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Na Pali Snorkel & Dolphin Watch

Posted by Garrett Ward - Activities of Kauai on

Na Pali Snorkel & Wild Dolphin Watch:


na-pali-kauai-sea-tours.jpgOne of the great activities of Kauai is an ocean voyage along the Na Pali coast. This majestic landscape must simply be seen to believe. This morning catamaran tour takes off daily from Port Allen for 5.5. journey of Na Pali.


These two motor catamarans you see here deliver similiar experiences. Both have ample deck space with plenty of seating. Even if they sell all 49 seats the boat will not feel crowded. For best viewing, sit up front and grab a spot on the second level.


These are heavy catamaran boats. The don't really sail but they are best in choppy sea conditions. The offer the best stability. This is important becaue you are on the boats for 5-6 hours. There may be sections of the trip that get bumpy and these boats can make a big difference in your comfort level.

kauai-sea-tours-seating-area.jpgAlong the way there will be plenty of activity. Spinner Dolphins are almost always seen on these morning Na Pali Tours. If you're lucky, they may approach the boat in dramatic fasion. Look for them riding wake generated by your catamaran or leaping and spinning out of the water. Other marine mammals, birds and sea creatures may be seen.

dolphin-guarantee.jpgAs you make your way up to Na Pali, your captain and crew will tend to your every need. Use them if you need any help. They'll be there to help you fit you with snorkel gear. All the snorkel gear is included on the Na Pali Snorkel. If you know your eye prescription, custom masks may be available. Flotation devices and life jackets are also available if you are new to snorkeling. A life guard will be in the water with you at all times.

na-pali-snorkeling-kauai-activities.jpgThe Na Pali snorkel is done at one of several inaccessible location. The boat captain will select the best one based on ocean conditions. The snorkeling is good. Each spot has plenty of coral reef to look at and there are lots of fish. Be on the lookout for sea turtles in the area as well. Total snorkel time is about 1 hour which is plenty of time to get a great experience. Rinse off with freshwater when you are done. Don't forget to bring a towel

na-pali-morning-mist.jpgAs you journey up the toward Na Pali, the landscape changes dramatically. The ocean will connect with the Na Pali cliffs which rise hauntingly into the morning sky.Your knowledgable captain and crew will tell you fantastic stories about the history of this coastline. Ask any questions you like, they are happy to share local information.

na-pali-sea-caves-activities-of-kauai.jpgAs you journey up Na Pali, your boat captain will steer closer to the cliff line. You'll be shown hidden waterfalls, historic formations, and sea caves. Although the catamarans are to big to go inside, they have no trouble poking their nose inside.

na-pali-coast-tours-kauai.jpgKalalau Valley is usually the point where the big catamarans turn around. You'll put some distance between you and Na Pali for the return trip which gives you an excelletn perspective. It's a good opportunity for picture taking.

deli-lunch-and-cocktails.jpg Deli lunch and cocktails are served on the return trip to Port Allen. You will have a wide variety of meats and cheese to select from. A side dish or two are also thrown in and you can expect a light dessert to go with it. The bar also opens on the return journey and you'll get about two hours to get your drink on. Beer, wine and mais are all available. The bartender may also be able to make a few speciality drinks for you.

Important Information

Each catamaran is 60+ ft and includes two levels of deck space

  • 60 ft. Custom built power sailing catamaran
  • Designed for the lively Na Pali ocean waters with your comfort, safety and enjoyment in mind
  • 49 passenger capacity (designed for 93 but we like to have plenty of room)
  • Provides a fast, safe, stable ride for ages 3 and older
  • Offers individual cushioned seating
  • Restroom facility
  • Spacious decks & comfortable seating on the upper observation deck, shaded seating, sun deck, seating all around the outside, ride the bow and forward trampolines when conditions permit.
  • Amenities include: 2 restrooms on the main deck, 2 freshwater showers, buffet and service bar, convenient swim platform, 2 swim ladders, and our favorite is the waterslide for extra fun!

What To Bring & Helpful Tips

You'll be barefoot so wear some slippahs (sandles) you can kick off easily prior to boarding. Bring and use sunscreen and don't forget to reapply after the snorkel. Sunglasses are a good idea. Don't forget to bring a towel. The boat offers plenty of space so bring a backpack for your gear. When you see dolphins, video is the best way to document the experience. If you are prone to motion sickness, make sure you stay above deck and keep your eyes on the land.

Restrictions & Advisories

No pregnancies are permitted. No children under the age of 3. No major health concerns. These include bad backs, knees, hips, recent surgeries or other major medical ailments. You will be out on the open ocean for several hours so good health is paramount.

Directions to Port Allen Harbor

East/North shore guests will take HWY56 southbound. Use right lane to get into Lihue and onto HWY 50 westbound to Port Allen which is in Eleele. South shore guests can take HWY530 (best) or 583 (tree tunnel) to HWY50 and make left. All guests will reach reach Eleele and should make a left left on Waialo rd (Look for Mcdonalds & Port Allen sign) Drive half mile to Port Allen Harbor. All vendor offices will on the left within the same complex. Park in gravel parking lot at the next street down and check in at your vendor office. Allow 25min from south shore, 40min from Lihue, 1hr from eastside, and 90min from north shore.