Big Island Boat & Snorkel Tours

There is so much beauty to experience in the waters of the Pacific Ocean that graciously surround The Big Island. Being the youngest island, and one that is still growing, The Big Island’s offshore boat and snorkel tours offer you a once in a lifetime experience of exploring the marine life that makes The Big Island so unique. There are tropical species of fish that can only be found on The Big Island.

All of the best boat and snorkeling tours are available on the west side of The Big Island in the Kona region. This area has crystal clear blue waters under mostly sunny skies with some of the world’s most beautiful and preserved reefs that are home to many of Hawaii’s unique tropical fish. Some of these areas are protected by marine preservation and management, where it is illegal to take any fish for exporting or even to feed the fish. These fish live in a fragile environment and should be observed from afar so these precious marine lives can continue to flourish for years to come.

There are a variety of tour companies that can provide you with the special experience you are looking for, whether it’s a romantic cruise along the beautiful coast of Kailua-Kona, or a day’s adventure snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, or even whale watching if you are traveling between the months of December and April. The sun shines most of the year on the west side of the island, so you can be sure to have a wonderful experience on a boating and snorkeling tour. Just remember your sunscreen and hat for protection as you will be exposed to the sun most of the day.

Many of these tours are available for families with young children and even for those who can’t swim. All instructors on the boat are professionals and will ensure your safety with providing you with the snorkeling equipment that you need, as well as various floatation devices to allow you to feel comfortable in the water. This is important in order for you to have a relaxing adventure observing one of the Big Island’s best kept secrets.

Body Glove Cruises

Body Glove Cruises offers you a wide variety of boating and snorkeling adventures to suit any taste in the Kona area. The Dolphin and Snorkeling Adventure takes you on a visit to the marine sanctuary that is only accessible by boat where you will have a chance to see almost 7,600 different marine species. There is also a great chance for you to see dolphins on this cruise as they love to accompany the tour boats. There is no age requirement for this tour that lasts approximately 4.5 hours and all equipment is provided. The Whale Watching Excursion is available during the months between December and April when Humpback whales return to Hawaii. This is a 2.5 hour tour that takes you within a safe distance of these marvelous creatures of the deep. The Snuba Adventure offers you a brief class on this technique, providing you with all the equipment needed to explore the island’s coral reefs and fresh fish. You must be eight years of age or older for this adventure. The Historical Sunset Cruise is a 3 hour tour from Kailua-Kona to Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook monument where you will learn a little about the history of The Big Island. This fantastic cruise comes with a traditional Hawaiian buffet dinner and live entertainment. On Wednesdays only, the Whale Watch/Historical Lunch Cruise runs for three hours, which is similar to the whale watching and historical sunset cruise. Another great sunset cruise is the Luau Combo Sunset Cruise Dinner that operates only on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can enjoy the beauty of the island from the Pacific Ocean as well as a traditional Hawaiian luau at the Royal Kona Resort.

Captain Zodiac

This adventure runs out of the Kona region of The Big Island. Captain Zodiac is the first company to offer you a rafting adventure in Hawaiian waters. The adventures offered include rafting through lava tubes and sea caves, as well as exploring both wildlife and marine life. Snorkeling and viewing of dolphins and whales are also offered. There is a 4-Hour Morning Captain Zodiac Raft, Snorkel, Dolphin Adventure that runs on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Check-in time is at 8:00 a.m. and the adventure returns at 12:15 p.m. The 4-Hour Afternoon Captain Zodiac Raft, Snorkel, Dolphin Adventure runs on the same days as the morning adventure, except check-in is at 12:45 p.m. with a return time of 5:00 p.m. A Beat the Crowd Mid-Day Adventure runs on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays for a five hour tour beginning at 10:00 a.m. It arrives at Kealakekua Bay when most other tours in the area have already left for the day, giving you complete solitude to enjoy the beauty of the land and sea. All equipment that you will need for snorkeling will be provided to you, along with detailed instructions for your safety. During the months of December to April, a 3-Hour tour is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays specifically for whale watching.

Fair Winds Snorkeling and Diving Adventures

Off the Kona Coast of The Big Island, Fair Winds Snorkeling and Diving Adventures will take you to one of the best locations in the world for snorkeling to explore the island’s reefs that are home to many exotic fish. The Morning Snorkel Cruise and Barbeque is a 4.5 hour tour from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., providing you with all the equipment you need for snorkeling in the warm waters off the Kona Coast. Instructions are given by trained professionals. A variety of floating devices are also made available. For those really comfortable with the water, there is a slide and dive board from the boat. The Afternoon Snack Cruise departs from Keauhou Bay and travels to Kealakekua Bay for a 1.5 hour adventure of snorkeling. As with the morning cruise, all equipment and professional instruction is provided.

Kamanu Charters

Also on the west side of The Big Island, Kamanu Charters offers you snorkeling, sailing, and swimming opportunities with dolphins in the free ocean. The tours are led to Pawai Bay in Kailua-Kona, which is a State of Hawaii Fisheries Management Area. It is very important that you follow all rules given to you by your trained instructor to ensure the safety of the marine life in this area so they can flourish for years to come. The Swim with Dolphins adventure offers you an opportunity to snorkel and maybe even swim alongside dolphins that are very accustomed with human interaction. The Snorkel Sailboat adventure is a 3.5 hour tour where you can view the wonders of the sea, such as tropical fish, green sea turtles, and manta rays. Non-swimmers and first time snorkelers are welcome.  If you want a deeper view of the manta rays you can experience their beauty with the Manta Ray Night Snorkel. For a relaxing time to end a busy day in Hawaii there is the Sunset Cocktail Cruise. This adventure is great for ending a beautiful Hawaiian day of adventure. It sets sail before the sunset offering you free appetizers, beer, wine, and mai tais. Many of these adventures are also available to be combined for a deeper experience.

Sea Quest Rafting and Snorkeling Adventure

The Sea Quest Rafting and Snorkeling Adventure operates out of the region of Kona. This adventure offers you a perfect experience of viewing beautiful preserved reefs up close, which is home to many of Hawaii’s native fish species. The rafting adventure takes you on water explorations through sea caves and lava tubes as you raft along the clear blue waters. The Expedition South Kona adventure takes you to Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay for snorkeling. You must be five years of age and older. This is a five hour adventure with snacks, deli lunch, juice, and water provided for your comfort. The Deluxe Morning Adventure is a snorkeling experience of Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay, but also includes a chance to observe dolphins up close. If you are on this tour during the months of December through April, you will also be taken on a whale watching cruise. This adventure requires those on board to be five years of age and older. The Captain Cook Express adventure takes you to Kealakekua Bay for almost two hours of snorkeling. This adventure runs in the afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. All those on this adventure must be five years of age or older.