We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Dolphin Essence

Honokohau Marina, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
Save
Review Highlights
Dolphin Swim and Whale Sighting

The tour with John was perfection! Even with some slightly choppy water we were able to view... read more

Reviewed 7 March 2018
Christine E
via mobile
Dolphin excursion

We have been going out each year with John for 12 years. Each time is an amazing experience, the... read more

Reviewed 12 February 2018
cpa1492
,
Carson City, Nevada
Read all 43 reviews
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Overview
More
Wild dolphin swims and humpback whale watching
  • Excellent100%
  • Very good0%
  • Average0%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
LOCATION
Honokohau Marina, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
Write a ReviewReviews (43)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"swimming with the dolphins"
in 4 reviews
"biggest advantage"
in 2 reviews
"hawaiian chant"
in 2 reviews
"these beautiful creatures"
in 3 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 5 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 4 reviews
"an experience i will never forget"
in 2 reviews
"dolphin excursion"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful morning"
in 2 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 2 reviews
"great guide"
in 2 reviews
"float"
in 10 reviews
"pods"
in 6 reviews
"cetaceans"
in 2 reviews
"animals"
in 5 reviews
"boats"
in 9 reviews
"journey"
in 3 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 42 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2018 via mobile

The tour with John was perfection! Even with some slightly choppy water we were able to view multiple whales and swam with a large group of dolphins. It was a gorgeous day. He knows these beautiful creatures and was very respectful toward them as well...More

1  Thank Christine E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2018

We have been going out each year with John for 12 years. Each time is an amazing experience, the last trip on February 8th was exceptional. We were able to watch whales and swim with the dolphins. The excursions have a small amount of people...More

Thank cpa1492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John F, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2018

What a magical day we had with our ceracean cousins. I am so grateful to have shared it with you, especially over the years when you visit the Big Island.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2018

This is a must-take outing. John is warm, caring and an expert on cetaceans. He knows the waters off the Kona area like the back of his hand. We saw many pods of spinner dolphins and swam with them. Most of the whale sightings were...More

Thank Pixelpanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John F, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2018

What a fabulous day it was with the dolphins playing and displaying what they do best: sharing their joy! Thanks for swimming with us. It was early in the season for whales, so join us again for a close encounter with the humpbacks. Aloha.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 5 January 2018 via mobile

John is a great guide who truly respects dolphins and local traditions! We had a wonderful morning with the dolphins and on his Zodiac. We even saw whales very close on our way back. The biggest advantage when going out to the dolphins with Johnis...More

Thank Lukas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John F, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2018

Wonderful to have you on board with such beautiful weather and hundreds of dolphins. And how thrilling to see many whale breaches and even a close up encounter with a humpback. Thanks for joining us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2017

Thank you, John for an amazing day! This experience was everything I could have hoped for and more. John seems to know the right spot to go to, we must have seen over a hundred dolphins! We swam close enough to touch them (but didn't...More

Thank Chococat1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John F, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2017

Thanks so much for sharing in this peak experience with us. It was so nice having your open heart, mind and spirit on board and in the water with the dolphins. They loved you!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017 via mobile

We wanted a personal and somewhat private experience, one that was ultimately very respectful of the dolphins and we got exactly that! It was wonderful to have it be just our family and John was so easy to be with, perfect for my introverted family....More

Thank Kirstin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john f, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2017

What a magnificent day that was! And so happy you and your family could have such a great experience.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2017

Dolphin Essence gives you an experience like no other for swimming with Spinner Dolphins. We’ve done it twice with John and both times qualified as a Peak Life Experience. John has been taking small groups to see the dolphins for 25 years. He’s not in...More

Thank mvisbal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

It was incredible! You could swim with the dolphins, more than 50 dolphins surrounding us. JOhn is very profesional, high standard, knowledge and respect to the animals. Our 3 kids enjoyed the most in our trip to the Big Island. Mahalo John

Thank MO72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john f, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2017

What a great time we all had. It was so fun having you onboard the boat!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

John is truly a dolphine whisperer. Before we went put on our trip, he sang a Hawaiian chant or song it was so beautiful. It felt as though we were surrounded by dolphins the entire time we were out at sea. You can just tell...More

Thank tmsalley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john f, Owner at Dolphin Essence, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2017

What a magical day! Just when you think it can't get any better, it does! Thanks for joining us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2016

This was a very well-organized, environmentally-conscious operation. We were instructed not to swim toward, kick in the water or attempt to touch the dolphins. They also made sure that we applied sunscreen before boarding the boats to minimize the wash off that can damage the...More

Thank Michelle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 47 hotels in Island of Hawaii
Kona Seaside Hotel
1,299 reviews
4.06 km away
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
3,225 reviews
4.08 km away
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Kailua-Kona
515 reviews
4.52 km away
Uncle Billy's Kona Bay Hotel
538 reviews
4.54 km away
Nearby Restaurants
Harbor House
393 reviews
1.02 km away
Big Island Pizza Napoletana
97 reviews
1.44 km away
Mrs. Barry's Kona Cookies
29 reviews
1.61 km away
L & L Hawaiian Barbeque
19 reviews
.30 km away
Nearby Attractions
Living Ocean Adventures
27 reviews
.00 km away
Wild Dolphin Swims with Roberta Goodman
115 reviews
.00 km away
Hawaii Forest and Trail
2,218 reviews
.27 km away
Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii
982 reviews
.00 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Dolphin Essence staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines
Submit
;