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The 11 best napali coast and kauai boat tours.

Set sail on these excursions to explore the beauty of Kauai from the sea.

The Best Kauai Boat Tours

sailing along razor edged cliffs, rising more than 3000 feet high, on the remote and rugged napali coast of kauai, hawaii.

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From humpback whales and spinner dolphins to peaceful sea turtles, Hawaii's beautiful seas teem with wildlife. Observing these creatures alongside Kauai' s dramatic cliffs is best done from the water aboard a catamaran, a kayak or even an inflatable raft. U.S. News selected the following Kauai boat tours as the best available after analyzing both traveler and expert opinion.

Best Napali Coast Boat Tours

Holo holo charters – napali sunset dinner tour.

Price: Adults from $210; kids from $190 Duration: 3.5 hours

If a sunset sail is at the top of your Hawaii to-do list, consider this cruise. Aboard the company's 65-foot catamaran, you'll be treated to views of a sunset, rocky cliffs, sea caves and local sea life while gliding along the Napali Coast . Cruises are limited to 49 passengers. The tour also includes a hot dinner, as well as mai tais, beer and wine. Tourgoers describe the crew as exceptional and say the views are fabulous. Reviews for the food are more mixed, with many describing the dishes as average. Several travelers also warn of choppy waters and advise taking motion sickness medication ahead of your cruise.

Tours generally depart daily from Port Allen in the late afternoon, but departure times vary by season. Children younger than 5 are not allowed on the cruise. Holo Holo Charters also offers snorkeling cruises and a daylong tour that sails by neighboring island Niihau.

Check prices & availability on:

Blue Dolphin Charters – Niihau & Napali Coast Snorkel

Price: Adults from $285; kids from $245 Duration: 7.5 hours

Discover the Napali Coast and the island of Niihau on this snorkeling tour. Though you won't set foot on Niihau, you will get a chance to snorkel in the waters just off its coast. In addition to snorkeling equipment, tourgoers also have access to boogie boards, pool noodles and a slide on the boat. The trip also includes breakfast and a deli-style lunch with beer, wine and mai tais, as well as nonalcoholic beverages. Travelers report seeing lots of wildlife and praise the friendly crew.

Tours are generally available Tuesday, Friday and Sunday with a 6 a.m. check-in time. You may receive a slight discount by booking online ahead of time. Children younger than 5 are not permitted on the tour. Blue Dolphin operates a few other snorkel tours, as well as a whale watching trip and sunset cruises.

Kauai Sea Tours – Na Pali Raft Tour

Price: Adults from $190; kids from $180 Duration: 5 to 5.5 hours

Be prepared to get wet on this tour, which takes place aboard a rigid-hull inflatable raft. Thanks to the boat's design, it can access sea caves, go beneath waterfalls and hug the coast, allowing passengers an up-close look at nature. Participants have the opportunity to snorkel and enjoy a packed lunch and nonalcoholic drinks while on the excursion. Tour-takers praise the crew and say they enjoy the views and the plentiful wildlife, ranging from dolphins to monk seals to turtles. Others caution the ride can get choppy.

Trips depart at 7 a.m. year-round, and additional tours at 1:30 p.m. are offered from June through August. Kids must be 7 or older to participate. The company also offers whale watching tours and sunset cruises on traditional boats.

Na Pali Coast Tours – Na Pali Sight See Adventure

Price: From $250 Duration: 2 hours

Calling all thrill-seekers! This catamaran tour departing from Hanalei Bay promises lots of adventure, jaw-dropping views and plenty of speed. As you travel along the coast, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, sea turtles, humpback whales (in winter), waterfalls and rainbows. Travelers rave about the stunning views and appreciate the captain and crew's knowledge of the island's history and wildlife. Reviewers also appreciate the ability to access multiple sea caves thanks to the boat's easy maneuverability. Though the boat affords up-close views of the coast, it doesn't protect against sea spray and is not equipped with a restroom, so keep that in mind when booking.

Tours typically depart Monday through Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (though offerings may vary by season). A maximum of 18 passengers are permitted on board. Due to the more adventurous nature of this tour, it's not recommended for children younger than 4 years old, pregnant people or those with back or neck issues. If you're hoping to explore in the water, consider the company's four-hour snorkeling tour.

Best Kauai Boat Tours

Courtesy of Capt. Andy's

Capt. Andy's Sailing Adventures – Classic Na Pali Snorkel Picnic Sail

Price: Adults from $215; kids from $195 Duration: 5.5 hours

This cruise aboard a 55-foot catamaran includes a trip along Kauai's Napali Coast and snorkeling in a tropical reef, as well as a continental breakfast, lunch, desserts and drinks (including beer and wine). You'll also learn a bit of Hawaiian history. Travelers enjoy the views and wildlife spotted on this cruise. They are also complimentary of the food.

