Catamaran Kahanu Kauai Whale Watching Tour
From March through December is prime whale watching season, and theres no better way to spot these gentle offshore giants than from a catamaran cruise. The two-hour Catamaran Kahanu Kauai Whale Watching Tour takes you out on the water, where you can see humpback whales breach and frolic off the coast. Youre also likely to spot dolphins and sea turtles during your journey. The tour leaves from Port Allen, and snacks are available during your trip along the Napali Coast. Kids age 5 and up are welcome onboard.
Which Boat Is Best For A Na Pali Coast Tour
Hopefully, the above sections have helped you decide which type of Napali Coast tour is right for you, out of morning and evening, and winter and summer.
Once you have made this choice, you need to decide on the type of boat. There are boats such as zodiacs/rafts and varying sizes of catamarans.
I chose the Star Dinner Sunset Sail with Capt Andys, which uses a 65 luxury catamaran. The benefit of a large catamaran is that it does not feel the bumps of the waves as much as a raft does. Additionally, there is more space to spread out around the boat, so it is not too cramped.
I chose not to do a Na Pali snorkel tour because I wanted to go on an afternoon tour that would offer optimal light to view and photograph the coast.
For more information on Capt Andys boats, click here to read their Frequently Asked Questions. Read on to learn more about the Napali sunset cruise and my review of Capt Andys.
Exploring The Napali Coast
I explained in a previous article, Cruising Kauai, that Kauai has one main road. The ends do not connect, and it does not go through the State Park areas. The only way to access and explore this area is by hiking, kayaking, or boat. There are a couple of trails which could be considered day hikes, but the main trail, The Kalalau Trail, is 11 miles long, and recommended for only experienced hikers.
My family and I decided to take a boat tour along the NaPali Coast. There are a number of vendors that provide boat tours in the area, and some can be arranged through theHawaii State Parks website. We opted for a NaPali Coast boat tour that had a snorkeling excursion. These boat tours are an all day adventure.
There are so many things that can be seen from the water that you would otherwise never know were there. There were waterfalls, sea caves, and coastal jungle areas. As said, people have lived on this part of Kauai for a very long time, and there is often research to learn about those civilizations being conducted. The tour guides pointed out archaeologists working on a dig, which I found to be very cool.
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Payment / Cancellation Policy
- Any cancellations made after 08:00 local time, 3 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.
- Any changes made after 08:00 local time, 3 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. This includes, but not limited to, change of the activity date/ time, package, the number of participants, etc.
Your Guide To Vacationing In Kauai
When planning any vacation, it is important to know the details about where you are going so that you are well-prepared. Figuring things out last minute, or when you actually arrive, can mean disaster for your trip and thats the last thing you need. Here is some valuable information about Kauai that may make planning your vacation easier.
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Staying Safe In Kauai
Kauai has relatively low crime rates and is generally considered a safe place to travel. However, as with any tourist destination, you always want to take precautions when traveling to protect yourself. Its important not to show off flashy jewelry or expensive cameras. Always have your identification on you in case you are injured or sick and need to get medical help. And always keep your wits about you dont drink too much so you can keep your bearings at all times.
Because Kauai is an island, there are a lot of beaches to swim and many Na Pali boat tours. Dont swim on secluded beaches unless you are familiar with the tides. When swimming at popular beaches, always be aware of lifeguards and obey their rules and instructions. When on Kauai snorkel tours, your captain and crew will brief you with safety instructions and it is important to follow these at all times.
Napali Coast Boat Tours
Holo Holo Charters is proud to be the only permitted company operating rafts for a Napali Coast Hanalei Tour, because departing from the north shore is a convenient option for many of Kauais visitors. However, in addition to our snorkeling and adventurous Napali Coast Hanalei Tours, our company also offers four other unique tours on two other boatsLeila and Holoholo that both depart out of Port Allen, on the islands southwest shore.
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The Route Less Traveled
Occasionally, rough surf along Na Pali Coast prevents our tours from going there â but it doesnât stop the fun! If we cant head to Na Pali, we divert our adventures along Kauaiâs beautiful and historic Kipu Kai and Lawai Kai coastlines.
Note: During whale watching season our Kipu Kai and Lawai Kai trips focus heavily on whale watching. This is a huge perk to those passengers interested in seeing humpback whales up close!
The Na Pali Coast Of Kauai Is Full Of Natural Beauty And Wonder
Our family has been showing visitors on Kauai for hundreds of years. We have a fleet of boats that are built specifically to navigate this rugged coastline in comfort. With three different styles of riding to choose from, your group will have an unforgettable time on the water with our passionate local crew.
Deli lunch, cold drinks & Local juices
All snorkel equipment & Flotation devices
West departure more time on coast
Up to 12 pax on Makana
Up to 16 pax on Seiko
Up to 32 pax on our Na Pali Kai III
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How To Pack For The Na Pali Coast
Whether youre hiking or taking a tour along this strip of coastline, theres a few things you wont want to forget.
