Are you wondering when is the best time to see whales in Kona? Keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know about the Big Island whale season, including the best Kona whale-watching tours.
This list of Kona whale-watching tours was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
If you’re looking for an amazing whale-watching experience, look no further than Kona!
With humpback whales migrating to the area every year, Kona is one of the best places in the world to witness these creatures in their natural habitat.
Kona whale-watching tours are an absolute must-do during your trip to the Big Island.
You’ll never forget sailing alongside these gentle giants on a Kona whale-watching tour. It’s an adventure you’ll never forget!
Wondering about my Hawaii know-how? 40+ visits to the islands have honed my expertise in ways few can claim.
So grab your friends, your family, or just yourself and set sail on a memorable adventure!
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary complete with daily schedules, fun activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Best Kona Whale-Watching Tours
Experience the beauty of whales on these Kona whale-watching tours! These are some of the best whale-watching tours in Kona, Hawaii, that will show you the beauty of the island and these incredible creatures at the same time!
1. Whale Watching on the Big Island
With this Kona whale-watching tour, you will be able to hear the whales singing with the provided hydrophones. It is a smaller boat that will only take 24 people at a time, so you get an unobstructed view of the stunning whales.
The tour guides are knowledgeable and passionate and will provide you with plenty of fascinating facts about the whales. You’ll also get to experience the stunning beauty of Kona from the water, from its crystal-clear waters to its lush green coastline.
Plus, you never know what other sea life you might spot along the way – from playful dolphins to graceful sea turtles. This tour includes a guaranteed sighting, or you get to go again for free. Check the latest rates and availability.
2. Whale Watch Excursion from the Big Island
See the Kona whales up close and personal on this Big Island whale-watching tour! A certified naturalist tour guide will introduce you to the whales and take you within feet of them as they breach, dive, and frolic in the waters.
You’ll be able to witness the whales’ powerful fluking and breaching, and best of all, you’ll be able to capture it all on camera!
This tour is around 2 and a half hours and is in the afternoon. Take a nice relaxing ride in the water after a delicious lunch during your trip to Hawaii! Check the latest rates and availability.
3. Wake Up with the Whales Cruise
One of the early morning Kona Hawaii whale-watching tours is on this cruise. You will take off around 8:00 am and go on a nice adventure to spot some of the beautiful Hawaiian whales.
This tour takes place in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Waters so you can safely see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
With the calm waters, you will be able to use hydrophones to hear the whale songs and get stunning pictures of these creatures during this awesome tour.
Snacks, beers, wine, and other drinks are complimentary. If you do not see a whale, you get to go again for free! It is a shorter whale-watching tour at only 1 and a half hours, so you can quickly get to other fun Kona activities! Check the latest rates and availability.
4. Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure
Hop aboard a high-speed raft to see some of the Kona whales with this Zodiac Raft Whale Watching Adventure! Your captain will teach you all about Hawaiian history as you look off into the ocean waters to spot some whales.
Along with whales, you might even be able to spot some manta rays, turtles, dolphins, and plenty of other incredible marine life.
Also, along this whale-watching adventure, you will see some sea caves, lava tubes, and other incredible parts of this beautiful island! It is one of the best Kona whale-watchings tours to experience by far! Check the latest rates and availability.
5. Kona Whale Watch from Honokohau on Sailing Boat
During Kona whale watching season, hop aboard this sailboat and learn all about these incredibly fascinating creatures! Your tour guide will teach you interesting facts about the whales migrating to Hawaii, all the while seeing gorgeous views of the Kona coastline.
This is one of the best Kona whale-watching tours to experience because if you don’t spot a whale during your sail, you can always go again for free.
This tour takes place on a 53-foot catamaran and is only an hour and a half long, leaving you plenty of time to do other fun things around the island! Check the latest rates and availability.
6. Midday Whale Watching in Kona
You do not have to wake up super early to go on a whale-watching cruise, so if you are not a morning person, head out on this midday whale-watching tour! Spend a few hours searching the ocean waves for these majestic creatures.
With a knowledgeable crew, you will sail the waters all along Kona and learn about the whales and see them up close too! Make sure to have your camera ready to capture them in action!
This tour does offer snacks and bottled water, but you can also bring your own drink too. Check the latest rates and availability.
7. Humpback Whale Watch in Kona
This Kona whale-watching cruise only takes 14 people at a time and is a great opportunity for those who like to go on a boat ride with a smaller group. From December to April, you can go experience the Hawaiian waters and see these stunning whales up close.
With your naturalist guide, you might also be able to see different species of whales, not just Humpback whales.
You also can hear the whale songs with the hydrophone on board as well. It is between two to three hours long and is well worth it! Check the latest rates and availability.
8. Whale Watching Experience in Kona
While you go Hawaii Big Island whale watching with this tour, you will have the opportunity to hear the whale songs, all the while seeing the whales in their natural habitat. It is quite the experience you do not want to miss.
With this tour, you will be out on the water for two and a half hours to make sure you have plenty of time with these beautiful creatures.
There are 3 different departure times, so you can go whenever is convenient for your family. You will learn about the whales, and their migration from Alaska and all of Hawaii’s marine life with your naturalist guides onboard your journey. Check the latest rates and availability.
9. Sunset Whale Watching Tour
Why not go whale watching in Kona, Hawaii, on a beautiful sunset whale-watching tour? Nothing is more romantic than enjoying a stunning Hawaii sunset, all the while seeing some whales jump out of the water.
While this sunset whale-watching tour is not right from Kona, it had to be included. It is only 45 minutes away and will be the perfect whale-watching cruise for couples on their honeymoon!
Sip on some cocktails, relax under the sunset, and see these stunning creatures in the beautiful Hawaiian waters. Check the latest rates and availability.
10. Hawaii Private Whale-Watching Cruise
One of the best Big Island whale-watching tours to go on with your significant other or your family is this private whale-watching cruise.
With only six people onboard, you will get a more personal experience of going out and seeing some whales!
Hop aboard this luxurious boat for a three-hour tour, where you travel to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to see these beautiful whales playing, splashing, and having fun.
This tour takes off in the afternoon and is the perfect whale-watching tour in Kona to enjoy. Check the latest rates and availability.
11. Big Island Afternoon Whale Watch Tour from Kona
This is another Kona whale-watching tour that offers guaranteed sightings, or you can go again for free.
It is also on a 65-foot double-decker catamaran that will offer a 360 view of the waters so you can see as many whales as possible. While it is not a private tour, it will still be so much fun onboard this incredible boat!
There are onboard marine naturalists to teach you all about these fascinating mammals. You will also have the opportunity to listen to the whales with a hydrophone as well. It is a fun two-and-a-half-hour cruise that everyone will love to go on! Check the latest rates and availability.
Kona Whale Watching FAQs
You will see so many whales in Kona! On the Big Island, Kona is typically the best spot to go whale watching.
From January to April, majestic humpback whales visit the warm waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands, offering whale watchers an unforgettable experience. A Kona whale-watching tour will definitely be worth it!
During the Hawaii whale watching season, you will spot the most whales along the Kona coast! So many whales come to visit the waters around Kona that it is part of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary!
Big Island Whale Watching Tours Wrap Up
Kona’s whale-watching tours are a great way to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat and appreciate the beauty of the ocean.
So, if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, book a whale-watching tour in Kona and get ready for a thrilling adventure!