Have you ever thought about booking a snorkeling tour in Maui before? I’m sure, if you’re like me, you’ve seen offers of holiday destinations to die for…
Watch the sun rise in the horizon, as you stare out into a clear blue ocean filled with marine life and coral gardens … see the gentle waves pass by as the boat goes further out into the water – and so on …
But is it all up to the promises?
The reality may not have been quite what you were told. So you look at everything with a cynical eye. And this was a bit of a problem when we wanted to write about Maui.
Here, you really can watch the sun rise in the horizon, as you stare out into the clear blue ocean … feeling the gentle winds blow through your hair as the boat carries you further out into the water.
You see, Maui is one of the eight islands that make up the Hawaiian Islands. A family friendly tropical paradise where you can go whale watching or spend an afternoon swimming with dolphins.
But what makes this place so unique are the Maui snorkeling tours.
With some of the best beaches in the world and amazingly clear water, holiday goers do say Maui offers some of the best destinations and snorkeling trips in the world.
Anyone who’s ever been will tell you they had so much fun that they can’t wait to go back. Imagine going on a Molokini snorkeling tour for a chance to swim with Hawaiian Green Sea turtles off the coast of Maui.
That’s all well and good, but it’s not easy to convince you to experience Maui or the Molokini crater unless we can drag you and your family out here for some tropical island fun and Molokini snorkeling!
So let me tell you about our pick of the top three best Maui snorkeling tours for your family . As you’ll see, the videos aren’t just shot anywhere – they’re all on location, the spots where you’ll swim to.
Here’s a brief comparison of the best Maui snorkeling tours:
Best for Snorkeling
Best for Snorkeling
Molokini Wild Side Snorkel Eco-Adventure
Best for Kids
Best for Kids
West Maui Snorkel
Kayak and Snorkel
Kayak and Snorkel
Makena Turtle Town Eco Kayak Adventure
Have you been to or heard of the Molokini crater? Well, it’s a partially submerged volcanic crater that forms a tiny islet off the coast of Maui. And it’s one of the greatest places to go scuba diving, snuba, or snorkeling in Hawaii (or the Pacific).
This is truly a top snorkel trip for the family. If you’ve already visited other snorkeling hotspots of Maui, believe me, the Molokini crater is going to stun you. In fact, even if you go to other snorkeling tours after you’ve been here, you might even be disappointed.
Most people consider this Molokini snorkeling tour one of the best snorkel trips in Hawaii. The Molokini crater is a true paradise on Earth.
Shaped like a half moon, Molokini is a volcanic crater that’s partially submerged into the ocean. It’s actually an islet, which means it’s not small enough to be a rock, nor is it large enough for people to live on. But the beauty doesn’t stop at the surface. Under the gentle waves is a gorgeous coral reef that’s teeming with wildlife, coral gardens, and Hawaiian Green Sea turtles (much of it still undiscovered). In fact, it’s estimated that about 90% of it still hasn’t been given a name.
The waters of the Molokini crater are exceptionally clear – like the glass bottom of a crystal bowl – which means you get to explore the reef like it was your backyard garden. Not to mention the coral gardens, which are among the most stunning you’ll see anywhere.
And the best time to see all this is early in the morning. But don’t worry if you’re a late sleeper because it’s worth it. In fact, some people will tell you it’s the only reason they’ll ever get up so early.
Anyway, you can always catch some extra shut-eye on the boat ride there.
You’ll get to travel on a 54′ single deck catamaran boat. Which means that, with a group of no more than 38 people on-board, there’s plenty of space for everyone. Don’t hesitate to book online this family friendly Molokini snorkel tour today. It may be the best snorkeling adventure you’ll ever experience.
“Ideal for snorkelers and divers of varying experience! The Molokini underwater landscape is simply stunning – even well-traveled guests were in awe.” – Aaron H.
Your trip includes:
Certified Marine Naturalists as your tour guide to educate you about things you’ll see:
In case you don’t know what that is, a Certified Marine Naturalist knows everything about geology, geography, natural history, ecology, culture, and all aspects of marine life. And by the end of the tour, you’ll know a lot about those things, too.
And there’s a class for kids, too. Let’s face it, adult classes can be so boring with all those big words. Right kids?
