• Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel EcoAdventures

    Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel Eco-Adventures

  • Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel EcoAdventures

    Experience sea life from the boat, or…

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    … snorkel the colorful reefs with our marine biologist guides.

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    Swim with wild dolphins…

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    Spy on the rarely seen underwater world of whales…

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    Hang out with friendly sea turtles…

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    Swim with colorful reef fish…

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    See wildlife most people miss…

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    Learn about fish behavior from our marine biologists…

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    On a special day, you may see the elusive manta ray…


Welcome to Under the Sea Hawaii. For information on our ecotours, please scroll down to view the different trips. To book, click a day on the calendar to see availability. Please feel free to call or email us if you have any questions or concerns. Hope to see you soon.

Waking Ocean: A Dolphin Swim and Snorkel Tour

As Dolphinthe sun rises, spy on the rarely observed activities of a waking ocean, illuminated by the boat’s underwater lights. Then head off to find dolphins, greet waking whales, or hang with sea turtles and flamboyant fish at their favorite coral reef. 

Includes coffee, tea and breakfast snacks. (3-4 hours, $249/person)

All About Whales: A Whale Watching Adventure!

Join whalemarine mammal experts on the only boat that can let you watch whales under the water, as well as at the surface. Listen to them “talking” through our hydrophone while viewing these majestic creatures.

Includes drinks and snacks. (3-4 hours, $249/person)

Reef at Night: A stay-dry Sunset Cruise.

Toast under the sea hawaiianother beautiful day in Paradise, then relax around the illuminated glass bottom to watch sleepy sea creatures settle down for the night and awakening nocturnal predators begin their day. Includes drinks and pupus. (2 hours, $199/person)


under the sea hawaii


About us

Now you have a choice as to how you interact with whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and coral reefs up-close and personal. You can join them in the water or watch them through our amazing boat’s glass bottom.To see photos and information about each ecotour, scroll down or click on the Book Now button and click on the trip you are interested in.

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    Your Choice

    Under the Sea offers you and your friends and family a safe and exciting choice of ways to see whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and coral reefs up-close and personal. You can join them in the water or watch them through the boat’s glass bottom...

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    The Boat

    Our unique vessel is  one of only two in the United States, and of a handful in the world.  It’s spaceship-like aerodynamic shape  allows us to travel at  20-40 knots (your option) while at the same time consuming minimum fuel...

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    The View

    Our boat boasts the largest glass bottom in the world and because it is curved, what you see is magnified. It is is made of modified acrylic 15 mm thick.  It is more solid than a fiberglass boat hull...

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    The Ride

    Our boat doesn’t go through the water but above it. The hydrofoil design eliminates the pounding you experience on regular boats...

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    The Culture

    Our goal is to show you how Nature and Culture are intricately intertwined. Hawaiian culture has a deep respect for the ‘aina, the Earth, and for the wisdom and knowledge of their ancestors...

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    Most people miss 80% of what is in the water when they snorkel – because they don’t know what to look for and haven’t developed an eye for spotting creatures.  Our guides will not only make sure you see animals but will also explain what those animals are actually doing.  ...


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Our salty staff of ocean professionals adeptly accommodates the reluctant and eager alike with infectious energy, humor, and patience. Groups are small so you get lots of personalized attention.

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    Barbara Whitman Howell

    Marine Biologist / Owner

    Under the Sea is owned by award-winning marine biologist, educator, and entrepreneur Barbara Whitman Howell who has successfully operated her own marine education and research programs in New England, Mexico, the Caribbean, and now, Hawaii.   This adventurous woman has taught around the world, chartered tall ships, explored jungles, and lived with different cultures.  Her specialties range from marine invertebrates to sea turtles, animal behavior to marine ecology.  Her goal is to acquaint people with the marine world and instill in them a love of and a desire to protect the ocean and its creatures.  She believes that education should be hands-on, fun, adventurous, entertaining, and factual.  She says “I am so excited about Under the Sea Hawaii. We provide a wonderfully unique alternative to other snorkel tours.  We will show you how underwater communities are just like ours in so many ways.”

