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What to Wear and Pack for Whale Watching


Whale watching season is here! The Star of Honolulu Early Bird Whale Watch Cruise is a must do in the winter for residents and visitors alike. “For the first two days of the season, we’ve had great sightings,” says Star of Honolulu Chief Captain Wade Matsueda. To better prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is important to know how to prepare for your morning full of fun.

Departing from Aloha Tower Marketplace, Pier 8 at 8:45AM, the two-hour cruise offers snacks and drinks that are available for purchase, ranging from Assorted Bagels & Cream Cheese, Macadamia Nut Cookies, Hawaiian Chips, Kona Blend Coffee, Tea, Juice and more.

We also recommend you dress casual for a comfortable and easy experience. Feel free to pack a small bag of essentials to carry on board with you including:

  • Light Jacket
    Although Hawaii is warm year-round, it can get a little chilly out on the ocean so be sure to pack a light jacket to enjoy and explore Hawaii’s largest vessel comfortably.
  • Binoculars
    In order to see the whales as close as possible, bring binoculars if you have some! A firsthand look will allow you to spot the humpback whales as they come to the surface.
  • Sunglasses
    The Star of Honolulu has four walk-around decks to give you a 360-degree view of the Honolulu coastline and world-famous Diamond Head. These unforgettable panoramic views can’t be missed so pack your favorite pair of sunglasses and take advantage of our 60-foot high observation deck.
  • Sunscreen
    The sun in Hawaii can be strong, be sure to apply sunscreen before sun exposure on your cruise. It is also important to check your sunscreen follows the Hawaii Sunscreen Law, prohibiting the ingredient of oxybenzone and octinoxate.
  • Camera
    You will create amazing memories that you will want to capture forever so don’t forget your camera and share your photos and videos by tagging us at @StarofHonolulu on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The Star of Honolulu has three types of stabilizers to offer the most comfortable ride. If you are prone to motion sickness, feel free to ask one of our friendly crew members for complimentary herbal ginger pills at any time.

The Early Bird Whale Watch Cruise offers the most memorable experience in Hawaii for thousands of guests every winter. Come join us for optimal whale encounters from 8:45AM to 10:45AM, January 2 – March 31, 2024. Our Certified Naturalists Crew will share their whale expertise, while whale demonstrations and hands-on displays are available for you and your children to enjoy and learn.

If no whales are sighted, receive a FREE return Whale Check until a whale is sighted. Our whale watch cruise sells out fast, so book today! Families can also receive our Child FREE Special in which one child (age 3-11) cruises FREE per paid adult. Call (808) 983-7730 to receive this special as it cannot be booked online.