Tours and Tickets
Whale Watching On The Big Island
5

Whale Watching On The Big Island

By Hang Loose Boat Tours
Recommended by 95% of travelers
95% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
As migratory animals, humpback whales travel nearly 3,000 miles each year to spend some time in the Hawaiian waters. Don't miss the chance to see these majestic animals on this seasonal whale watching cruise. Just hop aboard, sit back, and let your captain lead the way as you try to spot breaching whales. Enjoy listening to whales in real-time on a hydrophone, complete with fantastic views of the Big Island coastline.
from
$109.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 1-75, max of 48 per group
Duration: 3h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Animal enthusiasts go off-shore on a whale watching cruise, from North Kona
  • Learn as you go, with included expert narration, and live whale songs
  • Stay comfortable on your cruise, with refreshments, and on-board bathroom
  • Get a great value—you're guaranteed to spot whales, or you get a free trip

  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Professional guide
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


Start:
  • Hang Loose Boat Tours, 74-380 Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
    After turning into the harbor, TAKE the very first road to the RIGHT. Follow the road, pass Gentry's Kona Marine and a small gas station -Sea Store and Deli on the left, then TURN LEFT. As you drive in, you will see a small brown roof building to the right (restrooms). Meet crew under the pavilion.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8571P4

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
    • Not recommended for pregnant women in advanced pregnancy
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Whale Watching On The Big Island?
    Whale Watching On The Big Island price starts from $109.00. Discover and book Whale Watching On The Big Island on Tripadvisor
    What is the Whale Watching On The Big Island cancellation policy?
    Whale Watching On The Big Island cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Whale Watching On The Big Island on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Whale Watching On The Big Island?
    Whale Watching On The Big Island is hosted by Hang Loose Boat Tours. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Hang Loose Boat Tours on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Whale Watching On The Big Island on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Whale Watching On The Big Island?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Whale Watching On The Big Island on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 8571P4