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      Nick Brilliande

      Marine Biologist

      Nick has worked with sea turtles, sharks, monk seals, and helped start the Hawai’i Cetacean Rehabilitation Center in Hilo.  He believes animals should make the first moves in animal-human interactions. If you point out a fish, shark, dolphin, whale, ray, or anything that crawls or swims, Nick can probably tell you what it is.

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        Lynn Sutherland

        Marine Biologist

        With a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke, Lynn is the one who keeps us all organized, one of her many strengths. Experienced in tropical marine ecology, sea turtle biology, with a ton of on-water experience with whales and dolphins, Lynn is always right there with you making sure you are comfortable and safe.

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          Mike Ligsay

          Hawaiian Culture / Naturalist

          Mike brings the spirit of the Hawaiian culture to Under the Sea. He grew up on Oahu in the modern Hawaiian culture but he also has special knowledge of traditional Hawaiian chants and practices. In addition, Mike knows the ocean like the back of his hand, has a twinkle in his eye and is a natural-born teacher.

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            Paul Johnson

            Photographer / Naturalist

            A film school graduate and actor, Paul, affectionately known as Paulphin, is happiest under water swimming with his dolphin friends. He’ll be right beside you in the water giving you a dolphins perspective on the world. His photos illustrate our website and are used in educational presentations we do on land.

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              Jesse James

              Photographer / Marine Biology Student

              Growing up, Jesse knew he wanted to either work in the music industry or with dolphins. As Jesse works towards his degree in marine biology at UH, he has found a way to satisfy both dreams through underwater acoustics. His research focus is on interspecies communications. Jesse is also a clown at heart.

              • Kimberly James

                Kimberly James

                Photographer / Marine Biology Graduate Student

                As a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, Kim’s focus is on social bonding in wild dolphins. She is also an amazing photographer and plans to use that skill to document social behavior in wild cetacean populations around the world. Her goal is to become a University professor in order to excite and encourage bright young minds to join the science community.

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                  Pet Surrogate/Rescue Pup

                  Snow is truly an island dog.  Born in England, he grew up in the Caribbean and now helps with snorkel trips here in Hawaii. Snow has been a water lover ever since he was the one in the litter that used to covertly tip the water bowl and then lie in the water. Snow’s gentle and loving temperament has made him a favorite of travelers going through “pet withdrawal”. He only works some trips. To read more about Snow click here: http://www.lifeoutofbounds.com/2014/03/20/snow-the-water-boy/


                  A media favorite, Under the Sea’s programs have been profiled in magazines, newspapers, and on television shows around the world. Islands Magazine has described Barbara as "famous … for her enthusiastic teaching style." Her life was profiled in MORE Magazine and her decade of work with sea turtles was featured on Australia’s premier travel show, The Great Outdoors. She has won awards for her teaching from the Department of Environmental Protection and SeaGrant, has published research and has been a speaker at important environmental conferences.

                  • September 29, 2013 • Print latitudes


                    “… Whitman introduces a variety of sea life – starfish, cucumbers, conches,...

                  • May 29, 2013 • Print life

                    Australia Sun-Herald

                    “…Barbara and tourists hitch Crush, a young hawksbill turtle, onto a retractable leash...

                  • April 29, 2013 • Print

                    Caribbean Travel + Life

                    “…Learning the secrets to finding the ocean’s hidden treasures enriches the...

                  • February 26, 2010 • Print arc + tent

                    Ark + Tent

                    Marine biologist Barbara Whitman voted  “Animal Hero”     Changing the Way...

                  • September 4, 2004 • Print islands_magazine-234x150

                    Islands Magazine

                    “…if you’re an armchair marine biologist or just a super-sleuthing snorkeler,...

                  • July 4, 2004 • Print travel

                    Travel Girl Magazine

                    “… train your eyes to spot a great variety of sea creatures that have spent centuries...

                  • November 26, 2003 • Print weston

                    Weston Magazine

                    “People who just walk through and glance at the tank miss about 80% of whats going on.&#...

                  • September 1, 2003 • Print more

                    More Magazine

                    “…A literal change in the wind convinced Barbara Whitman to sell her business, say good...


                  Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. If you enjoyed your trip with us, be sure to use this form to leave us your feedback!

                  Ko’olina Marina, 92-100 Waipahe Place, Honolulu, HI 96707
                  (808) 551-6712

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