Consider booking a boat tour in Kauai for a truly unforgettable experience on your vacation. Whether you’re out for sightseeing or the action and adventure on the water, catch views of the Garden Isle from a different perspective you won’t get on land.
Check out the many sea caves, rock formations, and picturesque mountainous coastlines. Get on the water around sunset and gaze upon one of the most spectacular sights in the world as the sun meanders over the horizon of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.
Here are the best boat tours available for your trip to Kauai in no particular order.
The Na Pali Coast is one of the most prominent features of Kauai, and this 3.5-hour tour takes you there at sunset. Hop aboard a power catamaran and sail along the 17-mile stretch of postcard-worthy coastline, admiring the hidden caves and sea arches. They’ve got you covered with any drinks you may need.
Although this catamaran tour doesn’t include any time in the water, you can still spot sea life around the coast. Depending on the season, you can see some of the local dolphins, humpback whales, and sea turtles. We’ve done it before, and seeing these magical creatures swimming in their natural habitat is a one of a kind experience.
The day culminates in a sunset that will borderline on magical as the sun slowly descends to the west, bathing the entire coastline in mesmerizing light. Toast this unbelievable beauty with that special someone before you head back to Port Allen and get started on the evening. However, we think it’s also a suitable activity to do with kids.
Rise and shine, then make your way to the Port Allen Marina Center and hop on the Lucky Lady, a luxurious catamaran, for a half day of snorkeling.
An experienced Coast Guard Licensed captain with Kauai Sea Tours serves as your guide of the Na Pali coast as you sail from point to point for over 5 hours. Adventurers will have several opportunities to jump in and explore the water as well as see dolphins.
Travelers brand new to snorkeling or completely comfortable with it get access to expert instruction either way. While aboard the Lucky Lady, they treat you to a lunch of make-your-own sandwiches, chips, pasta salad, and cookies.
Wash all that down with complimentary sodas, water, and island-style drinks. If you’re feeling like kicking back with a cold one, try a beer, wine, or Mai Tais.
Holo Holo Boat Tours has been taking guests on spectacular half and full-day boat tours of the Na Pali Coast and the island of Niihau since 1997. This eco-friendly tour company hails from Ele’ele and brings decades of experience to each and every guest aboard their boats. We got some amazing landscape views when we tried their tour a couple years back.
Take a ride over to a well-kept secret in Hawaii, the island of Niihau, and check out the untouched natural beauty of the Pacific. On this tour, you get to see Lehua Crater, an uninhabited, crescent-shaped island home to a bird sanctuary.
Between Niihau and Lehua, you can snorkel in transparent waters and swim alongside the local sea life, including fish, monk seals, and manta rays. You really can’t beat the Super Tour, which provides over 7 hours of time spent on the water starting at only $310 per person. You can also choose shorter tours from 3.5 hours and in between.
It’s certainly one of the highlights of any traveler’s Kauai vacation.
Na Pali Pirates offers Kauai boat tours on three different types of vessels depending on the sort of adventure you’re looking for. For the thrill seekers and pirates at heart, take a power raft tour, speeding through sea caves and waterfalls. It can get quite dark when you’re inside a sea cave as shown below but it’s a surreal experience:
If you want to avoid a bumpy ride and prefer a smooth ride full of comforts, tour on a 35-foot power catamaran which allows for up to 18 passengers to enjoy. There is also a 6-person power catamaran excursion that gives a feeling of exclusivity.
Those who travel to Kauai during the whale-watching season between mid-December and the end of March can charter a whale-watching expedition. This tour guarantees that you will see humpback whales during their annual migration when they swim in the waters of Kauai.
Prices with Na Pali Pirates start at only $189 per person, and if you’re looking to take a large group, you can even book an entire vessel for a large discount.
Captain Andy’s has been around since 1980 with their famous tours of the Na Pali Coast. Choose from a high-speed rafting adventure, sailing on a star-class catamaran, or split the difference and enjoy the classic excursion aboard a 55-foot Gold Coast yacht.
You can read more about them with our recent Capt Andy’s tour review and the dolphins that we’re seen jumping out of the water along the way (see below).
