From coral reefs filled with tropical life to majestic humpback whales, dolphins, and green sea turtles, there are a lot of reasons to explore the ocean on Oahu. The best way to experience the island is on one of the many different bout tours on Oahu. The sunset cruises from Waikiki are always very popular but did you know about the Atlantis Submarine tour you can do that visits a shipwreck from Waikiki! I have created this article to show you a detailed list of the best boat tours on Oahu.
My personal favorite tours are Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise By Catamaran for its breathtaking locations and snorkeling with turtles and North Shark Shark Cage Dive Adventure as the most exciting experience.
QUICK PICKS: TOP 3 OAHU BOAT TOURS
Don’t have time to read my entire article about the best boat tours on Oahu? No worries! I’ve shortlisted my four favorite Oahu boat tours here to make things easy for you.
In this blog post about the best boat tours on Oahu, you will find a comparison table that shows the price and duration of each Oahu Boat Tour so you can compare them side by side. Below that table, you will find a detailed description of each boat tour along with pictures so you have a better understanding of each individual tour.
11 BEST VALUE BOAT TOURS ON OAHU
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My personal favorites are the Waikiki Sunset Catamaran Tour, Atlantis Submarine tour, and the Shark Cage Dive Tour. I can speak from personal experience, they are simply awesome and you won’t be disappointed.
AFTERNOON GLASS BOTTOM BOAT TOUR IN WAIKIKI (TOP SELLER)
Glass Bottom Boat Tour: All aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks. This is by far the cheapest boat tour on Oahu but also one of the most interesting.
The glass-bottom floor of the boat allows you to see sea life as it swims by and also gets a great view of one of the many shipwrecks on the coast of Oahu. A great afternoon adventure for the whole family and a very unique experience.
Book your tour: Glass Bottom Boat Tour
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY ON OAHU
NORTH SHARK SHARK CAGE DIVE ADVENTURE
North Shark Shark Cage Dive Adventure: Hopefully, you’re ready for this because this may be the most exciting tour you have ever gone on! I did this tour and loved it, you can read my full review here. An Oahu shark dive is one of the best value tours to choose from for your first shark dive experience.
You will travel approximately 3 miles off the coast to an area that is inhabited by a large shark population and you will be jumping in a shark cage behind the vessel to face to face these amazing 5′ to 15′ long sharks.
Book your tour: North Shark Shark Cage Dive Adventure
OAHU WHALE WATCHING EXCURSION
Oahu Whale Watching Excursion: Whale watching is another popular boat excursion in Oahu and this tour operator will allow you to encounter majestic humpback whales from a spacious monohull or Catamaran boat. The boat can fit approximately 40 pax but they limit up to 24 guests so you’ll have plenty of room to view around while cruising off the coast for 2 hours. Snacks and drinks are free onboard and also round-trip transportation from Waikiki or Ko Olina. You’ll probably need to dress appropriately as this tour operates in all weather conditions.
The 2-hour experience of seeing whales will for sure take your breath away. In the event that you don’t spot them, you will be given another tour for free. Definitely a must-do excursion on Oahu!
Book your tour: Oahu Whale Watching Excursion
- Popular boat excursion
- Snacks and drinks are free
- Round-trip transportation
OAHU ATLANTIS SUBMARINE ADVENTURE
Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure: One of the most unique boat tours on Oahu is the Atlantis Submarine, a tour that takes you below the surface to see the beauty of the underwater world. I did this tour with my family and they loved it. The tour departs from the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki and takes you to a submarine dive spot. Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience giving guests a close-up view of an array of sea creatures, exotic coral reefs, and numerous sunken vessels without getting wet.
We saw sharks, turtles, plane wrecks, and shipwrecks. It’s like swimming in a giant aquarium, but staying dry the whole time! Descending 100 feet underwater is an adventure in itself.
Book your tour: Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure
THE FOUR MOST POPULAR OAHU TOURS
- Doors-Off Oahu Helicopter Flight Tour: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off) and be blown away when you see Oahu from the air.
- North Shore Shark Cage Tour: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks!
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins on this exact tour.
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: The number 1 MOST POPULAR snorkel tour on Oahu. GUARANTEED Turtles!
TURTLE CANYON SNORKEL CRUISE BY CATAMARAN
Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise By Catamaran: If you’re keen to further explore Oahu’s warm waters and encounter giant sea turtles, then the Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran may be the right tour for you. Not only do you get the chance to swim with these friendly giants and tons of tropical fish, but you’ll also get to see some of the most beautiful island locations Oahu has to offer.
