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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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34 results | All Oahu Tours

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Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion

star-4.5
400
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
From
$75.01
From
$75.01

Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities

star-4.5
845
View dolphins in their natural habitat and swim within safe viewing distance to turtles 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
From
$189.00
From
$189.00

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal

Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal

star-4.5
737
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.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$149.00
From
$149.00

Swim with Dolphins in the West Coast line of Oahu

Swim with Dolphins in the West Coast line of Oahu

star-5
237
Discover the beauty of Oahu's coastal scenery—and spot its marine life, including pods of dolphins—on this half-day swimming and snorkeling boat tour. Following pickup from your hotel, head to your catamaran and hop aboard. After you set sail, embark on a swimming or snorkeling session to see fish, octopuses, and more wildlife in its natural habitat.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$176.96
From
$176.96

Whale Watching and Breakfast Cruise in Honolulu

Whale Watching and Breakfast Cruise in Honolulu

star-4.5
29
Don't miss out on seeing whales because you're busy eating breakfast. This whale watching and breakfast tour allows you to take it easy and enjoy your morning meal while cruising toward Diamond Head crater. There, with luck, you'll watch migrating whales swim, play, feed, and breach while sipping a cup of coffee. Other marine life such as dolphins and sea turtles will also likely make an appearance.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.00
From
$85.00

Whale Watch, Dolphins, Turtles and Sightseeing Cruise (winter only)

Whale Watch, Dolphins, Turtles and Sightseeing Cruise (winter only)

star-3.5
77
Explore Oahu's wildlife-rich waters on a sightseeing cruise that conveniently departs from Honolulu. Get a fresh perspective on Diamond Head and other South Shore landmarks as you stretch out on the spacious decks or under a shade cover. The seasoned crew helps spot dolphins, sea turtles, and occasionally humpback whales—plus, you can peer through magnifying glass portholes for a look underwater.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
From
$40.00

Afternoon Waikiki Glass Bottom Boat Cruise

Afternoon Waikiki Glass Bottom Boat Cruise

star-4.5
803
Settle in for an afternoon cruise aboard the Haleiwa Queen, a 50-foot power catamaran that departs conveniently from Honolulu’s harbor. Learn about Hawaii past and present from the friendly crew as you venture into the open Pacific Ocean to look for dolphins, sea turtles, and even migrating whales. As a bonus, look beneath the water’s surface at fish and coral reefs through unique magnifying view portals.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
From
$40.00

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

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

star-5
463
Head to the west shore of Oahu to view Hawaii’s spinner dolphins and other local marine mammals! Our lifeguard certified crew of marine biologists and naturalists with decades of experience will try to find as much as possible during your tour. Cruise along the Waianae Coast and snorkel with tropical fish and Hawaiian green sea turtles. During the winter months (January to March), the Waianae Coast has more visitors -- humpback whales! Avoid crowds on our 32 foot USCG inspected vessel. We only allow 15 guests on board, and every seat has a great view of the animals. You may bring your own snacks and beverages on the boat. You may also purchase food and drinks at Spinners Cafe next to check in before or after your tour with us. You will receive 10% of your food purchase.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$193.88
From
$193.88

Chief's Luau Admission

Chief's Luau Admission

star-4.5
1400
Enjoy a traditional lei greeting and experience a luau on Oahu. Hosted by Chief Sielu, Original World Fire Knife Dance Champion, this event provides the ideal opportunity to immerse yourself in island culture. Watch a Polynesian show, learn headband weaving, or take a hula lesson, before indulging in a Hawaiian feast, including pineapple glazed chicken and kalua pork. Upgrade to include priority access and convenient pickup, for a hassle-free experience.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$155.00
From
$155.00

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Sail

star-4.5
250
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
From
$161.99
From
$161.99

Private Whale Watching Adventure

Private Whale Watching Adventure

star-5
15
Venture off the coast of Oahu in a private boat in search of whales. Depart from Waikiki and set sail all along the southern coast in search of the majestic creatures. Your captain combs the coast for optimal viewing areas and teaches you about the migrating habits of the whales. Since this is a private tour, feel free to customize the trip as you wish.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$795.00
per group
From
$795.00
per group

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

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

star-4.5
247
Discover all the vibrant marine life that calls Turtle Canyon’s reefs home—and enjoy an accessible way to snorkel and explore—on this family-friendly catamaran trip. Make your own way to the Kewalo Harbor, and hop aboard your well-appointed catamaran: snorkels, fins, masks, and more are all provided on board. Once you make it to the reefs, dive in, spot sea turtles and other marine life, and admire the underwater scenery.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.71
From
$106.71

Swim with Sharks (cage-free) from Haleiwa, Oahu
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Swim with Sharks (cage-free) from Haleiwa, Oahu

star-5
287
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

Private Adventure Boat Charter with Snorkeling

Private Adventure Boat Charter with Snorkeling

star-5
66
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
From
$725.00
per group
From
$725.00
per group

