Oahu, Hawaii may be famous for its thunderous waterfalls, lush mountains, and volcanic ridges, but some of the best things to see in this tropical destination are actually not on dry land. From coral reefs filled with tropical life to majestic humpback whales, dolphins and green sea turtles, there are a lot of reasons to get into the ocean on Oahu. The sunset cruises from Waikiki are always very popular but did you know about the submarine tour you can do that visits a shipwreck from Honolulu! That’s why I have picked some of the best value boat tours on Oahu for you to get some inspiration before your visit so you can book yourself a spot so you don’t miss out on some of these truly awesome tours for your vacation.

In this blog post about the best boat tours on Oahu, you will find a comparison table that shows the price, duration, and review score of each 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 from that tour so you have a better understanding of each individual tour. I hope you found an Oahu boat tour on this list that you are stoked about!



North Shore Shark Cage Dive Adventure $73 2 hours 4.5
Oahu Whale-Watching Excursion $75   90-120 mins. 4.5
Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran  $96 3 hours 4.5
Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure $103 2 hours 4.5
Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise & Live Hawaiian Entertainment $95.86 2 hours 4.0
Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise $134.00 6 hours 4.5
Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin & Whale Watching $129 4 hours 4.5
Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure $128 2 hours 4.0
Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling, & Hawaiian Buffet $150.80 6.5 hours 5
Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise $99 1.5 hours 4.6




Tour: 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! Oahu Shark Dive is one of the best value tours to choose 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. For 20 minutes under the water, you’ll be surrounded by around a dozen sharks or even more. Pickup and drop-off service and equipment are included. The crew is laid-back, funny, and does a great job in making you feel safe and comfortable as they brief you properly before jumping in the water. Everything from the moment you step off the boat and back to the harbor, you’ll really love this tour. I definitely recommend this tour to anyone as it will be a high light of your Hawaiian vacation.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: 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!

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: 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.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure 

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure is one of the best-rated tours on the island. This activity is worth doing if you want to see underwater without doing scuba diving. The tour takes approximately 2 hours and all equipment including a wetsuit top is provided. The crew also provided us with cold water to drink and chips to snack on. They had a little net of food on the front of the scooter so you were guaranteed to see fish up close and personal. This was a mind-blowing experience as the big sea turtles swimming alongside us were so fantastic. The best part of the whole thing is that there are plenty of crew members in the water watching and directing you while on the scooter, and life jackets and snorkel gear are available if you wanted to try snorkeling.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Oahu 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.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Leeward Coast Dolphin and 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. The excursion starts at 9:00 A.M. and you will return to Waikiki around 1:00 P.M. 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! 

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

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 in Waianae Coast, about 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. The snorkeling will take 3 hours and you will then return to Waianae Harbor for a delicious lunch with vegetarian choice at Spinner Café. The staff is fantastic and they always look out for guests’ safety. This is great for all types of travelers and is highly recommended!

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure

Another popular tour is Atlantis Submarine, a unique economical boat tour that takes you below the surface to see the beauty of the underwater world. 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. It’s like swimming in a giant aquarium, but staying dry the whole time!  Descending to 100 feet underwater is an adventure in itself. This is perfect for families and not to mention it is eco-friendly. If you are not native, there is a pre-recorded audio available in other languages such as Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. 

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Oahu 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 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. Unlike other tours, they have three flexible departure times which you can choose from. Not only that, but 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. If you are not taking your cameras with you, you can purchase souvenir photos taken during the excursion before you head back to your hotel. I will definitely recommend this one.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


Tour: Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise 

Dying to take your loved one to a romantic cruise whilst in Oahu? Or you just want to experience a fun and relaxing evening with absolutely no itinerary? Onboard a sailing Catamaran drinking tropical Hawaiian cocktails and relax while enjoying the legendary sunset and the magnificent Hawaiian coast. I am sure that you will find this refreshing to end the day with nothing to do but fill your eyes with lovely things. This tour is so organized from pickup to drop off and gives the comfort you deserve. With the inclusions of this tour, you will not be wasting your $99. You may even be so lucky to glimpse the green flash as the sun dips below the horizon which is an extra bonus. This is perfect for travelers who just want to chill with sunsets and cocktails! 

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.


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!


What to Pack?: Before you head off to Oahu, make sure you read my Hawaii Packing List guide so you know what essentials you need to enjoy the island life. Also, one very important thing to remember is to make sure you purchase your travel insurance before you travel.

My travel insurance: One last thing before you get started! Have you got your travel insurance for Hawaii yet? You can Click Here to find out how I get the best deal on travel insurance and why I never travel without it. 


If you are yet to arrive in Oahu, I thought I would share my top five places to stay on the island. One hotel is my overall favorite, one is a value pick, another is a family choice and there is also a budget pick in there too.

Where to stay on Oahu

  • Overall Favorite: Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort – In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach. Luxury rooms overlooking the beach, a private lagoon and a free fireworks and dance performance show. Hilton is easily the most recognizable hotel on the Island. It has its own private lagoon. Kids can kayak, swim and snorkel with no worries. There are no currents, waves or sea creatures to worry about.  
  • Luxury: Sheraton Waikiki  A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach. The bar and nightclub at the Sheraton is a great place to relax after a long day of island adventures.
  • Value Pick: Ewa Hotel Waikiki –  This is the perfect hotel if you want location but are willing to sacrifice a pool to save up to $200 per night. All of the hotels in this area are minimum of $300 per night and often much more. Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD. 
  • Budget Choice: Waikiki Beachside Hostel  A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location. Walking distance to Waikiki beach and a central location to base yourself for a week of adventures.
  • Family Choice: Disney Aulani Resort – This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like a theme park at times with just how many pools and activities are available. If you can afford it, this is the #1 place to stay for families on Oahu. A huge lazy river/tire tube lagoon is probably the highlight of the resort although the water slides and private beach aren’t too far behind. The kids club and massage center are just among a few of the many activities included in your stay. 



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!



A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU: WHICH REGION IS BEST FOR YOU?




Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU, HAWAII

The Best Hikes on Oahu: 10 BEST HIKES ON OAHU, HAWAII







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