Boating & Sailing on Kauai

Booking a boat tour on Kauaʻi and traveling by sea will give you a unique visual perspective of the Garden Isle. It’s a chance to sail along the Nā Pali Coast, sway with the ocean and feel the wind in your face while soaking in the sights. A boat tour is the only opportunity to achieve an in-depth, expansive sea level view of this inaccessible part of the island with its grand emerald cliffs and deep valleys. One of the added bonuses of an adventure on a boat is the wildlife – along with gorgeous views, you’ll be treated to dolphins, sea turtles, tropical fish and if it’s the right season, whales.

Each boat tour on Kauaʻi offers a unique experience. Capt. Andy’s Sailing Adventures has several options from rafting expeditions that involve snorkeling to sunset cruises with cocktails. Holo Holo Charters has a tour that takes guests not only to explore the Nā Pali Coast but included in the 7-hour trip is a stop at Niʻihau’s North Shore to snorkel. The Nā Pali Experience has boats equipped to enter sea caves and only allows a handful of guests during each intimate tour.

Boat tours depart from various parts around the island – Capt. Andy’s and Holo Holo are based at Port Allen in Eleʻele and Nā Pali Experience docks at Kikiaʻola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaka. Visitors on the North Shore have options as well including Nā Pali Coast Hanalei Tours that has vessels that depart from Hanalei Bay.

Departure times differ for all boat tours and while they usually leave early in the morning (this is the most favorable time of day ocean-wise), there are also sunset and afternoon. If you are prone to seasickness, the best time of day to go on a tour is first thing in the morning since the ocean tends to get choppier as the day rolls on. Photography lovers will love a late afternoon tour when the sun casts the most gorgeous glow against the Nā Pali Coast’s fluted peaks and luscious valleys – you’ll capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Kauai's Na Pali coast. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

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