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“You WILL see whales!”

Captain Dan McSweeney's Whale Watching Adventures
Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Holualoa
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“You WILL see whales!”
Reviewed March 10, 2011

I had a really great time on Captain Dan’s Whale Watching Tour. He was obviously very knowledgeable about whales and had a very calm, peaceful demeanor. He seemed like a very cool person. I took the 11:00 a.m. outing and we saw too many whales to count! A few times whales were within feet of the boat. One even swam right underneath us! It was so much fun. Captain Dan even dropped a mic down into the water so we could listen to some of the whale songs. I was surprised by how moved I was, listening to the songs. He has a few lady helpers on board that provide some background info, pass out snacks/water, and try to sell t-shirts at the end. I think the only negative aspect I had was due to my fellow passengers. People were on the verge of pushing and shoving to get onto the boat. And at times the Captain had to remind people not to all run over to one side of the boat since they could tip it over! I was thinking to myself, sheesh people, get a grip! Also, since I was bullied out of line, I was one of the last ones on the boat and had to sit on the top deck (with Captain Dan) while most of the other passengers preferred to sit on the bottom deck where it was shaded. But let me tell you, the views of the whales from the top were spectacular! If you go, be sure to sit on the top deck (just wear lots of sunscreen). Up there you have a 360 view of the ocean and can see every whale. It was a fun excursion, very educational, and definitely worth the money.

Visited February 2011
Thank PDXLadie
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
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English first
Balzac, AB
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2011

My husband and I were on the tour on Feb. 26, 2011 with a good friend(Jerry Spray) and it was absolutely amazing - we actually saw 2 whales come up out of the water and "bump" into each other (anyone get a picture)? and lots of other whales, etc. Dan is very informative and that adds to the tour - somebody who knows about and studies whales!!! I was there eight yrs ago and went out with Trudy Spray and it was Great, too! I will tell you, it was the hilight of my husband's trip!!!! and we both highly recommend you add it to your trip while in Kona!!! Thanks! - also, the staff are wonderful, too! E. and J. Endersby

Visited February 2011
Thank copperbeagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Up close and personal”
Reviewed March 4, 2011

We went on an early morning trip with Capt Dan, and we had a wonderfu time. We had been on whale watches before (in Mass.), and although we weren't fortunate enough to see a whale breach this time, we saw lots & lots of whales, much closer to the boat than I ever expected! We also saw lots of cool spinner dolphins close by. Capt Dan was knowledgable and made the trip even better with his obvious love for the sea. My pictures are unbelievable!! I would highly recommend this tour! (Be sure to watch as the whales go UNDER the boat). Incredible!

Visited February 2011
Thank sunnysherri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Well worth it”
Reviewed January 29, 2011

Our family of 4 went out with Dan early on our second morning in Hawaii - we saw a full whale breach, many more playing in and around the coast -it's everything they say it is, the staff are great, the food was beyond our expectations, and although a couple of us are prone to motion sickness - no problem at all. Our teenage sons were kept very engaged by all we saw and learned. Very reasonably priced for the experience!

Visited December 2010
Thank JanelleK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Really?! A 6 month infant was charged to be a seat on the boat?”
Reviewed January 26, 2011

While we had a great time seeing whales and listening to Capt. McSweeney's vast knowledge on the topic, we felt it was ridiculous to pay an admission ticket for our six month old when she not only did not eat any of the snacks or take up a seat on the boat. We understand that she is counted as a "head" according to the Coast Guard, but that is crazy.

Visited January 2011
3 Thank AKfisherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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