Premium snorkel gear, including optical masks for eyeglass wearers:
Believe me, premium quality makes all the difference. This way you know the fit will be perfect for you, so you go about without having to worry about anything not feeling quite right. And the optical masks ensure you can keep your glasses on, if you wear any, without any hindrance to your vision while underwater.
Flotation devices, snorkel instruction, fish identifying class:
Flotation devices make it easier to swim along without getting tired. especially if you’ve been underwater for a while. And once you’ve got all the instructions and learned the names of the fishes – in case you want to say hello – there’ll be no stopping you.
Two snorkeling spots:
As if one site isn’t enough, you get two on this trip. So no chance of running out of things to see in the coral gardens of the Molokini crater.
Plus you get all the following:
Coral Reef-safe sunscreen and filtered water available on-board.
Full-color marine life poster.
Continental breakfast: bagels and cream cheese, assorted pastries, fruit platter – make sure you eat well. You’ll need the energy for the best snorkeling experience possible.
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Wrap with spinach, tomato, carrots and cucumber (with condiments), Potato Mac Salad, Corn and Bean Salad and chocolate chip cookies for dessert
Refreshments: Unlimited soda and juice, plus one complimentary alcoholic beverage including Maui Brewing Co. beer, and wine for adults 21+ with valid picture ID (additional adult beverages and refills available for purchase)
And don’t worry if you don’t have a wetsuit, underwater camera or binoculars: you can rent them all from us at a very reasonable price.
When they leave: 7:30am each day
How long will the trip be: About 6 hours
When to check in: One hour before we leave
Where to check in: Ma’alaea Harbor Shops, next to Maui Ocean Center
This tour usually fills up fast, so we advise you to book online at least a couple days in advance.
A word of warning:
This is quite a demanding adventure so you need to be able to swim and be in good health. If you’re pregnant, have heart problems, or problems with your back, neck or knees, this won’t be suitable for you.
No children under 7 allowed. Sorry, this is for their safety.
6 Hour Tour
Certified Marine Naturalists as your tour guide to educate you about things you’ll see
Premium snorkel gear and instruction including optical masks for eyeglass wearers
Available wetsuit, underwater camera or binoculars for rental
Two snorkel sites
Continental breakfast provided
Unlimited soda and juice, plus one complimentary alcoholic beverage for those 21 and older with valid photo ID
Onboard Jr. Naturalist Program for kids
Reef-safe sunscreen and filtered water available onboard
Children must be a minimum of 8 years of age
Not recommended for guests who are pregnant, have heart problems, or problems with your back, neck or knees
Non-swimmers are not allowed in the water on this tour
When you go see the island of Maui with West Maui Snorkel, the adventure starts before you get there.
Check in at the easy to find location at The Whaler’s Village Shopping Center where the Sea Maui is the only boat with a physical location right on the beach. Called “Ocean Activities”, you can find their booth along the beach walk at family friendly Whaler’s Village between Leilani’s restaurant and The Westin resort.
If that’s not enough, they also have free parking validation, which means you get to save at least $20, if not more.
Once you’ve sorted out your parking and boarded the Sea Maui, also known as Ka’anapali’s “Fun boat” by the locals, you get to savor the mouth-watering food prepared by the famous Chef Joey Macadangdag of Joey’s Kitchen & Roy’s International. Got food allergy or special dietary needs? Maybe you need a vegetarian, vegan, low cholesterol or low salt diet?
Don’t worry. Give them just 24-hours notice and they’ll make sure there’s something for you.
Got everything you want?
Sit back, relax as you eat and watch the marine life, including dolphins and green sea turtles. You’ve got a 360-degrees, unrestricted view, so make the most of it. If you’re lucky and it’s the right season, you might even get to see whales.
There’s plenty more to do onboard, of course, but that’s not why you’re there. The real fun starts when you get to your Maui snorkeling destination.
That starts when you walk – or jump – into the clear turquoise water of Lanai and West Maui.
In these two amazing snorkel locations you’ll see, first hand, the beautiful marine life, tropical fish, the coral gardens and, of course, the famous turtles of Maui. With a little luck, you may spot a whale.
But words simply can’t do justice to actually being there. You have to go and see for yourself (link).
