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All Aboard!

Story By Yu Shing Ting Photos From Star of Honolulu
December 18 - 24, 2011

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Starting Dec. 26, Star of Honolulu offers its popular Premier Whale Watch Cruise featuring guaranteed sightings and an all-new keiki program plus a kids cruise free special.

The two-and-a-half-hour scenic cruise departs from Aloha Tower Marketplace at noon and sails beyond Diamond Head, where passengers can view whales and their newborn calves while enjoying a Taste of Hawaii lunch buffet. On the menu are local favorites Teriyaki Chicken, Citrus Miso Glazed White Fish, Lomilomi Salmon, Tofu Poke, Hawaiian Salad with Kula Romaine, Three-bean Salad, Island-Style Macaroni Salad, Namasu, Fried Noodles, Sweet Potato, Steamed White Rice with Rainbow Furikake and assorted breads and sweet butter. There’s also a Hawaiian Black Sea Salt Roast Beef carving station, and a dessert and coffee station with Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies, Homemade Chocolate Brownies and Fresh Tropical Fruits.

“During January, February and March we average three to eight whales per cruise or eight to 12 whales per day,” says Heide Weber, whale watch manager and marine biologist. “Our highest counts last year were several days of 16 to 17 whales on one cruise! We also had days with just one or two whales that put on a show with spectacular breaches and tail slaps.

“Also, Star of Honolulu offers a Whale Guarantee: If we don’t find whales, a ‘whale check’ is offered so you can ride the same cruise again for free. I suggest bringing a light jacket in addition to the obvious camera and binoculars. We’ve got wonderful trade winds, and it’s nice and cool out on the water.”

The Premier Whale Watch Cruise, which is available from Dec. 26 through April 15, also offers passengers a chance to explore Hawaiian cultural activities, such as hula, lei making and ukulele. Cost is $63 for adults and $38 for children (ages 3 to 11) and includes the Taste of Hawaii lunch buffet. Cruise without lunch costs $47 for adults and $28 for keiki. A brand new Early Bird Whale Watch also is available from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m. Cost is $39.95 for adults and $24 for children and includes a continental breakfast. Early Bird Cruise without breakfast is $29.95 for adults and $18 for children. Special kamaaina and military rates are available via phone or in person only, with a valid Hawaii ID. Also, with every paying adult, one child (age 3 to 11) can cruise for free ($10 more for lunch buffet, $6 for Early Bird Cruise breakfast).

For more information, call 983.STAR (7827) or visit starofhonolulu.com.

Star of Honolulu

  • Where
    • Docked At Pier 8
    • Aloha Tower Marketplace
    • Aiea, HI 96701
  • Hours
    • Cruises run daily
    • Premier Whale Watch Cruise
    • 11:30 a.m. boarding at Aloha Tower Marketplace, noon departure, 2:30 p.m. disembark
    • Early Bird Whale Watch
    • 8 a.m. boarding at Aloha Tower Marketplace, 8:45 a.m. departure, 10:45 a.m. disembark
  • Call
    • 1-800-334-6191 or (808) 983-7827
  • Website