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Oahu Dolphin Encounter Highlights
- 7:30am or 11:00am tour times for a 3 hour excursion.
- Only 15 guests per tour, so you’ll get great views.
- View multiple species of wild dolphins year-round, and humpback whales in the winter
- Snorkel with tropical fish and sea turtles.
- Snacks and drinks are not provided, but you’re free to bring whatever you’d like, BYOB! They do have coolers available to borrow and ice to top them off.
- Snorkel gear is provided if you don’t already have your own.
- Children 4 and up are welcome to join!
10% off your tour with promo code HVG10 at checkout!
Dolphin Encounter Details
If you’ve ever wanted to see dolphins up close in their natural environment, this is your opportunity. Dolphin Excursions has two outings a day to take you on the water in search of spectacular dolphin viewings. You can choose from a 7:30am or 11:00am excursion time to take off from Waianae Boat Harbor (click here for directions). Get breathtaking photos as the spinner dolphins come by and perform incredible stunts, swim in pods, and play.
With a crew of marine naturalists, they are determined to find the best areas for viewing and you’ll see and learn about more than just spinner dolphins. You may also encounter bottlenose or spotted dolphins and, if you go in the winter months, humpback whales. Plus, this excursion includes a snorkel with sea turtles and other tropical fish.
If you’re visiting in mid-December through March, check out their humpback whale-watching tour!
The crew at Dolphin Excursions does a great job caring for and protecting the dolphins and their environment. The owner states, “We follow guidelines that are dictated by Federal Law protecting these animals. We will make sure you observe these animals under an eco friendly leadership giving you a safe open ocean safari you will remember.” Learn more here and in the FAQ about these laws and the measures Dolphin Excursions takes to keep everyone safe.
A marine naturalist onboard to answer all your questions.
Bring Your Camera
Bring your phone or professional camera for pictures. We like to bring an underwater camera (like a GoPro) to capture close encounters from the raft or use it when snorkeling.
3-Hour Duration Tours
Daily tours for 3 hours. Ages 4 and older are welcome. Check-in 30 minutes prior to boarding.
Departs from the Waianae Boat Harbor
The departure location is Waianae Boat Harbor, 25 minutes from Ko Olina Resorts.
Enjoy the dolphins and then jump into the water (if you desire) to swim with sea turtles and fish.
If you’re not a morning person, their late Afternoon Snorkel Safari adventure takes you out in search of dolphins and other large species of marine mammals found at this later hour. In addition to viewing dolphins from their boat, they will take you to at least two of their favorite snorkel sites so you can explore! Click here to book the Afternoon Snorkel Safari.
10% off your tour with promo code HVG10 at checkout!
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Dolphin Encounter FAQ
When is the best time to see the dolphins?
One tour time is not better than another, and Dolphin Excursions offers guaranteed sightings, so you can reschedule in the unlikely event that you don’t see any dolphins. The time of day really depends on your preference. Waters are calmer and the sun isn’t as harsh first thing in the morning, but if you’re not a morning person, don’t force yourself to become one! You’ll still have a great time on the later tour.
What are the dolphin protection laws, and how do they affect my encounter?
Dolphins are protected by U.S. Federal law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, Amended in 1994. Under the act, it is illegal to harass, hunt, capture, collect, or kill any marine mammal. Swimmers and boaters should make every effort to avoid disturbing them in their natural environment.
As of 2021, it is illegal to swim with wild dolphins and both the vessel and individuals in the water must maintain a distance of 50 yards. If dolphins approach while the vessel is anchored, appreciate the moment and let them pass. If they linger, the crew will have to move to allow the dolphins their space.
These protections are a wonderful thing for the well-being of wild dolphins, and you will still go home with memories that last a lifetime. Learn more here if you still have questions.
What is the cancellation policy?
24 hours notice is required. If you would like to cancel or reschedule you must do so by 9:00 am the day before your tour date without charge. It is a full charge for cancellations, no-shows, or reschedules made after 9:00 am the day before the tour date.
No Shows: If you are not at check-in thirty minutes before the tour time and the boat departs without you, it is a full charge no matter what.
What if I get seasick?
If you’re prone to motion sickness, we recommend taking motion sickness medication the night before your tour and again one hour before your scheduled departure. Staying hydrated, avoiding heavier foods, and abstaining from drinking before your tour can also help prevent seasickness.
What should I bring?
Bring a hat, sunglasses, reef-safe sunscreen (the boat is not covered), a towel, and a camera! There is dry storage onboard for backpacks and purses.
Snorkel gear is provided but they encourage you to bring your own. You may also purchase a new set to take home with you.
About Dolphin Excursions
Since 1998 the owner, Victor Lozano has taken pride in sharing the west coast of Oahu with visitors. His respect and admiration for the wildlife that exists there shows and he has curated a staff of captains, management, and crew who share the same values. Several members have been with him for almost 20 years, and a few of his captains are marine biologists themselves. With such a passionate and engaged group, you are in the best hands to see the wonders of the west coast of Oahu.
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