With the first whale sighting of the season reported earlier this October, it’s a sign that Hawaii’s most popular winter activity is just around the corner. If you’ve never been on a whale watch, it’s an awe-inspiring experience you’ll never forget.
Imagine cruising along the Honolulu coastline, as seasoned captains and Naturalists crew share fascinating insights on Humpback whales. For instance, the humpback is Hawaii’s state marine mammal and are known in Hawaiian as koholā. These majestic creatures have a cultural significance in the islands as well. Whale petroglyphs have been discovered on Lanai, Maui and the Big Island, while some Native Hawaiians consider the koholā their ‘aumākua – a deified ancestor who takes the form of an animal and provides spiritual guidance.
With its deep connection to Hawaii’s traditions, we see why humpback whales are revered in the islands. But one must wonder, “What is the long journey to Hawaii like for these whales?” To answer this, let’s begin in the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Alaska and the sub-polar regions, where the whales feed on krill, planktons and small fishes from May to November.
After the summer feeding months, the North Pacific population of humpbacks start their migration to the Hawaiian Islands. With an estimated travel distance of 2,500–3,000 miles, this is considered one of the longest treks of any mammal in the world. In fact, this journey is equivalent to traveling across the Continental United States. Their migration is not yet fully understood, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But experts believe the whales use temperature, ocean currents and the Earth’s magnetic fields as navigation tools.
The NOAA estimates as many as 12,000 humpback whales migrate to the Aloha State each year. They travel 3–7 miles per hour with few stops, and their journey can be completed in as few as 28 days. Once arriving in Hawaii, humpback whales mate, give birth and nurse their calves between November and May in the protected warm waters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
During their winter stay, the koholā can be seen blowing, spy hopping, tail slapping, breaching and much more. One of the best places to view these behaviors as well as stunning views of Diamond Head and Waikiki is from onboard the Star of Honolulu’s annual Early Bird Whale Watching Cruises available January 2 through March 31, 2022.
Guests cruise in comfort with 4 floors of open air walk-around decks, the most outdoor deck space per person, high-tech stabilizers and wheelchair accessible facilities. Guests may opt for the Early Bird Whale Watch or the Early Bird Whale Watch & Breakfast with a tasty hot breakfast buffet. The 2-hour cruises depart at 8:45AM and return at 10:45AM from pier 8, Aloha Tower Marketplace, just 15 minutes from Waikiki.
Whale sightings on the STAR’s whale watching adventures are guaranteed, or guests receive a “whale check” to cruise again until a whale is sighted (meal, transportation optional).
This cruise is a must-do eco-adventure for young and old alike traveling to Oahu. It’s entertaining and educational for the whole family with a multitude of whale activities and is incredibly affordable with a Child Free Special, where kids ages 3-11, will cruise free per paying adult.
With less than three months remaining before the start of whale season, we can’t wait to welcome you aboard and show you Hawaii’s beloved koholā! Book online today or call us at 808-983-7730.
Our Star of Honolulu® Humpback Whale Watch cruises are not available until next season. But you can still enjoy the opportunity to search for these majestic creatures aboard our new Waikiki Whale Watch Cruise on our sister ship, the 149-passenger Dolphin Star®! The 1½ hour cruise is the best deal this season, operating from February 2 to March 30, 2021, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii’s warm waters every winter, and there’s no better place to spot them than aboard the 2-deck, open-air Dolphin Star® catamaran. The morning cruise will depart from Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Waikiki and will cruise along the Honolulu coastline from 8:30AM to 10AM.
The spacious Dolphin Star®, which normally accommodates 149 guests, will now have reduced capacity following government guidelines, allowing plenty of room to social distance. Plus, you’ll enjoy peace of mind with our Star Care Program, which ensures the health and safety of our guests, employees and community.
During the cruise, enjoy Oahu’s sunny skies and panoramic views of Diamond Head and other Honolulu landmarks as you relax in the comfort of the spacious Dolphin Star® catamaran, featuring shaded seating, restrooms and walk-around decks.
