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Private Snorkel Charter

Customize it! Pick one of our boats and enjoy the ultimate conceirge snorkeling experience.

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GoPros

Rent one of our GoPros and record photo and video of your dive.

Session - $29 Hero5 Snorkel - $49 Hero5 Dive Setup - $99 More Info

Snorkel Gear

Traveling light? Don't own gear yet? Our rental locker has everything you'll need.

Wetsuit - $10 More Info

Similar Activities

We offer a 10% multi-charter discount if you book 3 or more activites.

2017's #1 Dive Operator in Hawaii

with a 5 star reputation

“I've wanted to do this for years and it was as amazing as I had hoped. We were in the water for 45-60 minutes, with mantas right beneath us nearly the whole time, gracefully looping and over and over, often coming within a foot (or closer!)”

Read our reviews

FAQs

Can I book online? Why can’t I book the manta dive online?

We ask you to call to book the manta and blackwater charters, due to dive prerequisites.

How long are the charters?

The Manta charter launch time varies seasonally between 4 and 6pm, and returns between 8:30 and 10pm.

What should I bring on the boat?

For night charters, we recommend bringing something warm for the ride home, as it gets chilly when dark. There are dry storage areas on each of our boats. If you’re bringing your own dive gear, our crew will set it up, but we recommend a mesh gear bag to keep everything organized. Cameras are allowed (and encouraged!) and we have freshwater rinse buckets. Ultimately, we recommend bringing as little as possible on the boat, as space can be limited.

What should I do if I’ve never snorkeled before? Can I still go on the manta snorkel?

For your safety, we aren’t able to take guests out on the open ocean for our snorkel charters without prior snorkeling and swimming experience. There are many places within 15-30 minutes of our dive shop that are ideal for snorkeling practice. We do rent full snorkel packages for you to practice. Just stop by the shop and we’ll get you set up.

How big are your boats? Do they have bathrooms?

We have several boats. Our largest two, the Honu Iki and Kahanuola are each 36’ dive & snorkel boats that can accommodate up to 22 guests. Our Middle boat is the Moana Olapa, a 35' dive & snorkel boat for up to 16 guests. The Moana Lu’u is a 29’ dive & snorkel boat for up to 11, and the Nai’a is a 27’ snorkel-only RIB for up to 12 guests. Our larger boats (the Iki and Kahanuola) have marine heads.

How do I get back on the boat?

All of our vessels have marine ladders that you climb to get back on the boat. If you are diving, you may remove your gear in the water and our crew will bring it aboard. On some of our boats, it is required that you remove your gear in the water.

May I check in for my charter earlier in the day?

Yup! Our shop is open from 8am to 6pm, every day. You can stop by anytime before your charter to check-in. For some morning charters, it is required that you check-in the day before. If you do check in between 10am-1pm, we offer a 10% discount on any merchandise in our retail shop.

If I’m staying in Waikaloa how long is the drive to Kona?

If you’re staying up north, the drive takes 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic. Certain times of day have particularly bad traffic, and the road to Kona is currently under construction. Please call us if you’re curious what drive time is like from other parts of the island.

How long is the boat ride?

Depending on which manta dive site we visit, the boat ride ranges from 20-45 minutes. For daytime charters, it depends on the dive site, but usually no more than 45 minutes one-way.

Can I check in at the boat, or do I need to come to the dive shop?

We require guests check-in at our shop for gear fitting, waivers, directions, etc.

Can I free dive during the manta ray snorkel?

Nope! Snorkelers stay flat on the surface, and divers hug the bottom. We give the middle of the water column to the manta rays. Freediving with these large animals is prohibited as it interferes with feeding and is potentially harmful to the manta rays.

What is the likelihood of seeing mantas? What happens if I don’t see any Mantas?

On average, we see manta rays about 85% of the time. They are, of course, wild creatures and no guarantees can be made for their presence. If you happen to join us on a night where we don’t see any manta rays, we are happy to offer you a 50% discount off of your next Manta Ray Night Charter with us.

Are the mantas dangerous?

Mantas do not have stingers or barbs. They cannot bite you and they are not poisonous. They are generally harmless creatures who use speed and agility as their primary defense mechanisms. That said, mantas are very large fish (sometimes weighing over 1000lbs) and can swim quite fast, so we always encourage giving mantas as much space and respect as possible. We absolutely do not allow any touching, chasing, or harassing of the manta rays or any other sea life.

Can I do the Manta Dive if I’m not certified?

For the safety and enjoyment of all participants we do not allow any non-certified guests to join us on SCUBA for the Manta Ray Night Dive. Non-certified guests are welcome to enjoy our Manta Ray Night Snorkel experience or to try a Discover SCUBA Lesson on our Local Morning Two Tank Charters.

How long am I in the water with the mantas?

On both the Manta Ray Night Dive and Snorkel you will spend about 50 minutes in the water with the rays.

Can I bring a camera? Do you rent cameras?

Big Island Divers does not rent GoPros or other camera equipment. You are welcome to bring and use your own camera on any of our charters. We ask that when using pole mounts with your underwater camera that you be respectful of sea life and do not touch, harass, or damage any animals or other marine life with your camera equipment.

How much should I tip?

If you enjoyed your time with us gratuities are greatly appreciated. Most guests leave around $20 per person.

How long do I need to wait before I go over Saddle Road / to Mauna Kea / Volcano Park / on an inter-island flight?

PADI’s recommendation for flying or driving to altitude after diving within the No-Decompression Limits (regular recreational diving) are: Single dives - A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours is suggested. Repetitive dives and/or multiple day dives - A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested.

How big are the dive groups?

Our divemasters lead groups of up to 7 divers when moored, and up to 6 divers when drift diving. Private divemasters are available.

Where will I be diving?

The Manta Ray Night Charter and Twilight / Manta Ray Night Charter takes place at Garden Eel Cove (northern Airport site) unless ocean conditions or Manta sightings dictate otherwise.

What if I can't find my dive card?

Proof of certification is required for all SCUBA dives- no exceptions. If you cannot find your dive card, we may be able to look up your certification in your dive agency's online database. Please call our shop directly to verify that we are able to locate your certification prior to your arrival. If you do not have your certification card, a photo ID will be required upon check-in or we are not able to allow you to dive.

How long are the dives?

The Manta Ray Night Dive spends 50 minutes underwater, depending on your air consumption.

Is the water rough?

Ocean conditions are unpredictable and can change quickly. Summer months tend bring warmer and calmer waters, while winter months can bring large northerly swells. If your charter is cancelled due to unsafe ocean conditions our staff will make our best efforts to reschedule you. You will not be charged for any charters cancelled by Big Island Divers due to weather. We do not cancel for rain showers.

Is the water cold?

During the summer months the water warms up to about 80-83 degrees F. In the winter months the ocean temperature cools down to 75-77 degrees F. Most of our guests are comfortable in a 3mm full wetsuit while diving, but we also offer 5mm full suits as well as 3mm springsuits in our rental locker.

Will I get seasick?

Even when ocean conditions are flat and calm you may still be susceptible to feelings of seasickness. In our experience, being on the water at night tends to enhance your sensitivity so if you are at all prone to motion sickness you may consider taking an anti-emetic such as Bonine or non-drowsy Dramamine before your charter.

Can I touch the mantas?

No. Manta rays are a protected species in Hawaii and we absolutely do not allow any touching, chasing, or harassing of the manta rays or any other sea life.

To book a charter, please call our shop at 808-329-6068 or book online with FareHarbor.