    Reserve your spot

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Hang Loose Boat Tours
      3,245
      Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
      Joined in March 2014
    • Journey566969
      0 contributions
      Magic
      This was a once in a lifetime experience! Absolute magic. The crew was so awesome- thanks to Simon, Danny and crew for creating a safe and wonderful evening ❤️
      Written February 22, 2024
    • wherearetheynow10101
      0 contributions
      If you’re hesitating
      Absolutely phenomenal experience. We saw so many mantas, they brush right up against you while they dance. The crew even accommodates for poor swimmers/ those not comfortable in the water with life jackets and a pool noodle towing to the nearest board! I’m so glad I could experience this with my husband. If you haven’t snorkeled before, I would recommend practicing the day before so you don’t panic your first time trying on the mask. The snorkeling spot is maybe 8 ft deep? If you’re hesitating- GO FOR IT! You won’t regret it. If you get motion sick, take some Dramamine and maybe go empty stomached. The rocking motion at the end once we arrived at the snorkeling spot was pretty nauseating while waiting for everyone to gear up.
      Written February 20, 2024
    • laurabX171MK
      0 contributions
      Strong! Swimmers! Only!
      Struggled to choose a rating. Snorkeling with the mantas and witnessing these giant, gorgeous acrobats swooping inches from our faces remains one of our top animal encounters to date. Breathtaking! Incredible! Completely unforgettable! Highlight of the week!! The rest of the experience however... Others have mentioned that in high seas, the boat ride is choppy. Unfortunately we had very large swells that made many people sick. Not the fault of the tour company; they did everything they could to make us all comfortable. I would recommend this tour for adults who are strong swimmers with strong stomachs. Grateful once again to Hang Loose Boat Tours for doing absolutely everything possible to make this a safe and enjoyable experience, despite some truly sketchy conditions.
      Written February 20, 2024
    • rickl488
      0 contributions
      Unbelievable
      Such a fun experience. The Manta Rays are unbelievable and to see them at night was something we will never forget. The staff was extremely helpful. So glad we experienced this.
      Written February 19, 2024
    • jodim344
      0 contributions
      Better than I hoped!
      This was my family’s first snorkeling experience and it is going to be hard to beat! I did a lot of research before we booked. I was looking for a boat that had a restroom on it and was comfortable for me (staying on the boat) while my husband and two teens snorkeled. We were greeted by our captain (Jacob) just outside the harbour, by the public restrooms. We signed the waiver and made our way down to the dock. The snorkelers were provided with the gear and their shoes were collected. Snacks (granola bars and chips) and drinks were available on our 35 minute ride out. The captain pointed out whales and dolphins along the way. We had 1.5-2 hours of snorkel time once we arrived at our spot. Hunter and Jonah (crew members) were great at assisting people off the boat and directing people to croissants sandwiches, fresh pineapple and chips. They opened up the top for people to jump off the boat. Couple of perks: hot shower once you are finished snorkeling. Two levels on the boat which provided a place for those that love the sun and those that seek the shade. Skilled captain that watched for sea life and provided commentary. Restroom on the boat. One thing to note. They did not respond to my email inquiry or question submitted on their website, which was disappointing. But they answered my questions when we phoned I.
      Written February 18, 2024
    • shannonhB890UK
      0 contributions
      Amazing experience- worth it
      Captain Simon and his crew was absolutely amazing- there is a reason why they consistently get top reviews! They were professional, accommodating, attentive, knowledgeable- and most importantly- we saw the mantas! Unexpectedly- we also were able to see a baby humpback breaching several times (and at night), and spinner dolphins at the manta site. What an incredible experience for our family🌈
      Written February 18, 2024
    • ronpG8291XG
      0 contributions
      Weather safety
      The Manta rays were out and are beautiful creatures. However, the safety of the tour was questionable. The boat captain was not concerned about the 10 foot swells and waves crashing high on the shore. There were young children without life jackets with a 17 year old swimmer in the water guiding people. Meanwhile on board the captain was watching counting the swells coming every two minutes. There was a small craft advisory and they went out anyway. Two crew with 25 people. Check the weather before going for your own safety.
      Written February 17, 2024
    • 951sherrim
      0 contributions
      An Experience to Remember
      Great experience! Guides were very helpful! We saw so many manta rays...way more than expected. As soon as I was near the float to grap, I felt a manta ray and saw them as soon as I put my face in the water. Masks worked well, appreciated the wet suit top they provided so did not feel cold plus they provided a hot water shower when we got back on the boat. So glad we picked this company as they had a bigger boat than others which helped in the rough waves we experienced after the experience.
      Written February 16, 2024
    • JohnnaMae
      0 contributions
      I do it again in a heartbeat
      Guides were excellent. Had clear views of the Manor, Reyes. And they were very detailed and prepared for the tour. I felt like I was well taken care of. I do it again in a heartbeat.
      Written February 14, 2024
    • Cruiser184653
      0 contributions
      A bit cold and , but good fun.
      The experience itself was lovely, but the wetsuits (only tops) were pretty worn out, and we got quite cold in the water rather quickly - even though I had come prepared with a long-sleeve rash guard and swimming pants. They might consider renewing their stock of wetsuits, and maybe offering some additional cover-up.
      Written February 14, 2024
    • Glw31416
      0 contributions
      Once in a lifetime experience.
      Unforgettable experience. It was like watching a ballet under water. The boat was comfortable and the crew was well trained and professional. Equipment was good and wet suit tops were necessary.
      Written February 14, 2024
    • Z6342SEmonicae
      0 contributions
      Truly Once in a Lifetime!
      Our family was in awe to be able to experience being inches away from these magnificent creatures!! Very well done! Our mistake was forgetting to bring warm clothes for afterwards!!
      Written February 13, 2024
    • megansS5218WT
      0 contributions
      Must go while visiting Kona!!!
      Ayden and his 1st mate were amazing. They were fun yet professional. The snorkeling was fantastic! We even did a bit of whale watching along the way. Saw a large humpback breech which was an incredible thrill! Highly recommend!!!
      Written February 12, 2024
    • Lilia L
      0 contributions
      Enjoy Manta Rays with Hang Loose Boat Tours
      Had a great trip watching Manta Rays with Hang Loose Boat Tours. The Capitan Jacob and his team were very attentive. We saw about 5-6 mantas. Enjoyed hot shower on the boat after staying in the water for about 20 minutes. Bring a towel and a warm jacket. Highly recommended Hang Loose Boat Tours!
      Written February 11, 2024
    • E3965QMthomasm
      0 contributions
      Very cool experience.
      As advertised. Very cool experience. Intimidating at first but guides were great and reassuring. Up close and personal with some big rays.
      Written February 8, 2024
    See all 3 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    5.0
    148 reviews
    Excellent
    125
    Very good
    16
    Average
    3
    Poor
    2
    Terrible
    2