Trekking Poles: If you plan to do any hiking, bring foldable hiking sticks! Many of our fellow hikers wished they had walking sticks to keep them from falling in the mud and assisting with the river crossings.
Dramamine: Definitely bring this for any of the boat rides along the Na Pali Coast and you may even want to take one before your helicopter flight it can get bumpy. Dramamine has a Non-Drowsy version that we bring on all of our trips.
Dark Clothing: Wear dark, solid clothing on the helicopter flight preferably black.
Rain Gear: Let me just say, plan for rain on the Na Pali Coast. Bring a poncho or, even better, a light rain coat.
Hiking Shoes: I forgot my hiking shoes on my first trip to Kauai and my running shoes were completely ruined after hiking the Na Pali Coast. Hiking shoes with ankle support are even better.
Go Pro: Your camera gear will likely get wet, whether you are hiking or taking a boat tour of the coast. I got soaked on both boat tours of the Na Pali Coast. If you take the zodiac tour with Holo Holo Charters, they will take you underneath waterfalls, so dont plan on bringing any non-waterproof camera gear! We bring our Go Pro Hero 4 and a selfie stick on all of our adventures.
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What To Pack When Vacationing In Kauai
The atmosphere is very casual in Kauai. You can wear shorts even when dining at a restaurant but if you are wearing a swimsuit, be sure to wear a coverup or shirt over it. Many people wear slippers even to dine out at a restaurant as it is part of the customary dress code of the island however, some places may require close toed shoes. If you are coming from one of the many Kauai snorkel tours, you will want to make sure you are covered up appropriately with an Aloha shirt or cover up as well as dry shorts and slippers or shoes.
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Holo Holo Charters Has Been Named The #1 Best Boat Tour In The Us By The Usa Today 10best Readers Choice Awards Contest
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE BEST BOAT TOUR:
Providing the safest, most unique, and memorable ocean experience available.
Maintaining the best vessels and equipment on island.
Providing the highest degree of quality customer service available in the industry.
Being the best company to be a part of and work for.
Providing a solidly positive impact on both our ocean resources and our island community.
Fun factdid you know that Holo Holos four tour boats were all designed and built right here on Kauai? True story! Every other tour boat operating on Kauai was ordered and delivered from a faraway factory in a faraway land, but were proud to say that our companys boats were designed by our companys founder, specifically to tackle the unique and challenging ocean conditions Kauai faces as the westernmost island of the most remote island chain in the world. Our boats will enhance your Kauai boat tour experience, and so will our personnel.
Friends, winning the title of #1 Best Boat Tour in America is a major affirmation that 1.) our companys ideals resonate with people and 2.) were succeeding in realizing those ideals.
Traveling In The Time Of Covid
Like many other destinations worldwide, tours and visitor attractions in Kauai have adopted special procedures.
Wearing a mask in mandatory in many locations. You will be expected to supply your own mask and wear it when you enter public buildings.
Keep your distance from other visitors who are not in your family group or bubble. You will be expected to keep your distance inside minibuses and other vehicles and when seated in restaurants.
At the time of writing, the State of Hawaii welcomes visitors but requires pre-travel testing for Covid-19. You can obtain the most up-to-date information directly from the State of Hawaii Portal.
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Blue Dolphin Charters Niihau And Napali Coast Snorkeling Tour
If your family is just as fascinated by whats under the water as what you can see from deck, the Blue Dolphin Charters Niihau and NaPali Coast Snorkeling Tour offers plenty of access to underwater fun. The 7.5 hour tour takes you to the forbidden island of Niihau, where you can swim or snorkel offshore in water that has up to 150 feet of visibility. A tropical continental breakfast and deli-style lunch come included to help fuel your under-the-waves adventures. Boat trips on Blue Dolphin Charters set sail from Port Allen and accommodate kids as young as age 5. Mai tais and other drinks are available onboard for guests over age 21.
Napali Coast Tour With Holo Holo Charters
Last time I was in Kauai, I booked with Holo Holo on their Napali Snorkel Adventure out of Hanalei, which is a four-hour tour.
Our tour check in was at 7:30 AM behind the Tahiti Nui restaurant in Hanalei . We checked in, signed our waivers, and loaded up our gear in waterproof bags .
There were about 24 of us on this excursion, so it took two van rides to transport us down to the loading area near the mouth of the Hanalei River but it was less than a five minute ride so it didnt take too long. Once we were there, our group loaded onto a small boat and we ferried out to the Zodiac waiting in Hanalei Bay. A Zodiac is kind of an ocean raft/boat so the sides are soft but there are also plenty of seats for everybody.
The neat thing about leaving out of Hanalei is that as soon as you clear Hanalei Bay, youre pretty much on the Napali Coast! As we started down the north shore, our captain pointed out Tunnels and Kee Beach and helped us spot the famed Kalalau Trail up above us. This stretch of Kauai is my absolute favorite because its so lush and green.
