FAQs

FOR ALL GUESTS

Why choose Dolphin Star?

  • Dolphin Star is the recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and has a 4.5 rating! Don’t take our word for it, check us on TripAdvisor @DolphinStar!
  • U.S. Coast Guard certified, largest dolphin vessel with onboard restrooms, fresh water shower and more! We comply with all government guidelines for protection of marine mammals since our debut in 2007!
  • Safe and fun eco-tours for all ages! You can choose our morning cruise, Oahu’s only dolphin watching cruise without swimming.
  • Passionate, knowledgeable and caring Captain and crew who are trained in first aid and CPR and are certified Naturalists.
  • Popular optional Create-Your-Own Gourmet Burger BBQ lunch onboard.
  • Dolphin Guarantee: Receive a free return Dolphin Watch cruise only (until a dolphin is sighted).
  • Operated by Star of Honolulu Cruises & Events with over 60 years of experience!

What should I wear and bring for dolphin watching?

Wear comfortable attire with non-skid shoes, and don’t forget your camera! Sunscreen, a light sweater or jacket, polarized sunglasses and binoculars are also recommended.

Are there any age restrictions for this cruise?

There is no age restriction for the Dolphin Star®. Guests of all ages in good health and physical condition are welcome. Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

May I bring my own food?

Outside food and beverages are not allowed onboard. However, a freshly grilled BBQ Lunch option is available in advance. Ask your reservationist for details.

Are beverages available onboard?

Yes. Soft drinks including soda and juice are available for $4.00 each; tropical cocktails and beer are available for $8.00 each. Alcoholic beverages can only be served to guests 21 years and older (a photo I.D. is required and drinks are prohibited from being carried off the ship).

What is the cruise route?

We’ll cruise from Wai’anae Boat Harbor toward Ka’ena Point or Ko Olina, depending on the best possible route for wild dolphin watching and the best location for snorkeling. The Captain reserves the right to alter the route depending on sea conditions.
NOTE: Select Holiday Cruises depart from Kewalo Basin. Ask for details.

What type of dolphins and marine life will I see?

We typically see 50 to 70 spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins daily, with a 98% record of daily sightings historically. You may see flying fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, humpback whales in season (December through April) and more!

What if I don’t see any dolphins?

With our Dolphin Guarantee, in the rare case that you don’t see dolphin, you’ll receive a “Dolphin Check” to cruise again (meal, transportation and snorkel optional)!

Is the Dolphin Star® a non-smoking vessel?

Yes!

Are strollers allowed on the vessel?

Yes, however, due to limited space onboard we will stow them during the cruise.

What should I do if I am prone to motion sickness?

Onboard, ask for complimentary 100% herbal ginger capsules to help settle your stomach. Take these at your own discretion. Don’t hesitate to ask any crew member for assistance.

Will you take a photo of me?

Yes, you can take home a souvenir memory photo for only $20.00.

Is there something special for repeat guests?

Each guest receives a “VIP card” good for a free gift when returning for a future cruise.

I’d like to take great dolphin photos! Any tips?

If you have a digital camera with a view finder, turn off your LCD and take pictures looking through the view finder. This will allow the camera to respond to your fingers faster. Dolphins sometimes jump multiple times so keep aiming in the direction a dolphin has jumped. Use the sequence photo shoot mode if your camera has one. It is very hard to predict when the dolphins will surface, so by using this mode, there is a better chance of getting a great picture!

You can also take great photos and videos with cell phones. Don’t forget to share your experience on Facebook(/dolphinstarcruises), Twitter(@DolphinStarHI) and Instagram(@DolphinStarHI) and add #DolphinStarHI.

What is your keiki (child) program?

It’s an interactive, educational and fun “class” with one of our certified Naturalist crew with souvenir learning material!

If I’m driving out on my own, how do I find you?

Dolphin Star departs from Wai’anae Boat Harbor. For those arriving via own transportation, please check in 15 minutes prior to departure at the Dolphin Star®. Wai’anae Boat Harbor: After entering the parking lot, drive toward the ocean and park on the right-hand side near the restrooms. Look for the Dolphin Star®, which will be at the pier on the left-hand side by the yellow pole.

NOTE: Select Holiday Cruises depart from Kewalo Basin. Ask for details.

GPS Users: Latitude 21.450236, Longitude -158.196883

Dolphin Star Pier Address:
Wai’anae Boat Harbor
85-471 Farrington Hwy
Wai’anae, HI 96792

Why are you located in Wai’anae instead of Waikiki?

Wai’anae was chosen as the best location for our cruises since historically, the West coast of O’ahu is where the best dolphin sightings are! Also, it offers an unspoiled snorkeling spot.

FOR SNORKELING GUESTS

 

Swimming with dolphins is considered harassment and is prohibited by law. The National Marine Fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends keeping at least 50 yards (150 feet) away from the dolphins while they rest/sleep during the daytime hours. Dolphin Star exceeds all government guidelines for protection of marine mammals since our debut in 2007.

Not a swimmer but have family members who want to snorkel?

Not a problem. Dolphin Star® is perfect for all, including 3 generation families! You may opt to explore the reef at a secret spot led by our diver, or just jump in and cool off! Enjoy the cruise at your own pace and comfort.

What should I wear and bring for snorkeling?

Wear a swimsuit and bring a towel and sunscreen. A light sweater or jacket and sunglasses are also recommended.

Do you provide snorkeling gear and is it safe for beginners?

Yes! Sanitized snorkel gear is included, as well as instruction for beginners by our well-trained crew. Upon request, we also offer prescription masks (1.5 – 6.0 power) available on a first come, first served basis. Vessel facilities include a fresh water shower, easy step stairs into the water and onboard restrooms. A signed waiver form is required for snorkeling.

What type of marine life will I see while snorkeling?

You will enjoy seeing a variety of marine life while snorkeling. You may see beautiful bluespine unicornfish, striped belly puffer fish, starfish, sea urchins, green sea turtles and more!

Do you have children’s size snorkeling equipment?

Yes, our crew members will assist each guest with properly fitting snorkel gear.

Do you provide life vests to fit infant/lap children?

No. For safety reasons, we highly recommend our infant/lap children guests remain onboard and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times.

Can we bring our own snorkel gear, life vest and/or floating device?

Absolutely. If you feel more comfortable using your own gear, don’t hesitate to bring it.

Where will we be snorkeling and for how long?

Depending on the sea conditions, our Captain will determine the best spot of the day for snorkeling off the beautiful Wai’anae coast. Snorkeling time is approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

How far from the shore is the snorkel spot and how deep is the water?

Depending on snorkel location, we will be approximately 100-150 feet from shore with a depth of 15-20 feet.

Is the snorkel tour safe?

Absolutely. Dolphin Star® provides a fun and safe underwater experience. Along with snorkel gear, flotation vests, snorkel instruction and additional floatation devices for our guided snorkel tour, we have a certified life guard, Captain and crew who are trained in first aid and CPR. We also have 1 instructor for about 25 guests.

Can pregnant women participate in snorkeling?

Please consult with your doctor before booking.

Do you have changing rooms?

Yes. We have 2 onboard restrooms, plus a fresh water shower.

Where can we store our valuables?

There are no lockers onboard, for safekeeping, please leave your valuables behind.