your captain will watch for whales…

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$175.90 - $1042.90

One of the most exhilarating excursions a visitor to Kona can experience is a snorkeling encounter with dolphins. These dolphin encounters are designed to place you in the water in the vicinity of a pod…

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$1050.00

The Private Explorer Charter Boat Tour is for a small group or family that want the charter boat all to themselves. At Hawaii Oceanic we specialize in making the boat yours for the whole morning, where…

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$459.90 - $623.90

Each tour is led by owner-operator Captain Tom Bottrell a professionally trained marine ecologist. Humpback whales are the focus of our attention from December thru May when they are here in abundant numbers.…

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$50.00 - $91.90

Join us for a deluxe morning snorkel trip to Pawai Bay, a protected area on private land, located on the Kona Coast. Enjoy real sailing on Kona's only sailing catamaran. Snorkel and see rainbow colored…

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$124.90

This adventure is focused on finding the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and/or Spotted Dolphins and spending quality time with them. You will get to interact with the dolphins while learning about them and…

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$109.90

Sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the Kona Coast. This fast paced adventure aboard a brand new custom built 37' catamaran provides spectacular views with up close encounters with dolphins…

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$135.90

Spend your morning snorkeling and swimming with dolphins! Your divemaster will guide and instruct a small group of guests along the deep waters of Kona coasts pristine reefs to swim with dolphins and…

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$165.90

Cruise the beautiful Kona Coast in search of the Spinner Dolphins that will entertain you as they launch themselves out of the water into the air doing thrilling spins and flips. Your swim guide will give…

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$84.90

Three and one half hour snorkel trip to Pawai Bay, which is a protected area on private land that's located on the Kona Coast. Enjoy real sailing on Kona's only sailing catamaran. Snorkel a midst…

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$125.90

This trip is for guests looking to experience more of Hawaii's history and natural beauty. The captain and crew are equipped to answer your questions and love sharing the history and legends of the…

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$103.90 - $129.90

From April thru November you get a chance to swim with dolphins in Kona Hawaii on this exciting tour aboard the Mai Kai. Enjoy a personal experience with the ocean and its wild life including Green Sea…

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$119.00

Join Wahine Charters as we cruise the beautiful Kona coastline and look for Hawaii's friendly spinner dolphins. It's not uncommon to encounter both the spotted dolphins and the bottlenose dolphins…

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$126.90

Come join in an unforgettable adventure into the amazing world of the Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Your journey begins at the Honokohau Marina, where you head up the coastline in search of one of many pods…

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$121.90 - $495.00

Join in as we guide you to this special snorkeling destination - historic Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument where state of Hawaii permits are required. See where the famous circumnavigator and explorer…

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$93.90

The Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument Snorkel Tour offers calm waters, remarkable snorkeling and brightly colored tropical fish and coral gardens are the feature most commonly enjoyed here. Sightings…

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