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Each year, Oahu's shallow, tropical waters teem with seasonal visitors—humpback whales that depart chilly Alaska for tropical Hawaii to mate and give birth. Here's what you need to know about where to go and how to spot them.

When to Go
The arrival of the season's first humpback whale—usually between August and October—is a big deal on the islands. Whale season is in full swing by November and winds down with the majority of whales departing by April. If you'll be viewing whales by boat, opt for an early morning tour when seas are calm and before the afternoon heat sets in.

What You'll See
You'll know you've spotted a whale by its spout—the characteristic funnel-shaped breath of aerated water particles shot dozens of feet above the surface. It's not uncommon to see humpbacks breaching in the waters around Oahu, smacking down in epic belly flops and leaving behind eerily still "footprints." You can also spot whales by their flukes or fins flapping at the surface.

Humpback whales aren’t the only creatures you might spot on an Oahu-based whale-watching tour. In addition to a host of seabirds such as petrels, tropicbirds, and albatross, pilot whales, Hawaiian spinner dolphins, and even the rare killer whale have been spotted. If you're very lucky, you may even catch sight of a Hawaiian monk seal, the most endangered seal species on the planet.

How to Go
Whale-watching tours are the best way to learn about and get great photos of these breaching behemoths up close. A number of speedboat, pontoon, and sailboat tours depart from areas around Waikiki—especially from Kewalo Basin Harbor opposite Ala Moana Beach Park—as well as from the North Shore and the western leeward side of the island. It may also be possible to spot humpbacks from points along the shoreline, with some hiking tours visiting good whale-watching spots. Popular lookouts for spout-spotting include the paths atop Diamondhead Crater and along the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail.
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19 results | All Oahu Tours

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Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet

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424
Sail on a catamaran down Oahu's western coast during this cruise from Ko Olina. Glide through the unspoiled waters on this side of the island in search of dolphins and whales, then dive in for a snorkeling experience in a hidden local spot rich with marine life. Enjoy a Hawaiian buffet, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, before heading back to shore. Choose from three daily departure times. Round-trip transportation from select Oahu hotels is included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$154.00
From
$154.00
Taking safety measures

Snorkel with Dolphins and Turtles in the Wild and experience Hawaiian Culture

Snorkel with Dolphins and Turtles in the Wild and experience Hawaiian Culture

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498
Swim within safe viewing distance to dolphins and green sea turtles on this popular Oahu snorkel cruise from Honolulu. Sail into waters home to spinner dolphins, and then glide alongside colorful fish. Snorkel gear, kayaks, and paddle boards are available onboard to help you get the most of this outing. Hotel transport included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$199.00
From
$199.00
Taking safety measures

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

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195
Sail along the Leeward Coast of Oahu on this morning cruise. Snorkel with an expert guide and watch for spinner dolphins on this family-friendly adventure off the scenic southwestern coast of the island. This excursion, complete with spectacular scenery and fun water activities includes breakfast and lunch
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$140.24
From
$140.24
Taking safety measures

Swim with Sharks (cage-free)
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Swim with Sharks (cage-free)

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116
Leave your preconceptions about sharks at the door and get up close to these sleek creatures on this unique ocean experience. Head out from Haleiwa, on the North Shore of O’ahu, and spend roughly half an hour swimming with the sharks living in the area. Don’t worry, though: even if you aren’t swimming in a cage, you’re still in safe hands, with a guide on board and a safety diver swimming with each group.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$153.85
Price varies by group size
From
$153.85
Price varies by group size

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

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394
Snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins off the west shore of Oahu during this full-day excursion. Sail up the Waianae Coast, then hop in the water to commune with green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and dolphins. From January to March, you may get an up-close look at the migrating humpback whales. All necessary snorkel gear, lunch after the cruise and round-trip hotel transportation from Waikiki hotels are provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$193.88
From
$193.88
Taking safety measures

Moana’s 2-Hour Guided Turtle Snorkel Adventure at Waikiki

Moana’s 2-Hour Guided Turtle Snorkel Adventure at Waikiki

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What makes the snorkel adventure on the Moana Catamaran is the comfort of the vessel, the quality of the gear supplied, and the experience the certified crew offers, including at least 1 lifeguard on a rescue board accompanying the guests while snorkeling.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.71
From
$106.71
Taking safety measures

