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Whale Watching Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii

Whale Watching Tours on the Big Island of Hawaii

Whale-watching is one of the most popular winter activities in Hawaii, and for good reason; it's estimated that around two thirds of the world's North Pacific whales come to Hawaii to breed and give birth. See below for how and when to see whales in the wild.

When to Go

The North Pacific humpback whales, known as koholai, arrive in Hawaii as early as November and can be spotted as late as May. Your chances for spotting the migratory mammals are at their highest from January through March.

What You'll See

Though most whale-watching expeditions focus on spotting humpback whales, plenty of other species call the waters surrounding Hawaii home. These include short-finned pilot whales, dwarf sperm whales, and all sorts of dolphins, including bottlenose and spinner varieties.

How to Go

There's no shortage of whale-watching excursions leaving from the shores of the Big Island, with plenty of group expeditions and private options available. Most offer morning and afternoon departures, but there are also late afternoon cruises with cocktails served on board. See below for your options.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

7 Tours and Activities

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Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

Wake Up With the Whales Cruise

star-5
55
See, hear and photograph the Humpback Whales from our stable catamaran decks. Early morning ocean conditions are generally the calmest of the day! Includes, soft drinks and crunchy granola bar snacks. Guaranteed – see a Humpback or ride again for free!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.00
From
$107.00
Taking safety measures

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island

Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island

star-4
71
Get up close with humpback whales near the Big Island of Hawaii on this guided, whale watching excursion. During Hawaii's whale season, the ocean is full of activity from humpback whales migrating from the Pacific Northwest to breed and nurse their young. Hear the whales with a hydrophone and learn about their behavior patterns from the certified naturalist guide. Snacks and light refreshments are provided.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.95
From
$105.95
Taking safety measures

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure

star-5
108
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!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.66
From
$115.66
Taking safety measures

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

Mid-Morning Whale Watch

star-5
8
This whale watch departs directly from Kawaihae Harbor within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Waters so you won’t have to travel far to see the majestic Humpback Whales. Tours include expert interpretation from on board marine naturalists, great photo ops, and an underwater hydrophone to hear the whales as they sing. This trip includes crunchy snacks, tropical juices and soft drinks. The morning light makes for great photos! Guaranteed – see a Humpback or take the trip again for free!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.00
From
$107.00
Taking safety measures

Whale Watching On The Big Island

Whale Watching On The Big Island

star-4.5
126
Hawaii’s Big Island is home to migrating pods of humpback whales, which often breach as they build up energy for their northward migration. This narrated tour brings you to some of the best viewing grounds via 24-person catamaran. You’re able to hear the whales singing through the provided hydrophones. The tour provider guarantees whale sightings or the next trip is free.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.90
From
$85.90
Taking safety measures

Kawaihae Whale Watch - Guaranteed

Kawaihae Whale Watch - Guaranteed

star-4.5
11
Get up, close, and personal with some of the most impressive creatures on earth during this Hawaiian whale-watching tour. Enjoy the serene journey along the Kohala Coast—looking out for lava walls and sandy stretches of beach—before reaching a spot infrequently visited by other boats for a near-exclusive and unspoiled whale-spotting experience. Learn about the whales along the way, as you sip on complimentary soft drinks.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.88
From
$85.88
Taking safety measures

Whale Watch Ocean Exploration

Whale Watch Ocean Exploration

star-5
1
Come catch a glimpse of Hawai‘i’s gentle giants and winter visitor, the Humpback Whale! After a nonstop 6-8 week and 6,000 mile migration from Alaska, approximately 12,000 North Pacific Humpbacks arrive in the Hawaiian Islands every year around mid December for a season of mating, birthing, and nurturing their newborn calves. This annual migration is one of the longest of any mammal, and brings magic to the Hawaiian Islands each winter. Venture out of Hilo’s breakwall in search of these majestic creatures for an up close and personal, once in a lifetime experience! Our tours allow a maximum of 6 guests.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$136.78
From
$136.78