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Humpback Whale Profile

Whale watch breaching.

The humpbacks are here! Our favorite ocean visitors have returned to Hawaii’s warm ocean, where they spend the winter months breeding, giving birth, and nursing their young before returning to the cold Alaskan waters.

In Hawaiian, humpback whales are called kohala. These magnificent creatures have a special significance to Native Hawaiians, who view kohala as a family aumakua, or spiritual ancestor who takes the form of an animal. Many Hawaiians today still honor their aumakua and treat them with the utmost respect.

When watching these enormous marine mammals, it isn’t hard to understand why they deserve this respect. Humpbacks can range in size from 40 to 50 feet and weigh up to a whopping 45 tons. At the same time, they are remarkably graceful creatures, and can thrust nearly half of their bodies out of the water in a grand gesture known as breaching. Humpbacks are also very strong swimmers and use their flukes, or large tail fins, to drive them through the water.

Want to learn more about humpbacks? Ask our certified Naturalists during your next Star of Honolulu whale watch cruise! For more information, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit


Humpbacks, Belugas, Fin Whales…Oh My!

With almost 90 species of whales and dolphins in the world, it’s hard to keep up with these magnificent creatures! We’re shining the spotlight on some of the more common species, from our beloved Humpbacks to the impressive Orcas:

Humpback Whales

Humpbacks, or Kohala in Hawaiian, are impressive marine mammals that can range in size from 40 to 50 feet and weigh up to 45 tons. Every winter, these mammals make their annual trek from Alaska’s cold waters to Hawaii’s warm ocean, where they breed and nurse their calf throughout the season.

Beluga Whale

Beluga whales are distinct marine mammals with bright white skin. While a beluga calf is born a dark gray shade, its skin turns pure white over the next five to ten years. As one of the more vocal whale species, belugas can often be heard “singing” their very distinct song from above the ocean waters.

Sperm Whale

These grand toothed whales are very easy to identify. Equipped with a uniquely angled blow and a single blowhole on the left side of their body, sperm whales can be quickly spotted at sea. They are also one of the deepest diving mammals in the world, reaching impressive depths of nearly 3 kilometers and holding their breath for up to 2 hours.

Fin Whale

Second to the blue whale, the fin whale is one of the largest animals in existence. They can measure up to 27 meters long and weigh up to 120 tons! This species rarely breaches and typically resides in the Gulf of California and the Mediterranean. They are incredibly fast, and feed mostly on plankton and large schools of fish.

Though many whale species reside in waters far from Hawaii, we are lucky enough to spot humpbacks every winter and spring seasons aboard the Star of Honolulu! For more information or to book a cruise today, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit


Have a Blast this Friday with Star of Honolulu’s #FridayFireworks Cruises

Here in Hawaii, we’re lucky enough to enjoy fireworks every week! On Friday evenings, Hilton Hawaiian Village hosts a weekly fireworks show that illuminates the sky above Waikiki Beach, and there’s no better place to view them than aboard the Star of Honolulu.

This year we’re dubbing Fridays, “Fireworks Fridays!” We stay out an extra hour to view the spectacular fireworks show in the best spot on the island—the Star of Honolulu viewing decks. Whether you’re enjoying the fun and tropical Pacific Star Sunset Buffet & Show or indulging in the Five Star Sunset Dining & Jazz cruise, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the fireworks every Friday evening aboard the Star of Honolulu.

Entertaining guests for over 60 years, our ohana at Star of Honolulu host nightly dinner cruises aboard our award-wining, 1,5000-passenger tour vessel. We offer a variety of dinner packages to cater to every guest on every budget.

For more information or to book your Friday Fireworks cruise today, call (808) 983-STAR (7827) or visit