Get up early and beat everyone to Molokini! Awesome trip. Guides were great. 6am comes early but its worth it to be in the volcano crater by yourself instead of with 10-15 other boats. Crew was fantastic and took care of us. Highly recommend!
Moorech1 – Trip Advisor
Ah-mazing! We booked our trip after reading reviews on Trip Advisor. We were not disappointed. From our beach pick-up (which was the only drawback as we were not staying at this particular hotel), to the amazing snorkel trip at the Molokini Crater, the food and drinks, and swimming with turtles (even though the visibility wasn’t the best), it was a great memory from our honeymoon. The boat is clean, spacious, and amply staffed. The equipment is fine for snorkelling, and I didn’t feel like I was overcrowded! We will be back to Maui someday (in my dreams for now), and will surely book another trip with this spectacular company! Did I mention that we followed a pod of dolphins to end the trip? See my pic below!!
GML31 – Trip Advisor
A must-do snorkel excursion! This snorkel excursion was the best by far of our cruise vacation! We didn’t mind renting a car and driving to the hotel, as we got to see more of Maui and the drive was an easy one! From the time we got to the location to the time we were done we were well taken care of! We enjoyed every minute! If we ever get back to maui we will be doing this snorkel trip again! The crew is awesome and do everything possible to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and has a good time! We highly recommend Kai Kanani! If you only do one thing in Maui, make it the Kai Kanani deluxe snorkel tour!
JMKJ86 – Trip Advisor
I just want to thank you for “getting us all in the water”. My dad, Dick, had such a great time I can’t even tell you how much we appreciate it and how much he loved it. You made it so easy for him to really enjoy something that he/we thought it would be hard to do. I am sure it gives him the ammunition to try some new things in the future. You were so patient and great with him I can’t thank you enough. Thank you so much for the photos and I will be back some day and will recommend your company and crew to anyone I know visiting Maui.
The most fun we’ve had on Maui in the last four straight summers vacationing here. Snorkeling with the turtles was the best!
The Mike Todd Family, California
Our family had such a beautiful and amazing day with you and your crew. Thank you for teaching us so much about the Humpback whales. Our kids will not stop telling stories to their friends from that day. We’ll always be grateful for our Maui whale watching trip with Kai Kanani. Mahalo!
Bev & John Gerbonski, Oregon
We just returned home from our stay on Maui at the Maui Prince. It’s not often that we feel moved to write a letter like this, but you truly deserve the kudos. Captain Roger, thank you for making our children feel so comfortable out at Molokini. Janie in particular didn’t want to go that morning, and now she’s the one who won’t stop talking about her experience. All of the children, as well as Bob and I, really loved seeing the Humpback whales. The sincere knowledge that your crew imparted to us about these amazing creatures really was the highlight of the day!
The Adams Family, Utah
It felt like we were on a private charter…and the crew was simply fantastic!
Roxanne Wilmington, Kansas
The Kai Kanani was the best trip we’ve ever taken to Molokini. Tiffaney and I loved getting there first…and those were some Mai Tai’s you were making on the trip home. Thanks for taking the time to stop and let us do some whale watching on the way back…we loved every minute of the trip.
Stan & Tiffaney Black, California
We won’t be leaving from Maalaea ever again! How have you kept this boat a secret for so long? We loved everything! Captain Mike was hilarious, great snorkeling & the food was awesome too!
The Blackwells, Utah
Thanks for our fantastic day out on the ocean on your Whale Watching tour. The whales were soooo beautiful. We couldn’t believe how close they came in too! It was a blessing to see how much every one of the crew really cared about protecting these amazing animals. Keep up the great work.
John O’Herlihy, MA
“I always find something unexpected when I go to Maui. This time, it was Kai Kanani Sailing Charters’ early morning snorkel tour to Molokini, a sunken crater. The catamaran departs from Makena at 6:30 a.m. Since the voyage takes only 20 minutes, you’re the first boat to arrive at Molokini and you and your fellow passengers have the entire snorkeling spot to yourselves. Then you head to Turtle Town, another great snorkeling spot. Again, you’re the first boat there, and you can swim with green sea turtles.”
