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Hawaii Shark Encounters
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Shark Cage Diving In Oahu
Ranked #6 of 54 Tours in Haleiwa
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

This was our second time on this excursion and it was way better then the first time (2011). The crew was very friendly and chatty this time around. This excursion is worth every penny! We saw a number of sharks around the 9' mark. If you get sea sick, take some gravol or something similar prior to leaving as the water can be a little rough. Will be back!

Visited April 2013
Thank TaraB011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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893 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

My girlfriend and I went to Oahu for spring break (end of March). Though I have been there many times, it was my gf's first and we decided to do something a little different. So, a shark encounter was it! WOW!!! This is sooooo worth it. We booked the latest time available which is 1030 and I would recommend you do the same. Because it is the last slot available, they said they usually allow more time with the sharks. Arrive at the bay and the boat will come pick you up. The captain and his assistant (forgot names but both really friendly) take role and explain things to you about safety. On the trip out to the waters (about 4 miles north of the bay) they provide lots of educational information about the sea life in Oahu. Upon arrival to the cage, they go through a couple more safety procedures and get you snorkeled up and in the cage. Sharks everywhere!!! even watching the sharks from in the boat was way cool!

this is a lot cheaper and more thrilling than swimming with a dolphin for 30 minutes at the Sea Life Park!

Definitely doing it again!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Mongoshrdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Captain Surly”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We booked the very early morning excursion as we were told that that would be the best time to avoid very rough seas. We arrived before anyone from the the company was there but shortly after the boat pulled into the slip. The captain (can't remember his name) pulled up, jumped off, opened the restrooms, mumbled something and got back on the boat. Pretty much didn't say anything to anyone and that set the tone for the rest of the trip. Luckily his co-worker (we called him skull but I don't remember his real name) did most of the talking. I don't think the captain actually even said one word to me or anyone in my family the entire trip. We were warned that the seas would be rough in the winter so we came very prepared having put the transderm patch on the night before and that worked very well as none of us got motion sick (and I can get motion sick standing still). The water was murky and we really didn't get to see many sharks - mostly just shadows but I realize that this is out of the control of the tour operator. This might be better to do in the summer when the seas are calmer and clearer. And maybe a captain with some people skills would be good. Based on his attitude I wouldn't recommend this trip to anyone

Visited January 2013
2 Thank SurfergirlCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cessnock, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

WOW. I love sharks but I hate boats. This tour had me apprehensive due to a fear of sea sickness (quite a few reviews). Fortunately we went on a day when the ocean was like glass. The tour operator said it was like this about ten days a year!
The cage experience itself was awesome for both me and my 9 year old son. Seeing sharks this close in their natural environment is second to none. We had about 18 sharks circling the boat - they were coming from every angle.
The tour organisers were very professional and informative. The bus driver was also very entertaining. Great Tour!

Visited November 2012
Thank jascey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Level 6 Contributor
323 reviews
147 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 540 helpful votes
“Eye to Eye with a 10 Foot Shark - Priceless”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We are in the middle of a month long trip to Hawaii. Like all self-indulgent boomers we want to do it all, and so far in Hawaii we pretty well have - helicopter ride along Jurassic Coast, hike the Ne Pali coast, play the magnificent Prince golf course, visit Pearl Harbor, superb dining at Alan Wong's and of course the crazy Waikiki scene. However, in all the planning I put into this trip I did not stumble upon the chance to get into a cage in 750 feet of water surrounded by sharks on all sides until we got to Turtle Bay - how could we pass this up? Our friends thought we were nuts.

Despite the excellent directions on the web site (which of course I did not write down) I managed to get parked on the wrong side of the marina in Haleiwa wondering where the hell the boat was. My concerns were alleviated when I heard a yell from across the way. "anyone named Dale over there?". I sheepishly admitted to being same and drove to the correct side where the punishment for being there last was to sit in that part of the boat most exposed to the spray from the waves.

The Kainani is not a large boat, but was more than ample for getting the twelve people on this trip out and back quite safely. The crew was the captain and a very knowledgeable first mate who obviously had a place in his heart for sharks. Everyone is asked to remove their footwear and cameras and other things you don't want to get wet are stored up front well out the way of flying spray.

The trip out is not long, but the North Shores waves on Oahu are huge so the ride is pretty rough. However, given the number of breaching humpback whales we saw both on the way out and in, you are more than likely to get distracted from the ride. As noted by others and the web site, a lot of people get seasick - roughly one third according to the mate. However our dozen was pretty intrepid and I didn't notice anyone turning green or groaning in misery. Although we didn't take dramamine nor gravel as recommended, because we both know from many previous sea trips that we don't get seasick, I would recommend doing as suggested if you don't know your tolerance for being toss-turned on the North Pacific.

Once at the site, the boat is moored to the floating cage that in turn is held in place by an anchor 750 feet down. The boat is placed so that it takes the brunt of the oncoming waves and the cage is in the lee. Unlike what is shown on the website, the cage was never seperately from the boat, probably because of how rough it was.

The sharks seemed to be there from the moment we showed up and contrary to what you might think they are not attracted by putting chum in the water. According to the mate local fishermen feed the sharks because their presence attracts smaller fish such as mackerel which in effect use them as bodyguards to protect them from the medium sized fish which the sharks might be interested in eating. Unfortunately for the mackerel the sharks do not protect them from the fishermen.

By far the most dangerous part of the whole trip is getting in and out of the cage. The boat and cage are rocking pretty wildly and great care needs to be taken to prevent a fall or even landing in the water with the sharks. Luckily nobody on our trip had an issue. Once in the water you hold on to a railing with both hands and put your feet on another railing below. Once settled, blow out on the snorkel and put you face mask in the water and clear as day, there are the sharks.

On our trip there were four Galapagos sharks, one a ten footer, that stayed with us the entire time. They swam below and around the cage repeatedly, in some cases only a few feet away. The top side of the cage is made of plexi-glass, but everything below your shoulders is just an open cage with bars about six inches apart so you could, if you were so inclined, stick out a hand or foot and see what happens.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was that neither I or anyone else I could see, was in any way scared. If you are looking for an adrenelin kick you may be disappointed. What does happen is a feeling of awe at being so close to these majestic creatures. One particular shark seemed almost to want to make eye contact with his very chilling looking eyes. The twenty minutes or so you spend in the water passes very quickly. The water is not cold, in fact, you only feel cold when you come out, but there is a hot water hose on board to deal with that.

One last suggestion - if you don't have have a waterproof camera, at least buy one of the cheap underwater specials they sell at all dive and snorkel shops. My biggest regret is not doing so - the crew does not do any filming and there is no underwater camera connected to the boat (would be a good idea and a sure money maker). I have a very good Nikon, but it was useless in trying to get shots of the sharks from above the water. I took my wife's picture from topside and she could very well have been snorkelling in a cage in a pool for all anyone would know. So make sure you have the gear to provide the evidence of your bravery in swimming with the sharks.

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

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