Kona & Open-Ocean Dolphin Swim

8 hours | Hilo | ITO-725
From
$ 229.95
Min. age: 8 years | Max. weight: 320 lbs. (See special notes)
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Points of Interest

  • Outdoor Adventures
Includes meal, Strenuous activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Board your air conditioned motorcoach and travel along Route 200 and 190 from Hilo to Kona, enjoying views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Along the way, experience the Big Island in its entirety while your driver/tour guide provides insight into the volcanic history of the Big Island as well as the island's 11 microclimates (only 13 climate zones exist worldwide). Because the mountains block the northeasterly trade winds, the Kona side of the island gets very little rain and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Continue to Kona where you will meet your captain and board your 24-foot, high-powered motorized Zodiac raft. Glide across the waves, while searching for pods of wild dolphins. Only these fast and maneuverable military Zodiacs can get you in up close to explore the rugged coastline. A naturalist or marine conservationist will be onboard to provide information on marine mammal behavior (Hawaiian Spinner dolphins and humpbacks during whale season).

Along the short trip to Kona Coast, you may encounter pods of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins in their natural habitat. Spinner dolphins are the smallest of dolphins found in Hawaii. They have the unique behavior of jumping up out of the water and spinning like a top. They can spin up to 7 revolutions at one time. If you choose to, you may suit up into your mask and fins, and gently slip over the side. Having been briefed on proper protocol, you gently float in the vicinity of the dolphin pod. You'll be mesmerized as these amazing mammals glide along beneath you, a once in a lifetime experience.

After swimming with wild dolphins, with time permitting, you may have an opportunity to snorkel along a coral reef. A light lunch will be served onboard the Zodiac, including deli sandwiches, juices, water and sodas.

Before returning, time permitting, your captain/guide will show the historic Kailua Kona Village from an "ocean perspective." Once a small Hawaiian fishing village, Kailua Kona grew to become the political, social, and commercial center of Kona in the 19th century. When King Kamehameha I (known as "Kamehameha the Great) chose Kailua Kona to be his final home, Kailua Kona became the capital of Hawai'i for many years. It is from the beach of Kamakahonu ("Eye of the Turtle"), that King Kamehameha united the warring Hawaiian islands.

From your Zodiac, you will see the king's refurbished temple to the God Lono, the "Au'hena Heiau", which sits on sacred ground. Historic structures such as Hulihe'e Palace, an important summer residence for the royal family, the Moku'aikaua Church, the first and oldest Christian church in all of Hawaii, indicate Kailua's importance as the center for early missionary activity. The "Seawall" along village waterfront was made from stones recycled from gun-turreted forts that were constructed after the reign of Kamehameha the Great and the destruction of the Ahu'hena Heiau.

Relax on the return drive to your ship in Hilo.

Special Notes:

The drive between Hilo and Kona is approximately two hours long.

Minimum age is 8 years. Maximum weight is 320 lbs. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Zodiacs offer a bumpy and wet ride. Not recommended for guests with back or neck conditions or pregnant women.

All snorkel gear including safety vest and professional supervision is provided. Wear your swimsuit under comfortable clothes and bring a towel, a hat and adequate sun protection. Bring a change of clothing - you will get wet.

As with any wildlife, dolphin encounters are not guaranteed. Should this occur, guests will be able to snorkel at a beautiful marine preserve.

Child Price:

12 years and under only

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Depart from ship to Kona

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
48
Travel time:
02:30
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes

Zodiac tour/open ocean dolphin swim

Transport type:
Zodiac
Time at site:
02:00
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No

Change clothes

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
48
Time at site:
00:30
Free time at site:
30
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes

Re-board motorcoach for quick shopping stop and return to ship

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
48
Travel time:
02:30
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes