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Whale Watching Tours on "The Big Island" of Hawaii

See All Activities See All Activities By Vendor Whale watching off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most popular activities on the Big Island.

There are 18 tours in this category that range in price from $54.90 to $929.90.

Whale Watching Tours

Unlike other locations in Hawaii, the Big Island 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.


There are about 78 species of whales in the Order Cetacea.


Cetaceans are classified into two subgroups, Mysticeti or "baleen whales", and Odontoceti or "toothed whales".


Generally the toothed whales are found further off shore and can be often seen on one of the famous Kona coast Fishing Charters that ply the deep waters off the "Big Island" of Hawaii.


No other whale however matches the glitz and pizzazz of the active Humpback Whales which show up from roughly December through April.


Big Island of Hawaii whale watching trips abound through this period with Kona whale watching trips being the most prominent.


These beautiful animals make their annual journey from the waters off Alaska to the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.


Here they mate, cavort and give birth to their young.


You can often see babies which were just born traveling with their mothers and learning how to dive, slap their fins or flukes and breach high into the air.


One interesting fact about these new born calves is that they grow at the incredible rate of about 100 lbs a day strictly from the milk they receive from their mothers.


Speaking of food, another amazing fact about these annual visits is that the whales, while they are in Hawaiian waters, actually do no eating whatsoever.


They just live off the bounty of stored fat they accumulated while feasting on plankton, krill shrimp and other crustaceans in the Pacific waters of North America.


And while we're discussing unusual facts, let's also mention that the lung capacity of full grown Humpback is approximately the volume that would be taken up by a Volkswagen bug.


No wonder they can stay submerged for as long as an hour at a time.


There are a very large variety of whale watching trips.


Big Island of Hawaii whale watches generally leave both mornings and afternoons.


Pride of America Cruise Ship:

The following Whale Watching Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii do not pick up directly at the cruise ship but may be reached in some cases via a short walk, via a taxi cab or by a Rental Car that can be arranged by Tom Barefoot's Tours that will pick you up at the dock with a shuttle. These Whale Watching Tours are generally available to you on the Wednesday of your cruise itinerary while docking in the port of Kona.

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


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Whale Watching Tours Sorted by Specific Tour


We sell tickets to 18 items in the category Whale Watching Tours on "The Big Island" of Hawaii.

View the complete list below or use our Activity Finder to narrow down your options.

Displaying 18 of 18 Results

$99.90

Enjoy an extreme two hour whale watch along the Kohala coast, a well known calving and nursing ground and the Big Island's only designated National Marine Humpback Whale Sanctuary. Close encounters…

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$129.90

Enjoy a three hour whale watching and snorkeling combination on the Big Island of Hawaii Snorkeling 1 HourThe Pauko Reef is known for it's turtles and the turtle cleaning stations (where fish clean the…

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$119.90

Embark on this four hour tour morning or afternoon and cruise along stunning Hawaii coastline. Snorkel amazing coral reefs. Explore sea caves, lava tubes, blow holes trenches and canyons. It's a great…

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$743.90 - $929.90

Want the boat just for your group, designate half a day to do what you would like to do with the people special to you. This private ocean excursion is yours to customize. Choose to cruise along the coastline,…

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$138.90

This is an amazing 5 - 6 hour sightseeing boat and snorkeling tour. Cruise along the coastline of the Big Island, Hawaii to Kealakekua Bay for the first reef snorkeling encounter. Then have the rare opportunity…

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$73.90

Board a power catamaran for 2 hours and have the opportunity to see the gradiouse winter visitors of the Hawaiian islands. This whale watching tour boasts views of the coastline and amazing pristine reefs…

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$88.90

See whales, dolphins, turtles and more! There is a certified naturalist on board and an underwater hydrophone so you can hear the whale song. Our certified marine naturalist will wow you with facts and…

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$79.90

This Whalewatch Adventure is an exclusive trip to find the seasonal Humpback Whales (Dec.-March) and/or the year round Pilot Whales, Beaked-Whales, Melon-headed whales, and other species that can be found…

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$71.89

Whale season starts in December and lasts until mid April. Whales arrive yearly in the Hawaiian Islands after a 3,000 mile journey. If you are visiting Hawaii during this time, don't miss out and reserve…

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$96.90

Humpbacks are in Hawaiian waters during the winter months to calve and mate. Because Pueo Kai takes only 6 guests out on each ocean adventure, guests have all the room and space needed to enjoy these magnificent…

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$67.90

Get out on the ocean for a two hour whale watching cruise. See these graceful mammals in their natural habitat. Bring your camera there's beauty everywhere and a chance to capture your glimpse of a whale…

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$69.90

During whale season enjoy a two hour whale watching cruise, on a 31 foot high speed state of the art rigid inflatable raft, for an ocean experience like no other. Have a chance to see these graceful giants…