Dolphins and You Private Boat Charter

Dolphins and You Private Boat Charter

star-5
27
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.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$3,000.00
per group
From
$3,000.00
per group

Dolphin Watching & Snorkel in the West Coast line of Oahu

Dolphin Watching & Snorkel in the West Coast line of Oahu

star-5
21
In the clear waters of West Oahu, enjoy dolphin watching and snorkeling experience and get to see the wildlife and tropical island fishes. You might also see Hawaiian sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals and mantas. You will board a spacious 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. Dolphin watching & snorkel tour is very easy even for beginners, perfect choice for families with small children. *This tour is dolphin watching. After watching the dolphins from the boat, you can enjoy snorkeling. If you want to swim with dolphins, click on the "by Indigo Ocean Hawaii" link at the top to book our other tour, 【Swim with Dolphins in the West Coast line of Oahu】
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$156.02
From
$156.02

Turtle Canyon Waikiki Snorkel Adventure

Turtle Canyon Waikiki Snorkel Adventure

star-4.5
19
Go snorkeling on the south shore of Oahu with this small-group, half-day adventure. Join your guide for a swim and snorkel in Turtle Canyon and observe a wide variety of marine life including dolphins, turtles, rays, octopus, fish, and even sharks. Visit different, lively snorkel sites during one half-day tour. All snorkel gear and wetsuits are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.09
From
$85.09

Private Snorkel Trip from Oahu on a Yacht

Private Snorkel Trip from Oahu on a Yacht

star-5
15
There are snorkeling trips, and then there are snorkeling trips on a famous, 46-foot yacht with three bedrooms, three restrooms, a full kitchen, lounging areas, a fully-stocked bar, and a prepared lunch. If you’re up for leaving your luxurious accommodations, follow your guide on a 45-minute tour of a reef and the wildlife that calls it home. After snorkeling, return to the yacht (not boat) and bask in the Hawaiian sun as you sail back to the marina. Snorkeling equipment, lunch, drinks from the bar, and bean bags for lounging included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,956.82
per group
From
$1,956.82
per group

1.5 Hour Whale Watching Cruise

1.5 Hour Whale Watching Cruise

star-4
12
Our whale watching tours have the lowest prices in all of Hawaii, and are operated by the most experienced crews. The best time to see Humpback whales in Hawaii is between the months of December and April, and there’s no better place to view them than from our double deck catamaran. Join us off the coast of Oahu on an excursion from Waikiki and experience the majesty of Humpback whales for yourself. These playful, and surprisingly acrobatic animals have a strong cultural value to native Hawaiians, as a whale is the representation of Kanaloa, the god of all ocean life. With us as your guide, we will assure you that our crew will try our best to spot Hawaii's beautiful marine life for you!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$39.00
From
$39.00

Shark Diving (no cage) Oahu, HI

Shark Diving (no cage) Oahu, HI

star-4.5
8
Thrill-seeking, nature-loving travelers won’t want to miss this chance to dive with sharks without a cage in Oahu. Enjoy a fun and educational activity under the guidance of qualified marine biologists, who know how to respect the sharks and keep you safe. Dive from a boat with snorkels but without barriers, so you can feel fully immersed in the experience.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$150.00
From
$150.00

West Oahu Whale Watching & Sunset Cruise

West Oahu Whale Watching & Sunset Cruise

star-5
7
Climb aboard a spacious catamaran for a whale watching adventure at sunset in West Oahu. Each winter, humpback whales travel to the warm Hawaiian waters to breed and West Oahu is an excellent place to see these magnificent creatures swim and play. Cruise along the western coastline and admire views while keeping an eye out for a range of wildlife. Shuttle service is available from Waikiki.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$125.65
From
$125.65

Breathtaking Hawaii Sunset Turtle Canon Snorkeling (Friday Firework) Cruise BYOB

Breathtaking Hawaii Sunset Turtle Canon Snorkeling (Friday Firework) Cruise BYOB

star-3.5
7
The best way to experience Hawai'i sunsets is from the sea. With the opportunity to jump in, float around, snorkel, and BYOB in an intimate setting with friends and new acquaintances, you're sure to have a fun and unforgettable evening. Waikiki Dive Center is PADI-certified and has been operating tours off the coast of Honolulu for over 40 years. Captain and crew are knowledgeable about the area and can find the optimal spot for snorkeling and if we're lucky – whale watching in the winter season.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$110.00
From
$110.00

Waikiki Sunset Cruise in Hawaii

Waikiki Sunset Cruise in Hawaii

star-5
4
Join us for great music, and an unforgettable tropical sunset. Enjoy the views of Diamond head, Waikiki and the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.00
From
$68.00

Private Boat Charter North Shore Oahu

Private Boat Charter North Shore Oahu

star-5
4
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
From
$1,500.00
per group
From
$1,500.00
per group

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