Get Acquainted with DolphinsO‘ahu

It’s easy to romanticize any encounter with dolphins. With mouths shaped in a perpetual smile, these graceful mammals click and whistle through the water, beckoning the adventurous to come along.

Though not considered endangered, dolphins are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which dictates that humans and vessels maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from these ocean animals. In the wild, it is not illegal for dolphins to approach you, but it is against the law to approach, chase, surround, touch or swim with them.

There are ways to get close to a dolphin without breaking the law. One of the easiest is to find your way to The Kahala Hotel and Resort and head for the lagoon. There, you may find a team of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins engaged in what looks like an aquatic version of volleyball.

These dolphins are the stars of an organization called DOLPHIN QUEST, a marine research and education program based at The Kahala Hotel and Resort and

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at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawai‘i Island. Dolphin Quest trainers work with a small pod of dolphins where, among other things, they learn to interact with people. While guests become acquainted with the dolphins in shallow waters, Dolphin Quest trainers share information about these animals and environmental issues affecting them in the wild.

SEA LIFE PARK also offers choice dolphin encounters including its Dolphin Swim Adventure.

Booking a snorkel cruise is another way to come in contact with pods of wild dolphins. Some companies, like DOLPHIN EXCURSIONS and HAWAII KAYAKING ADVENTURES, conduct personalized open-ocean wildlife adventures with dolphins.


Affordable Tours (808) 921-2280
Aloha Hawaii Tours (808) 926-3800
Dolphins and you (808) 696-4414
Dolphin Excursions (808) 239-5579
Dolphin Quest (808) 739-8918
Ko Olina Ocean Adventures (808) 396-2068 or (866) 456-6666
Ocean Joy Cruises (888) 677-1277
Sea Life Park (808) 259-2500