Captain Cook Exclusive

Captain Cook Exclusive

Adult $115
Child Ages 5 to 11 $105

Duration: 3+ Hours
Ages: min age 5

Not Suitable For: Expectant mothers or those with back or neck issues

Dive Into One of the World’s Best Snorkeling Spots!

With the world-renowned and historic destination of Kealakekua Bay just minutes from our point of departure, the Captain Cook Exclusive is a personal, exciting, and efficient way to see the Bay named one of the world’s best snorkeling locations. Kealakekua Bay is a 315-acre marine sanctuary that boasts incredibly protected waters year round making it the best place in Hawaii for beginning snorkelers.

After a full hour of snorkeling in the crystal clear waters directly in front of the monument to Captain James Cook, you make your way back to Keauhou Bay along the South Kona coastline. Your Captain maneuvers our custom-made vessels into the sea caves at the base of Hualalai, hugging the coast and detailing the culturally significant and geologically fascinating features along the way. Watch for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even herds of thousands of goats! If you plan on snorkeling while in Hawaii and want to see what few do, this is the tour for you.


The History of Captain Cook Monument
Kealakekua Bay has a contentious place in contemporary Hawaiian history. Captain Cook Monument was erected where its namesake, Captain James Cook, was killed in 1779. The monument itself was built by the British to commemorate their fallen soldier, the site where the white obelisk structure stands is also a culturally significant area to the Native Hawaiians. The relationship between the British explorers had become increasingly contentious before Cook’s death, something can be represented in the juxtaposition of his monument on the sacred land, belonging to the Hawaiians. Visiting this site is a great window into the centuries long contention between natives and those who came to colonize the islands.

What You’ll See on a Captain Cook Snorkel Tour
While the history of Kealakekua Bay is extremely interesting, nowadays Captain Cook Monument is better known for the incredible coral reef found in the shallow waters just off shore! On your snorkel tour of Kealakekua Bay you have the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of hundreds of tropical fish and marine creatures. While there is no guarantee as to what you’ll see exactly on any given day– the reef is home to a wide array of different plant and animal life; the deeper waters are even known to have pods of Hawaiian spinner dolphins frequently playing around.

Some common species that you may encounter on our Captain Cook snorkel tour are parrotfish, moray eels, Hawaiian green sea turtles (also known as “honu”) and even the state fish: humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

Plan Your Day at Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii!
When you book your Captain Cook snorkel tour with us at Sea Quest Hawaii, you are saving your spot aboard our boat for a day of fun and adventure! Some may imagine that a snorkel tour in South Kona consists of getting in the water, swimming around for about an hour, and booking it back to the marina; that is not the case aboard our boat! The Kealakekua Bay Tour weaves ample time in the water with onboard exploration. Our captain will not only work to facilitate close encounters with the native Hawaiian aquatic life around Captain Cook Monument’s reef, but take you on an expedition to explore the hidden gems along Kona Coast.

Make sure that you have everything you need for the day trip before we head out! While our boats are loaded with snacks, beverages, the gear that you need while in the water- like a mask and snorkel- it is always smart to bring your own reef safe sunscreen, sunglasses, and/or whatever else you would need to ensure that our trip is a success!

Kealakekua Bay Snorkel Tour Features:
Snorkel Kealakekua Bay (Capt. Cook Monument)
Tropical snacks, juice, and water
Explore sea caves and lava tubes
Watch for dolphins and whales
Great tour for beginner snorkelers

Departure Times

Check-in 8:45 a.m. – Depart 9:00 a.m.
Return 12:00 p.m.
Duration: 3 hours

Check-in 12:30 p.m. – Depart 12:45 p.m.
Return 3:45 p.m.
Duration: 3 hours

Parking Address

78-7106 Kamehameha III Rd.
Kailua Kona, HI

Expectant mothers are not eligible to participate in this activity
Individuals who experience regular back or neck pain are not eligible to participate in this activity

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will be on my tour?

Sea Quest Hawaii has always specialized in small groups on each of our tours. Now, to ensure physical distancing is possible, we have limited our tour group size to either half capacity or less for the protection of both our guests and staff. For example, our 33 passenger vessel has been limited to 14. Our 18 passenger vessel has been limited to 8, and so on. We recognize that without a sense of safety surrounding your excursion you will not be able to immerse yourself in the experience and that is what we aim to do- to create a safe and thoroughly enjoyable excursion in which you feel completely at ease to enjoy your surroundings, your guides, and all that the Kona Coast has to offer.


Is there a minimum number of participants on each tour?

During this unprecedented time of restricted travel, we are seeing lower numbers of travelers and excursion participants. As a rule, we require a minimum of 4 guests in order to confirm a tour. We will stay in touch with you regarding the status of your excursion should it not be confirmed. There are a few options available to you at that point and our team will happily assist you. Should you tour not confirm, you are entitled to a full refund.


What are the chances that the trip will be canceled due to poor weather or sea conditions?

