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Wild Side Specialty Tours | Whale & Dolphin Watching

Mobbed by Humpback WhaleShort-finned Pilot WhaleRed-Footed BoobySpotted Dolphins LeapingHumpback Whale, competitive podMelon-Headed Whale Airborne

'E Komo Mai - Find Your Happy Place, Release Your Wild Side with Whales, Dolphins and Turtles in Hawaii

Wild Side Tours are... remote, with purpose, and meaning... Warning - potentially life changing. Certainly life affirming. Our cruises are intimate, ecologically friendly, nature-minded, and absolutely unique to the islands. This is why...

  • Intimate group sizes (two boats are self-limited to only six passengers), we specialize in catering to niche nature and adventure seekers, are in continuous pursuit of ‘new experiences’ to better showcase the amazing natural heritage of Hawaii; our focus is on behavior and biology of varied species of wild dolphins and whales, sea turtles, sea birds, tropical fish in ancient coral reefs; and areas of cultural or historical significance.

  • Dolphin tours featured on Travel ChannelOahu's only marine-wildlife-biologist founded and led whale, dolphin and snorkeling tours, expert insight and guidance - the best way to participate in Hawaii's "wild side"- informs and inspires fellow participants to be more active in the conservation of ocean wildlife and habitats.

  • Leave Only Bubbles - Specialized crew, unobtrusive catamarans, sailing only during times that wildlife is most receptive to visitation, and small group sizes offer deeper, quieter, longer, and more intimate wildlife encounters Virtual Dolphin Tour

  • Help sight, identify, and record whale and dolphin encounters to improve current understanding of Hawaii's marine wildlife and their habitats. Virtual Humpback Whale Watching Tour

  • Leave the Crowds to Other Boats! More wildlife and snorkeling - less people (sailing at 1/2 our passenger capacity - not a small boat filled to the gills), guarantees a high standard of safety, environmental care, personal interaction, and "your turn" is that much longer. Virtual Turtle Snorkel Tour

  • Only 6 passengers (!) on our five-star "Best of the West" 3 1/2 + hour cruise. Whether swimming with dolphins or spotting whales from the crows nest - all our tours deliver.

  • A portion of all proceeds of our adventure and wildlife vacation packages / snorkeling excursions are contributed to the Wild Dolphin Foundation for conservation efforts.

  • Visit our crew page to view backgrounds and accomplishments - and our fleet page to view our vessel and operations standards.

  • Unique events facilitate celebrations of life including birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, weddings, family retreats, girlfriend getaways, babymoons. Gift Certificates available

Wild Side Consistently Ranked as a "Top Five" Hawaii Tour Operator


January • February • March • April • May • June • July • August • September • October • November • December


Short (1-3 hours) • Half-day (3-6 hours) • Full day (6-9 hours) • Multi-day

Vessel types

Live-aboard boat • Small boat (0-50 passengers) • Under sail / Yacht

Times and prices

About our skippers and naturalist guides

Marine biologist founded and crewed


Access to wheelhouse • Deck with 360?vision • Disabled access • Hands-on materials (bones, shells etc) • Naturalist guide(s) as well as skipper • On board hydrophone • Onboard research • Posters / displays / maps • Public participation in research • Reading material available • Restrooms / toilets on board • Scenic backdrop to encounters • Snacks / drinks • Support conservation • Swim / snorkel included • Use a code of conduct

We frequently

Listen to whale song • Listen to whales and dolphins • See a whale's tail • See leaping dolphins • See leaping whales • Showered by whale blows • Swim with them in the wild • Watch whales and dolphins

Baleen Whales

Humpback Whale • Sei Whale

Toothed Whales

False Killer Whale • Melon-headed Whale • Pygmy Killer Whale • Short-finned Pilot Whale

Beaked Whales

Blainville's Beaked Whale

Ocean Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin • Rough-toothed Dolphin • Spinner Dolphin

Town / City
State / County
Oahu / Hawaii
Zip / Postcode
United States
Kristi H
Best day ever
Traveled: 2013-07-01, Reviewed: 2013-07-02
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
This was in my daughters words the Best Day ever. The crew was quite knowledgable of the animals and waters. Provided a relaxed safe environment for the guests and wildlife.
Patty Mac
Traveled: 2013-04-09, Reviewed: 2013-05-16
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
i honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about captain tori, malori, & the INCREDIBLE experience they provided us when they took us out on WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOUR'S BEST OF THE WEST TOUR, which operates out of waianae, hawaii, on the island of oahu. we were staying in waikiki, so it was about a 1.5-hr bus ride over to the southwestern coast of oahu. but MAN WAS IT WORTH IT!

tori, (a published marine biologist) & malori made my dream come true by taking us whale-watching on 4/9/13! we especially loved the personal interaction my parents & i received, & the fact that there were only 4 of us aboard w/ tori & malori enhanced our experience SO much! not only did captain tori know where to take us for the best sighting potential, she & malori educated us all day about the wildlife we saw. & we got lucky because we ended up seeing SEVERAL PODS of whales that day even though it was the end of the traditional whale season in hawaii!

it is evident that tori cares about her clients--as an example, she knew we were staying in waikiki so we were going to have to make the trek over to waianae where the "best of the west" tour begins & ends. tori also knew that another girl scheduled to go on the tour w/ us was also staying in waikiki. so tori put us in touch w/ each other ahead of time so we could travel to/from waianae & go on the tour together. & that worked out SO great!

another HUGE BENEFIT of going on a WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOUR is that tori purposefully limits the # of people on board to 4-6 (max) to ensure everyone has the personal attention & interaction tori values so much. because there were only 4 of us on board w/ tori & malori, it made for such an intimate experience, & that was excellent! as an additional personal touch, tori & malori even made a wonderful lunch for us. :)

when you go on a WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOUR, you can customize exactly what you want to focus on while you're out on the water. all 4 of us wanted to go whale and dolphin-watching, & 1 of us also wanted to snorkel w/ dolphins. so tori & malori made all that happen! we couldn't ask for anything more. :)

i really can't say enough about how incredible the team @ WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOURS is--you just can't beat the value you get when you combine the ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCES on the water + the PERSONAL INTERACTION & EDUCATION you receive. i PROMISE you, it is $ WELL-SPENT!!!
cliff luckey
The unequivocal Bucket List experience!
Traveled: 2013-05-03, Reviewed: 2013-05-08
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
Words simply can’t express the amazing experience Janet and I had. Kim and Captain Tory are Marine Biologists that share their unparalleled and exemplary experience with the people who have the honor of getting to go with them. The first story we tell to all of our friends is one of swimming with a pod of 50 dolphins. I have learned the billion dollar “captive dolphin” programs are devastating the lives of these precious animals. I have paid a lot of money to kiss a dolphin on the nose in the past, but I learned from Kim and Tori that my doing this perpetuates this unhealthy and sad industry. If you want to learn, become enlightened, and leave with a spiritual state-of-mind then sign up with Tori and Kim. If you want to kiss a dolphin on the nose go somewhere else. It was one of the best experiences of my life!! Going back to see whales with Sail Hawaii in Nov of 2014. Cliff and Janet Luckey.
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2013 Responsible Whale Watch Partnership:Click here to read more about the partnership