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two humpback whales breaching

Whale Watching

Take time to enjoy activities in Waikiki, Hawaii while you stay with us at the Ilima Hotel. During the months from December through April, Humpback whales pass through the southern seas of Oahu on their annual migration pattern. These giants of the sea pass through the warm waters of Hawaii to breed and give birth to new calves. There are various ways to capture a glimpse of the humpbacks. You can spot the magnificent mammals from the various beaches and from the southeastern side of Oahu at Makapuu Lighthouse, Hanauma Bay, and seaside overlooks near Diamond Head. To gain a closer perspective, many tour operators offer whale watching cruises that depart from the various docks along the island's western and southern ports. Everyone understands that a whale is BIG, but from the vantage point of a boat and if you are lucky to see one come out of the water, you will never imagine the power and size of these endangered creatures!

The Humpback whale, locally known as the Kohola, will delight its viewer with playfully surfacing, tail slapping against the water's surface, or blowing spouts of spray high into the air. For safety's sake, tour boats are prohibited by regulation from approaching closer than 100 yards of a whale. For obvious reasons, one should never swim with or touch a whale—or for that matter—any other marine mammal! Many tour companies guarantee a whale sighting or a complimentary return cruise is offered for another day. There is educational whale commentary offered by expert naturalists and video presentations pinpoint the key points of a Humpback's behavior and biology. Often, the whale watching tours highlight other Hawaiian cultural activities on their boats like hula and ukulele lessons. While viewing the whales from outdoor decks or through large windows of air-conditioned cabins, one is also treated to magnificent views of Oahu's coastline. One of the tour options is aboard the state-of-the-art Navatek. With its sleek profile, it's the only vessel in Oahu that can cruise right by Diamond Head. Many believe that the Navatek provides the most stable and comfortable ride in Honolulu. Forbes Magazine has claimed that the Navatek has "reinvented the boat" with its high-tech, customer comfort features. As with most tour operators, a buffet lunch is included in the tour price, which includes fresh fruits, salad, teriyaki chicken, a local catch of the day, featured potatoes, steamed rice, traditional sweet rolls, and dessert cake. Transportation from a long list of area hotels is available for the convenience of tour customers.

Contact the Ilima Hotel for questions on activities in Waikiki.

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