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“Amazing experience”

Captain Dan McSweeney's Whale Watching Adventures
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Holualoa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Ocean tours to learn about humpback whales and see them close up off the Kona Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, personally guided by veteran whale researcher Captain Dan McSweeney.
Kona Hi
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

When the humpbacks are in season this excursion can provide a lifetime memory. Captain Dan McSweeney's trip provides so much information about these magical creatures. And, then when you sight them all you can do is ooohh and aahhh.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Gone2kona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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268 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Valparaiso, Indiana
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“One of the Highlights of our Vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

What an awesome experience this was! I am so glad we selected Captain Dan for our whale watching adventure. He really does know his stuff and is not only very informative, he is also really funny as well. We were super lucky on our trip in that we came upon a group of 5 large humpbacks that spent 15-20+ minutes just swimming all around and under out boat! It was absolutely incredible and I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. Obviously there are no guarantees, but I assure you, if the whales are there, Dan will find them!! If I had one criticism it would be that we left the group of whales before they left us. Captain Dan took us elsewhere to see if we could see Dolphins or some of the other types of whales that are found in the area, but we had no such luck. I would have preferred to just stay with the humpbacks as long as they were interested in entertaining us!! Other than this, it really was an amazing morning that I will never forget! Thanks Captain Dan and the wonderful boat staff as well for helping us create such an amazing memory!!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank wgates8561
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
104 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Informative boat ride but a bit disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

Honokohau Harbour was easy to find. We did see a mother humpback and calf with an escort whale, usually a young male humpback, but they were just coming to the surface, no spectacular breaching or tail flapping like we had seen from the shore in North Kohala..... good shore viewing areas for whales were in front of the Hilton at Waikoloa, Lapakahi State Park and Kapa'a Beach Park.
We enjoyed the informative boat ride and a pod of spinner dolphins were very entertaining. We had anticipated being closer to some of the action we'd witnessed from the shore, plus my husband had seen quite a bit of whale action on a fishing trip in northern B.C., so were a bit disappointed. We were lucky that although we couldn't see much, we did at least see the whales surface and their backs break the water a few times.... still very enjoyable.

Visited March 2013
Thank Esgyen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
120 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“No whales, but nobody's fault”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

While maybe a bit pricey, we enjoyed our three hour Captain Dan cruise. Unfortunately, we didn't see any whales but that's just mother nature. We did receive vouchers for a free cruise next time we're back. The crew, including Captain Dan, were friendly, informative and attentive. They serve very light snacks during the trip, so if you want something more bring your own.

Visited March 2013
Thank Justin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clara, California
Level Contributor
149 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great boat ride with true dedication to Whales & their Guests”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

Our first trip on our last visit resulted in no whale sightings. We spoke to many people that week and no one had seen any whales on any ocean trips. It was still fun and educational. Captain Dan gave us tags to try again at no cost when ever we wanted to.
This trip we had seen some Whale spouts from the shore so we were hopeful. Captain Dan did a great job of getting us to two different whale sightings this time. The boat was very stable. The ladies(crew) serve great snacks and have good whale knowledge. We made a nice tip on both this and the last trip. We also purchased nice long sleeve shirts (short sleeve also avaliable but I have enough of those). For us the shirts were a bonus because the profit for the shirts supports whale research and conservation.
Bottom line the best whale adventure we have been on and you would be hard pressed to do better.

Visited March 2013
Thank molsenmotorsport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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