Hawaii Shark Encounters is a company that offers an educational and fun adventure with the world of sharks! Located on the North Shore of Oahu, this tour takes you into the open ocean over three miles offshore where you can observe Galapagos and Sandbar sharks in their natural habitat from safety of a cage. The staff at Hawaii Shark Encounters are experts in shark biology who have rescued more than 700 animals since 1991. They also provide opportunities for kids to learn about conservation through animal encounters, story time, coloring sheets, crafts and more.
Hawaii Shark Encounters offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of sharks without the scary side. Guests can enter a clear floating cage from above and enjoy watching these graceful creatures glide through the water. There is no need for scuba gear, as guests use masks and snorkels on the surface. The company has been able to provide incredible encounters with sharks in their natural habitat while protecting both humans and animals alike, all while providing an educational environment that promotes conservation efforts.
Education is a very important part of our shark adventure. Fascinating facts about shark biology and behavior, about ocean life, conservation issues and about the significance of sharks in Hawaiian culture and mythology will be presented to you. Each guest can also take part in the ongoing shark research projects and can become an ambassador for conservation, an experience that will last well past the day of the tour.
After the shark tour, you may choose to check out the town and beautiful public beaches nearby. The harbor is easy walking distance from lots of great shops and site seeing in Haleiwa town.
You only need to be able to climb down a short ladder and hang onto a handrail.
Going outside the cage would make you probably fine, but these are big sharks with lots of teeth so we don’t want to risk a guest getting bit.
Yes. We don’t think this tour is appropriate for children younger than five years old.
The hardest part of the tour is the entry into the cage. It will be pulled close and tightly attached to the side of the boat to make stepping over the side easy.
You must be strong enough to climb on the ladder and into the cage, and to pull your own body weight up the ladder.
We have taken many people with physical handicaps or that had particular requirements and needs. We will try our best to accommodate anyone that is keen to go. Most importantly, we need to have prior notice for special arrangements and it is absolutely necessary to pick a day, or the early tour to assure the best possible ocean conditions.
2 hours tour, including a 15 min boat ride to and from the site.
Mask and snorkel (which we will provide)
A towel and sunscreen
If you prefer to use your own snorkeling equipment, feel free.
Maybe a sweater or a windbreaker to keep you warm once you get out of the water.
Feel free to bring your own drinks/snacks.
About three miles. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on ocean conditions
Not really, most people are comfortable wearing their normal bathing suits. It is a little cool at first but you get used to it. some people wear a rash guard but most do not. The water temp is the same as at the beach. A sweatshirt can also be nice when you get out of the water.
The wind on the North Shore usually builds later in the day. Usually, the earlier in the day, the nicer the sea conditions.
If you are prone to motion sickness, yes you will. During the shark encounter, the boat is drifting with the engine off. Even on the calmest days, the boat never stops rocking. If you plan on taking something like Dramamine, read the instructions. It must be taken in advance. Fortunately, if you get sick, the tour is only two hours and land is an instant cure. Even those that get sick have a tremendous time.
Galapagos sharks and Sandbar sharks are our most common visitors. You can see more other things during the activity.
No. The sharks will come very close to the cage to investigate but they do not charge at the cage or try to bite the people inside. Human beings are not on the natural menu of these sharks. As is the case with most sharks.
Not by sharks. We have a perfect safety record.
No problem. Within a few minutes of being inside the cage you will be completely comfortable. We have seen it many times before. Seeing these magnificent creatures and how they behave will change your attitude and ease your fears forever.
The North shore has always had a large resident group of Galapagos and sandbar sharks. So does the Westside of Oahu. This may be a lesser known fact to visitors and even residents of Oahu as they are hardly ever seen along the coastline and beaches or even at the surface. Fishing boats are more familiar with them. Because these sharks are bottom feeding sharks that look for crab, crustaceans, and octopus, they prefer the areas of the ocean where the bottom has a sandy or muddy consistency which is found at the 150 to 200-foot depth. They also cruise to scavenge for sick, weak or dying fish which is why they are so important in keeping our oceans clean. They will also check out anything that floats in the water column, such as logs and debris and, in our case, our boat and cage, as fish life in the open blue ocean will often congregate under and around such floating objects. We visit a site where the sharks naturally occur and observe them as they go about their business.
Just call us directly at 1-888-455-6388 and we will book your tour and answer all you questions.
We ask for both so we have another way to contact you in the event the tour needs to be canceled due to severe sea conditions. We also want to make sure you get the proper driving directions.
We are located on the North Shore at the Haleiwa Boat Harbor 66-105 Haleiwa Rd Haleiwa HI 96712.
See our directions page for a map and driving directions. Most people rent a car for the day and explore the North Shore and Haleiwa after the Shark tour. Public transportation: see the link to The Bus.
Private hire transportation can be arranged through our reservations agent.
Yes, no cancellations or changes within 48 hrs of scheduled tour. You must check in at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour. All reservations are subject to non-refundable cancellation if you have not checked in at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour.
Yes, but please let us know when you make reservations that you would like the personalized video.
We also have GoPro video cameras on board for rent with preloaded images and clips to add into your own video edit, giving it a professional finish.
Yes, if you don’t see sharks you don’t pay!
We provide regular masks and snorkels in small, medium and large sizes on the boat. We do not provide wetsuits.
We have GoPro video cameras on board for rent with preloaded images and clips to add into your own video edit, giving it a professional finish.