Dolphin Quest Hawaii

Experience a Dolphin Encounter Like No Other With Dolphin Quest Hawaii
The Bottom Line:

Getting to swim with dolphins and interact with them on an individual level is something that many people have always wanted to do. Thankfully, you can do this and more at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, all while learning about these majestic, gentle creatures and helping to conserve and sustain their very existence. 

- The Local Expert Team

Ever since Flipper regaled us all with his lovable antics in the 1960s show “Flipper” and likely even earlier, we have been obsessed with dolphins and want to know all there is to know about these gentle creatures. Thankfully, Dolphin Quest Hawaii provides a one-on-one experience with dolphins in a carefully designed habitat. 

Beginning in the 1980s, Dolphin Quest Hawaii was created by two mammal veterinarians, Dr. Jay Sweeney and Dr. Rae Stone, whose goal was to produce an alternative to the traditional oceanarium environment and “dolphin shows.” Instead, their idea was to create an educational dolphin encounter experience that highlighted the importance of dolphin conservation. Dolphin Quest remains the only public dolphin display encounter program that is managed, owned, and operated by veterinarians, and their commitment to the animals is the number one priority.

Dolphin Quest Hawaii has been widely recognized for the establishment of large natural habitats for animals as well as being praised for their efforts in creating a safe, sustained breeding program. Through their increased attention to conservation and healthy environments, the pair of doctors have created a once-in-a-lifetime dolphin encounter experience in their Hawaii locations. 

They are Humane Certified, have been endorsed by the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association, are part of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, are Leed Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, and received the Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor in 2018. 

Located in the incredible Hilton Waikoloa Village, which features a snorkel lagoon, and spectacular guest amenities, Dolphin Quest Big Island program offers an unmatched experience when it comes to dolphin encounters. The crystal-clear lagoon contains invertebrates, sand, fish, algae and is even tidal, creating a large natural dolphin habitat. 

Get up close and personal with the Dolphin Quest dolphins by splashing around in a kayak or get in the water and try the underwater scooters, which will allow you to swim right alongside the dolphins. Dolphin swims programs or encounters offer a unique experience with small group limitations, so each guest can have individual time with the majestic mammals. Consequently, it will likely be the highlight of your vacation and something you simply won’t find anywhere else. 

There are a few dolphin swim options to choose from when you’re ready to get in the water and get to know the dolphins. The Big Island, Hawaii programs include an Encounter Deluxe option, for ages five and up, lasting 45 minutes. This is the most popular encounter program and is ideal for almost every age group. Prices for this package start at $289. 

Another program to choose is the Encounter Deluxe, Family & Friends, for ages two and older, lasting 45 minutes. This experience can include up to six people, making it ideal for a family to do together. Pricing for this package begins at $1,734. Another program option is the Kids Quest, which is only available for kids, no parents. It is applicable for kids aged five to nine years of age, lasts 30 minutes, and is priced beginning at $230. 

The Wee Tots is another option, it’s shorter, lasting only 15 minutes, and is designed for kids two and older, with kids five and older costing more. This is designed primarily for young kids. Prices for this package start at $210. For a more immersive experience, choose the Marine Mammal Trainer for a Day experience, which lasts 4.5 hours and is created for ages 10 and older. This program will teach you all about working with the dolphins, and you get to enjoy the Encounter Deluxe program as well as part of your package cost. Pricing for this program starts at $850. 

Another Hawaii location for Dolphin Quest is their Oahu, Hawaii branch located at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. This resort has long been utilized by royalty, presidents, and celebrities, and is located mere minutes from downtown Waikiki. Packages at this location are similar to the other location, with some variations in class length and slight cost differences. 

Insider Tips:
-Big Island program special offers include a discount of 10% for Hawaii residents, 10% off for Active Military Personnel, and Resort Pool Pass for a discounted price. (must have a military ID and valid ID at check-in)
-Oahu program special offers include a 10% off for Active Military Personnel and a 10% off Kamaaina Discount. (must have military ID and valid ID at check-in) 
-Both locations’ discounts exclude some programs and certain aspects of the encounter. Ask Dolphin Quest Hawaii about any available discounts when booking.