Skip to content


Love our Aloha state? Stay in touch with Star of Honolulu®! Our travel blog features Star of Honolulu news, specials and holiday offerings as well as fun things to do around Hawaii, our favorite Hawaiian recipes, and interesting features about Hawaiian history and culture!

Spot these Humpback Behaviors on Your Next Whale Watch Cruise

January 3, 2024


It’s the sea-son for excellent winter whale sightings onboard Star of Honolulu’s Early Bird Whale Watching Cruise! So far, for the first two days of the season, we’ve had great whale sightings!

Join in on the fun and book your tickets as our Whale Cruise runs through March 31, 2024! This two-hour eco-tour comes with a Whale Guarantee, and families can receive our Child FREE Special by calling 808-983-7730 as it cannot be booked online. We also offer optional Waikiki round-trip transportation, and guests can purchase snacks and drinks onboard.

Departing at 8:45AM from Aloha Tower, Hawaii’s largest cruise vessel sails along the south shore of Oahu with scenic views of Diamond Head and other Waikiki landmarks. Guests will enjoy Star of Honolulu’s four open-air decks, offering ample space to photograph and spot humpbacks performing spectacular acrobatic moves, such as these:

  • Breach
    The most breathtaking move associated with humpbacks! A whale launches itself out of the ocean and lands back on the surface with a huge splash.
  • Blow
    Whenever humpbacks go above the surface for air, they exhale a cloud of moist air through their blowholes, creating a spout spray. Adults usually surface to breathe every 7-15 minutes, while calves surface every 3-5 minutes.
  • Spy Hop or Head Rise
    Experts believe humpbacks vertically raise their heads out of the water to scan for activity above the surface.
  • Tail Slap
    With this behavior, whales lift their tail flukes and slap them repeatedly on the water surface.
  • Peduncle Slap
    This behavior is similar to a Tail Slap. But instead of their tails, humpbacks slap the water with their peduncles, which connect their flukes to their bodies.
  • Pec Slap
    Believed to be their way of signaling to other whales, humpbacks simultaneously slap both of their fins on the water.
  • Head Lunge
    To show competitiveness, a whale raises its head out of the water and lunges forward.
  • Fluke Dive Up
    A humpback raises and arches its tail above the surface before going underwater.

If you’re lucky enough to capture any of these behaviors, don’t forget to share your photos and videos by tagging us @StarofHonolulu on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Educational Whale Watch Cruises for Hawaii’s Schools

January 3, 2024

FREE Whale Watch Cruises for Public Schools (Grades 2-5)

The Star of Honolulu is proud to offer fully sponsored, free educational Whale Watching Cruises now through March 31, 2024 for Hawaii schools, grades 2-5 who qualify.

This exciting educational excursion promotes marine awareness to young keiki with an opportunity to search for Humpback whales aboard Hawaii’s largest sight-seeing vessel. The cruise includes a briefing by the Captain, Naturalist demonstration, whale facts narration, a hands-on display and more. The Whale Watch Cruise departs at 8:45AM and returns at 10:45AM from pier 8 Aloha Tower Marketplace. (Regular $49 adult, $29 Child age 3-11). Note: Whale guarantee is not included.


    1. Hawaii’s public school children, grades 2 – 5.
    2. One or more of your students would not otherwise be able to afford this educational cruise.
    3. The group is up to 50 per cruise. Space is based on our availability and conditions and may be limited on certain days.
    4. The group meets 1 Adult for every 5 Students supervision ratio.

How to Apply:
Fill out an application and submit to Star of Honolulu Cruises & Events, 2 weeks in advance of requested cruise date.
Note: Transportation is not included with these programs

To apply click here


Special Whale Watch Rate of $18 per person for Public & Private Schools (Grades 2-5)
For student groups who do not qualify for full sponsorship or for larger group sizes, take advantage of our Special Education Rate. See qualifications below.


      1. Hawaii’s public or private school children, grades 2-5.
      2. Maximum of 100 per cruise. Space is based on our availability and conditions and may be limited on certain days.
      3. The group meets 1 Adult for every 5 Students supervision ratio.

To apply click here


What to Wear and Pack for Whale Watching

January 2, 2024


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.


Oahu’s Romantic Floating Restaurant for Valentine’s Dinner

December 26, 2023

Valentine’s Day dinner aboard Star of Honolulu is the perfect gift for your loved one!