Had a nice time on the early morning departure to Molokini (6:30am). This was only my 2nd time snorkeling and the crew was very friendly. They provided a continental breakfast which included coffee, juice, fruit, and pastry which was enough to hold me and my wife off until we returned to our resort for full breakfast. The crew provided plenty of instruction and directions. They also provided all equipment including snorkel, goggles, and even flippers. Molokini is a popular destination, so the early arrival time beats all the other boats. You spend about 40 minutes snorkeling there before others arrive. The water is so clear you can look from the side of the boat to the bottom. Decent amount and variety of fish, but the sea turtles are in the next stop. On the way to next destination we ran across some dolphins (although it sounded like that doesn’t happen often). Then while snorkeling we saw 2 sea turtles and only a few fish. Overall an enjoyable time, it was defintely worth $49 per person getting up earlier. Book online and you’ll save 10%.
Boltzycat – TripAdvisor
The best day I have had on Maui! We have just returned from the 9am four hour trip with captain Kerry and his crew. We picked this tour as it was very close to our hotel in wailea, and they arranged a free pick up from the four seasons. We chose the 9am trip as it let us have a lie in but also had more time in the water than the earlier trip. As I understand it, molokini is much less crowded on the earlier trip, but it wasn’t all that busy when we arrived. First off, the crew were terrific, they were very friendly and caring, especially when my wife started to feel sea sick. The crew really helped to make it a fantastic morning. Molokini has very abundant sea life, not up there with places such as the Maldives, but probably the best we have seen whilst we were in Hawaii. On the stop back in turtle town we were fortunate enough to see at least six turtles. I would definitely recommend this trip!
LondonsSweetTooth – TripAdvisor
Awesome! Great boat and crew. We loved the trip. We went on the 9am-1pm trip. They even picked us up at our hotel! (Wailea Marriott) Perfect honeymoon adventure!
Filmdrum – TripAdvisor
Great ride, crew, size, company! We took the sunset cruise and had a beach entry from behind the Makena Beach Resort. The captain and crew were VERY nice, helpful, fun and took great pains to make sure everyone had a great time. They served “pupus” that were enough to serve as our dinner (cheese, crackers, meatballs, vegetables, fruit). They served drinks that were generous and had a great selection there as well. This is a sailboat, and we did use the sail, but not a lot of wind. A pod of spinner dolphins played tag with us, and showed off their flips for quite a show!! The crew put safety first and fun next – and they helped everyone with pictures!! there was a great mix of about 25-30 people as old as 75 and as young as 6. Everyone was comfortable and made friends quickly. Remember – you will get somewhat wet (ranging from little to a splash to shoulders) as you board or leave, so dont wear fancy clothes. I strongly recommend this. It was not at all too bumpy or rough, even though we left from Makena.
Life2Short – TripAdvisor
Just finished the morning express trip to Molokini right from the beach at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. Left MB&GR at 6:30 and returned just before 9:00 am . My wife and I have been aboard several snorkel and dive charters but this one was the best. Captain Cary was awesome with commentary of native species and what to expect. The rest of the crew was extremely supportive and Scuba Dave was terrific about using SNUBA. NO HARD SELL on anything just a delightful adventure on seeing fish, sharks (Black Tip Reef at the crater) and turtles. Highly recommend this express outing. Did I mention you can catch the boat, (and what a beauty she is) right from the beach in Makena, no driving 30 to 40 minutes to the harbor and then another 30 to 40 minutes to the crater.
