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Snorkeling Cruises & Tours

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Enjoy the best snorkeling in Hawaii with fun cruises and sails on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, and the Big Island, and explore some of Hawaii's best snorkeling spots with local experts and guides to point out the coral reefs, tropical fish, and turtles. With options for both beginner and experienced swimmers, we offer the best tours and most competitive prices, as well as a wide variety of options from boat cruises to shore adventures. Book now and see where is the best place to snorkel in Hawaii!
Your Guide to Hawaii Snorkeling Cruises & Tours
The ocean waters surrounding the island of Hawaii are home to some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world, and whether you are going snorkeling at Molokini, Maui’s famous underwater volcanic crater, sailing along the towering cliffs of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai, heading into the water from the famous shores of Hanauma Bay and Electric Beach on Oahu, exploring around the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, or even diving in to snorkel at Electric Beach, a favorite of Oahu local residents, you will have the amazing opportunity to experience a breathtaking underwater paradise. Choose from a wide selection of Waikiki snorkeling tours during your visit to Honolulu, check out Hawaii snorkeling on Maui, and even experience Kona Hawaii snorkeling to see an ocean paradise on a snorkel cruise and tour.

What to Expect & Know Before You Go
  • Hawaii snorkeling cruises and tours are some of the most popular activities on the island, and it is highly recommended that you make your reservations two to four weeks in advance.
  • With Hawaii’s warm sunny weather, don’t forget to bring sunscreen with you on your Hawaii snorkeling tour, and be sure to use reef safe sunscreen. Traditional sunscreens contain chemicals like xybenzone and octinoxate that can harm coral reefs and marine life. Reef safe sunscreens use natural and mineral-based ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide sun protection without harming the environment.
  • Do not touch any marine life or the coral reefs during your snorkeling tour in Hawaii. Touching marine life can disturb or harm the animals, especially if you accidentally step on or break off pieces of coral, and many marine species are also fragile and can easily be damaged by human contact.
  • If you are planning on bringing an underwater camera (GoPro, mobile phone with an underwater case, etc.) on your snorkel tour in Hawaii, also bring a red lens filter to get the best shots. As you go underwater, the color red becomes less pronounced, and having a red lens filter will ensure vibrant and beautiful photos and videos.
  • You will have a good chance of seeing humpback whales in Hawaii during the winter months since they migrate from their feeding grounds in Alaska to Hawaii's warmer waters to mate, calve, and nurse their young. The whales begin to arrive in Hawaii in late November and stay until early May, and can be found throughout the waters around Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island.
  • To ensure the best possible experience, guests who are prone to seasickness should take a motion sickness preventative at least one hour prior to departure. No matter how calm the water may look, there will always be some rocking and swaying while out on the Hawaii ocean, and it is better to be safe than sorry if you have experienced seasickness in the past. There are also all natural alternatives including ginger pills and acupressure bands that you can try.
  • What to wear: Have your swimsuit on before boarding the boat since marine restrooms (heads) can be quite cramped depending on the boat. You will also want to wear a light jacket or sweatshirt to wear after you exit the water since it can get rather chilly.
  • What to bring: Reef safe sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops or sandals, large towel, underwater camera or water-safe case for your phone, and a bottle of water.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you need a tour to snorkel in Hawaii?
A: Although you do not need to go on a tour to snorkel in Hawaii, many of the snorkeling tours will take you to locations that cannot be reached without a boat or knowledge of where to enter the ocean. Expert guides also make it a safer experience since they will be on hand if you have any questions or safety concerns.

Q: What Hawaii island is best for snorkeling?
A: Each island offers a different experience, and it is hard to pick the best. Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, and the Big Island all have a number of snorkeling areas that can be accessed by the shore or by boat, and each one should be experienced so you can choose which one is the best.

Q: What month is best for snorkeling in Hawaii?
A: Snorkeling is available throughout the year in Hawaii, but depending on which island you go to, and which side of the island you will be exploring, the summer months between May and August are often considered the best.

Q: Where is good snorkeling in Hawaii?
A: Hawaii is a snorkeler's paradise with numerous beautiful spots, but some of the best include Electric Beach and Hanauma Bay on Oahu, Molokini Crater near Maui, Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, and Tunnels Beach on Kauai are all great places to snorkel in Hawaii.

Q: Is snorkeling in Hawaii worth it?
A: Yes, snorkeling in Hawaii is definitely worth it! Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse marine life in the world, and snorkeling is one of the best ways to experience it. The warm, clear waters of Hawaii offer incredible visibility and a wide range of marine species, from colorful fish and coral to sea turtles, manta rays, and even dolphins. Snorkeling in Hawaii also allows you to explore the unique underwater landscapes and volcanic formations that make the islands so special.