Tours depart daily at 8 a.m., and children younger than 3 are not permitted. Capt. Andy's also offers day trips, as well as dinner and sunset sails.

Blue Ocean Adventure Tours – Na Pali Beach Landing

Price: Adults from $235; kids from $215 Duration: 6 hours

On this raft tour, you'll explore the Napali Coast from the water and glide past waterfalls and through sea caves, spotting dolphins, whales and sea turtles along the way. The cruise also includes a stop for snorkeling at the secluded Nualolo Kai beach, a buffet lunch and a nature stroll through an ancient Hawaiian fishing village – a highlight for travelers. Reviewers gush about the scenery and say the crew creates a safe, fun and memorable experience.

Tours depart at 7 a.m. year-round and 12:30 p.m. seasonally between May and September. Children must be at least 6 years old to join the tour. Blue Ocean also operates scenic catamaran tours and private outings.

Makana Charters and Tours – Na Pali Coast Tour on the Makana

Price: Adults from $189; kids from $159 Duration: 5 hours

This tour aboard the Makana – a 32-foot catamaran – includes exploring sea caves, lunch and snorkeling at Nualolo Kai, one of the island's best beaches. A native Hawaiian family owns the company and operates the tours. What's more, the boat takes no more than 12 snorkelers out at a time. Travelers particularly enjoy the coastal views and say the crew is very attentive.

Choose from a morning cruise departing at 8 a.m. or an afternoon tour at 1:30 p.m. Passengers must be at least 9 years old to ride. The company offers a variety of tours of the Napali Coast in boats of all sizes.

More Top-Rated Kauai Boat Tours

Kayak adventures kauai – waterfall kayak adventure on kauai's wailua river.

Price: Adults from $114; kids from $94 Duration: 6 hours

Paddle your way through the Wailua River on this excursion limited to 12 people. During the tour, you'll also hike through the Wailua rainforest to Uluwehi Falls for a swim. Along the way, guides share information about the ancient history and culture of this area, which is a National Historic Landmark. Travelers particularly enjoy the hike and say guides are friendly and informative.

Tours operate Monday through Friday at 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. Guests must be at least 5 years old to participate.

Catamaran Kahanu – Kauai Whale Watching Tour

Price: From $120 Duration: 2 hours

For those looking to go whale watching in Hawaii, this catamaran cruise is just the ticket. Animal enthusiasts will have the chance to spot humpback whales as they live in Hawaii's waters to care for newborn calves. Travelers may also spot other wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles. Tourgoers report seeing lots of whales and dolphins, and they describe the crew as passionate and knowledgeable.

Tours depart daily from late December to mid-April; hours vary by season. Kids must be at least 5 years old to participate. Catamaran Kahanu also offers a boat tour around the Napali Coast.

Best Kauai Boat Tours

Kayak Kaua'i – Hanalei Blue Lagoon Paddle & Snorkel

Price: From $125 Duration: 4 hours

Spend a few hours kayaking in the ocean and rivers in and around Hanalei Bay on this scenic adventure. Throughout the trip, you'll take intermittent breaks from the kayak to explore the reefs and beaches, providing ample opportunity to collect shells and bird-watch, all while looking for dolphins and sea turtles. The tour also includes a deli lunch with juice and seltzer water. Tour-takers say guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and particularly enjoy the river portion of the trip, calling it relaxing.

Tours are offered Monday through Saturday at 8 a.m.; an additional 11 a.m. tour is available between May and September. Children must be at least 5 years old to participate. Kayak Kaua'i also offers kayaking trips on the Wailua River, among other tours.

Kauai Zodiac Tourz – Kauai's Ultimate South Island Zodiac Boat Snorkel Adventure

Price: Adults from $135; kids from $115 Duration: 3 hours

Kauai's south shore promises stunning reefs, calm waters and a variety of marine life, making it an ideal snorkeling spot. On this tour, you'll travel by rigid-hulled inflatable boat to remote snorkeling locations, passing the famous Spouting Horn blowhole along the way. If weather permits, you'll also visit Kipu Kai, which is only accessible by boat and boasts some of the island's best snorkeling. Tourgoers report encountering lots of fish and green sea turtles, and they describe the crew as informative, friendly and attentive.

Tours depart at 8 and 11 a.m. daily. The company also offers a popular two-hour guided snorkeling tour that embarks from the shore, meaning no boat ride is required.

You may also be interested in:

  • Best Kauai Helicopter Tours
  • Take a Photo Tour of Kauai
  • The Best Hawaii Beaches

Tags: Tours , Travel , Vacations , Hawaii

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