Frequently Asked Questions
We suggest you have on hand:
- Flip flops
- A bathing suit
- A towel
- Sunscreen (We sell reef-safe sunscreen on the bus!)
- A rashguard if you’re looking for more protection from the sun. We also offer wetsuits for rent for $10 per person.
- A light jacket
- Cash or card for wetsuits or photo packages
- Seasickness medication. You can pick up seasickness tablets cheaply from local drugstores. Or, if you only ever experience very mild motion illness, ginger-based drinks can help stave it off. We also offer reusable PSI bands for purchase on the bus for $25 (pack of two).
The following are provided by Dolphins and You, so there is no need to bring along:
- A taro burger lunch (vegetarian options available)
- Snorkel mask and fins
- Hydration (water and lemonade)
We do not recommend bringing expensive jewelry or technology that is not waterproof. Dolphins and You is not responsible for lost, stolen or water-damaged items.
*While you can bring a waterproof camera, we do not recommend it. Our professional photographers can capture your entire tour with us for an additional $79 per group so you can fully be in the moment with the dolphins.
We provide transportation from and to 10 locations within Waikiki and Ko Olina free of cost. It is included in your trip price.
Alternatively, you may meet us at the Waianae Boat Harbor if you would like to provide your own transportation. There is no decreased rate for guests who opt out of transportation.
Please see the schedule for each tour’s pickups below. More detailed pickup information will be included in your tour confirmation email.
7 AM Tour
Aqua Palms Waikiki: 5:15 AM
Ala Moana Hotel: 5:20 AM
Prince Hotel: 5:25 AM
Ambassador hotel: 5:30 AM
DFS T. Galleria: 5:35 AM
Hyatt Regency: 5:40 AM
Waikiki Marriott: 5:45 AM
New Otani: 5:50 AM
Ko Olina Beach Club: 6:25 AM
Aulani Disney: 6:25 AM
Meet at Waianae Boat Harbor at 6:45 AM
11 AM Tour
Aqua Palms Waikiki: 9:15 AM
Ala Moana Hotel: 9:20 AM
Prince Hotel: 9:25 AM
Ambassador hotel: 9:30 AM
DFS T. Galleria: 9:35 AM
Hyatt Regency: 9:40 AM
Waikiki Marriott: 9:45 AM
New Otani: 9:50 AM
Ko Olina Beach Club: 10:25 AM
Aulani Disney: 10:25 AM
Meet at Waianae Boat Harbor at 10:45 AM
Tour timing can vary greatly due to the unpredictability of harbor traffic, dolphin behavior, ocean conditions, road traffic and more.
But the tour is usually around 5 hours, including transportation, with about 3.5 hours spent on the boat.
Our guides are great with first-time snorkelers, and every guest is outfitted with a life vest to stay afloat.
It’s worth noting that the process of getting into the water with the dolphins can be more strenuous than the second snorkel location, which is much more relaxed. Because we need to swim away from the boat in order to find the best spot to see dolphins, those who can swim faster may have a better chance of seeing the moving dolphins in close range. It’s best to let our guides know in advance if you would like extra attention or assistance while in the water.
We recommend that only guests who are 2 years and older join our tours.
We recognize that it can be difficult for traveling families to find a babysitter, however, so it is possible to bring an infant on the boat. But we ask parents please consider these important factors:
- The boat is not child-proof.
- We do not have a changing table on board.
- Infant life vests are stored at our harbor, and it is the responsibility of the parent to alert our crew of the need for an infant life vest before the vessel departs.
- We do not offer a discount for children less than 2 years old.
All other ages are welcome! We have life vests for all ages. Our trained crew of lifesavers and free divers are excellent at helping first-time snorkelers feel comfortable in the water. In the water and on the boat, however, small children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no max age for the dolphin swim.
Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are wild marine animals, so we cannot guarantee that we will encounter them. However, the vast majority of our tours (more than 90 percent) do see and swim with dolphins.
No. Touching marine life and coral is illegal by Hawaii state law. Contact with human skin can make dolphins and sea turtles more susceptible to disease and cause them stress.
But the animals often come close by our guests, and simply being in their presence is incredible.
Yes, simply select ‘Dolphins Watching’ while booking online.
Guests who purchase a dolphin watching pass will not be permitted to swim with the dolphins, but they can snorkel at our second spot with sea turtles and enjoy all other features of the tour!
Hawaiian waters range from about 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in the wintertime to 82 degrees F (28 degrees C) in the summertime.
Though this is much warmer than the natural ocean temperature in most parts of the world, you still may feel cold in the shade or rain in just a swimsuit. We offer wetsuits for rent at $10 per person.
You may bring your own camera onboard at your own risk. But we recommend letting our professionals capture your experience so that you can fully enjoy your tour without worrying about getting the shot!
Dolphins and You offers professional photography and videography for an additional $79. The photo packages usually contain around 600 over- and under-water shots of everyone on board, and the package includes a video highlight reel. We document the experience from beginning to end.
Your USB will be available for pick-up at our office in Waikiki the day of your tour from 2PM – 7PM if you took the early tour (7AM) or from 5PM – 7PM if you took the later tour (11AM). You may also pick up the USB any day after. Our office is located at 307 Lewers Street, Suite #401, Honolulu, HI, 96815.
Alternatively, we offer shipping within the US for an additional $5 or international for an additional $15. Call our office to inquire about shipping your USB: 808-696-4414.
You may also buy photos online! Use the date switcher to navigate to your tour date and view your photos.
Whales can be seen off the coast of Oahu between the months of December and March!
If we see whales, we will get our guests the best view possible as long as time permits. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.
In Hawaii, we are lucky to have dolphins in our bays year-round and throughout the morning. Both of our tours have an equal likelihood of encountering dolphins. We cannot guarantee dolphin sightings.
It is incredibly rare to encounter any sharks at all in Oahu’s coastal waters.
The reason is that sharks (and other apex predators, such as killer whales) prefer much colder, nutrient-rich waters. Hawaii is simply too warm! We sometimes encounter small reef sharks or white tip sharks, but these only grow a few feet long and are more afraid of you than you would be of them.
But in the rare event that a shark was to be encountered, our team of experienced Hawaii-raised crew are there to keep everyone safe and protected.
There is a public restroom in the harbor, and there are two full restrooms on board the boat. There is no restroom on the tour bus.
Our boat is not wheelchair friendly, and wheelchairs are not permitted on our bus transportation.
Please consult our office (808-696-4414). We have a ramp onto the boat, but it is only 19 inches wide and it does not have railings.
Yes. Please use feminine products made for swimming.
We allow pregnant women to take part in our tour, but advise that it may not be safe during later terms. Please be careful not to slip and fall on board.
Alcohol is only available for purchase on the boat after all water activities are completed for safety reasons.
Please bring cash or card if you are interested in purchasing adult beverages onboard.
Tipping the crew is appreciated but not solicited. A tip jar is made available to guests at the end of each tour.
Tour fees will be fully refunded if cancellation is made more than 24 hours prior to the start of the tour. Please note that the tour starts early in the morning (departing Waikiki at 6am HST and 9:30am HST). Fees will be refunded fully if a doctor’s note is presented for cancellations made within 24 hours before the tour.