North Shore Catamaran Whale Watching Sail

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Visiting the Island of Oahu in Hawaii? Come out to the fabled North Shore of Oahu and join us for breathtaking vistas of the North Shore while we listen and watch the majestic Humpback Whales on our North Shore Catamaran Sail. During the Winter season in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale migrate from Alaska each year. And can only be seen for these few months here. Why do they travel South and then North again (by fin!) thousands of miles each year? Come visit the Hawaiian Islands and see what they are all about.

Don’t miss out on Whale season if you are on island and what better way to see the Hummpback whales than from the water! “Ho’o Nanea” is our quiet smooth sailing catamaran with a maximum of 19 passengers. The quiet catamaran does not disturb these beautiful giants; Humpback whales, in their natural environment. During Hawaii’s Winter Whale watching season you will see Humpback Whales as they play, mate, fight and nurse their babies. Often you can hear the Male Humpback Whales singing before you see the Humpback Whales as sound travels quickly and far through water. As we sail often humpback Whales and inquisitive babies will come close to the boat and you can see the Humpback Whales perform spectacular breaches, tail slaps, spy hopping and spouting. Breaches and tail slaps will cause a splash! Just like humans the Humpback Whales are inquisitive creatures and will do a spy hop sometimes to check us out like we are watching them. Also like humans the Humpback Whales are mammals which means they breathe air. When Whales breathe air they come to the surface of the water and you will see a spout! Along with Whales we often see Spinner dolphins accompanying the Humpback Whales or riding the wake of our sail.

This is a barefoot cruise and if you’d like to get wet, sit to the fore front on the nets! Light rain doesn’t stop our sailing. You may want to bring a towel for when you return and a light jacket for the sail. These are typically calm waters we will be sailing in, however, if you are prone to seasickness we do advise you taking preventative measures to more fully enjoy your tour.

What to Know

Daily during December – May

Check in: 30 minutes prior to tour at the Haleiwa Boat Harbor.

Boat Departs: 9:30am & 12:30pm.

Morning tour duration: 9:30am – ~12:00pm

Afternoon tour duration: 12:30pm – ~3:00pm (call for availability on afternoon tour. Return times may vary)

Please bring: Sun protection (hats you can tie on, reef-safe sunscreen, glasses or sunglasses with croakies, clothing), sweatshirt or wind breaker in case you get cold and a camera.

Includes: Sailing, Whale Watching, and beverages.

Whale Sighting Guarantee: If whales are not sighted on the tour, you can come again for free (January through mid March only).

If you have a tendency to get seasick easily, take a sea sickness preventative at least one hour prior to the sail.

Please note: Children 3 and under are no longer free. There is a U.S. Coast Guard mandated passenger maximum, and even an infant goes toward the passenger count.

FAQs [ show ]

Where do you sail from and where do you go? We operate out of Haleiwa Harbor, on the North Shore of Oahu. We sail along the North Shore and out into the deeper waters. We do not circumnavigate Oahu or sail around to the West Side. This would be a very long sail with rough upwind sailing on the way home.

How far is Haleiwa from Waikiki? It’s about a 1 hour drive from Waikiki.

What time of year can I expect to see whales in Hawaii? The humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from December to May every year. Whale watching tours in Hawaii are during these months. Exact start and finish of the season varies each year, depending on when the whales make their migration.

Do you guarantee whale sightings? During the peak whale seasons of January through mid March we can guarantee a sighting. If you don’t see whales you can come back for free. December and April are more transitional and less reliable months. We do not guarantee a sighting, but will do our best to find the whales.

Do you always see dolphins? We often see dolphins, but not every day. Like all wild animals, it is up to them when they want to be seen. On lucky days they will come right up to the boat and play.

In sailing on a catamaran different than traditional sailing? Catamarans are smoother riding than single hulled vessels. Out 40′ catamaran, the Ho’o Nanea, is the perfect size for a sailing adventure. The sailing catamaran is Coast Guard certified for 25 passengers, and all of our tours are a maximum passenger count of 20. With this intimate group, we are able to give all of our passenger’s customized service.

