Dolphin Quest | Big Island

By nature, dolphins are known to be very intelligent, friendly, and comfortable with humans. They are often seen swimming side-by-side with ships and boats and can be seen performing their beautiful aerial twirls even in the wild. Dolphins’ calm demeanor and socialization skills with humans can be compared to that of having a household family pet. Dolphins love humans and humans love dolphins; it’s a special relationship that can occur almost instantaneous.

Dolphin Quest brings the warm personality of dolphins face-to-face with you in a small, controlled environment of a private lagoon. It is located at the luxury Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort in the South Kohala region of The Big Island. The resort sits oceanfront in an area that sees sun most of the year, in comparison to the east side of the island that experiences more rainy days.

The experience that Dolphin Quest gives visitors is memorable and unique. It is a great activity for the entire family, couples, friends, or individuals. It’s fun for everyone. Dolphin Quest makes your time spent with the dolphins an experience that you won’t forget. This is the safest way you can swim side-by-side with dolphins up close and personal in a specially designed lagoon area. There are different sessions that Dolphin Quest offers its guests that are sure to please everyone. All safety measures are taken, including the requirement that all participants in the sessions wear a life vest.

Wee Tots Dolphin Experience

This dolphin experience is specifically designed for children age two to four, but who must be accompanied by an adult. It is a 10 minute session in the shallow waters of the lagoon where the children get to have a relaxing one-on-one experience with a parent or other adult and the dolphins. This is sure to create fond memories. Pictures are taken and available for an additional charge. Reservations are requested to be made in advance.

Kids Quest Dolphin Experience

Young children between the ages of five and nine years old have the opportunity to learn about dolphins and interact with them with others their own age. This experience lasts one hour and 15 minutes, with 20 minutes of actual swim time with the dolphins in the shallow water for safety. Children will learn about dolphins and also have the chance to experience the unique marine life of Hawaii from tropical fish to sea turtles. Six children is the maximum that can participate in this session, in addition to one trainer.

Encounter Deluxe Dolphin Experience

This session is specifically designed for those five years of age or older. It lasts for a total of 45 minutes, with 15 minutes of introduction and preparation time and 30 minutes of actual time with the dolphins. During the preparation time, you will remain in the shallow waters so you can slowly become acquainted with the dolphins. You will get to swim side-by-side with the dolphins, feed, gently touch, and play with them. A trainer will always be supervising the session. Pictures and a video will be taken of you interacting with the dolphins, which you will have the option to purchase at the end of your dolphin experience. This session is limited to only six people, not including the trainer. It is recommended that young children be accompanied by an adult.

Sea Quest Dolphin Experience

This session is for those 10 years of age and older. The entire session is one hour and 45 minutes. Forty minutes of this time is actually spent swimming freely with the dolphins. You will also be able to view tropical reef fish and sea turtles native to Hawaii through a snorkeling session. You will receive additional information and experience what makes Hawaii unique as you learn to care for and respect the Hawaii’s ocean life. Pictures are taken of your dolphin encounter, which you can purchase at an additional cost. This experience is limited to six people and one trainer.

The Encounter Dolphin Experience

For those ages 10 years and older, this dolphin experience is 30 minutes long, with 20 minutes of direct swim time with the dolphins. Swimming and interactions with the dolphins can be done in either the shallow or deep end of the lagoon. You will get to touch, feed, and play with the dolphins in a personal setting. Photos and videos are taken, which you may purchase for an additional charge.

Dolphin Family and Friends Experience

This session is great for a group of family and friends ages five and older. Groups are limited to six participants, including a trainer. This entire experience is 45 minutes, with 30 minutes of swim time with the dolphins. This is a great way for family and friends to experience bonding with dolphins together. The session starts in the shallow waters, getting you accustomed to the dolphins before you begin your adventure. You will not only swim with the dolphins below and above water, but you are able to touch and play with them as well. Pictures and a DVD of your experience will be taken, which you can purchase for an additional charge. This experience requires an advance reservation.

Trainer for the Day

This dolphin session is great for those 10 years and older that have a deeper interest in dolphins and who may want to work in the marine life field. The entire trainer session is five hours and 30 minutes. It includes a full day with the dolphins and the trainers. You will learn about dolphins, including the incorporation of their playtime. You will prepare the dolphin food with the trainers and feed the dolphins. This is a great bonding experience with the dolphins. At the end of the session, you will receive a Trainer of the Day diploma and one free 5×7 photo. Additional photos can be purchased. This program includes lunch with the trainers.

Trainer for the Week

This is a more intense session for those ages 12 and older who have a sincere interest in learning more about dolphins and who may want a career in marine life. The session runs for five hours per day for five consecutive days. It is a very intimate experience, learning practically everything there is to know about dolphin behavior, caring for dolphins, and relating to dolphins on a different level. You will enjoy swim and play time with the dolphins, including how to train them by working directly with the trainers. Each day you will help prepare the food for the dolphins and basically mentor the daily life of a trainer. At the end of the session, you will receive a Trainer for the Week diploma. This sessions include lunch daily with the trainers, giving you an extra opportunity to ask questions about what it is like working with dolphins. Lots of photos will be taken and stored on a CD for you, which is included in the cost. Reservations for this session are required.

There is a gift shop available near the dolphin lagoon where you can pick up souvenirs to always remember this special experience of being close and personal with dolphins. This is one experience that will make your trip to The Big Island extra special. It is Dolphin Quest’s desire to make this an enjoyable experience for you, as well as expose you to the importance of research and conservation of all marine life.