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

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215
Go whale-watching off the coast of Oahu on this excursion from Waikiki or Ko Olina. During the months from December to May, pods of humpback whales migrate through Hawaii's warm waters, and this tour guarantees whale sightings. With a small group of people, watch the gentle giants swim, feed, breach and play around your boat. In the rare event that you don't see any whales, you will be allowed to do the tour again for free. Snacks are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.01
From
$75.01
Taking safety measures

Private Adventure Boat Charter with Snorkeling

Private Adventure Boat Charter with Snorkeling

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35
Escape the crowds and join us on 2 hour private cruise you won’t soon forget. We can go faster and farther than anyone else in town, offering spectacular coastal sightseeing, incredible sea life (turtles, fish, dolphins, and whales—in season), and even snorkeling. This private boat charter offers exclusively offer private charters. Fully customizable itineraries are available as the adventure is up to you.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$695.00
per group
From
$695.00
per group
Taking safety measures

North Shore Oahu Snorkeling Tour

North Shore Oahu Snorkeling Tour

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Head out to Waimea Bay on Ocean Outfitters Hawaiian rollercoaster ride. This personalized ocean adventure on the North Shore of Oahu will find you the safest and best spot to snorkel up close with our ocean friends. Dolphins, rays, turtles, and native Hawaiian reef fish are known to frequent the area. Some of the reef fish are found nowhere else in the world. Humpback whales make their annual journey to Hawaii between the months of November to April. Our thrilling and personalized North Shore snorkeling tours also bring you closer to beautiful sharks in their natural environment. Sign up for our shark adventure tours, so you can swim, dive, and interact with these graceful sea creatures in the crystalline Hawaiian waters. Our boat is always staffed by an experienced waterman who is trained and experienced to keep everyone on board safe and having the time of their life!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Scuba Diving Experience in Oahu with Snacks
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Half-Day Scuba Diving Experience in Oahu with Snacks

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Join us on select mornings or every afternoon as we explore a local west side Oahu dive site. This is for SCUBA divers of all skill levels with a minimum of an Open Water Scuba Diver certification. Come see why the Waianae west coast is regarded as the best diving on Oahu. We will explore a popular dive site on the west side, possibly including the Makaha Caverns when conditions permit. Come experience converging lava tubes that form a spacious underwater well-lit cavern. Enjoy Hawaii’s unique sea creatures, including sea turtles, octopus, eels, dolphins, ray and coral formations. All equipment is included with the price and three hours of boat time and free use our underwater propulsion devices or scooters. Take your experience to one you will NEVER forget and add the Navy SEAL Helicopter Jump for an additional fee per person.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$248.20
From
$248.20

A'o Hawai'i Swim with Dolphins

A'o Hawai'i Swim with Dolphins

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You will board a seating 42 passenger catamaran boat to cruise the West Coast of Oahu searching for wild dolphins. This double-hulled catamaran features a comfortable and stable ride as you relax and take in the breathtaking views of the ocean and the mountains. In the clear waters of West Oahu, find the wild dolphins pods swimming gracefully in small or large groups. Remembering to keep distance from the wild dolphins, you can also enjoy searching for Hawaiian greenturtles, tropical island fishes and other rare wild sea creatures.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$167.54
From
$167.54
Taking safety measures

Whale Watching Experience in Waikiki

Whale Watching Experience in Waikiki

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23
Cruise the Waikiki coast in the comfort of the Moana catamaran, at 55 feet long and 30 feet wide our large base makes this one of the most stable vessels in Hawaii, with plenty of deck space and cushioned seating throughout for optimal comfort during your whale watching experience. Our experienced captains and knowledgeable crew share fascinating insights on Humpback whales and Hawaii’s marine wildlife.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.71
From
$106.71
Taking safety measures