EbbandFlow45 – TripAdvisor
Awesome, one of the best days of our Hawaiian vacation. Don’t miss an opportunity to take this amazing snorkel adventure aboard the Kai Kanani Sailing Charter. Every part of this day was amazing from the sailing vessel to the crew, food, drinks and most of all the snorkel adventure. Molokini is by far one of the best spots we have snorkeled and this trip we tried the snuba offered by Diver Dave of shoreline snuba. The crew on board are very attentive and ensure you will have the best day of your trip. Thanks for making our day such a fun filled adventure and to Diver Dive for the GOPro recovery. Cheers, Karl
Karl – TripAdvisor
Can’t go wrong with Kai Kanani. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out this crew. Not only because it is just a few minutes ride to the Molokini crater but the crew’s #1 emphasis is safety but it is shrouded in fun and entertainment. My wife comes on these trip, bless her, because I like to snorkel and she does okay for a little while. With the crew there, I felt safe snorkeling about and didn’t feel like I had to stay at her side the whole time. And kid’s? Don’t think twice about bringing them. We did the deluxe tour and the food and drink were both plentiful and good. We saw a number of turtles at the second stop and they found us a school of dolphins to wonder at after that. Thank you all for a wonderul time.
KNick8 – TripAdvisor
Highly recommend for 1st class trip to Molokini and Turtle Bay. My husband and I took this cruise as recommended by the concierge at the Grand Wailea. We booked the 9:00 – 1:00 deluxe tour at the cost of $119/person. Although this was a bit higher than other snorkel trips we were very happy with our choice, especially when we saw the very large very crowded boats that were also at the snorkel spots. Kai Kanani uses a large catamaran which holds 80 people. Our group was only about 42 which was perfect. The crew were all very friendly and knowledgeable. They explained everything along the way and really made everyone feel comfortable and safe. Along with the crew was someone who offered Snuba for those who wished to try it (extra charge) and a naturalist who talked about all the fish, turtles, reefs and whales. Several members of the crew were always in the water to act as lifeguards and the naturalist was pointing out fish, etc. Back on board the captain ran through a list to make sure everyone was present. The food and drinks were all plentiful and good. After two weeks on three islands, this was one of our favorite activities. We had a wonderful time!
Mrs. Berry – TripAdvisor
Worth Every Penny! If you go to Molokini Crater, do yourself a favor, go with Kai Kanani–even if you’re staying in Ka’anapali. We woke up early and drove down for their Express Tour–absolutely worth it! You’ll see the crater before any other boat arrives and the water is crystal clear and calm. During the regular morning times, as many as 1500 snorkelers are bumping into each other to look at fish. When we went on the Express tour, we were the only boat there. Sharing the crater with 20 instead of 1500 people means the fish will be less spooked and you’ll have the opportunity to swim through schools of fish. The staff on Kai Kanani are extremely helpful–especially for first-timers. They have quality gear and floatation devices if you aren’t a strong swimmer.
They also take you to Turtle Town. Since we were visiting early in the morning, the turtles hadn’t been scared away by other swimmers, so we saw four sea turtles! Captain Melissa is great at helping you spot them and making sure the group is responsible around them so they continue to regrow their population.
We stayed with them for the whale watching cruise, and it was an equally awesome experience. We saw tons of single whales, including a young whale who was happy to put on quite the show for our boat. We also saw a group of mother, baby and escort. Towards the end of the trip, we were fortunate enough to have a school of bottle-nosed dolphins make a run straight for our boat! A volunteer naturalist attends every cruise and shares interesting info about the whales as you watch. The whale watching tour also includes two drink tickets, and they make the mai tais strong!
The staff is funny, friendly and professional. When I go again, I would definitely go with Kai Kanani (and I will go again!)
Rachael Jean – TripAdvisor
Great cruise, impeccable service, tons of fun. Just do it. We went on the 4-hour morning cruise to Molokini, and what a great trip it was. From the minute the bus picked us up at our hotel we knew we were in for a good time. The van driver was friendly and very knowledgeable, great fun to talk to, and an early indication of the kind of great, friendly, attentive service we were to get all day long. The beach boarding was a little bit hairy. With our belongings packed into plastic garbage bags, we had to run out into waist-deep water with the surf crashing around and into us while trying to board a heaving boat ladder. It was good sporting fun and the crew made it a safe, positive experience. We cruised to two snorkeling spots – Molokini and La Perouse Bay. The second stop was supposed to be “Turtle Town” but the surf was too high for that, so we did La Perouse instead. This was a bit disappointing, but the crew made sure we saw a turtle from the boat at least. I opted to do the SNUBA dive, which I highly recommend. The on-board instructor was friendly and made it all very easy.
