Hawaii Mom Blog: Star of Honolulu's Early Bird Whale Watch Breakfast Cruise




February 2, 2016

Star of Honolulu's Early Bird Whale Watch Breakfast Cruise

Every year, from November to May, Hawaii's ocean is greeted with visitors that average 50 feet in length and weigh up to 100,000 pounds.  

These visitors are the endangered humpback whales, which migrate towards the island's warmer waters during the winter to mate and breed.

Our family was excited to get a glimpse of these majestic creatures while aboard the Star of Honolulu.

The Star of Honolulu offers several type of whale watch cruises, and our family went on the Early Bird Whale Watch & Breakfast Cruise.

At 8am our family checked in at the Star of Honolulu reservations office at Aloha Tower Pier 8 and received tags to stick onto our clothing (the Star of Honolulu staff is able to identify between guests who purchased breakfast and those who didn't by the color/shape of the tags), we boarded the 232-foot long vessel, took a family photo, and were seated on Deck 1.

We were the first ones onboard, and the first ones to get into the breakfast buffet line!

The breakfast spread included eggs, sausage, rice, fruit, muffins, poi rolls, cereal, and beverages.

Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages were also available for purchase.  

At 8:45am, the Star of Honolulu started its way out into the ocean, and the Captain and trained Naturalist Crew went over some information, such as the use of the clock system to announce whale sightings.
My son volunteered to help hold a rope which was meant to portray the length of whales
Once the crew completed the announcements, guests were free to explore the four walk-around decks and 60-foot high observation deck while waiting for the sight of whales, and they could also check out some of the whale displays.

Not too long after we headed out, we spotted a mother whale and her calf in the distance. The captain announced on the loudspeaker what position the whales were, and everyone quickly went to that area of the boat.

We saw the mommy and calf surface quite a bit (excuse the photos - I seriously need to invest in a zoom lens!), while information was relayed via recording or one of the crew members (e.g. how much the calf weighs, how long they can stay underwater, etc.).  We watched them blow, round out (the "humping" of the whale as it dives underwater) and pec slap (slapping the water with the pectoral fin).

Of course I (and I'm sure others) would have loved to see the whales breach or even come out of the water a bit more so we could get a better look (and it's illegal to approach humpback whales within 100 yards, thus we were unable to get a closer look), but it was exciting nonetheless.

Every time the whales surfaced the excitement was contagious.  There was a collective "Wow!" from the guests on board, while cameras clicked away.

After a while, we cruised further East, as the Captain had advised he was made aware of a pod of whales in that direction, but unfortunately we didn't see any other whales.

If for some reason you don't see any whales at all while on one of the cruises, the Star of Honolulu offers a "Whale Guarantee," in which you will receive a "Whale Check" voucher for a future whale watching cruise.

Although it would've been nice to see more whales, it was really a treat to observe the mother whale and her calf.

It was also really nice to be out on the open ocean.  The views were just incredible!

For those wondering about motion sickness - the cruise was really smooth.  Three types of stabilizers create a comfortable, stable environment to whale watch, and the entire 2-hour cruise was very enjoyable (for those who are prone to motion sickness, the Star of Honolulu offers ginger pills onboard).

The Star of Honolulu Early Bird Whale Watch Breakfast Cruise was a treat for the entire family. And great news for families - Star of Honolulu offers a Kids Cruise Free special, in which one child (ages 3-11) cruise for free per paid adult (meals and transportation are additional).

What an exciting way to start the day - watching whales aboard the Star of Honolulu!

For more information on the Star of Honolulu's cruises, click here or call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or Toll Free 1-800-334-6191.
Mahalo to the Star of Honolulu for my hosted cruise.

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