Sea Quest Snorkel Tours

Phone (808) 329-7238
4.5 stars from 5 reviews
Address 78-7138 Kaleiopapa Street, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Offer snorkel tours, catamaran charters, dolphin encounters, and night manta ray experiences.

• General: Photo Opportunity • Sightseeing: Dolphins
• Sightseeing: Whale Watching • Sightseeing: Wildlife
• Tours: Boat & Submarine • Tours: Charter / Private
• Tours: Guided • Water Activities: Boats / Sailboats
• Water Activities: Snorkeling

About Sea Quest Snorkel Tours
Sea Quest is a snorkeling and sightseeing company based out of Keauhou Bay in beautiful Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Sea Quest specializes in small groups to create a personal, educational, exciting eco adventure showcasing the very best of the South Kona Coast including Kealakekua Bay, the rugged yet stunningly beautiful coastline, and the abundant and diverse marine life of the Pacific Ocean. Join us for an experience you won't forget.
Full Description
We went on the Dolphin Encounter with Sea Quest in Kona, Big Island. Our tour was on an inflatable raft with a top for shade. The raft has a maximum capacity of 14 passengers. There were only 8 passengers on the raft, so it was somewhat intimate. Captain Steve had a nice way about him. He was calm, dignified and professional.

He took us to where the spinner dolphins were. When we arrived, there were already a few tour boats with snorkelers in the water. Billy was in the ocean with us guiding us to the dolphins and keeping track of our group. Being able to see the dolphins up close is a life-changing experience. They were so beautiful and amazing!! The dolphins were not too active on that day, but it was still very exciting. Especially with a guide who happened to be a hunky off-duty firefighter! As we were leaving, we saw a baby dolphin jumping out of the water spinning over and over. You could almost feel the joy the baby dolphin was feeling. It was magical.

We traveled south towards south Kona all the way down to another popular snorkeling spot called “Two Steps”, which is beside Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park also known as the “City of Refuge”. We didn’t snorkel because the boats are allowed to bring snorkelers there, but Captain Steve gave us concise information about the area and it’s historical significance.

Along the way, we were served fresh fruit snacks, juice and water. The raft traveled quickly at around 30 miles/hour. It was bumpy but fun bouncing off the waves as we traveled from spot to spot. If you sit on the rubber part of the raft towards the back then it wasn’t too bumpy. I can see why they ask if you are pregnant or have a bad back.

We stopped at the Captain Cook Monument on Kealakekua Bay to snorkel on the reef. There were many colorful tropical reef fish, eels, sea urchins and several Crown of Thorns starfish along the shallow waters by the shores of the monument. Once you swim out just a little ways, the ocean floor drops quickly and you cannot see the bottom. It could be a little disconcerting swimming over the deep abyss, but the clear blue water is beautiful. Our tour was during the slow season so there weren’t that many tourists. I can only imagine how crowded it could get with all the tour boats stopping at the monument during the peak season.

After the snorkeling, we were served deli sandwich and chips. They sure tasted good after the dolphin swim and snorkeling. On the way back, Captain Steve steered the raft along the rugged coastline and he actually maneuvered the craft into caves for us to explore. It was spectacular and breathtaking.

It was a fun and magical day swimming with dolphins and snorkeling.

Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 168
Likes Received: 4
Loved it. Had a wonderful time.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
The word "Adventure" describes to a "T" our Dolphin Tour with Sea Quest. Really, what could be more adventurous than cruising the waters off Kailua-Kona on a motorized Zodiac raft searching for a place to swim with dolphins, then explore a tropical reef? It's more exhilarating than other boat snorkel tours since you're so close to the water and intimately connected to the experience.

Captain Steve guided us to the spot where he suspected the dolphins would be on the day of our tour. Dolphins usually spend the evenings hunting, but tend to rest closer to shore during the day. A crew member gave us instructions on what to do when the dolphins approach. We were provided masks, snorkels, and fins. We jumped in the water about 50 yards away from the dolphins, and sure enough they swam right next to us. The dolphins seemed to swim in families, circling and playing with each other. A baby dolphins mimicking their mother is very touching to watch.