On the journey down the coast, the boat would slow down so we could hear our captains stories and have time to take pictures. The views were so stunning that I dont think the pictures do it justice at all. This wasnt the first time Id seen the Napali Coast, but Im still blown away by how gorgeous it is!
After we finished snorkeling, we had lunch on the boat and then started the trip back to Hanalei.
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Kauai Boat Tours To The Napali Coast
When we say raft boat tours what we really mean is rigid-hull inflatable boat tours. Our two Hawaii-built RHIBs, Adventurer II and Adventurer III are not to be confused with Zodiac-type rubber rafts theyre much sturdier and much more safe and comfortable in the water. Their channeled fiberglass hulls cut through waves with efficiency and their twin 225 horsepower outboard motors allow for top speeds of up to 30 knots.
Our seats face forward, so you wont be sitting sideways on a tube craning your neck all day. The RHIBs have dive ladders for easy entry in and exit from the water, and we have freshwater showers so you can rinse after snorkeling. Salty hair, dont care? Only if you choose!
We even have enclosed toilets, which is a big deal when you need one.
The RHIBs are ideal for Napali boat tours because theyre big enough to offer creature comforts, yet small enough to get right under the waterfalls and into the sea caves .
Our knowledgeable and helpful Captains and Crew will talk story all along the coast, pointing out interesting geological features and telling local legends. When Captain chooses the best snorkeling spot for the day, well set you up with everything you needmasks, snorkels, fins, flotation devices, helpful advice, etc. After snorkeling, well enjoy lunch and bask in the glory of the Napali Coast before we head back to beautiful Hanalei Bay.
Holo Holo Charters Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel And Sail
Visit secluded sea caves, wind your way along the Napali coastline and spot gorgeous waterfalls tumbling from 4,000-foot cliffs on this sailing adventure. Known as one of the top three boat tours on Kauai, the Holo Holo Charters Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail tour departs from Port Allen and takes you on a 50-foot sailing catamaran along Kauais coast to find the perfect snorkeling spot, where you can enter the water via the vessels onboard waterslide. After the snorkeling session, the catamaran spends some time sailing by wind power alone, eschewing the engines to give you a classic sailing experience. This trip is suitable for children age 5 and up.
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Snorkeling Near The Napali Coast
Eventually we got to a reef where the tour guides stopped the boat, handed out snorkeling equipment, and explained how to snorkel. I absolutely loved it!
Being in the water and getting that close to marine life was awesome. I did however freak every now and then, whipping around to see if there were any sharks near by. As much as I love the ocean, getting eaten is still a fear.
I had purchased some underwater disposable cameras just for this. I wanted a picture of a sea turtle. I waited, and waited, and waited some more, until eventually I was the only one still in the water. The tour guide hollered and said it was time for me to come back. Reluctantly, I swam back to the boat.
No sooner did I climb in the boat get my flippers off, that there in the water, sure enough, was my sea turtle. I begged to get back in but the guides said we had to eat lunch and continue with the tour. You can imagine my disappointment!
Despite that, I will never forget the views
Kauai Boat Tours To The Napali Coast & Niihau
Every single day, from sunrise to sunset, Kauais coasts sing a unique symphony of natural wonder. Theres the intensity of the rainbows, the fluctuation of the waterfalls, the playfulness of the spinner dolphins, and the majesty of humpback whales . It is truly music to the eyes and sustenance for the soul watching the sun rising and setting into the ocean. Were obsessed and we believe that its the best thing to do on Kauai and no visit to Kauai is complete without experiencing the island from the water.
Our four Kauai-built boats are perfectly designed to take you and your family on an experience of a lifetime in the utmost safety, comfort, and style, to remote locations around the Napali Coast, Niihau, and Lehua Crater. Our talented team strives to provide impeccable service and deliver extraordinary ocean experiences. Were ready to impress, so come holo holo with us and let us give you a big dose of vitamin sea!
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Napali Coast Sunset Cruise
Holo Holo means to explore, to travel, and to go! We invite you to go the distance and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Travel in comfort and style to dramatic locations around Kauai and Hawaiis Forbidden Island of Niihau off uninhabited Lehua Crater. The waters of Niihau and Lehua are considered to be some of the best in Hawaii with over 100-feet of visibility and unique lava formations with rare endemic sea life you wont find anywhere else. Experience ancient Hawaii from the water by power or sail during a Napali Coast Sunset Dinner Cruise and experience majestic waterfalls, hidden sea caves, towering cliffs, and lush valleys.
Holo Holo Charters offer Kauai private boat tours to sightsee and snorkel locations like Napali Coast, Niihau, Lehua Crater, Honopu, Kalalau, and Kipu Kai. Its our promise to provide the cleanest, safest & most unique ocean experience available with the highest degree of aloha spirit customer service. Voyage with us today on one of our Kauai boat tours and see why we were voted in the top 10 Best Boat Tour in the US for three years in a row .