I have birded regularly with Mandy, and she is top-notch. Excellent birder, very personable, and thorough in her preparation. Everything is fully compliant with all permits, insurance and trip details. The pelagic trips from Kona, when combined with some forest birding for the endemic passerines, will build your list and show you the real magic of these islands. Mandy is the Best!
Hawaii Pelagic Birding
Bonus Whale and Dolphin Sightings
Experience the Best of Hawaii Pelagic Birding
Hop on board for a one-of-a-kind adventure with this pioneering pelagic birding experience. This isn’t just another Hawaiian tour; it’s a special chance to meet some amazing sea birds, globe-trotting migrants, and cool cetaceans, all while enjoying insights from Mandy and a seasoned local captain and crew. You’re in for an unforgettable birding adventure like no other as we combine the best of birding Hawaii on the water with incidental sightings of whales and other marine life.
Past cetacean sightings include: Humpback Whale, Short-finned Pilot Whale, Sperm Whale, Mellon-headed Whale, False Killer Whale, Pygmy Killer Whale, Blainville’s Beaked Whale, and Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, Pantropical Spotted Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, and Rough-toothed Dolphins.
Why Choose This Tour?
Enjoy our birding focus - unlike other tours on the water in Hawaii, ours puts birding at the forefront
Appreciate our knowledgeable guides - the tour has been designed by several locally-based professionals with years of experience on the island, they’ve come together to create the best pelagic birding experience possible
Marvel at the great views - as we look out back towards the island, you’ll be treated to some great views of the Big Island and its volcanoes from the water
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Group tour: $425 per person plus tax
Private tour: $3,955 plus HI tax for up to 17 people
Please arrive no later than 6:20am
We will meet in the parking lot of the Harbor House restaurant: 74-425 Kealakehe Pkwy #4, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Please note the only place to reliably find breakfast before 6am in Kona is the Starbucks which opens at 4:30am daily about a mile from the harbor: 74-5035 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Daily, late August until mid June
7 to 9 hours depending on weather conditions
Minimum 8, maximum 15
- Water and Gatorade Zero – if you want to drink something other than water or sugar free Gatorade we recommend you bring it with you to put in the cooler on board. Snacks: We will have ginger chews, crackers and other snacks for you to munch on, as keeping food in your stomach is often a good way to prevent seasickness.
- Local picnic lunch
- Online checklists
- Crew gratuity
- Guide gratuity
- Transportation to and from the harbor
What to bring
- Don’t plan on wearing warm clothes for a pelagic trip out of Kona, it can actually be quite warm and sun protection is essential. We advise to bring:
- Lightweight quick dry long pants
- Lightweight quick dry long sleeves
- Closed-toed shoes with good grip
- Lightweight rain gear
Conditions out of Kona are generally calm but can get moderately rough, especially if we are able to get over 25 miles offshore. Please prepare properly ahead of time with seasickness medication if you’re prone to motion sickness. You must have decent balance, an ability to steady yourself on a moving boat, and be comfortable going up and down a ladder.
About your guide
1 expert guide
Target Species List
Juan Fernandez Petrel
Leach’s Storm Petrel
Band-rumped Storm Petrel
South Polar Skua
Weather/Conditions: Conditions out of Kona are generally calm but can get moderately rough, especially if we are able to exceed 25 miles offshore. Please prepare properly ahead of time with seasickness medication if you're prone to motion sickness. You must have decent balance, an ability to steady yourself on a moving boat, and be comfortable going up and down a ladder. These trips are rarely canceled out of Kona due to weather conditions. The leeward side of the Big Island usually provides much calmer conditions for us to get further offshore than Oahu or Kauai, with such massive young volcanic peaks blocking our typical tradewinds. If there is a cancellation due to weather/ unforeseen circumstances you will be reimbursed in full.
Clothes: Don’t plan on wearing warm clothes for a pelagic trip out of Kona, it can actually be quite warm and sun protection is essential. We advise lightweight quick dry long pants, lightweight quick dry long sleeves, hat, closed toed shoes with good grip, camera, binoculars, sun screen, lightweight rain gear.
Please note: Remember the density of marine life in tropical waters is much lower than what is usually expected in colder waters and/ or at a continental shelf line. Mandy, the captain, and her mentors have developed different approaches to searching for wildlife in Hawaii with little chumming, continuous communication with our contacts on the water, and using offshore fish aggregation devices to our advantage.
Cancellation for group trips: All daily tours have a 48-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel prior to 48 hours of the start of the tour, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled trip departure, no refund fees will be provided. No-shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.
Cancellation for private tours: There is a 7-day cancellation policy for all private tours. Credit cards will be taken at the time of booking. If you cancel outside of 7 days, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel within 7 days of the tour no refund fees will be provided. No-shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.