The captain and a crew of certified Naturalists will engage passengers with information and insights on the Humpback whales, green sea turtles, flying fish and other marine life. As this is a live eco-adventure experience, every cruise is unique and wildlife sightings vary depending on the day so we are not able to guarantee whale sightings or other marine life. Deluxe dry snacks and fruit punch are included.
The Waikiki Whale Watch Cruise is specially priced for the whole family to enjoy at $29 per person (ages 3 and older) and is free for infants (2 years and younger). Kamaʻaina and local military with a valid Hawaii I.D. can enjoy discounted tickets at $23.49 per person. Prices are tax inclusive. To book, call 808-983-7827 or visit StarofHonolulu.com/dolphin-star-waikiki-whale-watch.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou from Star of Honolulu! We celebrate this season by thanking you for your support and wishing you a joyous holiday, filled with hope, happiness and aloha. May the holiday spirit be with you and your ʻohana today and throughout the New Year!
We are all united with the Spirit of Aloha! As such, the Stars of Paradise ohana would like to share the sights and sounds of Hawaii through a hula video performance by our Star of Honolulu and Rock-A-Hula entertainers.
The video features the song “Kaimana Hila” composed in 1916. It speaks of the iconic Diamond Head, which is seen during our Star of Honolulu cruises and our Royal Star Hawaii Grand Circle Island & Haleiwa Tour. The famous landmark can also be viewed from Waikiki, which is home to our Rock-A-Hula show.
Our Entertainment Director Rebekah Newbold said the musicians and dancers were ecstatic to make this video. “We wanted to create something that would let our guests feel Hawaii’s Aloha,” she said.
To make the video, the musicians recorded the song. Next, the music track was sent to the dancers, who recorded themselves performing from home. Finally, the dancers submitted their clips to complete the video and shared it with our guests worldwide.
“We’re hoping this video gives all of our extended ohana happiness and joy during this time,” said Newbold. “We’re looking forward to performing for them again soon.”
Updated as of 9/1/21
Dear valued guests,
Star of Honolulu Sunset Dinner Cruises:
Dolphin Star Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruises:
Safe Access Oahu:
Effective September 13, 2021, the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu mandates that upon check-in, persons show proof of photo identification with:
1. Full vaccination card OR
2. “Negative” or “not-detected” COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of entry to the premise.
Children under 12 years of age are exempt.
If you would like to make a booking, our reservation team is standing by to assist you at 808-983-7827 daily, 6:00AM – 7:00PM, Hawaii Standard Time or via email at email@example.com and online. We know travel plans could change. Rest assured that you have the flexibility to cancel up to 24 hours prior to your cruise without incurring a cancellation fee. For parties over ten, ask about our group cancellation.
We look forward to seeing you onboard!
Star of Honolulu ‘Ohana
Celebrate a festive Easter Champagne Brunch Cruise aboard the Star of Honolulu with an unbeatable discount for Hawaii residents! Kama‘aina rates include:
- One child, age 3-11, pays $8.91 ($46 value) per paying adult
- One adult ticket is $62.37 ($77 value)
Special Easter festivities include an egg-citing Easter egg hunt and prize giveaways for keiki. The whole family can also enjoy lei making and hula and ukulele lessons. Throughout the cruise, guests can explore the STAR’s panoramic walk-around decks and the 60-foot high observation deck, offering breathtaking ocean and coastline views.
Guests will also be treated to the delicious Taste of Hawaii Buffet. It features Alaea Salt Crusted Roast Beef carved onboard, Teriyaki Chicken, Citrus Miso Glazed Whitefish and other local favorites. Guests can also enjoy a dessert and coffee station and “champagne” toast (non-alcoholic option also available).
The cruise departs from Aloha Tower Marketplace at 12PM on Sunday, April 12, 2020. Call 808-983-7748 to book your seats today! For more information, visit ww.StarofHonolulu.com/kamaaina-military-specials#easter.
