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“The Unequivocal Bucket List Experience!!!”

Wild Side Specialty Tours
Ranked #1 of 14 Tours in Waianae
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: #1 Best whale watching, swimming with dolphins and snorkeling tour on Oahu, and deemed one of the top 5 whale-watching tours in America! Bucket-list marine wildlife encounters since 1996. More than just seeing amazing and indigenous creatures, deep connections and a true sense of place are gained. Six to ten passenger charters (two boats) with published marine-biologist, guest adventures are maximized to blend with wildlife conservation. Whale watching and swimming with wild dolphins year-round, charters include guided snorkeling tours over sea turtle reefs on Oahu's wild west side. Awarded Hawaii Ecotourism Associations' Sustainable Tourism Certificate, Wild Side is an internationally recognized marine tours company conducting environmentally responsible marine interactions. They aggressively participate in environmental protection through education and action, and promote sustainable travel and donate part of its revenue to the Wild Dolphin Foundation dedicated to marine conservation and education, regulatory reform, and research.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Words simply can’t express the amazing experience Janet and I had. Kim and Captain Tory are Marine Biologists that share their unparalleled and exemplary experience with the people who have the honor of getting to go with them. The first story we tell to all of our friends is one of swimming with a pod of 50 dolphins. I have learned the billion dollar “captive dolphin” programs are devastating the lives of these precious animals. I have paid a lot of money to kiss a dolphin on the nose in the past, but I learned from Kim and Tori that my doing this perpetuates this unhealthy and sad industry. If you want to learn, become enlightened, and leave with a spiritual state-of-mind then sign up with Tori and Kim. If you want to kiss a dolphin on the nose go somewhere else. It was one of the best experiences of my life!! Cliff and Janet Luckey.

Date of experience: May 2013
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
3  Thank cliff l l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wild_Side_Hawaii, Owner at Wild Side Specialty Tours, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2013

What a lovely post. We loved reading every word. We feel as much excitement reading your words as you (and we!) got out of your experience - and the joy it brought.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,033 - 1,037 of 1,485 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Six of our family members participated in the "Best in the West" excursion with Captain Tory and crew member Mallory. The boat was beautiful and clean, the equipment fit well, and the safety instructions were on point. Our trip was customized to our group, we wanted to swim with dolphins and sea turtles and we did! During our trip, Mallory pointed out various species of fish and sea creatures. She and Captain Tory shared their knowledge and taught us a lot along the way. Once Captain Tory spotted a pod of dolphins, she and Mallory coached us along the way and made sure that we were able to swim with them. We all enjoyed our trip and feel that this is hands down the best snorkeling excursion on the island. It's a must!!!

Date of experience: May 2013
1  Thank cmdixon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The Best of the West tour was the absolute highlight of our 2 week vacation in Hawaii. We loved the small group atmosphere (only six people + crew). Tori and Kim (both marine biologists) were fantastic and had so must knowledge to share. They really have a passion for marine life and want to share it. When we arrived at the dolphin resting area, there were other boats with large groups of people "trying" to swim with dolphins. They were loud and doing a lot of splashing and scaring the dolphins away. With the experience Tori and Kim had, they were able to tell us exactly what to do to have a successful swim with the dolphins. They know these animals and have even named them! We steered far away from the other groups and had a very intimate and engaging swim with the most beautiful and fascinating animals in the world! The pod of dolphins was huge, I'm not good at estimating, but I would say definitely over 50 dolphins were swimming with us! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! After the dolphins moved on, we went to a beautiful reef to snorkel and finished off our trip at the turtle cleaning station!
Everything about this trip was top notch, the boat is very nice, clean and well kept. I was a little sea sick so I didn't have lunch, but everyone else said it as great. Plenty of water and snacks aboard as well. I got a ginger pill and ginger candy (no charge). Also of note, the cost of this trip is 100% worth it, I would have paid so much more for this trip of a lifetime (and would have gone back the next day if they had let me). There was also no penny pinching. They offer all clients access to their pictures for no additional charge whereas every other tour I've been on charges extra for the professional pictures.
All in all, a fantastic experience! Even though I was sea sick, I didn't want it to end. Thank you Tori and Kim for giving us such an amazing trip of a life time!

Jessica and Fred

Date of experience: May 2013
1  Thank Jessica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We were all beginner snorkels and they took great care of us! We started out with a practice snorkels saw a few turtles and some cool fish! After we were comfortable with the gear, we set out to find a pod of dolphins and found several! Got to follow them on the boat a bit before they came to their resting spot and we got to jump in the water with them! The guides were great, gear worked well, and the lunch was delicious! Worth the extra money to do this (we did the Best of the west tour) than the huge ones with other companies!! Highly reccomended!

Date of experience: May 2013
1  Thank Lizpenner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 2, 2013

My brother and I had a fantastic time on the Best of the West cruise! Even though it was the end of the season we were able to see some humpback whales which was awesome! We got to see some dolphins , they were really fun to watch playing in the wake behind the boat! We weren't able to find dolphins to swim with, but not for lack of trying of the crew, they definitely did their best. My favourite part was getting to snorkel with sea turtles, they were wonderful and so was the reef and all the fish we got to see.

The crew was also fantastic, everyone was very professional and very knowledgeable, they were able to answer all of our questions and you could tell that they were very passionate about what they do.

I would highly recommend this cruise, it was simply amazing!

*one tip though is if you are driving from Waikiki give yourself at least 1 hr and 45 min to get there. With no traffic it takes no time at all but there was a traffic jam on the H1 freeway and we almost missed our cruise and we had left early*

Date of experience: April 2013
Thank Tannis D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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