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“I'm going to do it again next year!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hawaii Shark Encounters

Hawaii Shark Encounters
66-105 Haleiwa Rd, Haleiwa Boat Harbor, Haleiwa, Oahu, HI 96712
+1 808-351-9373
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Swallow your fears and come face to face with one of Hawaii's most majestic and misunderstood creatures of the deep...Sharks! View sharks in their natural habitat in a specially designed cage that not only protects but has plexiglass windows so you can still get that one on one feeling. 5 Years old and over welcome. Mask and snorkel provided, and we have a hot water shower. GoPros on a Go Pole are available for rent to capture your once in a lifetime experience in High Definition.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Bergen County, New Jersey
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“I'm going to do it again next year!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2008

I just did this shark dive 2 weeks ago. The day that we had scheduled was a rainy, stormy day, the waves tossed us around like rag dolls in the cage and one of the other divers got sea sick on me, but I would still do it again!!! it was that amazing!

I just hope that next time I have a sunny day since all my underwater pictures came out far to dark to see any of the Sharks and believe me there were TONS of sharks out there to see.


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249 reviews from our community

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Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2007

Did this while on vacation. Was really exciting and interesting. The boat ride out to the location was VERY rocky. This might be due to the fact that we went in December. i guess the waves are bigger then. There were sharks, nothing big though. You are not going to see JAWS. It was still REALLY fun. You spend 25 minutes in the water. The guys doing the tour are very informative. I would def. recommend this!

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Oxfordshire, England
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Great experience, but prepare to feel ill...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2007

First off, the bad:

It was VERY choppy out there on the 1pm trip. They do advise to go earlier, as I haven't I can't say the difference, however at 1pm it gets really bad. I don't get car sick or plane sick, but even I felt like hurling at times and it took everything to keep from doing so.

The actual crew...they were probably friendly enough, but we arrived at the right time (half hour before), went down to the boat as others were still getting off, had staff walk right by us and not even say "hey". I just found that a little odd...not even an "are you here for the 1pm tour?" When we were out there, however, the captain of the ship did a nice job by handing my struggling gf some ginger and a drink to help as she was hurling over the side.

It is rough out there, even when you're down in the cage...but sometimes, to do something really cool, you have to just put up with this kind of thing.

The good:

We saw 3 varieties of shark when we were out, including the Tiger Shark. It seems like you don't get a whole lot of time down there, but it's probably one of those things that just flies by. They come close enough to touch, if you're brave enough. They're awesome to see up close. I was surprised to find the DVD was $100, I wanted a memento but not that much. I managed to collect myself enough whilst the second group went down to get some great shots of the sharks feeding at the back of the boat, so that'll do.

Overall, this is simply another must-do activity in Hawaii, if you don't have things like this at home. Once you get back to shore, you can get refreshments in town or at the 76 gas station. We came by The Bus from Turtle Bay, so it was nice to be on dry land again, eating some ice cream, waiting for The Bus.

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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2007

The previous post by Hammer, described the setup/outing/cage very well. The service was great, they brought us to/from the location and my wife and I had an awesome time. A couple of points though: you by no means have to be an excellent or even experienced snorkeler. I had only snorkeled a few times prior to the shark encounter. Underwater you can do 1 of 2 things: 1, use the snorkel as intended, (although tougher in choppy waters) still very manageable, or 2, hold your breath so you can go further under (which is what I did). The right side of the boat does get wet going out to the location due to the trade winds/waves. If you've never been on a boat before dramanine should be taken. I've been on boats a number of times on lakes and had no issues, granted I took dramanine. As they say keep your eyes on the horizon, and you'll be okay. We didn't get to see any barracudas so I can't speak to that point. I didn't really experience much of the head banging either so I don't know if we had calmer waters or what but that wasn't an issue for me. Overall best $100 I've spent.

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Tolland, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Great Experience - but take precautions.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2007

My son and I did the Shark Encounter cage snorkel trip in August 2007. As recommended, we took our Dramamine beforehand. The boat is located on the North Shore part of Oahu so it was about a 45 minute drive from the Waikiki area, or you can pay $40/person for transportation, provided by a 3rd party through Hawaii Shark Encounters.

At the dock, we were met by the returning boat and surprised to see no cage attached to the boat. The crew joked that the cage was reserved for the "deluxe" tour - the "economy" tour we were on swims cageless! We learned that the cage remains at their designated spot and we motor out there. On our trip, the right side of the boat got soaked, so may want to keep this in mind.

Once at the site, we stopped and waited for the cage to be secured to the boat by the crew. This is where the boat rocks back and forth and where some people experienced sickness. As we waited, we saw from the surface several sharks circling the boat and passing by, which is pretty intimidating trying to hold on for balance to a rocking boat in choppy Pacific waters. It was enough for one person to change their mind, however we ventured on. We split into 2 groups as the cage accommodates 6 people at a time. My 14 year old son made sure we were in group 1 and in we went with our cameras and snorkels!

The cages is equipped with a rail at the top and in the middle as well as plexiglass at eye level for viewing. Due to the choppy water, it was necessary to hold your breath and hold on to the rail under the water to steady your view and try to capture some picks. I did this by using one hand to hold the top rail and wedging my knees under the lower rail until I realized they were now outside the cage after nearly brushing a reef shark. Also a bit scary when the fish bait floats through your cage (as the visiting barracudas can still fit between the bars if they so desired).

It was an excellent experience to see real sharks up close in their environment, not like in an aquarium. The only thing that undermined the experience was the choppy water which essentially banged us around the cage for 20-25 minutes, hitting our heads several times. Not sure if it was just that day or not, but it definitely made the experience not as fulfilling as it could have been. Seemed to be worse when attached to the boat and not as much when floating away from the boat.

After exiting from the cage, you get back on board the boat and receive a hot shower from a hose and watch from the top as group 2 goes. After getting banged around and rocking back and forth, Dramamine or not, my son and I were both basically useless, but we fought off the sea-sickness until back on shore.

There is a video service available of your experience for $100. This is likely a once in a lifetime thing, so consider whether that will influence your decision. Let them know when you book or prior to when you dive so they can get you in the cage as well as the sharks that pass by you.

Overall, I think it was a great experience, however not sure I would do this again based on the banging around in the cage, but I am glad I did it once. It is definitely something I think the adventurous types will enjoy and should do at least once. Take motion sickness precautions if you are susceptible.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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