Their offerings range from just a couple hours with activities like whale watching or watching the sunset all the way up to an entire day on the water, including lunch on board. For shorter trips, there are snacks and complimentary beverages included for convenience.
If you’d like the chance to see the migrating humpback whales during the winter months, Captain Andy’s has one of the best deals in the business at only $79 per person for a 2-hour raft ride to witness these gentle giants.
Captain Andy’s trips are competitively priced, starting at only $189 per person for a raft tour. An entire day of adventure begins at only $215, with kid’s seats clocking in at only $195.
While most expeditions take place around the north side of Kauai, this snorkel tour by Kauai Zodiac Tourz puts you on the south side away from all the crowds, but right in the middle of a different kind of adventure.
Over the course of three hours, you pass by the famed Spouting Horn blowhole on your way to at least two prime snorkeling spots. Spouting Horn is known for blowing water in the air sometimes up to 50 feet.
It’s beginner and kid-friendly, and you can enjoy the calm waters off the south shore near Koloa. Here visitors can find loads of colorful fish and should even be able to spot some of the local green sea turtles. Poipu Beach in Koloa is one of our favorite beaches, and it’s filled with sea turtles and seals, so it’s not surprising that this side of Kauai has an abundance of them.
The tour keeps groups small with less than 14 total on every trip, providing an intimate excursion at an affordable price. Snacks and beverages come as part of the deal, as well as the use of snorkeling equipment.
Makana Charters has won loads of awards, and it’s clear to see why with their exceptional fleet of vessels for every style of traveler. The boats at Makana Charters can comfortably hold anywhere between 12 to 36 passengers with 360-degree views.
All tours offer the same duration of around 5 hours starting at $169 per person. For a slight bump in price, you can set sail on one of the larger, more comfortable ships. This is a great option for folks looking for a smoother ride.
Every boat ride includes complimentary beverages, snacks, and lunch, as well as the use of gear and guaranteed wildlife viewing. The boats depart from the Waimea area on the southwest side of Kauai and hug the western shore to provide stunning sightseeing and photography opportunities.
Travelers near the Hanalei Bay area can check out Na Pali Coast Tours, which launch directly from this famous spot on Kauai. You’re just a short ride to the world-renowned area.
Miles of emerald green mountains, ancient sea caves, waterfalls, and chances to see the iconic rainbows of Hawaii await. Along the way, there is a lot of local wildlife to see, including Hawaiian spinner dolphins, monk seals, green sea turtles, and whales. We suggest you have a good camera ready during the first leg of the tour.
You can choose from a short, 2-hour sightseeing tour for $199 per person or a 4-hour snorkeling journey for just $289 per person. The 2-hour tour is an entertaining way to fill a morning or an afternoon and get sights along one of the most stunning places of Hawaii.
Blue Dolphin Charters offers everything from 2-hour whale-watching excursions to 5-hour snorkeling journeys along the south coast. They even have a full-day 7-hour adventure that takes you to explore the Forbidden Island of Niihau, situated just southwest of the island.
As with many of the entries, Blue Dolphin Charters includes several offerings that take you to points all along the Na Pali Coast aboard one of their luxurious power catamarans. The aloha spirit will be all around you as you sail through crystal clear blue waters and cool ocean breezes.
The sunset cruises offer a terrific value at only $115 per person, but we also recommend you consider the longer snorkel experience. You get 7 hours packed full of stunning natural backdrops, snorkeling in friendly waters, and the chance to see the untouched natural beauty of Niihau.
Not many people who visit Hawaii can say that they’ve seen Niihau, and the only way to see it is through a guided tour. The company lives up to its name by guaranteeing you to see dolphins on the trip, or you can book again at no charge.
Blue Ocean Adventure Tours embark from the southwest near Waimea and encompass the entirety of the famed coastline. Choose from a high-speed ride aboard a Zodiac raft or the smooth sailing of a 48-foot catamaran.
One of the unique features of Blue Ocean is that they stop at one of the Na Pali Coast beaches, Nualolo Kai Beach. As a part of this expedition, you can hike along the shore and visit an ancient fishing village.
There will be breathtaking views, dark sea caves, and ample wildlife. Visitors can spend between 4.5 to 6 hours, depending on your preferences and prices range from $175 per person to $235 per person.