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Big Island Whale Watching Tours

Setting off on one of the Big Island Whale Watching Tours is a thrilling experience, but there are a few essential things to note in order to ensure you make the most of the awe-inspiring encounters you are sure to experience. Before booking a Big Island whale watching tour, familiarize yourself with the different experiences offered across the island (however mainly look at those leaving from Kona), what you may get to see aboard the tour, and also be aware of the peak demand during the winter season which requires bookings much in advance! These insights– explained in detail with others below– will guide you towards the most unforgettable whale watching tours on the Big Island.

  1. Big Island Whale Watching Tours Are in High Demand

Big Island whale watching tours are immensely popular, drawing visitors from around the world to witness the majestic humpback whales in their (secondary) natural habitat. Due to high demand, it is highly advised to plan and book your tour WELL in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak whale watching season which occurs from approximately December to April. Reserving your spot early ensures you secure a place on the tour of your choice and guarantees a front row seat to the captivating spectacle that is the jumps, tail slaps, and general play of the humpback whales as they frolic in the warm Hawaiian waters.

Overall, the window to be able to experience the magic that is a humpback whale encounter in Hawaii is extremely limited so you will want to make sure that you nail down that spot aboard the best whale watching experience on the Big Island ASAP! (especially small group tours, whose space is limited, but the experience is much more intimate and exclusive).

  1. You Have To Book Big Island Whale Watching Tours in the Winter

The winter season is the prime time for whale watching on the Big Island, as humpback whales migrate to Hawaiian waters for breeding and giving birth to their young calves whom they conceived the previous year. If you are eager to witness these majestic marine creatures engage in their natural behaviors and play, plan your visit between December and April. This is the PEAK time that the humpback whales make their travel down from the arctic Alaskan waters. The trek usually takes the whales around 3-6 weeks and they stay for approximately 30 days in the Hawaiian tropics. 

Booking your Big Island whale watching tour during these months maximizes your chances of encountering humpback whales and experiencing the full grandeur of their presence in the Pacific. The more whales swimming around the islands, the greater your chance is to see them engaging in play off the bow or your Kona tour boat!

  1. What You Will See Aboard a Whale Watching Tour on The Big Island

Aboard a whale watching tour on the Big Island, expect an array of captivating spectacles as humpback whales showcase their impressive acrobatics as they play and teach their young calves in the shallow warm waters of the Hawaiian tropics. You will get the chance to view whales’ breaching, tail slapping, and social interactions (including the whale songs), providing a front-row seat to one of nature’s most extraordinary displays from the world’s largest mammals. The warm and crystal waters that surround the Big Island create the perfect landscape for observing these amazing marine giants. When you book with a trusted local tour company, leaving from a prime whale hotspot like the Kona Coast, you work to ensure an unforgettable experience during your whale discovery adventure.

We have other blogs that delve deeper into this amazing experience and all that you can expect whale watching in Kailua-Kona, so be sure to check that out!

  1. Big Island Whale Watching Happens All Aboard a Tour Boat

While exploring the coastal waters surrounding the Big Island, especially Kona Coast, you may get the chance to see a multitude of unique marine animals that are wholly unique to the Hawaiian islands. These can include manta rays, Honu (Hawaiian Sea Turtles), and reef fish. However, unlike those marine species which can be found aboard one on Kona’s snorkel tours, whale watching primarily takes place aboard specialized tour boats. These vessels are equipped with space for small groups to have unobstructed, nearly 360 degree views of the ocean, and knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the whales’ behaviors and characteristics. Opting for a Big Island whale watching tour boat ensures a safe and comfortable vantage point, allowing passengers to enjoy the spectacle of humpback whales in the safest way possible for both themselves and the aquatic creatures.

  1. Booking With a Local Tour Company Ensures the Best Big Island Whale Watching Experience

To ensure the best Big Island whale watching experience, consider booking with one of Kona’s local tour companies. Local snorkel and whale watching tour operators on the Big Island often possess a deeper understanding of the region than your average, corporate, tour; offering personalized insights into the whales’ behaviors and the island’s extremely marine ecosystem. The humpbacks being born in Hawaii technically makes them natives and they love returning each year and continuing this cycle. Supporting local Big Island businesses not only contributes to the community but also enhances the authenticity of your whale watching experience, providing a more immersive and educational tour with the guidance of your captain and crew who call the Big Island home.

Before booking your Big Island whale watching tour, be sure to consider the high demand during the winter months, the necessity of planning ahead, and the incredible sights and insights you can expect aboard a local Kona tour boat. By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be well prepared to embark on a memorable journey, witnessing the enchanting spectacle of humpback whales in the stunning waters surrounding the Big Island. If you still have questions, we have a ton of information on our Big Island blog covering topics like what you can expect aboard a whale watching tour of the Big Island, the difference between a whale watching tour and snorkel tour (which are offered year-round in comparison), and how you can best prepare and choose a whale watching tour on the Big Island that fits your expectations and goals for the experience!