After spending time swimming with the dolphins, we boarded the raft and headed toward Kealakekua Bay. There were a few bumps along the way, which had the raft - and us - bouncing around. Everyone loved it - like being on an amusement park ride. We spotted another pod of dolphins as we got closer to Captain Cook. Captain Steve amused us with a few stories about Captain Cook, and the history of Kealakekua Bay.

Once at Kealekekua Bay, we spent about an hour snorkeling in front of the Captain Cook Monument. This is one of the most beautiful reefs I’ve ever snorkled. There was an abundance of tropical fish and marine life which was awesome.

After a lunch of sandwiches and other refreshments, Captain Steve explored the coastline as we headed back to harbor. We actually were able to enter a couple of shallow caves, which I believe is only possible with a zodiac type watercraft. It was really unique - I've never been on a boat tour that took us into a cave along the rugged coastline in Hawaii. Fortunately, we were in good hands with Captain Steve. He clearly knew how to navigate the boat so we could see the cliffs so closely.

The experience was a lot of fun. This trip is for those that have a little bit of Indiana Jones in them. So much fun. Recommended.
Consensus Guy
Joined: Jul 2013
Reviews: 11148
Likes Received: 26
Sea Quest received a stellar 5 star rating from hundreds of reviews. Nearly all reviewers thought the tours were excellent.
Pauly A
Joined: Nov 2015
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 1
I've taken several snorkel tours and what makes this one a bit different is it's billing as a "rafting" tour. What this means is that you're not invited if you have a bad back or if you're pregnant. That's because you're zipping (sometimes pounding) across the ocean at 30 miles per hour. I really felt safer standing in order to take the shock with my knees, but they want you seated. Once I figured out how to sit comfortably, it was a blast. Loved flying across the ocean!

Oh yeah! I loved snorkeling with the dolphins too. There was Capt Steve and 2 crew. One of the crew accompanied the snorkelers in the water, leading them and making sure everyone was ok. Don't know how they really do this because it gets pretty crowded out there with people from one tour group getting in the mix of snorkelers from other tour groups. I think if you were a beginner or uncomfortable in the water, this might be cause for concern.

We were served snacks and a couple choices for lunch sandwiches which were fine.
What I really liked about this tour was the max capacity of 12. This small craft allowed us to do, what for me, was the day's highlight. We were able to hug the coastline and get REALLY close, sometimes even "in" the numerous caves along the coast. Incredibly beautiful and exciting.

All the tours pretty much visit the dolphins, snorkel with the fish and view the manta rays in the same spots, so hugging the coastline was special. Capt Steve has over 25 years of ocean experience and his ability to maneuver in and out of these tight spots was really something. He made it seem effortless. I also enjoyed his laid back, no fuss/no muss attitude, giving us interesting information minus the tourist spiel one often hears.

So if you're looking for a little extra oomph in the ride and the added treat of getting close to the caves, this is the tour to book.
Joined: Oct 2015
Reviews: 5
Likes Received: 1
What an awesome adventure we had with this Sea Quest tour. Captain Steve was very professional, calm and helpful. Captain Steve is a veteran captain with 25 years experiences. His crew was also attentive and helpful as well. They don’t waste your time by telling any lame jokes or anything which I also like!

This tour uses a high-speed raft. It is definitely a fun adventure. If you have any back problems or pregnant, this will not be the best fit for you. When I used this tour, there were 8 people except captain and his crew. I would feel a little crowded if it hits the maximum capacity which is 13 or 14, I recall.

Some highlights and plus of this tour are.

1) Seeing the caves and lava tubes in the spots where other big boat can’t go. Captain Steve skillfully stopped at several sights along the way explaining how the various caves and cliffs were formed.

2) Fresh pineapples, apples, and oranges together with chocolate chips cookies were refreshing in the morning. The delicious sandwiches, chips, and Hawaiian macadamia nuts chocolates were treats after snorkeling.

3) Crew ran the tour very smoothly. We could see many dolphins thanks to their effective spotting. Crew was obviously knowledgeable about the area.

Overall, it was enjoyable, smooth and somewhat adventurous experience.
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