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“Not the best whale watching trip I've every experienced, but very good”

Captain Dan McSweeney's Whale Watching Adventures
Ranked #1 of 4 Tours in Holualoa
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed January 14, 2010

The boat is small, but clean and comfortable. It was easy to see from virtually any seat. The staff were friendly and provided drinks and snacks. We saw several humpback whales. I was disappointed, however, that we left an active group of whales to search--unsuccessfully --for mother whales and calves. When we finally spotted another whale close to shore, Captain Dan appeared to ignore everyone's cries and returned to shore...even though we arrived back at the slip a good 15-minutes before the earliest projected return time of 2pm. There was minimal narration (mostly music played) and the few facts that were provided about the whales were repeated two or three times.

Thank remartn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 - 256 of 269 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2009

We went on Captain Dan's morning excursion on December 28/09. The boat appeared a little antiquated but hey... it still floats... Love the cassette deck...

We proceeded out to the whale sancutuary that was about 1/2 hour away.. Captain Dan had some interesting tid bits he through out there occasionally... Once we seen a humpback we floated around and waited for them to put on their show. These guys were not much for show.... but that is the way it goes. We floated around for about 1/2 hour and then turned for the harbour. We were told about the spinner dolphins that were closer to the shoreline... we never got close enough to see them... we were told that we were going to head back to find a mother and calf that was born recently... We spotted a whale closer to the shore and pointed it out to captain Dan. We kept on the most direct course back to the harbour and were told again that we were going to head back closer to port to find this mother and calf. GUESS WHAT??? Never did see them or slow down until the no wake sign was spotted in the harbour.

So... We left around 8 AM and were back on shore at 10:30 AM. We paid $80.00 per person . I think we really did not get our monies worth... Keep the fruit tray, spoonful of M&M's, orange juice and Altiods's mint... Give me a decent tour!

Why were we out so far seeing NOTHING when supposedly there were spinner dolphins closer to shore? I think Captain Dan needs to review his tour and maybe consider worrying a bit more about his guest expereience than the apparent rigid schedule... And what is the Wild Whale Foundation??? I did a google search and really found nothing... Is this a way of someone funding thier hobby? Oh yeah.... Just in case any of you out there were wondering... There was no tip...

4  Thank rob m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2009

Great experience. We saw several whales and dolphins, including calves. Captain is very experienced and a great guide; his crew is very friendly. Try to book your tour early. We didn't, but got lucky when they added an extra tour on Saturday.

Thank AndyKansasCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2008

Our trip was a great morning. The sea was calm, the sky sunny but a a bit heavy on the vog (We couldn't see the island). Even though Humpbacks were not really around he found us two kinds of whales. We saw a big pod of pilot whales of all ages and a handfull of pygmy sperm whales which were very shy. The pilot whales hung out with us for 20-30 minutes only a few feet from the boat. I was amazed that you could see them 30-50 below the surface (clearly not as fuzzy shapes) Some of my below the surface pictures even came out! This is probably a good activity for people of all ages and all fitness levels. It wasn't the most fun we had in Hawaii (that was the dolphin snorkel with Kona Honu divers)... but it was great.

1  Thank johnjudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

We went on the tour on April 9th for the 3 hour trip.

Capt Dan did a great job telling us stories and information about the whales. We did see three whales. We saw a mommy whale, baby whale and a male escort. It was great. We got as close as 100 feet at times.

The crew did as for tips at the end which was a little crazy since we paid $79 per adult. Then they tried to sell everyone t-shirt, hats and a membership to a whale thing. We didn't but if you want to donate go ahead.

Overall, the boat ride was great and seeing whales in the wild was priceless. :)

Good luck!

1  Thank leninaz2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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