I can’t underscore how great the service was. All the crew members – the captain, all his various helpers on-board, the SNUBA instructor, and the naturalist on board – were all fantastic and went above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience. The all-girl crew did it all, from rigging and mooring the boat, to helping us get the proper gear, to pointing out wildlife, to setting out food and pouring beers and Mai Tais. The captain was fun and friendly, and made sure we got a good look at a few whales and turtles. The naturalist on board was from a non-profit conservation agency and was very knowledgeable with information about fish, turtles, whales, etc. Everyone was as friendly and as personable as could be, and really made the experience what it was.
The food was simple (muffins, fruit and coffee for breakfast, deli meats, bread, chips, veggies, and dip for lunch) but tasty and just perfect for the type of trip it was. Beers and Mai Tais were an added bonus.
Great boat, too. It’s a big catamaran, with plenty of room for the 25 or so people on board (though I gather there can be twice that many), with plenty of good places to sit and stand while cruising, and good amenities like nice, clean bathrooms.
I urge you to take this trip – it’s a great middle ground between luxury and roughing it. You’ll get some adventure, and you’ll get some relaxation, and wonderful service. I highly recommend this group.
Douglas – TripAdvisor
The two-hour express snorkeling trip was outstanding. After a beach entry onto a twin-hull cat, they take you out to Molokini crater where the coral is beautiful and the fish are diverse and abundant. Second stop is Turtle Town where we saw a number of turtles lazily cruising around. Getting out there early in the morning usually makes for quiet waters, as it did for us and you’re back before 9 am so you have the rest of the day before you.
The five-person crew was excellent – very friendly and professional at the same time. Our family ranged in aged from 9 to 65 with all levels of experience and everyone was catered to individually. One of the crew members offered snuba if you want it, but we were content to snorkel. The cost was $70 if I recall. The snorkeling was $49 for adults and $35 for kids.
Bonus was a pod of sperm whales and dolphins that we stopped to enjoy!
Book online and save 10%. Finding the launch may be a little tricky. Go to the beach fronting the Makena Beach and Golf Resort Hotel. You can park at the hotel I’m told, but we parked at the next stop south. Bring some towels and warm clothes for when you get out of the water. I could have used a light wetsuit as well in April.
Colin – Yelp
Yay for the awesome crew of Kai Kanani! They were so nice and helpful. My man and I took the early 6:30am express to Molokini, which picked us up right in front of Makena Beach and Golf Resort where we were staying. I’m not a morning person, that was a big plus.
Right before we got to Molikini Crater we got a hit on the lines the cat was dragging: my boyfriend got to reel in a 30-40 lb ono! The crew took pics of us with the big fish, and it totally made my boyfriends whole trip.
There was hardly anyone else in the area, and right as we left the crater it started getting choppy as more boats arrive. Really glad we took the earlier trip.
All in all a GREAT company, boat, and crew. Will go again when I am lucky enough to re-visit Maui. Thanks Captain Cary et al!
Alicia – TripAdvisor
I’ve been on a number of Maui snorkel / scuba boats … there are a lot of ways for things to go wrong Here’s why the Kai Kanani’s early cruise is the best way to go to Molokini:
3) Boat is not huge (and the day I went, the boat was only half full)
2) Nice, helpful staff
1) You get to Molokini before everyone else! I can’t emphasize enough what a difference this makes. If you are a slug and get on your snorkel cruise at Ma’alea at 8am, you will be at Molokini at 9am with hundreds of other people.
Whereas the Kai Kanani leaves at 6:30 from south Maui, meaning it only takes 15 min to get to Molokini. (This also makes it a good choice for those who don’t like being on boats so much — the Kai Kanani minimizes your commute.)
When we got to Molokini we were the only boat. When we left there was one other boat. And when we ended our cruise at 8:45, we could see many others arriving.
The price is very reasonable, my wife and I paid less than $60 each.
The boat leaves from the Makena Beach & Golf Resort, so if you’re staying in Wailea, this is a no-brainer.
Don’t forget to bring cash for a tip.
Matthew – Yelp