Kauai Whale Watching Tours

By Hawaii.com Team

Photo: Blue Dolphin Charters.

Sure, you can watch majestic Hawaiian humpback whales splash their tails in the tide from several lookouts around Kauai. But if you really want to get intimate with these marine mammals, you’ll want to book a seaside tour.

Most launch from the westside of the island and cruise along the Nāpali Coast. Some also make special seasonal tours toward the south shore to find koholā (humpback whales) from about November to March when these gentle giants travel from Alaska to warm Hawaiian waters.

Kauai Sea Tours

Choose from a handful of catamaran or raft tours offered by this local enterprise. The raft tours are more intimate and get you right on the water, catering to thrill seekers. For a more relaxing whale-watching experience, pick one of their catamaran tours. They even offer a whale-specific tour of the south shore on either a catamaran or raft, and let guests to listen to the beautiful songs of some of the most peaceful creatures on earth using an underwater hydrophone.

Blue Dolphin Charters

This company offers a seaside tour of the south shore where you’re even more likely to discover a pod of whales slapping the water with their fins, or mothers pushing their babies to the surface for a breath of fresh air. Called “Po‘ipū Whale Watching,” this two-hour afternoon tour explores the calm south shore waters on a 65-foot catamaran. The adventure includes hydrophones that allow guests to listen to the whales communicate with each other.

Holo Holo Charters

All of their tours grant the possibility of seeing whales, but what sets this company apart is its combo tour of the Nāpali Coast and the island of Ni‘ihau. This adventure is an all-day affair, which means that the likelihood of encountering some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures increases — all while you’re enjoying the gorgeous “Forbidden Island.”

Captain Andy’s

One unique experience this company offers is the “Po‘ipū Sunset Sail,” where the odds of spotting whales increases while heading toward Māhā‘ulepū and Kīpū Kai on a 55-foot Gold Coast catamaran. Bright orange and red colors explode from the sky while you search for whale tails. They also offer daily tours that explore the Nāpali Coast while perusing for marine critters, including one that explores an ancient Hawaiian village at Nu‘alolo Kai.

Book your tour well in advance, as many only accommodate a small number of people, and you don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime activity.

See also: Whale Watching on Kauai – with tips on whale watching from shore

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