The 6 Best Whale Watching in Honolulu

Are you ready for an unforgettable experience that allows you to witness one of nature’s most magnificent creatures up close? Whale watching in Honolulu is an incredible adventure that offers breathtaking views of humpback whales swimming and playing in their natural habitat. From December to May each year, these majestic creatures migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate and nurse their young. In this post, we’ll explore the best whale watching spots in Honolulu where you can see these magnificent marine mammals in action. So grab your camera and let’s get ready for an experience you’ll never forget.

The 6 Best Whale Watching in Honolulu

  1. Oahu Dolphin Snorkel Cruise Including Lunch and Activities
  2. Oahu Circle Island Small Group Tour in Sprinter Van
  3. Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour
  4. Oahu Highlights Turtles and North Shore Small Group Circle Island Tour
  5. Private Oahu Vip Circle Island Tour More Than 30 Spots and 15 Stops
  6. Hawaii Photo Tour

The 6 Best Whale Watching in Honolulu

1. Oahu Dolphin Snorkel Cruise Including Lunch and Activities

View dolphins in their natural habitat and swim alongside sea turtles on this popular Oahu snorkel cruise from Honolulu, offering the best whale watching experience. This morning tour includes hotel transportation from Waikiki and snorkeling gear, water slide, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks for use. A complementary lunch will also be provided. As you sail into spinner dolphin waters, gear up and ready yourself to glide alongside an array of colorful fish. With snorkeling gear provided, you can venture beneath the surface of the water before enjoying the remaining water activities available onboard. If you prefer, you can rent a wet suit for $10.00 per person or opt for the USB with professional photos of the tour for $79.00 per group. With all aspects covered, there’s no need to worry about any additional hidden expenses during the activity. Make amazing memories and have a blast in Oahu with this fantastic dolphin snorkel cruise experience.

2. Oahu Circle Island Small Group Tour in Sprinter Van

Experience the best of Oahu’s sights on a small-group tour around the island. See top attractions like Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, and the Halona Blowhole all while relaxing in a Sprinter van. You won’t have to worry about navigating through traffic or missing any important spots, as your knowledgeable guide will handle everything for you. Along the way, you’ll stop in Haleiwa town to try some local flavors for lunch and gain cultural insights from your guide. This hassle-free tour includes round-trip transportation from Waikiki hotels, live commentary on board, and gratuities, so all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Don’t miss out on this comprehensive small-group tour that is perfect for anyone who wants to get a great overview of Oahu Island.

3. Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour

Explore the Grand Circle Island of Oahu in one day with this full-day tour of the island’s iconic landmarks. You’ll travel comfortably in an air-conditioned coach or minivan, passing by Diamond Head and North Shore Surfing Beaches. The tour includes stops at the Dole Plantation, Kualoa Ranch, and a variety of lookout points, including Halona Blowhole Lookout and Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for selected hotels. Local taxes, driver/guide, lunch, and gratuities are also included. The tour starts at 6:30 am and has various pickup points, including Ala Moana Honolulu, Ilikai Hotel, and Hotel LaCroix.

4. Oahu Highlights Turtles and North Shore Small Group Circle Island Tour

Explore the beauty of Oahu’s landmarks and attractions on this small-group circle island tour. Witness the mesmerizing Waikiki Beach, learn about the history of Haleiwa town and uncover insider facts about local eateries. Visit the famous filming locations for several movies and television shows, and see where movies like ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’ were shot. Experience a pineapple plantation and a macadamia nut farm while learning about the history and culture of Oahu from the local guide. This tour includes bottled water, food tasting, and convenient pickup and drop-off from your hotel in Waikiki. Join this tour to witness over thirty local attractions and take a deeper dive into the highlights of Oahu.

5. Private Oahu Vip Circle Island Tour More Than 30 Spots and 15 Stops

This private full-day tour of Oahu offers a unique way to circle the island with your own personalized guide. With private transportation for up to five people, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Oahu’s history and culture. This tour takes you to more than 30 island spots, including the Dole Plantation, historic Haleiwa town, and various locations made famous by feature films. During the tour, you’ll receive insider information you won’t hear on big bus tours. Snacks, bottled water, and round-trip transportation from Waikiki hotels are included, along with gratuities. For those more than 5 miles from Waikiki, a surcharge applies. The tour runs for approximately 6 hours, but additional time is available at a cost of $100 per additional started hour.

6. Hawaii Photo Tour

See the best that Hawaii has to offer with the Hawaii Photo Tour, an all-day adventure designed for photographers. Take in the stunning Oahu sunrise over the picturesque coast and stop as often as you like to snap pictures of local wildlife like green sea turtles. With the guidance of a professional photographer, gain insider knowledge and leave with the best images of this iconic island. Hotel pickup and drop-off, lunch, and live commentary on board are all included. The tour includes visits to beautiful attractions like Sandy Beach and Makapu’u Beach. Don’t forget to contact the tour company to verify your pickup time and location. Get your camera ready for the Hawaii Photo Tour.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Whale Watching in Honolulu

If you’re planning on visiting Honolulu, whale watching should definitely be on your to-do list. Spotting these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a truly remarkable experience that you’ll never forget. But before you embark on your whale watching adventure, you may have some questions that need answering. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about whale watching in Honolulu.