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$459.90

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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$79.90

Come aboard Winona's spacious 50 foot deck if you are visiting between mid December and April to relax and enjoy the humpback whales! Watch the oceans surface for signs of this endangered species that…

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$54.90

Witness the majestic Humpback Whales, as they become temporary residents in the warm waters off the Hawaiian Islands. Every year between December and April, these gentle giants migrate to breed, give…

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$71.90

During the winter months between December and early April, the magnificent humpback whales make their yearly migration from Alaska to Kona, Hawai'i. Guests go out for a 2.5 hour tour and have an opportunity…

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$61.90

From December to early May, the humpback whales call Hawai'i home. Orca, the Splashers Ocean Adventures boat, is ideal for whale watching tours. It is fast, has a low draft, is open air with a shade…

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$89.00

Witness one of the largest animals on the planet. Every winter, our humpback whales make the 3000 mile journey from Alaska to Hawaii to mate and give birth in our warm tranquil waters. Our vessel, the…

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Whale Watching Tours Sorted by Company

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(3 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Adventure X Boat Tours

2 Activity Options

Raft Whale Watching, Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling Tour

Enjoy speeds of over 40 MPH on the upgraded zodiac raft used by Adventure X Rafting while touring the areas along the coastline of the beautiful Kona region of the Big Island. Individual tours will include day trips to swim with the dolphins, spectacular evening Manta Ray snorkels and whale watching tours during the migration season.
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(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Body Glove

1 Activity Option

65' Custom Catamaran, 51' Trimaran

Kailua Kona's Body Glove Charters offers snorkel and dolphin watching tours on a daily morning charter, dinner cruises in the evenings, a historical luncheon cruise, SNUBA diving and a whale watch during the winter season. If you are interested in a wonderful 3 hour coastal tour without the snorkeling, Body Glove is the only game in town.
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(1 Review, 4 Stars)

Splashers Ocean Adventures

1 Activity Option

30' RIGID Hull Inflatable Raft

Splasher's Ocean Adventures is an eco-friendly adventure rafting company which operates out of Honokohau Harbor on the Kona Coast of the Big Island. It's 19 passenger, 30' rigid hull inflatable raft offers snorkel and dolphin tours down the coast to Kealakekua Bay, whale watches in season and two exciting evening Manta Ray snorkel tours.
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(1 Review, 3 Stars)

Kamanu Charters Inc.

2 Activity Options

36' Sailing Catamaran

You'll enjoy "real sailing", snorkeling and whale watching on this trip with Kamanu Charters on their 36' custom designed sailing catamaran "Kamanu" to Pawai Bay. This area, located just north of Kona, is under State Fishery Management . The bay is within the Queen Liliuokalani Trust Land at Kaiwi Point and it is private. They also offer night manta ray snorkels.
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Dolphin Discoveries

1 Activity Option

25' Rigid Hull Adventure Craft, 32' Zodiac Mark VI

Dolphin Discoveries focuses on finding the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and/or Spotted Dolphins on their educational and personalized tours. These trips offer small groups the chance to capture a memory of a lifetime while enjoying a cruise along the calm Kona Coast of the Big Island.
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Hawaii Oceanic

2 Activity Options

Private Charters, Swim with Dolphins, Kealakekua Bay Tour, Whale Watching

Personalization is the key word describing the ocean adventures offered by Hawaii Oceanic on the Big Island. Six passengers is the maximum number that will be on board so you will have all the personal attention you will need on these adventurous tours on a comfortable 30' power catamaran. Tours will include snorkels to Kealakekua Bay, swim with the dolphin adventures, swim with Manta Ray trips and whale watches.
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Living Ocean Adventures

1 Activity Option

31' Bertram

Here's an opportunity to go out fishing and whale watching and dolphin watching at the same time with a captain holding a degree in oceanography. This is available to you with Tom Bottrell and his boat Living Ocean Adventures. Living Ocean Adventures offers a very clever combination of activities which allows you to experience many facets of ocean experience at the same time.
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Neptune Charlies

1 Activity Option

28' Orca with Twin Diesel engines

One of the most popular dive shops in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is 'Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii'. Also known as Neptune Charlies, they specialize in fabulous night dives with the Manta Rays. Being a dive shop however they also have available a wide selection of dives and have dolphin and whale watches as well as snorkel tours.
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Mauna Lani Sea Adventures

1 Activity Option

21' Power Catamaran, 50' Sailing Catamaran

The beautiful Mauna Loa Resort in Waikoloa is the departure point for all the activities provided by the Mauna Lani Sea Adventures. Pristine snorkel adventures, scuba diving trips, sunset sails and whale watching trips in season are all available. The 55' Polynesian style catamaran 'Winona' carries intimate groups of passengers on tours along this gorgeous coastline.
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Ocean Encounters

