Family of Whales off Oahu
December 17, 2021
| by
Christy Davies

Oahu Visitors Guide: Guide to Whale Watching on Oahu

If you love nature and want to enjoy a truly memorable experience in Hawaii, consider going whale watching. See this, Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Guide to Whale Watching on Oahu,’ to learn more about where and how to view some of the most beautiful creatures on our planet.

These are unusual times so with restrictions being put in place and lifted with little notice, please confirm the operating hours before visiting any of the tours, venues or attractions mentioned in this article. 

Our beautiful Whale Friends are back!

Whales are magical creatures and to see them in the wild, swimming, playing, feeding is such a memorable experience. With so much mass to move about the water, it’s amazing that whales can be so graceful. But, one thing you’ll notice when you go on a whale watching tour off of Oahu is that these creatures exude grace. And, beauty.

If you’re looking for a memorable adventure during your next visit to Oahu, either as a solo traveler, couple or family, consider going whale watching.

There are many tour operators who will take you whale watching off of Oahu’s gorgeous shores. They’ll get you up close and personal with these giants of the sea, so that you can capture that prized shot to share with everyone on social media.

But, you don’t have to take a tour to enjoy the majestic sight of a whale breaching off the coast. Our whale friends make regular appearances that you can see from many of Oahu’s beaches or tall coastal peaks.

Mid-December through the middle of May is Hawaii’s official whale watching season. During this time, Oahu locals and visitors flock to the coast and onto the water to catch a glimpse of humpback and other whale species. Every year, they migrate south from Alaska’s frigid waters to tropical and warmer Hawaii where they ultimately mate and give birth.

In this Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Guide to Whale Watching on Oahu,’ we’ll share some of the best ways to see whales on your next Hawaiian adventure. Take a guided tour or head to our recommended spots for viewing yourself off the beach or water.

When you visit Oahu and are looking for things to do, think about going whale watching with one of the following tour operators or on your own in these recommended spots:

Hawaii Nautical
Telephone: 808.234.7245

Hawaii Nautical offers Oahu visitors an eco-friendly way to view whales. This family owned and family friendly company takes guests on sailboats and power catamarans to enjoy whale sightings, and if you don’t see a whale on your excursion, your next trip is free! Hawaii Nautical loves whales and Oahu’s marine environment so much that it donates a portion of its proceeds to worthy environmental causes like its Hawaii Nautical Marine Life Foundation.

You don’t have to take a tour to enjoy the majestic sight of a whale breaching off the coast. Our whale friends make regular appearances that you can see from many of Oahu’s beaches or tall coastal peaks.

North Shore Catamaran
Telephone: 808.351.9371

The only whale watching company to set off from the North Shore of Oahu, North Shore Catamaran offers many different types of whale watching tours including sunset tours, moon tours and snorkeling tours (seasonal). North Shore Catamaran takes visitors on a unique smooth-sailing catamaran that is ultra-comfortable. This company even provides the option of a VIP tour with a private Early Bird tour.

Dolphin Excursions Hawaii
Telephone: 808.239.5579

Dolphin Excursions Hawaii is an exciting whale watching tour that sets sail from Oahu’s west shore, where the water is often the clearest and most calm. With small groups of passengers on a state-of-the-art 34-foot inflatable boat, lifeguard-certified crews go in search of whales on intriguing and relaxing 3-hour cruises.

Whale jumping out of the water
Whales can often be seen from the beaches, high peaks during hikes and even from your hotel balcony!

Ocean Joy Cruises
Telephone: 808.677.1277

When you take an Ocean Joy Cruises whale watching tour, you’ll never have more than 12 people on your boat and you’ll have plenty of comforts at sea. Ocean Joy Cruises offers several adventures to choose from including a Sunset Cruise, Morning Calm Cruise and Afternoon Adventure Cruise. Tours feature English and Japanese narration, and spacious cabins and with changing rooms are perfect for refreshing after snorkeling.

Spot Whales On Your Own

If you’d rather save some money and look for whales on your own, there are plenty of places to go. One of the best places to see whales off of Oahu is from Hanauma Bay. Diamond Head’s seaside overlooks also offer a fantastic vantage point as does the Makapuu Lighthouse (one of the best lighthouse hikes on Oahu). 

No matter where you go to see whales on Oahu, remember a few pieces of advice. Whales are special creatures that are revered here on our Hawaiian Islands. Appreciating them sometimes takes patience and the local ask that you always maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from our whale neighbors.

Enjoy viewing these beautiful creatures and, while in search of whales, join us in practicing malama ‘aina (caring for the land).

We hope our latest Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Guide to Whale Watching on Oahu,' has helped you appreciate these beautiful creatures that we share our island paradise with. If you have any questions about the beaches and locations mentioned in this guide, to ask our Concierge for any assistance you may need.

You may also enjoy our article, 'Guide to the Best Oahu Road Trips!'

Visit our Oahu Visitors Guide for more recommendations for all there is to do, see and experience when visiting Oahu.

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