What sort of marine life can I expect to see while sailing? There is never a lack of Hawaii marine life on our sailing trips. During whale season, it is almost certain we will see the majestic humpback whales as they frolic in our warm Hawaiian waters. We often find the spinner dolphins, and nearly every day the Honu, Hawaiian sea turtle, stops by for a visit.

Can I bring my children with me on my sailing trip? Of course! We have special rates for children. Whale watching in Hawaii is a wonderful family adventure. It is also a great educational experience for all members of the family.

Do you provide lunch and beverages? All of our tours include complementary beverages.

What should I bring on my whale watching tour? Be prepared for lots of fun! You should be prepared for the warm Hawaiian sun and the occasional passing shower. Please bring a light jacket, your camera, sunscreen, and a hat.

Can I get seasick during your sailing trips? Our catamaran is very stable and few people get seasick. However, if you are prone to sea sickness, or have never been on a boat, it would be wise to take a sea sickness preventative at least one hour before the trip. We recommend Bonine, a chewable tablet, that can be purchased at most stores.

How far in advance should I book my tour? The earlier you book your tour, the better! (Especially if you have a large group.) Sometimes there is space available on very short notice, so make sure you check with us no matter when you have the idea to book.

Can I charter the whole boat? Yes, of course. We have special charter and group prices. Contact us for cost and availability.

How do I get there? See the driving directions below. Most people rent a car for the day and explore the North Shore and Haleiwa after their Sailing tour. Public transportation via The Bus (allow 2.5 hours) is also an option.

Is there anything else to do in the area for those in my party that are not going on the boat? Absolutely. The harbor is surrounded by beautiful public beaches. The harbor is located within walking distance of lots of great shops and site seeing in Haleiwa town.

Driving Directions [ show ]

From the Kailua/ Kaneohe

take H-3 to H-1 then follow directions from Honolulu.

From Honolulu:

Take the H1 freeway west from Honolulu to the H2 freeway north. Stay on H2 until freeway ends (8 miles) and becomes Route 99. After freeway ends, go straight through 4 stoplights then turn right at the sign indicating “North Shore”.


Follow the signs towards North Shore / Haleiwa, staying on Route 99. As you come down the hill with the ocean in view, you will reach a traffic signal where you will turn left to enter Haleiwa Town.


Go through “Historic” Haleiwa Town (1 mile) then turn left immediately after the 76 gas station on left side of road. (If you pass through a narrow bridge you missed your turn at the Gas Station).

On your right is the Haleiwa Boat Harbor. Turn right at the sign into the harbor. Stay to the right and follow the road as it curves out to the big two story building in the middle of the harbor. Park next to our sign “North Shore Catamaran Charters”. The catamaran Ho’o Nanea will be moored at the loading dock or on her way! You will check in directly on the boat.


From Turtle Bay:

When you leave Turtle Bay Hotel, turn right (north) on 83 to the North Shore and Haleiwa town. It’s about a half hour drive (can take longer if there is a surf contest going on on the North Shore!).


There will be a traffic signal and a sign pointing you into “Historic” Haleiwa Town. Turn right and follow the road over the white, narrow bridge. Immediately after, turn right again before the 76 gas station (right after Haleiwa Joe’s Restaurant)


On your right will be the Haleiwa Boat Harbor. Turn right at the sign into the harbor. Stay to the right and follow the road as it curves around and out to the big two story building in the middle of the harbor. Park next to our sign “North Shore Catamaran Charters”. The catamaran Ho’o Nanea will be moored at the loading dock or on her way! You will check in directly on the boat.

** Our prices include harbor fees!!


Check In: 30 minutes prior to tour
Boat departs: 9:30am morning tour

12:30pm afternoon tour

Food Served: n/a
End Time: ~12:00am morning tour

~3:00pm afternoon tour

Duration: approximately 2.5 hrs

(All times approximate and subject to change)

Includes: Complimentary beverages
Bring: Light cover up, camera, sun protection
Required: n/a
Location: Haleiwa Boat Harbor

(about 1 hr drive from Waikiki)


and Parking:

No transportation provided.

Free Parking available at harbor.

Notes:     • Please call for wheelchair accessibility.

• Tour only runs during whale season, December – May.


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