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humpback whale watch kona

One of the most popular things to do for anyone planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, is Big Island whale watching. Not only does it ensure a fun day out on the water, but you get the chance to see some of the world’s largest mammals, playing in their natural habitat. If you are looking for an oceanic adventure, sure to delight the whole family, make sure that you embark on one of these Big Island adventures. Whales are not only the largest mammals who inhabit Hawaii, but they are some of the most exciting creatures to come into close contact with, out on the water.

The Hawaiian islands are also home to both seasonal and native whale species. From humpbacks who travel to Kona’s tropical waters from Winter to Spring to the pilot whales who prefer Hawaii’s deeper waters, year-round. Guests will find so much magic on a Big Island Whale Discovery Adventure— experience breaches above water to tail and fin slaps! There is no limit to the wonders you will encounter!

Experience the Magic of Big Island Whale Watching

Whale watching season across the Hawaiian islands occurs when humpback whales choose to travel to the warm tropical waters from Alaska; there are other, equally amazing, whale populations who also frequent the Big Island during this time in Hawaii.

On a whale watching adventure, you can expect fun in the sun; relaxing on the boat as pods of whales pass by, some may stop to investigate your boat. You will also get to learn so much about these sea creatures. Many Kona captains and crew members, who guide whale watching tours, are rife with knowledge about these marine populations. They can answer any questions on their journey to Hawaii and even the details on how they communicate and interact with each other.

The Best Time and Places for Whale Watching on Big Island

It’s no secret that the best time to go whale watching on the Big Island is between the months of November through March. Aside from the large population of humpback whales who choose to travel to Hawaii in order to mate or give birth to their calves; there are other whale populations that frequent the island, who may become increasingly active during this time.

Whales are adventurous and curious creatures; therefore it is not totally out of the question for them to maybe swim up to and around the boat, while the engine is turned off in the water. That being said, the best place to go whale watching on the Big Island is along the Kona Coastline; in deeper waters than the popular snorkeling reefs frequented on day trips. Some whale species may stay deep underwater whereas others, like the humpback– especially young calves with a smaller lung capacity– are known to stay closer to the water’s surface.

Why Big Island Whale Watching is the Experience of a Lifetime

Beyond being able to see humpback pods glide past your vessel, while out on the water, a whale watching experience on the Big Island is truly the trip of a lifetime. As mentioned, you will get the chance to learn about each and every species of whale that you may encounter while out on the water. These lessons range from how male whales communicate through song, to what competition pods are, and even recognizing specific humpback whales who are known to return to the Hawaiian islands each year.

When you book your whale watching tour in Hawaii, you are signing on to the most intimate experience you can have with these mammals– in a safe way for both you and the animal. When a whale pod approaches your boat they may choose to swim around, tail slap, fin slap, or even fully breach out of the water, a hundred yards or less away! Some whales are even known to swim under the boats!

Top Whale Watching Tips For Big Island Visitors

Our biggest tip when it comes to booking your whale watching trip on the Big Island, is reserving your spot aboard a boat that specifically caters to the whale discovery experience. While you will not be getting into the water during your whale watching trip, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will not be able enjoy a close encounter with the creatures. That being said, our second tip is to book with an accredited tour company who will be able to SAFELY create encounters with the visiting humpback and native whale species, as well as teach you about the animals while aboard the vessel.

Our last tip when booking a whale watching tour on the Big Island is, when you are booking early– aim to snag an extremely early morning or sunset time during the peak months of December through March. This will mean you are not only venturing out at the height of whale season, where there will be the largest population of whales, but the most active time of the day for the animals!

Discover the Wonder of Humpback Whales on Big Island’s Whale Watching Tours

The most popular whale that people look for while on a whale watching tour in Hawaii is the humpback whales. This particular whale species is arguably native to Hawaii, although it does not live there year-round. Female humpback whales travel to the waters around Kona and Hilo in order to either mate with male humpback whales or give birth to their whale calves that were conceived the previous year. When these baby humpbacks are born, they swim around with their mothers in the warm, shallow, Hawaiian waters until they build up enough strength and blubber to survive the weeks-long journey back to Alaska!

Why Whale Watching on the Big Island is a Must-Do Experience

Now that we’ve walked you through some basic tips surrounding booking a whale watching experience, as well as why these creatures choose Hawaii as their home; you’re probably itching to book your tour!

If you want to discover all that the Big Island whale population has to offer and enjoy a fun and educational day out on the water, be sure to book your whale watching tour for your next visit!

However, if you find that your trip to the Big Island lands outside of whale season, or you are looking to get some time in the water, there are many options for snorkel tours of Kona Coast and dolphin watch advventures on the Big Island that will be able to accommodate you!