This activity is located on: Big Island

Whale Watching Cruises


Hear singing humpback whales through our underwater hydrophones, and you may also see spinner dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and more


Join us for a thrilling afternoon on the high seas! Head out into the open ocean for the opportunity to see magnificent humpback whales firsthand, in comfort and style. It’s your vacation—don’t leave without embarking on the adventure of a lifetime! Experience the yearly migration of these behemoth wonders of the ocean.


  • Deluxe cruise round trip sailing from Kailua Pier
  • Guaranteed whale sightings or return with us for free!
  • Lots of information provided by out on board marine life expert
  • Fresh tropical fruit, hummus dip, and other snacks
  • Complimentary sodas, juices, tea, coffee, and water
  • Cash bar available

Activity Times:

1:00 PM

Activity Duration:

1.5 Hours

Upgrade Options:

No upgrades available

What’s Included?

A Note About Humpback Sightings

We want to ensure that you have the incredible vacation you've planned and saved for, and protect your investment by promising that you will see whales during this outing, or we’ll invite you back with us for free! We do this as a token of our enthusiasm to share the amazing feeling that is inspired by witnessing these creatures firsthand. We're confident in our crew's ability to find the whales when you cruise with us, and so we stand behind our promise that you'll get a chance to see a real live humpback whale in its natural environment.

whales swimming by

What To Bring

  • Cruise confirmation
  • Camera or camera phone
  • Light jacket or raincoat
  • Hat or visor and sunglasses

Please don't bring or use your own sunscreen, as most commercial sunscreens can cause severe damage to the delicate coral reefs. We provide complimentary "reef safe" sunscreen onboard.

reef safe sunscreen label

Be aware that the weather will be temperate and warm, despite these being the cooler months of the year for this region. It will most likely not rain, and it is fairly certain that visibility will remain great throughout the excursion. Temperatures in Kailua-Kona in the winter months typically range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so shorts and general warm weather wear, as well as sunglasses, are recommended. Be sure to stay hydrated with the complimentary water and soft drinks available on board.

We are proudly ADA compliant and welcome all vacationers interested in a one-of-a-kind whale watching experience. All activities are completely wheelchair accessible, and we welcome guests who use walkers or scooters as well as those with any other mobility impairment. This activity is appropriate for guests of any age, and no strenuous activity is involved at any point of the cruise. If you think you may require accommodations of any kind—including but not limited to mobility assistance—please let us know when you make your booking, and we'll make the necessary arrangements.

We understand that the most important part of whale watching is the whales themselves, and the overall health of their marine habitat. We pledge our dedication as a company to sustainable practices that benefit the rich variety of marine life that we explore in the course of  our cruises.


The Kanoa II


Each year, a staggering population of over 10,000 humpback whales makes the long and difficult journey of over 4,000 miles to the beautiful warm waters around Hawaii, where they return faithfully each December to begin their breeding and calving season. The recovery of the humpbacks has been astounding, since being hunted to near-extinction in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The rebound in their numbers means that each year, a few lucky vacationers have the chance to voyage out and witness this transfixing natural phenomenon up close!

The humpback is a particularly captivating species for several reasons, not least because of their stunning intelligence. They are one of only two whale types that are known to engage in a complicated behavior known as “bubble net feeding.” This is an ingenious social behavior in which the whales cooperate in larger groups to gather food. They circle around and communicate the location of the prey while blowing bubbles to create a boundary that traps the school of fish inside. They only do this, however, during the feeding half of the year. The six-month period they spend feeding in cooler water comes to an end when they begin their odyssey back to Hawaii, where they don't eat from December to April.

During these months, our relaxing afternoon cruise brings you in reach of these singing beauties. The song of the humpback is louder than that of any other whale species, reaching over 188 decibels, and an individual male will sometimes sing continuously for up to 24 hours! During your trip, you can listen to these otherworldly tones using a hydrophone through the boat’s sound system. We're excited to give you the opportunity to observe the complex behaviors of these intelligent marine mammals in real time!

The Cruise

Hop on board our deluxe ocean-faring catamaran and let us take care of everything. We depart from Kailua Pier, and begin loading up to depart at 1:00 in the afternoon on each day that the ride is offered. This is the best time of day to maximize the odds of seeing whales during the cruise. Many groups begin seeing whales as soon as the boat leaves the harbor! Once on board, get comfortable and relax with a complimentary snack and a juice or soda from our friendly local crew. You can also grab a refreshing cocktail or cold beer from the cash bar, which features several local spirits. Get ready for a truly breathtaking ride!


The Scenery 

We take off from the pier for a short cruise out into deeper waters, where the whales congregate at this time of year. An onboard marine wildlife specialist comes along on all of our whale watch trips, to explain everything you want to know about the fascinating world of the humpback whales and other ocean residents. They're happy to answer all of your questions and provide information throughout the cruise. The other crew members help make sure you don’t miss sighting any humpbacks when they surface. Relax with the knowledge that our experienced tour staff have all the technological and geographical know-how to navigate you smoothly to one of the world’s most beautiful whale watching locations and back again. All of our staff is highly trained in seafaring protocol and best safety practices, so you can focus on having fun without worrying about a thing. Be sure to have your camera ready if you see a whale’s tail rise up out of the water…you’ll have just a moment to start recording as it begins to “playfully” slap its tail against the water in a dazzling display. Of course, the highlight of any whale watching cruise is the magical moment when one of these magnificent creatures breaches, launching itself completely out of the water and landing with a mighty splash. Enjoy knowledgeable commentary as we cruise through rich ocean waters. Your guides point out the majestic humpbacks, of course, and they also help you to appreciate some of the other species that are so important to the ecology of the area. Keep your eyes peeled for the spinner dolphins that inhabit the same waters, so-named for their habit of playfully spinning around as they leap into the air. You might spot pods of highly social pilot whales swimming by, or the ocean’s largest toothed predator, the sperm whale, during your cruise, as well. Manta rays, sea turtles, and other fascinating Pacific ocean life may also join you along the way.

Be sure to bring a spare memory card so you'll be able to take lots of pictures—of the whales breaching the water, and of yourself having the time of your life! And maybe snap a few pictures of the bright aquamarine waves, and maybe a few more of the boat and the delicious tropical cocktail you can enjoy on the ride back to the harbor. Vacations are all about making memories, and our Whale Watching Cruise gives you the chance to experience a moment of the sublime.

man taking photos of a whale

The boat voyages in a wide arc over the carefully-selected route, and returns you to the pier at the end of your two-and-a-half-hour cruise.  The awe-inspiring size and agility of these impressive animals is truly amazing to behold, and seeing them is an opportunity not to be missed when you visit our islands during the winter time. Make the most of your memorable Hawaii vacation by letting us whisk you away for a magical afternoon of snacks, drinks, fun, learning—and of course whale watching up close and personal during the peak time of year to observe these awe-inspiring creatures.

Know before you book:

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