This is very rare as the Kona Coast is blessed with the best weather, least rain, and calmest seas in the state. The occasional gloomy sky can quickly turn sunny as well. For this reason, should the need arise, Sea Quest reserves the right to determine whether or not the trip will be canceled at the scheduled time of departure. If the trip is canceled, you may reschedule for a later date (subject to availability) or receive a refund.



Where is the third snorkel spot on the Expedition South Kona tour?

In addition to Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau, we have selected several secluded snorkeling locations for the third spot on our Expedition South Kona tour. These snorkel sights are less protected than Kealakekua and Honaunau; therefore, your captain selects the third snorkel sight on the day of the tour based on the prevailing conditions. Regardless of the location the captain selects that day, you’ll know you will be in areas typically not snorkeled by any other tour companies and that you wouldn’t have visited any other way.


What happens if it is cloudy or rainy on the day of our tour?

Along with ample sunshine, the islands are also blessed with abundant daily rainfall, which nourishes the lushness and creates the erosive force that continues to shape all the fascinating geology. Most of the island’s waterfalls are sustained only by rainfall, and misty showers often delight passengers with rainbows along the tour. Usually, our typical high cumulus clouds and precipitation do not diminish the quality of your tour, but instead give it dimension and add other exciting facets to your experience. However, if the pilot determines that prevailing visibility, cloud cover, or wind speeds do not allow for a good air tour, or if it is not safe to fly, we will of course cancel the flight. Because weather conditions can change dramatically day to day and hour by hour, we often cannot make a determination about your flight prior to your check‐in time.


What about bathrooms?

There are no bathrooms on board for our trips; however, we like to say we have the world’s largest restroom available. With that in mind, we suggest you plan ahead and use the facilities near our check-in location before you depart. Once onboard, your first opportunity to get into the water will be approximately 30-40 minutes into the trip.



What is your cancellation policy?

As the World Health Organization ended the global emergency status of Covid-19 on May, 5th, 2023 our regular 48 hour cancelation policy applies. As long as you contact us outside of 48 hours to your tour it is fully refundable or changeable withiout penalty. Within 48 hours to your tour it is non-refundable/non-changeable.



Can I bring my own snorkel gear?

If you have equipment that you are comfortable with, feel free to bring it if you like! The snorkel gear we keep onboard is excellent- silicone masks, dry snorkels with purge valves, etc. For your protection, we sanitize the equipment after each use. There is no discount for providing your own equipment.


What if I have never snorkeled before?

If you have never snorkeled before we will you show me how


I'm not a strong swimmer and my wife doesn't swim at all. Is this something we can do?

Definitely! All you do to snorkel is float on the surface and look down at the beauty below. You might be surprised at how buoyant you are in salt water. It’s quite different than a lake or a pool. We also have plenty of flotation devices such as snorkel vests and foam pool noodles for extra floatation to put you at ease so that you can enjoy the view. Standing on the ladder is a great place to start. Once you feel comfortable, you can paddle off. However, this does not apply to either the Night Manta Experience or the Dolphin Encounter. Both of these tours require that you be a strong swimmer with snorkeling experience. Feel free to call us to elaborate.



I'm a vegetarian. What do your snacks include?

The snacks we serve on our tours vary by trip, but none include meat. The EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA tours serve a deli lunch which includes a sandwich that does include meat. With advance notice, we can easily order a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free lunch. We also offer juices and water for your refreshment. For your safety, Sea Quest is a non-alcoholic adventure.



What about shade?

The MANTA RAIV and LILIKOI both offer shade and are typically used on our EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA snorkel tours, but on occasion may also be used on our other snorkel tours. Our other rafts do not have a canopy which increases the number of caves we can explore along the coast. We suggest our guests bring along and apply beforehand a waterproof and environmentally friendly sunscreen, or wearing a rash guard or paddle shirt. We have both available for purchase. For some guests, a hat might be a good idea too. Just make sure it won’t blow off and end up in the ocean. If you take the proper precautions, you can easily avoid overexposure. Kona weather typically is cloudy in the afternoon, so those who are very concerned will often choose our three-hour CAPTAIN COOK EXPRESS.


Can I bring a regular camera?

Yes. This is not white water rafting. Some people even bring video cameras! That said, Sea Quest rents GoPro cameras at our check-in location. You may reserve one ahead of time when you make your reservation on our website!


Carrie D
wrote a review June 2021

Worth every penny

We scheduled this trip for my whole family. Kids are 10/13 and 15. We were all first timers. We all had an excellent trip. Captain Natalie and Jill were excellent in giving instructions, making us feel safe, teaching us about the coral reef and Hawaii, and making sure we had a great time. I highly recommend this trip. My kids didn’t want it to be over.

Elliott C
wrote a review May 2021
Fantastic snorkeling trip
We had a great time snorkeling at Cook Cove. The reef is among the best I've seen in the world- it feels like a movie. Our guides, Chelsea and Liz, were very knowledgeable, totally chill, and delivered a flawless and fun morning. Oh and we saw two species of dolphins jumping out of the water next to our boat. Highly recommend Seaquest!