Small Vessels and Small group snorkeling tours on Maui
Hawaii Ocean Rafting has been in business here on Maui for more than 30 years. We have remained small and family oriented and believe that our smaller vessels and small group size allow for the absolute best experience out there. There are many bargain big boat tours out there, and are often referred to as the “cattle car” tours. You just can’t get up close and personal on a giant vessel the way that you can on our low profile ocean rafts.
We specialize in snorkeling around the neighbor island of Lana’i as well as whale watching from Lahaina harbor. We offer both a half and full day snorkeling tour. If the weather cooperates (which it usually does, it’s Maui afterall) Our full day tour will circumnavigate the entire island of Lana’i! The far side of the island is home to a giant shipwreck which makes for a pretty wonderful photo opprotunity. Our half day tour will snorkel 2-3 unique areas around the striking coast of Lana’i. There are spots where you snorkel right at the base of towering sea cliffs and places where an unexpected pinnacle reaches up from 60 feet of water. Lana’i offers snorkeling that you will never be able to find on any road system. We also think that it is important to find snorkeling areas with no other groups of snorkelers. You can ecperience the beauty more fully with a small group.
Snorkeling and Whale Watching
Lana’i is wonderful for snorkeling because of it’s sheer variety and virtually undisturbed habitat. The island is home to three different species of dolphin. The Hawaiian spinner dolphin, pan tropical spotted dolphin, as well as the more elusive bottle nosed dolphin all call Lana’i home. We are often greeted by a pod of dolphins when we arrive at the coast of Lana’i. These guys love to leap and play in the wake of our rafts. This time of year our snorkeling tours become part whale watching tour. The relatively shallow waters between Maui’s West side and the island of Lana’i are the prime calving and mating areas for the humpbacks that visit us each Winter.
We travel right through the shallow channel between Maui and Lana’i, which is home to the highest concentration of humpbacks. A good way to make sure you get the full experience that The waters surrounding Maui have to offer is to go on your snorkeling tour and then go on one of our two hour whale watching tours that are devoted exclusively to whale watching. Many of our guests get a glimpse and a few good photos of the humpbacks as they embark on their snorkeling adventure and can’t help but go back out and spend more whale time. All of our tours leave from Lahaina harbor, stop by slip 8 for a chat.
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Keep in mind that whale season corresponds with Maui’s high season and whale tours can sell out pretty fast.