1. When is the best time to go whale watching in Honolulu?

Whale watching season in Honolulu begins in mid-December and lasts until mid-April. During this time, the humpback whales migrate from their feeding grounds in Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate and give birth. The peak time for whale watching is from January to March when there are the most whales in the area.

2. Where are the best places to go whale watching in Honolulu?

Honolulu offers various options when it comes to whale watching. You can choose between a boat tour or a shore-based tour. Some of the best places to go whale watching on Oahu are the Waianae Coast, Haleiwa, and Kaena Point. Keep in mind that some tours may have restrictions on their entry location, so it is important to check with your tour provider before booking.

3. What kinds of whales can be seen in Honolulu?

The only species of whale that can be spotted in Honolulu is the humpback whale. These majestic creatures can grow to be up to 50 feet long and can weigh up to 40 tons. They are most recognizable by their long pectoral fins and their distinctive songs.

4. What should I wear when going whale watching in Honolulu?

It is important to dress appropriately when going on a whale watching tour in Honolulu. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing, such as shorts and a t-shirt, that can get wet. It can also get cool out on the water, so bringing a sweater or jacket is a good idea. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and bring a hat, sunglasses, and a camera for the perfect shot.

5. Are there any rules or regulations for whale watching in Honolulu?

Yes, there are strict rules and regulations in place to protect the whales and ensure their safety. Hawaii law requires all vessels to maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from any humpback whale and to approach and depart from the animal in a slow and cautious manner. Flying drones near whales is prohibited, as is touching or feeding them.

6. What if I don’t see any whales on my tour?

While whale sightings are very common during whale watching season, it’s important to remember that these are wild animals in their natural habitat, so sightings are not guaranteed. However, most whale watching tours offer a guarantee that if no whales are spotted on your tour, you will be offered a free or discounted tour on a future date.

7. How long do whale watching tours last?

The length of a whale watching tour in Honolulu can vary depending on the tour provider and type of tour. Most boat tours last between 2.5 and 3 hours, while shore-based tours can last up to 5 hours. It is important to check with your tour provider for exact tour times and durations.

How to Do Whale Watching in Honolulu: A Comprehensive Guide

Whale watching is a popular activity in Honolulu, Hawaii, as it offers a unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. However, there are certain things you need to know before embarking on a whale watching adventure. In this guide, we provide you with all the information you need to make your whale watching experience in Honolulu unforgettable.

1. When is the Best Time to Go Whale Watching in Honolulu?

Whale watching season in Honolulu typically runs from December through April, as this is when humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. The peak season is usually from mid-January to mid-March, when there is a higher concentration of whales in the area.

2. Where to Go for Whale Watching in Honolulu?

There are several spots in Honolulu where you can go whale watching, including:

2.1 Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is a popular spot for whale watching, as you can see the whales breaching and spouting from the shore. Several whale watching tours also depart from Waikiki Beach, so it’s a convenient location for tourists.

2.2 Ko Olina

Ko Olina is another popular spot for whale watching in Honolulu. It’s located on the western coast of Oahu and offers a more secluded and peaceful environment for watching the whales. There are several whale watching tours that depart from Ko Olina.

2.3 Haleiwa

Haleiwa is a small town located on the north shore of Oahu and is known for its stunning beaches and surf culture. It’s also a great spot for whale watching, as you can see the whales from the shore or take a whale watching tour from the nearby marina.

2.4 Kaena Point

Kaena Point is a remote and rugged area located on the westernmost tip of Oahu. It’s a popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and whale watching. However, getting to Kaena Point requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle or a long hike, so it’s not recommended for everyone.

3. How to Choose the Best Whale Watching Tour?

There are several whale watching tour operators in Honolulu, and choosing the best one can be a daunting task. Here are some things to consider when choosing a whale watching tour:

3.1 Experience and Reputation

Choose a tour operator that has years of experience in whale watching and a good reputation among its customers. Read reviews and testimonials online to get an idea of the quality of service they offer.

3.2 Boat Size and Type

Choose a tour operator that offers a comfortable and spacious boat that can accommodate your group size. Also, choose the type of boat that suits your preferences, whether it’s a catamaran, a powerboat, or a sailboat.

3.3 Tour Duration and Schedule

Choose a tour operator that offers a tour duration and schedule that suits your needs. Some tours last for a few hours, while others last for a full day. Also, consider the time of day that suits you best, as morning tours are usually better for whale watching.

4. What to Expect During a Whale Watching Tour?

During a whale watching tour, you can expect to see humpback whales breaching, spouting, and playing in the water. You may also see other marine life, such as dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds.

4.1 Safety Precautions

During the tour, it’s important to follow the safety precautions set by the tour operator. These may include wearing life jackets, staying seated during the tour, and not touching or feeding the marine life.

4.2 Photography Tips

To capture the best photos of the whales, make sure to bring a good quality camera with a zoom lens and a steady hand. Also, consider the lighting conditions and the angle of the sun when taking photos of the whales.

5. Book Your Tour Now

Whale watching in Honolulu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this guide, you can make the most of your whale watching adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The 6 Best Whale Watching in Honolulu