Wow your sweetheart with an unforgettable evening of love and luxury aboard our Valentine’s Day Sunset and Dinner Cruise! Treat your special someone to a romantic restaurant dinner and spectacular views of the sunset, and Honolulu city lights.

Whether you’re looking for a tropical experience or a luxurious escape with your special someone, we’ve got you covered. Choose from four Valentine’s Day cruise packages:

  • Pacific Star Dinner & Show
    Casual and fun with a Pacific Rim Buffet dinner, Star Signature Mai Tai, Polynesian Journey show, and access to stunning coastline vistas.
  • Star Dinner & Show
    Casual elegance featuring a 3-Course crab and tenderloin of beef and BBQ Chicken dinner. Plus, enjoy a Star Signature Mai Tai and the new “65 Years of Aloha” show.
  • Three Star Dinner & Show
    Festive and exciting ocean voyage complete with a 5-Course whole Maine lobster and tenderloin of beef dinner. Also, celebrate with a “champagne” toast, two premium beverages, live jazz and the new “65 Years of Aloha” show.
  • Nova Five Star Dinner & Jazz
    Signature dining with 360-degree views featuring a romantic 5-Course signature Maine lobster and prime tenderloin of beef dinner at your private table on the exclusive top deck. Plus, savor a “champange” toast and two super-premium beverages, and a live Jazz show.

Make this Valentine’s Day the best one yet when you sail with Star of Honolulu! The cruise departs 5:30PM from Aloha Tower Marketplace on Wednesday, 2/14/24. Can’t make it on Valentine’s? No problem, check cruise availability on other days to suit your schedule.

For more information or to book your cruise today, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit

May Your Holidays Be Starry and Bright!

December 25, 2023

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!


September 25, 2023





1. まず両手で頭としっぽをひねり、切り離す。
How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster


4. つめはハサミの動く方をねじってはずす。

How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster



How to Shell and Eat a Lobster


9.ロブスターの足や頭の部分にも身があるのをお忘れなく! 丸ごと全部いただきましょう。





Kāko‘o Maui. Support Maui.

August 25, 2023

Our hearts go out to the families affected by the wildfires on Maui.

Thank you for your kind inquiries; we encourage you to donate to the charity of your choice.

Our friends at Rock-A-Hula are joining relief efforts with the Royal Hawaiian Center in donating essential items per the following link: Kāko‘o Maui. Support Maui.

Your compassion and aloha spirit are deeply appreciated.

Bringing the Spirit of Aloha from Hawaii to You!

May 15, 2020

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.”

Star of Honolulu Enters TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame

September 5, 2019

We’re proud to announce that Star of Honolulu has received entrance into TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame! Since 2018, the Hall of Fame program has recognized businesses that received a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years, and we’re thrilled to accept this prestigious honor.

In addition to Star of Honolulu, our Stars of Paradise friends at Rock-A-Hula, Dolphin Star and Royal Star Hawaii also received entrance into the Hall of Fame!

The Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame program recognizes attractions, accommodations, restaurants and vacation rentals that have consistently received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. The certificate accounts for the quality, quantity and recentness of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

Click here to visit Star of Honolulu’s TripAdvisor page. To book a Star of Honolulu cruise today, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit

Star of Honolulu Reports Record Humpback Whale Sightings!

March 12, 2019


There are only a few weeks left of whale watch season, and we are pleased to report spectacular sightings aboard our morning and afternoon Whale Watch Cruises! On either of the cruises, humpbacks were spotted every day in January 2019 and 96 percent in February 2019!=

At Star of Honolulu, we pride ourselves on delivering the best whale watching experience complete with a child FREE special, breathtaking ocean views, a comfortable touring vessel, and guaranteed whale sightings. If whales aren’t spotted, we give our guests a FREE return “Whale Check” for them to try again (meal and transportation optional).

With whale watch season ending on April 5, 2019, there’s no better time than now to join us for a whale watching cruise! For those looking to enjoy a morning excursion at sea, opt for the Early Bird Whale Watch Cruise, which departs from Aloha Tower Marketplace at 8:45 a.m. and returns at 10:45 a.m. There’s also the Premier Whale Watch Cruise, which departs at 12:00 p.m. and returns at 2:30 p.m. During the afternoon cruise, guests can engage in a variety of Hawaiian cultural activities, such as lei making, hula and ukulele lessons, and an interactive keiki program.

Don’t delay—book your Star of Honolulu whale watch cruise today! For more information, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or