We took a whale watching cruise with Blue Dolphin Charters in January 2014. While many people have visions of whales cruising right alongside their boats, that is not exactly what happens as our video below shows. Nevertheless, a whale watching trip in Kauai will certainly be one of the highlights of your visit to the island.
We took Blue Dolphin Charter’s two-hour sunset cruise at about $70 per person. Blue Dolphin operates out of Port Allen on the south side of Kauai. While close to Poipu and convenient to Lihue, Port Allen can be quite a drive from the North Shore area including Princeville and Hanalei. However, the cruise is well worth the drive from anywhere on the island.
After a short orientation at the office, we walked down in a group to the boat where we were told to take off our shoes before boarding the boat. (Be sure your toenails and feet are suitable for public viewing LOL). After depositing our footwear in a portside cubicle, we headed out to sea and were treated to snacks by the friendly crew. After several minutes of semi-rough seas (it was stormy on this day) we were in prime whale-watching territory. The view of Kauai was already magnificent. We were also treated to the most intense rainbow we had ever seen.
Now, when the whale watching companies say they can guarantee you will see whales, they can rest assured that you will see whales in some fashion, even if the whales are just spouting in the far-off distance.
But luckily that wasn’t the case on our tour. We saw more than a few whales within about 100-200 yards of our boat. Though not as close as we initially expected, these were remarkable sights. The boat cruised for several minutes alongside three whales that were in a “heat run”, with two males and one female. Later we were treated to the sights of several whales that were “breaching” (where the whales lunge out of the water). Towards the end of our cruise, more refreshments and drinks were served while everyone watched the beautiful sunset.
Overall, whale watching can be one of the highlights of your visit to Kauai. Though the whales aren’t as close as they are at SeaWorld, it is refreshing to see the whales free and in their natural habitat. Altogether, the boat ride, the magnificent views of Kauai and the whales will make this an unforgettable experience.
FYI: Whale watching season is from November through May, with the peak months being February and March.