Q: What is the best snorkeling in Hawaii for beginners?
A: The best snorkeling spots in Hawaii for beginners are those with calm waters, easy entry and exit points, and shallow depths with plenty of marine life. Some of the best spots for beginners include Kahalu'u Beach on the Big Island, Hanauma Bay on Oahu, Poipu Beach Park on Kauai, and Wailea Beach and Kapalua Bay on Maui.

Q: Which Hawaiian Island has the best reefs?
A: All of the Hawaiian Islands have incredible reefs, but some are better than others depending on what you are looking for. Maui is known for its abundance of sea life and beautiful coral formations and some of the best snorkeling and diving spots on Maui include Molokini Crater, Honolua Bay, and Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Kauai's North Shore is home to some of the most pristine and untouched reefs in Hawaii, and Tunnels Beach, Ke'e Beach, and Hanalei Bay are popular spots for snorkeling and diving. Oahu has a variety of reefs to choose from, ranging from beginner-friendly spots like Hanauma Bay to more advanced spots like Shark's Cove and Electric Beach. Hawaii Island's best reefs are found on the Kona Coast like Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument which are both popular spots for snorkeling and diving.

Q: Can I snorkel with turtles in Hawaii?
A: Yes, you can snorkel with turtles in Hawaii! Hawaii is home to the Hawaiian green sea turtle, and these turtles can often be seen swimming and feeding in the shallow waters close to shore, and in deeper waters near coral reef formations.

Q: Can I snorkel with dolphins in Hawaii?
A: Federal law now prohibits going within 50 yards of dolphins in Hawaii, and swimming with dolphins in the wild is not allowed. Since dolphins are nocturnal and go out into deeper waters at night to feed, and back closer to shore during the day, they use this time to rest and relax. When Hawaiian spinner dolphins have to swim away from people or vessels that are closely approaching them, it disrupts their rest and puts them on high alert. This requires the dolphins to use extra energy to swim faster and change direction, preventing them from fully resting.

Q: Can I snorkel with sharks in Hawaii?
A: Yes, it is possible to snorkel with sharks in Hawaii, however, it's important to do so in a responsible and safe way with tour and activity providers that are properly vetted with expertly trained guides. Shark snorkeling tours are also only found on the island of Oahu.

Q: Can I snorkel with manta rays in Hawaii?
A: Yes, you can definitely go snorkeling among manta rays at night off the shores of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. These gentle marine creatures come out at night to feed on plankton, and the lights from the boat attract the plankton which brings in more manta rays to see.

Q: Do I need to know how to swim to snorkel in Hawaii?
A: Yes, knowing how to swim is important if you want to snorkel in Hawaii since snorkeling involves swimming on the surface of the water while wearing a mask and snorkel to breathe. You do not need to be an expert swimmer, but you should be comfortable swimming in the ocean and be able to tread water for at least a few minutes. For those who do not know how to swim, you should choose beginner snorkeling tours that depart from the shore and stay in shallow waters.

Q: Do I need to know how to swim to snorkel in Hawaii?
A: Yes, knowing how to swim is important if you want to snorkel in Hawaii since snorkeling involves swimming on the surface of the water while wearing a mask and snorkel to breathe. You do not need to be an expert swimmer, but you should be comfortable swimming in the ocean and be able to tread water for at least a few minutes. For those who do not know how to swim, you should choose beginner snorkeling tours that depart from the shore and stay in shallow waters.

Q: How do you stay safe during Hawaii snorkeling?
A: Snorkeling in Hawaii can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to prioritize safety while you are in the water. Before you go snorkeling, check the weather and ocean conditions, and avoid snorkeling in rough water or strong currents, as these can be dangerous. You should always snorkel with a buddy, and keep an eye on each other since this can help prevent accidents and ensure that you are both safe. Don’t forget that Hawaii is home to a variety of marine life, and you will need to be aware of your surroundings and avoid touching or disturbing marine life. Snorkeling can also be physically demanding, so make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after your snorkeling session.

Q: How deep do you go when snorkeling in Hawaii?
A: The depth you go when snorkeling in Hawaii depends on the location and the specific conditions of the water. In general, most snorkeling spots in Hawaii are in relatively shallow water and are typically between 5 to 15 feet deep. However, some snorkeling locations in Hawaii may have deeper areas that can be accessed by more experienced snorkelers, and can have drop-offs that plunge down up to 30 feet or more.

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Snorkeling Cruises & Tours | Book Hawaii Tours, Activities & Things to Do with HawaiiActivities.com
Enjoy the best snorkeling in Hawaii with fun cruises and sails on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, and the Big Island, and explore some of Hawaii's best snorkeling spots with local experts and guides to point out the coral reefs, tropical fish, and turtles. With options for both beginner and experienced swimmers, we offer the best tours and most competitive prices, as well as a wide variety of options from boat cruises to shore adventures. Book now and see where is the best place to snorkel in Hawaii!