This is a good quick snorkeling trip if you don’t have heaps of time or don’t feel like a whole day out. You are picked up from your Waikiki hotel and taken to the harbor for a short boat ride. The food is really good too, you’ll love the kalua pork! Something that people about this tour is the staff! They really make sure you are entertained and you will have the best trip to Oahu.
Book your tour: Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise By Catamaran
SUNSET DINNER CRUISE WITH LIVE HAWAIIAN ENTERTAINMENT
Sunset Dinner Cruise With Live Hawaiian Entertainment: If world-class entertainment and food weren’t enough on the beautiful beaches of Oahu, then why not take to the waters with the Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise. This cruise will let you see the beauty of the colorful sunset in Oahu and the face of the island at night as the artificial lights glow and cover the place.
This scenery would make it even more stunning during the fireworks that will last for 10 minutes. While onboard, you will enjoy the delicious buffet and some chitchats with other passengers. What the passengers will love is the round trip transportation they arrange for each and every one. This cruise is truly an experience like no other, enjoyed by families and friends alike who keep coming back for the sheer quality of the service and entertainment.
Book your tour: Sunset Dinner Cruise With Live Hawaiian Entertainment
- Sunset Dinner Cruise
- Amazing place
- Artificial lights glow
ECO-FRIENDLY WEST OAHU SNORKEL HALF-DAY CRUISE
Eco-friendly West Oahu Snorkel Half-day Cruise: If watching wild spinner dolphins and snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles are what you are looking for, Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise is just what you need. You’ll get a fully inclusive tour that offers transport to and from hotels, meals on-board your boat, two complimentary alcoholic beverages, and free use of snorkel gear. The captain and the crew are personable, knowledgeable, and professional so you will definitely enjoy their journey.
If you are lucky, giant humpback whales will be there to greet you. If ever you don’t encounter dolphins, you will still receive a snorkeling activity at no cost or a cruise with cocktail and sunset. Not as cheap as other tours in Waikiki but it’s worth it!
Book your tour: Eco-friendly West Oahu Snorkel Half-day Cruise
- Snorkel Half-Day Cruise
- Leeward Coast Dolphin
- Fully inclusive tour
WAIANAE COAST SNORKEL CRUISE WITH DOLPHINWHALE WATCHING
Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise With Dolphinwhale Watching: I think this is the best tour of the island if you want to see spinner dolphins and turtles. What’s more, if you’re fortunate enough and go in the right season you will spot magnificent humpback whales.
The tour guide picks you up from Waikiki and takes you on a snorkeling adventure on Waianae Coast, about a 45-minutes drive to the harbor before you board the boat. Then, they will provide you a complete snorkel gear such as masks, fins, snorkel, and life vests.
Book your tour: Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise With Dolphinwhale Watching
- Spinner dolphins and turtles
- Magnificent humpback whales
- Stunning tour
CATAMARAN CRUISE: WILDLIFE, SNORKELING, AND HAWAIIAN BUFFET
Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling, And Hawaiian Buffet: Yes, buffets are also a norm for Hawaiian people. Forget about your diet and sail on a Catamaran Cruise from Ko Olina to Oahu’s western coast with snorkeling and a buffet Hawaiian meal. It comes with a delicious kalua pig, accompanied by up to four alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Hotel pickup from selected hotels in Oahu and drop-off is included.
The captain will also entertain you by talking about Hawaiian natural history whilst taking you to a hidden snorkeling spot. You’ll be provided with all the gear you need for perfect snorkeling in a not-so-crowded spot. They have showers and changing facilities onboard for you to get comfy.
Book your tour: Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling, And Hawaiian Buffet
- Buffet Hawaiian meal
- Not so crowded
WAIKIKI SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE
Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise: Dying to take your loved one on a romantic cruise whilst in Oahu? Or do you just want to experience a fun and relaxing evening with absolutely no itinerary? Onboard a sailing Catamaran drinking tropical Hawaiian cocktails and relaxing while enjoying the legendary sunset and the magnificent Hawaiian coast.
This is perfect for travelers who just want to chill with sunsets and cocktails!
Book your tour: Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise
I hope one of those Oahu boat tours seemed like a good fit for you and your family and it is one of the highlights of your vacation to Oahu!
WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
- What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU