Come experience up close, up very close the harmless and beautiful creatures known as the Manta Ray. You don't want to miss out on this once in a lifetime experience! This experience and type of tour is unique in all the world to the Big Island, Hawaii. It is the Waters off Big Island where the Manta Rays can be found to gather at night and feed on plankton. These magnificent creatures of the sea are known for their grace and beauty of movement as they glide through the ocean. Manta Rays are often called the "Butterflies of the Sea" for how they glide, turn, and seemingly move as if in an intricate dance. Their huge side fins operate like wings which helps the Manta Ray to fly through the water. A Manta Ray's 'wing spans' can be as large as 20ft in length.
So why is this tour at night you may ask? It's not only more exciting but it matches the natural schedule for the Manta Ray! Manta Rays are Nocturnal feeders like Hawaii's Spinner dolphins they feed at night. We will be bringing some lights that attract swarms of the itty bitty creatures the Manta Rays feed on known as Plankton. Once we set up the lights you can see the plankton begin to mass like clouds of air bubbles rising toward the lights. Now with the Plankton on the scene it is not long until the Manta Rays come swooping through, around, under and in; mouths open like a sieve to catch the Plankton.
While you float at the surface of the water still as possible, these truly amazing creatures glide right on by, coming as close as possible without touching you. How do the Manta Rays swim so artfully while they feed and not bump into anything or other creatures in their environ, even those behind them? The Manta Rays have a neat sense we don't have as humans that uses electromagnetic pulses to sense the distance of objects around them. So, in their own way they can see behind them and all around themselves. Truly, the Manta Rays are a sight to behold! Like large butterflies dancing across the sea.
It is very important to note that the Manta Ray does NOT have a stinger like its cousin the Sting Ray. This makes them totally safe to be around. We are very careful about your safety and prep you on safe water protocol at night in advance.
Fun fact about Manta Rays, Manta Rays are known to leap out of the water like a flying fish or Dolphin. No one is sure the purpose as to why Manta Rays leap out of the water. Perhaps it is to clean off parasites or to attract another Manta Ray or to state territorial domain or something else entirely. The splash Manta Rays make from jumping out of the water can be heard from miles away! Manta Rays are typically unsocial creatures but you may see several together when they come to feed or if they are travelling. Come and have a once in a life-time in Hawaii, a thrilling experience observing the Manta Rays as they feed and glide on through!
What to Know
Check in: Around 4:45 - 6:00pm - at Honokohau Boat Harbor Slip G-18.
(Oct-Feb 5pm--March-April 5:15pm--May &-Sept 5:30pm, June-August 5:45pm.)
Time varies throughout the year depending on the actual time of sunset. Specific check in time will be confirmed on your voucher after purchase.
74-381 Kealakehe Pkwy, Slip G-18
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.
Tour Duration: About 3 hours.
Vessel:"Uhane Nui O Nai'a"
which means Great Spirit of the Dolphin.
40" vessel built for snorkeling. 25 Passengers max
Smooth ride, quiet engines, PA system.
Includes a shaded and open area. Two Ladders for ocean access.
A hydrophone to listen to whales in Winter & a restroom and shower.
Snorkel gear, wetsuit, drinks and snacks for afterward, and some photos.
Swimwear, underwater camera, towel and jacket for afterward. The boat ride back can get chilly. Tip for the awesome boatcrew!
We advise taking seasickness preventatives before the tour to more fully enjoy your experience.
This tour is accessable to pregnant women as long as the pregnant woman is comfortable with the activity and your Doctor has cleared such activities. This is true for women in all stages of pregnancy. This is not a strenuous swim as we practice passive observation. You will be floating the majority of the time at the surface. We gather height and weight information for wet suits.
Must be a minimum of 4 years old to participate in this tour.
We advise taking seasickness preventative before we go.
Please list the NAMES, HEIGHTS, WEIGHTS & GENDERS of each participant in the comment box during the check out process.
We require Height, Weight, and Gender to ensure we have the correct sized wetsuit available for you on this night swim activity. The Coast Guard requires we have the name of every participant on the boat. Please list the required information in the comment box while checking out. (We will need the names of each participant, their height, weight and gender to book this activity. Without this information we can not confirm your order.)
SPECiAL CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THIS MANTA TOUR:
1 - 4 PASSENGERS: Notification of cancellation must be received by telephone at least 48 HOURS prior to departure time to receive any refund. Any cancellation given with less than 48 Hours remaining before departure time will not be offered a refund.
5 - 10 PASSENGERS: Notification of cancellation must be received by telephone at least 72 HOURS prior to departure time to receive any refund. No refund will be offered with less than 72 Hours remaining before departure time.
10 + PASSENGERS: Cancellations must be made 7 DAYS prior to departure date to receive any refund. No refund will be offered with less than 7 days remaining before departure date.
Our prices include harbor tax and fuel surcharge.