    Maja
    3 contributions
    Feb 2023
    The guy supposedly informing us about whales just rambled and frankly knew very little about whales (e.g., said there were over 300 species of whales when there are actually under 100) or the history of the island (why talk about something you know so little about?). Probably for that reason he felt uncomfortable actually talking to us and mainly waited for guests to ask questions that, more often than not, he answered with awkward jokes. To top it off, the captain ended the trip with an inappropriate religious comment. Everyone was friendly but there are plenty of whale-watching options, so I would recommend trying one of the other ones.
    Written February 10, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    We are truly sorry you did not have a great experience. The whales have been very entertaining every day. That was a fill in captain and we are sorry he was not the best commentator
    Written February 10, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Mon
    3 contributions
    Feb 2021 • Friends
    It was awesome getting to experience whale watching on the big island! Our group got to see a great show out on the water that day. There were whales left and right! Captain and crew were also super attentive and really do all they can to ensure a great time for everybody. I’ve also done the manta ray night tour with this crew and I would highly recommend it! Overall an amazing time!
    Written February 11, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Steve W
    4 contributions
    Jan 2021 • Family
    The crew were awesome,funny, and very knowledgeable! Whale watching fun started within the first mins of the trip! Our day was filled with around 12 humpback Whale sightings. The grand finale was the opportunity to see a new born calf( day or two old) breach about 4 times out of the water. We then were surrounded by mama and 2 other large humpbacks. They were so close to us! Awesome time for our family.🙂
    Written January 25, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    SimnCaite
    Graeagle, CA60 contributions
    Mar 2020 • Friends
    Beautiful day, not overly crowded. Told to arrive at noon, stood around waiting for 30 minutes, finally left dock at 1:00. Several guests shared with captain and crew that they had seen many whales just south of Kona town and even though the captain, Charlie, said he hadn't been out yet, he headed north. Very rough ride, no whales. Finally he turned around toward Kona. He had a friend on board, and spent much of the time talking with and bragging to his friend about his myriad travels. As we sped along, several guests noticed a small fishing vessel.. in front of our larger vessel. Charlie showed no sign of slowing down! Finally two guests yelled at the captain, you do see that boat, right? He hadn't seen the boat, cut the throttle just as the two guys in the fishing boat were frantically trying to flee. It was a terrifying moment that would not have ended well without the guests shouts! All Captain Charlie said was gosh, that boat didn't show on my radar. Finally 10 minutes later, one humpback and calf. Not much activity, no apology. back to dock.
    Written March 5, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    MAUIdec
    18 contributions
    Jan 2023
    This is a review for the whale watching tour- the boat was comfortable, the staff on the boat were excellent! However, we didn't see any whales, not a single sighting at all during whale season. Honestly, I think you could easily spot whales from shore (there are certain spots on the island) just as much as in a boat so I wouldn't waste your money- the big island isn't really known for lots of whales like other islands (maui)- so it was an expensive boat ride without any whale sightings (not the fault of the crew members or the company itself at all). I'd rather go with another tour company that would offer another complimentary repeat tour if there are no sightings or some other compensation if there are no whale sightings.
    Written January 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Please contact Hang Loose Biats directly. We will reschedule you if that is an option or give you credit to use anytime you return to the Island
    Written January 26, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Michael Wayne M
    Depoe Bay, OR30 contributions
    Dec 2019
    This was our third whale watching trip to the islands and our first with Hang Loose Boat Tours. The boat was great and so was the crew. Our only criticism was the lack of education regarding the whales and their migration. Our first two whale watching trips were with the Pacific Whale Foundation on Maui. The crew and captain did a great job educating us on the Northern Pacific Humpback whale. The foundation doesn’t do tours from the big island. This trip was great and we saw a lot of whales. We would have liked more educational information.
    Written January 5, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Susan P
    Welch, MN3 contributions
    We went on the whale watching tour yesterday and had a great time. We saw mama whales slapping their tales and baby whales breaching. It’s a good sized boat and the crew took good care of us. And a great way to see the island from another perspective. Highly recommend!
    Written February 26, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    LINDSEY G
    Penfield, NY55 contributions
    What a great trip!! Staff was knowledgeable, attentive and funny. We saw a sea turtle before we even left the harbor. We saw two different types of dolphins, who engaged with the boat. I'm not certain how many different whales we saw. Two would breach at the three o'clock position, a couple more at eight, more at 11 much further out.

    We saw two breach flips, lots of flapping and tails.

    A great day!
    Written January 18, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Wanderer585919
    Kailua-Kona, HI5 contributions
    Mar 2023
    Simone and Aiden were great. Aiden was very informative about the whales as well as the dolphins. Simone was terrific with the kids on the tour. They did their very best to find whales who were not really showing up for us. However, eventually we caught up with several moms and their baby. We saw a very large pod of spinner dolphins and then another pod who provided us much “entertainment” before we left. Thanks to Aiden’s directions, we went to the nearby beach and saw a few green turtles too over a couple of days. Lake Michigan just doesn’t have this kind of variety!
    Written March 28, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Arden O
    Eugene, OR156 contributions
    We brought friends to the island for their first time here and Hang Loose took us both snorkeling and whale watching. On both trips Simon and his crew were engaging, helpful, and informative. The snorkeling was spectacular and we actually found whales at season’s end. First rate.
    Written April 2, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    Whale Watching On The Big Island provided by Hang Loose Boat Tours

    Product Overview: Whale Watching On The Big Island

    Prices From

    $109

    Number of Reviews

    146

    Number of Photos

    167

    Duration

    180 minutes