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Whale Watching Tour in Hawaii

a large body of water

Whale Watching Hawaii on “Star of Honolulu “

Humpback Whale

You are on your Hawaii vacation and you want to do a Whale  Watching Tour in Hawaii? That sounds like a great trip for the whole family! Numerous humpback whales come the long way from Alaska down to Hawaii in the months from November to April. The goal of their 3,100 miles journey is to mate in the warm waters of Hawaii, to give birth to their children and to care for them. Whale watching during your Hawaii vacation is a must if you are in Hawaii at this time. Especially in February you have the best chance to see free living whales.

Where can you best watch whales in Hawaii?

With a bit of luck, you can also see the whales from the beach or some viewpoints. For example, at the viewpoint from Diamond Head Beach, you can see whales in the wild when the sea is calm. But I recommend a whale watching tour in Hawaii! I did a whale watching tour with Star of Honolulu. Star of Honolulu offers you different possibilities to do a whale watching tour in Hawaii. Prices start at $40 per person and you can choose between an early morning tour or a later one.

The Whale Watching Tour

I did the Early Bird Whale Watch Tour for $40 at the beginning of February and was very excited. This tour is offered from January to early April and lasts from 8:45am to 10:45am. The ship offers you 4 decks (incl. 1 sun deck) and has room for 1500 passengers.

At the beginning of the tour we got a short introduction how the tour will be done. After we left the harbour at the Aloha Tower we went out to sea and took a look at the pictures of the humpback whales, the size of the whales was shown on a tape measure and we got a lot of information about the whales.

Humpback Whale in Hawaii

Already after 5 minutes we saw the first whales – a mother with her calf. So the ship steers to the whales and a very informed employee gave us through loudspeakers more and more information about the whales. The ships do not have the permission to go directly to the whales, but always have to keep a distance of approx. 100 ft.  For this reason you can’t see the whales from direct proximity. Sometimes, however, it happens that the whales swim voluntarily closer to the boat. Then the captain turns off the engine and you see the huge mammals right in front of you. Because of the 4 decks, you have different perspectives on the whales. You can watch them from above or almost be at a height with them when you are on the lowest deck.

After watching the two whales for some time we went on to look for more whales in Hawaii. Unfortunately we didn’t see any more whales. But we were lucky to see turtles and we had a great view on Honolulus Skyline and Diamond Head.

Skyline Honolulu and Diamond Head

After a good 1,5 h at sea we drove back to the harbor and our whale watching tour in Hawaii was over.


The whale watching tour was a complete success. Of course it would have been even more exciting to see the whales next to the ship, but it is understandable that the whales should not be disturbed by the engines of the ships. Of course you can never get a 100 percent guarantee that you’ll really see whales. However, Star of Honolulu offers you a free new date if you haven’t seen any whales on your first tour.

So feel free to contact us on Facebook if you have any questions. Want to do more than just a whale watching tour? With DanielsHawaii you can see the best spots on the island on a guided island tour!