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SeeThroughSea Safaris

SeeThroughSea Wildlife Safari FAQ


Q:Where are you located/what harbor to you launch from?

A: We operate our tours from Honokohau Harbor in Kailua-Kona on Hawai'i Island (The Big Island). The closest airport to fly into is Kona International Airport (KOA). If you've booked a tour with us and are looking for the pavilion where we greet our guests take the VERY FIRST right turn after entering Honokohau Harbor. Take an immediate left turn after the "Sea Store & Deli" gas station and park at the brown pavilion ahead on your right, in the center of the parking lot between the two launch ramps. We'll meet you there just before 7:00am unless other arrangements have been made. 


Q: What kinds of wildlife can we expect to see on this adventure?

A: No two days are the same and while we do our best to accommodate our guests' interests, our excursions are weather dependent. We'll aim for the calmest conditions in areas with the highest probability of encountering  dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, and more. We are able to view Humpback Whales seasonally from late December through late March.


Q:Is this a viewing tour, or a swimming tour?

A: Both. We'll do our best to provide opportunities to view the animals we encounter in the water but please understand that it never comes at the animal's expense. If we determine that an animal is showing avoidant tendencies or appears to be in a rest phase then we'll carry on in an attempt to find something we're not at risk of disturbing. 


Q: Do you provide snorkel gear?

A: Yes, we have a wide array of well-functioning equipment onboard.


Q:How many guests can your boat hold? 

A: Our vessel, Holohi'a, can carry a maximum of 6 guests + 2 crew.


Q: Is there a minimum for a tour to run?

A: We typically require a minimum of four guests onboard. If you're a solo traveler we'll do our best to accommodate you but please have a flexible schedule while you're here. 


Q: Do I need to be able to swim?

A: Only if you intend to get in the water. If you're hoping to snorkel, we recommend practicing in a pool until you're comfortable donning snorkel equipment and swimming with your face continuously in the water. 


Q: Do I need to be SCUBA or free dive certified to come on your tour?

A: No, the only requirement for a fantastic in-water experience is confidence snorkeling. Any other skills/training would just be bonus!


Q: Is there an age limit on your tour? 

A: We'd love to have any member of your group along for the experience but keep in mind that this is an open ocean tour, meaning the wind can pick up and the water can become rough. Weather conditions can change quickly and can make for a very bumpy ride. This tour is not recommended for anyone with back injuries or pregnant women concerned about a bouncing boat. If you have an elderly group member or children under the age of 5 and are unsure as to whether they would enjoy the full four-hour tour we'd recommend booking a private charter to ensure that we could custom tailor the trip to your needs. 


Q: Do you offer military, kama'aina, senior, or kids discounts?

A: As our guest count is limited by the coast guard and not by age/weight, each guest is equal. The only discount we currently have available is for a private charter. (Total, before tax, is $930 whereas booking 6 separate seats on the boat is $960).


Q: Is there a weight limit on your boat?

A: Yes, we've set our weight limit at 250lbs or 115kilos. Our boat is a spacious 24ft Sea Pro with a wide beam and high gunnels; however, for ease of access and guest safety, we need to restrict our passenger weight. We have two sturdy ladders at the back of the boat that you'll need to be able to ascend unassisted if you're planning to enter the water.  


​Q: Do you take pictures during the tour?

A: Yes, we do often take pictures of the wildlife while we're out on the water and we contribute that imagery to science (such as Cascadia Research Collective, Manta Pacific Research Foundation, and Hawai'i Uncharted Research Collective.) If you'd like to have your experience documented underwater there's an additional $300USD fee. 


Q: Do you have underwater cameras available for rent?

A: If you'd like to use a GoPro 4k camera to document the experience, please message us or annotate that in your booking and we'll get it to you at check-in. The rental cost is $40USD which includes a 32GB memory card to take your footage home with you. 


Q: I'm concerned that my sunscreen might not be reef-safe, how can I tell?

A: Your sunscreen's Active Ingredients should list NON-NANO Zinc Oxide and or Titanium Dioxide. That's it. We will not allow any other non-reef safe sunscreens to be used on our tour. 


Q: I just heard that there's a high wind/small craft advisory for Hawai'i Island, should we be going out?

A: We do our best to anticipate ocean conditions and spend a lot of time monitoring the weather. Kona is quite fortunate to generally be in the lee of both Mauna Kea AND Mauna Loa, two of the largest mountains on the planet (from the seafloor). We'll be in contact the night prior if we feel that there's cause for concern or conditions that would limit our ability to showcase Kona's wildlife.


Q: I'm traveling to Maui/Kauai/Oahu, do you have recommendations for the other islands?

A: As of right now we're still working to build relationships with operators on the other islands. We'll share that information as soon as possible. 

We are excited to have you aboard for an oceanic wildlife safari here in Kailua-Kona!




Cost: $160 per person 


Duration:  Tours are approximately 4 hours


Where:Honokohau Harbor, Kailua-Kona, HI


About the Tour:​ Our trips are custom tailored to our guests' interest. We typically leave the harbor around 7:30am and head offshore in search of dolphins and whales as there are nearly two dozen cetacean species we could potentially find. If you're hoping to encounter some cartilaginous creatures, there are also sites we can investigate for manta rays or sharks. We like to round out our tour with a coral reef snorkel, exploring the dramatic shoreline and celebrating the biodiversity of the Kona coast.  


**Each tour is unique and the agenda is subject to change due to weather and ocean conditions**



Light snacks and refreshments will be provided, but here are a few things to bring:


  • Towels
  • Sunscreen (reef safe)
  • ​Motion sickness medication (Take 1 dose the night before the tour and again an hour before)
  • Camera 
  • A sense of adventure!




                                       

est. 2010

COVID-19 Update:


We are Open!!


We are now able to accept local clients as well as transpacific travelers! 

As of October 15th, visitors arriving from out-of-state will be allowed to forego the mandatory 2 week quarantine IF they provide a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within 72hrs prior to traveling to Hawai'i.

For more information, click here.


​If you are exhibiting signs of illness (cough, fever, fatigue, etc.) we ask that you reschedule your tour for another time and we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who exhibits the symptoms referenced above.


We are excited to embark on a wildlife safari with you!

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