The Whales and Dolphins want us to come and swim with them. They are reaching out to us, filling our minds and dream states with visions of freedom and many life-enhancing qualities. It is their way of introducing us to their world where they exemplify the qualities we desire and search for – cooperation, harmony, peace, joyfulness, good health, beauty, wisdom, grace and unconditional love.

What the Whales and Dolphins are doing, and what they are teaching us, is exactly what we humans will be doing in the twenty-first century. This is why there is such a yearning in people to be with them and to learn from them — we sense the importance and the timeliness of their wisdom.
~ Joan Ocean, Cetacean Academy Co-Founder

Swimming Menu

There is an array of reasons bringing people to the Big Island to swim with the dolphins.

  • Longtime dream to swim with wild dolphins
  • Holiday or vacation and swimming with the dolphins is on your list of things to do
  • You are ready for a change in your life and looking for clarity and direction
  • Your heart is telling you “it is time” to be the difference and not sure what that looks like or where to begin
  • There are certain “issues” in your life you are ready to heal
  • Seeking clarity about your purpose and how to fulfill it
  • Infuse your business with new energy
  • The clear blue warm waters, the ancient pristine lush green land, and the friendly spirit of Aloha that permeates this Lemurian island

All the while having F-U-N doing it as this is the dolphin way.

Come Swim With The Dolphins in Kona Hawaii

From one-on-one guided swims to a private charter, one or more of the Cetacean Academy Co-Founders will be joining you. We enjoy traveling by boat because it is easier and faster to meet the pod waiting to swim with us in coastline bays inaccessible by land; the same locations dolphins have been swimming in for many generations.

When we venture out by boat to meet the dolphins in the deeper bays and coastline, we look for a pod. They will bring us to a calm bay or place in the ocean. When they are ready for us to swim among them, they mill around the boat, waiting for us.

Swimming with dolphins is like swimming with your best friend, one you love, trust and can really play and have such joy and fun together.
~ Celeste Eaton, Cetacean Academy Co-Founder

From beginners to advanced swimmers you are in great and safe hands with the boat and crew of our podner, Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safaris. Children are welcome too. All boats depart the harbor by 7:45 a.m. and return at noon (12 p.m.). Light snacks, beverages, and water are included.

Leave all the boat reservations up to us. Your reservation includes snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, and fins) if you decide to leave yours at home (or don’t have any) plus flotation devices.

Think you may want a wet suit? Arrangements can be made to ensure you are comfortable. The average land temperature in Kona Hawaii is 82 degrees year round. Water temperatures are in the low-to-mid-70s during the winter and rise to the low 80s in late summer and early fall (August to October).

Come Swim With Us

Fill out the form and we will contact you with availability, pricing, and answer your questions. Which Cetacean Academy co-founder accompanies you depends on availability. Want all five of us? Special arrangements are possible. So are private exclusive charters accommodating family and friends, company team retreats and for special interest groups.

Want to include our retreat teachings? Let us know below and we will see what can be arranged.

  • Dolphin Swim Dates:

We acknowledge the dolphins as the masters of the seas and we follow their lead. We are their guests. When entering the water, mimic their behavior. For example, if they are joyful and playful, laugh, dive and somersault with them. If quiet, slide into a meditative space within yourself and swim slowly with them. Allow them to approach you, swim softly in the same direction, becoming a member of their pod. Do not startle them in anyway and avoid diving in to the water above or cutting directly toward them.

The dolphins do not want you to touch them. If you reach out they swim away. To keep them close to you, swim with your arms at your side. Some people like to grasp their hands behind their back. Even after years and thousands of hours, we respect and honor them in this way too. Propel yourself along by kicking your fins only. Mimicking their sounds is recommended. They appreciate your attempts to talk to them in their language. Because we adopted this swimming protocol, the dolphin’s trust us and will swim close to us.

They understand the power of eye-to-eye contact, and they intimately share the depths of their love through the light of their unblinking eyes and with swimmers whom they know and trust.
~ Joan Ocean, Cetacean Academy Co-Founder


Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are nocturnal offshore feeders and use our sheltered bays and shorelines as daytime resting, mating, and playing areas. Please honor their use of this protected habitat and behave as a respectful guest visiting the dolphin’s home.

Regulation and Protection

Dolphins, and all marine mammals, are protected from harassment by federal law; the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Harassment means “any act of pursuit or annoyance which has the potential to disturb the dolphins in the wild by causing disruption of their behavioral patterns of migration, nursing, playing, breeding, sheltering or resting/sleeping.”


If you should encounter the wild Dolphins whilst swimming or kayaking, please observe the following guidelines for being a respectful visitor in their home.

Allow the pod to approach you.
They will initiate interaction if they want to.

Be aware and sensitive to Dolphins behavior.
Dolphins have moods like we do. Sometimes they are sociable and sometimes not. Take your cue from their behavior. Respect their habitat. Honor their space and behavioral mode. If they are resting or traveling, please respect that they may choose not to interact with you.

Communicating with the dolphins.
The dolphins are always communicating with us. Are you listening? Remain open-minded to receive their messages and images..

Swim with your arms at your side.
Sudden arm movements, chasing after, or reaching toward them will frighten or startle them and they will move away. Don’t try to touch them. Allow them to be wild and free.

Be mindful of other swimmers.
Watch where you are going. Try not to cut in front of others in your eagerness to get close. If you see someone swimming alone in an intimate communication with the dolphins, don’t interrupt. It is as rude in the water as it is on land. The dolphins observe your kindness and respond by approaching you.

Leave foreign objects ashore.
This includes things such as string leis, plastics, bags, rope, and play toys which can be harmful to marine mammals and sea life.

Trust in nature’s food supply.
To attempt to feed wild dolphins is detrimental to their health as well as their social behavior.

Honor your limits.
If the water is too rough or too deep, or the dolphins are too far out, don’t go swimming. If you are worried or afraid about going out, don’t go. Your safety is the number one priority.

Be slow and cautious when approaching by boat or kayak.
Go slowly and quietly, and watch for swimmers. Use focused attention. Swim in the same direction as the dolphins. Avoid disturbing or changing the course of the dolphin’s behavior by swimming towards them.


Although swimming with the whales is not available off the shores of the United States, you will find us splashing about in places like the Kingdom of Tonga and Tahiti. These retreats have limited space availability. Tonga trips are offered August through October during the Antarctica Humpback Whale migratory season. It is springtime below the equator and the whales time of year for birthing and mating. The whale season in Tahiti is February and March. To find out more or be placed on a waiting list, fill out the form above and we will contact you.

Being in the energy of pure unconditional love is like being in the heart of god. This is one of the reasons our year evolves around the opportunity to be in the water with the Humpback Whales. It is a high point for us.
~ Trish Regan and Doug Hackett, Cetacean Academy Co-Founders

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