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Whale Watching Tours on the Hawaii Big Island

Join a whale watching cruise to experience Humpback Whales in Hawaii on intimate Big Island whale watching tour. The best time for whale watching is during Hawaii Whale season November – April, whale permitting. The Kohala coast offers the Big Islands the best whale watching in Hawaii. Annually The Kohala Coast records one of the largest number of Humpback Whales in Hawaii, second only to whale watching in Maui. Located inside the protected National Marine Humpback Whale Sanctuary is Hawaii’s newest harbor Kawaihae Harbor South. Witness the Humpback Whales on an uncrowded small group whale cruise unlike the crowded boats whale watching Maui or Whale Watching Kona. On-board the modern eco-friendly catamaran “LavaKai II” expect friendly crew, informative naturalists and seasoned skippers. Docks are located minutes from Big Island Luxury Hotels & Resorts Hilton Waikoloa Village, Fairmont Orchid & the Kohala coast resorts. To get the most out of your whale watching experience it is best to do a little homework first. While Hawaii Whale Watching in Hawaii keep an eye out for other marine life like our resident spinner dolphins and an array of majestic whale behaviors.

Humpback Whale Behaviors

  • Blow – the most common way to spot a whale, you can see the spray as whales surface to breathe
  • Head rise / Spy hop – whale pokes head out of water vertically
  • Tail slap –  whale slaps its huge fluke (tail) against the water surface
  • Flipper slap/ Pec slap –  when whales slap the water with  flippers / pecs
  • Head lunge – a lunging forward motion during a a spy hop.
  • Peduncle slap – or the “tail slap on speed”.  More spectacular because a larger part of the whale is exposed.
  • Fluke up dive – the Tail exposed as whale dives (3-10 minute down time)
  • Breaching – the holy grail of Whale Watching, amazing moment when whale propels out of the water
  • Occasionally whales swim on their backs with both flippers in the air

Hawaii Whale Watching Tours

Waikoloa Whale Watching

  • 3 Whale Watching tours daily departing within the National Marine Humpback Whale Sanctuary Waters.
  • Whale Watching tours depart Hawaii’s newest Harbor Kawaihae South Slip # S01
  • 2015 built custom 33-foot “LavaKai II” modern high speed aluminum catamaran  
  • Comfortable covered seating, restroom on-board, and is US Coast Guard inspected for 30 guests.
  • Ocean Fun for Everyone! An all ages event with easy dock access.
  • Knowledgeable Captains & Skilled Naturalists ensure Best Whale Watching Tours
  • Hear the soothing Humpback  Songs via Hydrophones in stereo sound
  • All Whale Watching tours are Guaranteed to see Humpback Whales or ride again for FREE!
  • Conveniently located near Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Fairmont Orchid, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Mauna Lani Resort, & Kohala Coast Resorts

Whale Watching in Hawaii

Whale Watching Tours on “The Big Island” of Hawaii

Early Bird Whale Watch 

8:00 am – 10:00 am
$99 – Adults; $49.50 Kids (6-12); Under 5 – FREE
Includes healthy fresh island fruits, Kona coffee, juices, baked delights

⇒  Early Morning waters are known as stillest of the day making for BEST time to spot Whales!

Morning Whale Watch

10:00 am – Noon
$99 – Adults; $49.50 Kids (6-12); Under 5 – FREE
Includes healthy fresh island fruits, Kona coffee, juices, baked delights

⇒ Premiere time to capture Humpback Whale photos due to morning light!

Sunset Whale Watch

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
$119 – Adults; $79 Kids (6-12); Under 5 – FREE
Delicious assortment of savory pupu’s served with refreshing island beverages & sparkling cider.

⇒ See Humpback Whales while enjoying a spectacular Hawaiian sunset!

Kohala Ocean Tours supports Federal regulations which prohibit approaching Humpback Whales in Hawaii, closer than 100 yards when on the water to protect whales for future generations to see.  Great Humpback Whale resource