Our award-winning charters inspire a love for the natural world. Join a guided reef snorkel hunt, make friends with wild dolphins, and enter the secret worlds of sea turtles – in their world, on their terms. Inspiring, enriching, and tailor made, wildlife biologists lead this surf-ari into the ocean wilderness. On this get-your-hands-wet adventure, kids of all ages will interactively learn the difference between baleen and toothed whales, how dolphins ‘hear’ and sleep, how to tell male from female turtles, etc. Then get into the ocean ‘lab’ and snorkel with the same critters, where they live. Charter participants usually experience at least two of the following (all three if Mother Nature is willing – our marine mammal sighting rates are 99.5%):
1. Dolphin Encounters / Wild Dolphin Swim
Guided Swimming with Wild Dolphins includes briefings on dolphin behavior and dolphin “wet-iquette” on how to respect and swim with wild dolphins. Personal assistance in the water makes an ocean of difference. Be ‘touched’ by a dolphin’s joy and freedom.
2. Whale Watching
In the Company of Whales – In the Footsteps of Giants. Find the best whale pods and witness incredible behaviors, with engaging narration about what is playing out before you – we’re not just ‘spouting’ facts. Onboard hydrophone broadcasts whales and dolphin vocalizations from underwater, instantly engaging us with a whole other dimension of the oceanic world, as whales sing and dolphins chatter away with their unique clicks and squeaks. Easy on and off the boat with staircase ladder. Class and comfort onboard the “Island Spirit” – carrying only 10 passengers on a catamaran USCG certified for 40 people affords room to roam – sunbathing on two trampolines, sun-safe in the shade or get out of the weather completely inside the roomy cabin. A private bathroom on a steady, stable catamaran allows for complete comfort. “Easy in and easy out of the water with the Island Spirit’s staircase ladder” Snorkel gear and flotation devices provided for all to ensure an enjoyable, safe, family-friendly and wildlife-friendly nature connections. Get close enough to (almost) touch dolphins riding the bow (you might get “spit” on!), while looking down between the hulls is just like a glass bottom boat!
3. Guided Snorkeling with Turtles and Coral Reef Fish
Mesmerized Guided Snorkeling Tour and fun interactive briefings led by water-savvy biologists. safely and comfortably encounter giant sea turtles and native reef fish, where they live. “Swimming with the island’s turtles is a life-changing experience, for children and grown-ups. The sound of kids squealing with delight through their snorkels makes me grin just thinking about it.”
Also included in your charter, a delicious BBQ lunch -consisting of; kalua pork – homegrown in Waianae and fresh out of the imu, locally baked buns, potato salad, fresh pineapple, with unlimited granola bars all day.
This is a small group discoveries (10 passenger limit per charter), which is 1/4 of the Island Spirit’s USCG documented capacity – it’s the least expensive “private” cruise on Oahu. If you don’t have 10 in your party, we’ll mix and match… If you have more, we can accommodate. All of our charters run only once per day, maximizing the best time to be on the water, and optimizing so that we aren’t pressured to rush back for a 2nd or 3rd tour. ‘No pressure’ makes the experience the best it can be, for both you and the wildlife encountered.
Give Back – a portion of all proceeds and photo ids of wildlife or other data taken aboard your charter go to the Wild Dolphin Foundation for conservation efforts, and whose work has contributed to breakthroughs in marine mammal studies in Hawaii.
We look forward to guiding you!
Your adventure awaits!
#1 Best whale watching, swimming with dolphins and snorkeling tour on Oahu. Bucket-list marine wildlife encounters since 1996. More than just seeing amazing and indigenous creatures, deep connections and a true sense of place are gained.
Rare to find anywhere, six to ten passenger charters with published marine-biologist, guest adventures are maximized to blend with wildlife conservation. Whale watching and swimming with wild dolphins year-round, charters include guided snorkeling tours over sea turtle reefs on Oahu's wild west side. You won't miss a trick!
Awarded Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s Silver Certificate, Wild Side is affiliated with the Wild Dolphin Foundation and Cascadia Research Collective.