Maybe you’re not an early riser and prefer to sleep in a little longer. I mean, why endure all that exhausting additional fun stuff, right? Well, you can go with the Mala Xpress. Just jump in and snorkel right there on Ka’anapali beach.
Want to know more about one of the best snorkeling tours?
Here are the extras, included in the price of course:
There are open bars on most sails (Cash bar on Mala Xpress). If you prefer privacy, you can charter a private boat from them. If you’d like photo packages, you can buy them at preferable rates.
This is truly a great tour, giving you everything you need from start to finish. Plus, at only $119, this tour is hard to pass up.
4.5 hour tour
Two snorkel locations
Mouth-watering food prepared by the famous Chef Joey Macadangdag of Joey’s Kitchen & Roy’s International
Options if you have food allergy or special dietary needs (24 hours notice)
You can charter a private boat from them if you prefer privacy
Breakfast, lunch, & open premium bar included
HD cameras to capture adventure throughout the trip
Free parking with validation
Certified naturalists for whale watchers, assuming it’s the right season.
Crew members are Certified lifeguards and CPR administrators
Beverages available including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, lemonade, juice, and water
You get to use their masks, snorkels, fins, and floatation vests and/or pool noodles – all high-end products.
HD cameras on board will capture moments of the trip
Not available Tuesdays or Fridays
Video of experience available at additional cost
Sites visited will be determined by weather each day
The Hawaiian green sea turtle is an endangered species. Not only are you not allowed to catch them, you can’t even touch them.
But, on a Makena Turtle Town Eco Kayak Adventure you can snorkel alongside them in beautiful, crystal clear, turquoise water.
Kayak along the waters of South Maui to Makena Turtle Town and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. They guarantee it. You may even see Manta & Eagle Rays, octopuses, eels, dolphins, or maybe a whale. And – if you happen to be there during the right season – whales.
Got kids over 5 years of age? Take them along with you. Make it a family outing. They’ll love it.
Two snorkel sites, all the kayaking and snorkel gear you’ll need, life jackets, a light snack and a bottle of water. And, of course, a guide to tell you what’s what.
Groups are small. Usually up to 8 people or less. So, you have the tour guide all to yourselves instead of having to wait in queue to get your questions answered.
Pleased with the tour guide? Go ahead and tip them if you want to. As a cherry on top, the Turtle Town Eco Kayak Adventure was voted Maui’s favorite turtle tour…so, what are you waiting for?
3 hour tour
1.5 to 2 hours of paddling and 45 – 60 minutes of snorkeling time
Small groups (up to 8 guests)
May see Manta & Eagle Rays, octopuses, eels and dolphin
Can see dozens of vibrant tropical species of fish
Guaranteed to see the Hawaiian Green sea turtle and snorkel with them
Kayak gear, Life jackets, and Snorkel gear included
Light snack and a bottled water are included
Not allowed to get too close or to touch the Hawaiian green sea turtle since it is an endangered species
Not guaranteed to see Whales (Seasonal from November through March)
Children must be 5 years or older to participate
“Decided to try this during our honeymoon – it was so amazing.”
Not everyone’s the same of course. So, as well as unforgettable Maui snorkeling, each of these destinations has a huge range of other activities. More than enough for one, two or even three weeks of holiday.
So, if you somehow get bored of the Maui, Molokini snorkel tour, and need a change, you’ll always find a new and exciting way to experience Maui. But I honestly don’t know how you’ll ever grow tired of something like the Molokini crater and its abundant marine life.
Of course, there are plenty of snorkeling tours in Maui, but what makes these three special? What makes them my choice?
I really can’t tell you just how glorious the Molokini snorkel tour and Maui snorkel tour really are. They’re my personal favorites.
Whether you want to do one or all three of these top snorkel tours, they really are unforgettable experiences that offer endless hours of amazement. And, as I keep saying, it really isn’t easy to convince you unless I can drag you out there to see for yourself!
So why not click one of the above links and give yourself a treat – while it’s fresh in your mind? And even if you’re not ready to go on holiday soon, believe me, it’s well worth bookmarking this site and keeping these three places in mind.
Who knows? You might even see me when you get there, because I’m certainly going back again. and again.