Star of Honolulu invites kama‘aina to take advantage of a special offer fit for a VIP! From now thru April 30, 2020, kama‘aina can buy one Five Star Sunset Dining & Jazz cruise adult ticket and receive a second one for FREE ($201 value; Fridays $216 value)!
Aboard the Five Star, guests will indulge in the ultimate luxurious and romantic experience. The cruise begins with an exclusive Captain’s welcome reception with a Hawaiian Bellini. Then, guests will be treated to a 7-Course Signature dinner and one super premium beverage at a private table in the Art Deco Super Nova room. The delicious dinner features a whole Maine lobster and USDA prime tenderloin of beef. To view the full seasonal menus, click the following: Winter (January 6 – March 31) and Spring (April 1 – June 30).
Throughout the cruise, guests will also enjoy a bon voyage hula and beautiful panoramic views of the sunset and Honolulu city lights. Plus, guests will be treated to the Waikiki firework show on Fridays.
Time is limited, so call 808-983-7748 to book your tickets today! For more information, visit www.StarofHonolulu.com/kamaaina-military-specials#fivestar. Dress code is no shorts, t-shirts or flip flops. A valid Hawaii I.D. is required for purchase and must be presented upon check-in.
Take advantage of this unbeatable deal from Star of Honolulu! From March 5 through April 30, 2020, guests who book the Pacific Star Sunset Buffet & Show Cruise online can save $20 per adult ticket.
Climb aboard for a fun, tropical evening featuring a welcome Mai Tai and entertaining Polynesian show. Guests can also photograph the breathtaking sunset and Honolulu city lights! Plus, every Fridays, you can enjoy the fireworks show off Waikiki.
In addition, our Pacific Star package features a delicious Pacific Rim dinner buffet with roast beef carving station, baked misoyaki BBQ chicken, vegetarian yakisoba, white fish with coconut curry sauce and other local favorites. Click here to view the full menu.
With only one month left of Whale Watch season, there’s no better place to observe Humpback whales in their natural habitat than aboard Star of Honolulu!
From now through April 5, 2020, kids and adults alike can spot these majestic creatures aboard either the Early Bird Whale Watch Cruise or the Premier Whale Watch Cruise. Both feature guaranteed whale sightings, and kids (ages 3-11) can cruise FREE with each paying adult. Guests can also upgrade their packages to include a delicious breakfast buffet or Taste of Hawaii buffet lunch!
The STAR is perfectly designed to allow you to cruise in ultimate comfort. It’s equipped with a spacious, 60-foot high observation deck and the most outdoor space of any vessel to view the whales and panoramic views of Waikiki. Plus, our friendly crew of certified Naturalists are on-site to educate guests about Humpbacks through informative displays and engaging narration.
To book our Whale Watch Child FREE Special, call (808) 983-STAR (7827). For other information, visit www.StarofHonolulu.com.
Pamper Mom with the star treatment aboard Star of Honolulu’s festive Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise. The family-friendly, two-hour cruise sets sail from Aloha Tower Marketplace at 12PM on Sunday, May 10, 2020.
Bring the whole family aboard the STAR and pamper Mom with the complete Mother’s Day experience! Guests will enjoy the opportunity to win special door prizes, including cruise and dinner show tickets, rose bouquets, specialty chocolates and more. Sit back and relax with live Hawaiian entertainment, lei making and hula and ukulele lessons! Plus, take Instagrammable photos of the breathtaking views of the Honolulu coastline.
During the cruise, guests can sample local favorites with the Taste of Hawaii Buffet! It features Alaea Salt Crusted Roast Beef carved onboard, Teriyaki Chicken, Citrus Miso Glazed White Fish and many more. Plus, enjoy a dessert and coffee station, “champagne” toast and special Mother’s Day cake. Click here to view the full menu.
For more information or to book a cruise today, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit www.StarofHonolulu.com.