Boat Trips and Adventures on The Big Island
There are lots of ways to enjoy Big Island waters without getting wet. You can enjoy the wind and waves from a cruise boat, peer into the depths from a glassbottom boat, or stay dry down under in a submarine. Here are some dry water adventures you might want to try:
Sailing excursions: Various types of sailing vessels offer short sails and half-day, day-long, and week-long trips. Click here for Big Island Sailing Providers.
Glassbottom boats: Boats operate along the Kona Coast and in Kealakekua Bay, with a variety of tours. In addition to viewing the reef and multitudes of fish, tours can include snorkeling, meals and snacks, and Hawaiian entertainment. Click here for Big Island “On the Water” Providers.
Submarine tours: Submersible craft get you up close and personal with Kona coast reef life. Click here for Big Island Submarine Tour Providers.
Yacht cruises: Luxury yachts and catamarans are available for custom charter trips which can include premium beverages and gourmet dining. Click here for Big Island Yacht Cruise Providers.
Whale watching trips: Various vessels take you out for a glimpse of Hawaii’s cetaceans — humpback, sperm, and pilot whales as well as four species of dolphin. (Whale migration season is January through April.) If you’re adventurous (and don’t have back trouble) try an exciting, bumpy ride in a Zodiac. These huge inflatable rubber rafts put you right on — and in — the waves. You’ll want to wear your bathing suit for this ride. Click here for Big Island Whale Watching Tour Providers.
Deep Sea Fishing
The Kona Coast is legendary for its deep sea fishing, with waters which can yield a thousand-pound Pacific blue marlin, 200-pound striped marlin and sailfish. Ahi (yellowfin tuna) can weigh up to 300 pounds, and you can also find delicious ono, aku, and mahimahi.
There’s a fleet of charter fishing boats waiting to take you out to catch yours, but you probably won’t be able to keep the fish. Hawaii’s charter boat rates are generally low because any fish caught belongs to the boat rather than to the angler (though most captains will share good table fish with the fishing party).
Most game fishing takes place in the calmer Kona waters from February through December, but the peak months are July, August, and September. You can hire an entire boat or share one for a full-day or half-day with equipment and bait provided. Licenses are not required. You’ll need to bring your own food and beverage — and don’t forget the camera for that priceless shot of you standing beside a huge “big blue.”
All but a few of the charters leave from Honokohau Harbor, just north of Kailua-Kona, and have experienced captains and crews. If you’re experienced yourself, you’ll know what you’re looking for in a boat and captain, but if you’re not familiar with deep sea fishing you may want to talk to one of the many booking agents who can help you find the right charter for you.
If you’re in town at the beginning of August, you won’t want to miss the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. The catches are weighed in the afternoon at Kailua Pier, opposite King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel or at Honokohau Harbor. There are also a number of other game fish tournaments during the year.
Deep sea game fishing can be one of the most exciting sports, but even if you don’t end up catching anything, the thrill of the chase and the beauty of the shimmering billfish twirling about the ocean can be an awesome experience. Go for it! Click here for Big Island Fishing Charter Providers.