1 Activity Option

46' Delta

The Kona Coast of the Big Island is famous for its manta rays, dolphins and whales and Ocean Encounters 46' Delta is the perfect boat from which to find and observe these beautiful underwater creatures. Being both seaworthy and stable this is a great boat for anyone but is especially ideal for an extended family with older persons on board or for anyone who is tentative with movement on the ocean.
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Wahine Charters

1 Activity Option

Dolphin Excursions, Whale Watch Tour - Wahine Charters, Snorkeling and Manta Ray trips from Honokoha

Wicked Wahine Charters operates a series of boat tours out of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Their 29' custom power vessel can easily traverse the 12 miles of coastline between Honokohau Harbor and the Captain Cook Monument while snorkeling and dolphin watching on the way, or it can take you out on a night time Manta Ray adventure or whale watching.
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Hang Loose Boat Tours

1 Activity Option

Hang Loose Boat Tours

Wild dolphin watch & snorkel, evening sunset & manta snorkel, Kealakekua Bay snorkel.
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Aloha Dolphin Tours

4 Activity Options

Aloha Dolphin Tours - 25 Foot Power Catamaran, Group and Private Cruises

Aloha Dolphin Tours offers a variety of sea tour choices for exciting ocean adventures. Ideal for small group or intimate private charters this power catamaran makes Kealakekua Bay accessible to enjoy with your family and friends.
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Top Activities
Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

So all of the island of Hawaii have whale watching and the Big Island is no different. The whales of course are primarily the humpback whales and they come from Alaska and Canada every year to visit, like a tourist. They travel thousands of miles all the way from Alaska to come to the islands of Hawaii. They come to all of them, and they just hang out here. They come to calve and to mate and presumably just enjoy life. They hang out in pods and cruise all day long around the islands and just seemingly have a great time.

They don't eat while they're here. They somehow are able to live off their body fat for months at a time and it's not until they return home that they have their next meal. So it's kind of a hibernation without being buried in the snow like a bear. They're actually active during their hibernation if you want to call it that. It's a fast, I guess, is what you would say.

Anyway, they are really exciting to watch. They're here during the months, whale season is primarily mid-December to mid-May but really the biggest part of it is going to be January, February, March. That's the heart of it. We do have whales that come earlier in October and even September, just a few scouts I guess on their way, and then some that leave in May. But really the majority of what we've got going is going to be happening in the January, February and March area.

These are neat. The whales are wonderful because any time you get on the water, you're going on a snorkel trip or you're going on a dive trip or whatever you may be doing, you have an extremely high likelihood of seeing whales, so that just adds to anything you do that time of year. But we actually have what we refer to as whale watches that are trips that go out specifically for the purpose to see the whales. On these vessels you're going out, everybody's going, "Where's the whales? Where are they?" Everybody looks. When you first make a sighting, then you start heading over to them and the idea is to get fairly close. You're not allowed to get right up on them. You have to stay 100 yards or so away and let the whales come over to you if they want to, but it's not to intrude on their territory. It's just for us to be able to see them and to get a sense of them, to enjoy them, to appreciate the whales. They really are fun.

Sometimes they do get close. These whales obviously were right up to the boat. Sometimes they'll come right up to the boat and go underneath you. That is an experience you probably won't forget especially if you're on a really small boat, which brings me to the fact that we've got a number of boats that go out to do these. We have large boats, large power boats, the double-deckers. They're a little bit more stable in the water. If it's a double-deck, from on top you really have a little bit more of a vantage point to look down to see whales and to see them on the horizon a little bit better than the boats that are just on the water.

But the advantage of being on one of the smaller boats is that you are actually right there with the whales. It is an overwhelming experience at times to be that close to whales when it happens. I say that only happens when they choose it to happen. It's luck of the draw. The Zodiac boats, the real small ones like that, are really nice for the right person. Some people may not be that comfortable on a small boat but it's great to be on a boat where you can ask questions because you'll have a bunch of the captain and he may be able to answer questions with more rapidity.

On the larger boats it's more of whale researchers on board and naturalists and there's people around that know stuff but they're giving you a little description of what's happening and that sort of thing, less of the back-and-forth. But they're wonderful any way you do it to get out to see the whales.

If you're here January, February and March, you want to make sure you get out on one of the whale watches if you can. They're also one of the more affordable tours that we have to get you out on the water.

So if you have any questions about tours or activities in Hawaii, just give us a call or check out tombarefoot.com.

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 months of December through May are a wonderful time to visit Kauai because the whales are here. These magnificent creatures spend their Winters in the waters off Kauai to breed and to bare their young.

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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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