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional BBQ Lunch

Oahu Wild Dolphin Watching Cruise with Optional BBQ Lunch

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29
On this two-hour Oahu eco-tour, explore the shoreline of Oahu’s western coast in search of Hawaiian spinner dolphins. In addition to the pods of playful dolphins that leap and spin in the air, there’s also the chance you’ll find Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and whales (December-April). Build your own burger from the BBQ lunch station aboard the boat. A fun outing for the entire family!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.00
From
$72.00
Taking safety measures

Private Whale Watching Adventure

Private Whale Watching Adventure

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6
**Private boat tour for up to 6 people.** Escape the crowds and join us on 2-hour private whale watching cruise you won’t soon forget. Want to see some whales? Come find them with us. We can cover more ground in our whale watching adventures because we can go farther and faster than other tour boats, ensuring that you get a good look at these graceful giants. From the east side to the west side, we can reach the entire southern coast of Oahu on this trip. Because this is a private charter, the experience is fully customizable and the adventure is up to you! *Whales are wild animals in their natural environment. They do not keep an organized schedule, and therefore we obviously cannot guarantee that we will find them during your scheduled tour. We will do our best, however, and our best is better than most. We usually succeed in finding them.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$795.00
per group
From
$795.00
per group

Moana’s Tradewinds Sail off the Coast of Waikiki

Moana’s Tradewinds Sail off the Coast of Waikiki

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1
The “MOANA” (moh-AH-nah), the Hawaiian word meaning Ocean, will be showcased in this customizable experience. From November to May, Guests can look forward to Humpback Whale watching at no additional cost. Dolphins, Sea turtles, and other sea life are also often sighted year-round. Unfortunately, sea life cannot be guaranteed on every trip! The Moana Catamaran is certified to carry 48 passengers by the U.S. CoastGuard and features ample cushioned seating, a high-quality stereo sound system, an articulating swim ladder, lounging Nets, 2 restrooms, as well as built-in coolers where customers can store any drinks they bring.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.36
From
$53.36
Taking safety measures

Dolphins and You Private Boat Charter

Dolphins and You Private Boat Charter

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18
Celebrate a special occasion, or simply treat yourself, by chartering a 55-foot (17-meter) power boat and take to the water around O'ahu.. Spot marine life and customize your tour with Hawaiian cultural performances, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and/or a 20-foot water slide. Includes lunch and refreshments.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$3,267.61
per group
From
$3,267.61
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Boat Charter North Shore Oahu
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Private Boat Charter North Shore Oahu

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2
Our North Shore adventure tours are perfect for people of all ages. Bring your family or friends and create new memories. Turn the tour into a corporate activity that strengthens team spirit. Or organize a unique military group activity that’s relaxing. The private boat charter can also host your engagement and wedding photo shoots. Tell us how you want to spend your day on the beautiful Oahu coastline. We’ll make it happen for you.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,500.00
per group
From
$1,500.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Waikiki Coast Sunrise Sailing Experience

Waikiki Coast Sunrise Sailing Experience

Enjoy the Hawaiian Ocean, your way! The “MOANA” (moh-AH-nah), the Hawaiian word meaning Ocean, will be showcased in this customizable experience. From November to May, Guests can look forward to Humpback Whale watching at no additional cost. Dolphins, Sea turtles, and other sea life are also often sighted year-round. Unfortunately, sea life cannot be guaranteed on every trip! The Moana Catamaran is certified to carry 48 passengers by the U.S. CoastGuard and features, Ample cushioned seating, A high-quality stereo sound system, Articulating swim ladder, Lounging Nets, and 2 restrooms, as well as built in coolers where customers can store any drinks they bring.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.71
From
$106.71
Taking safety measures

Private Cruise Swim with Dolphin

Private Cruise Swim with Dolphin

Exclusive private cruise for up to 20 guests on a 40 passenger catamaran boat ideal for parties and anniversaries. An Impressive Watching Experience with Wild Dolphins at the West Coast of Oahu. Learning about the ecosystem of wild animals (dolphins, sea turtles, etc.). Visiting natural, cultural and historical sites in Hawaii (Waianae Mountains, etc.). Includes snack and drinks and you can bring your own alcohols and food.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$4,020.94
per group
From
$4,020.94
per group
Taking safety measures

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