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Snorkeling Tours on Kauai

Kauai Snorkel Tours often book up well in advance

There are 25 tours in this category with adult prices that range in price from $68.90 to $209.00 Skip Directly to Tours.

Kauai Snorkeling Tours

Kauai snorkeling tours are a favorite on Kauai.

Kauai snorkeling tours are the single most popular visitor activity on the island of Kauai, and why wouldn't they be? Snorkeling on Kauai is excellent. You will find that almost all the water tours on Kauai whether they be Dolphin Excursions, Na Pali Coast Tours, many Whale Watch Tours and the Niihau excursions famous on Kauai will offer snorkeling as a part of their tours. Tom Barefoot's Tours offers many of these tours at discount pricing.

Kauai is an island almost completely surrounded by reef and consequently also an abundance of sea life. It is not unusual for Kauai snorkel tours to encounter dolphins, turtles and even the occasional monk seal in addition to the generous quantities of reef fish and coral one would customarily expect to see on their snorkel tour.

Many of the best snorkeling tours on Kauai are available by boat departing from various locations on the island but snorkel tours can also be arranged to take you directly into the water from a beach. You can certainly even snorkel on Kauai directly from the beach on your own with snorkel and fins but caution should be advised to make sure the snorkel location you choose and the water conditions prevalent on the day you snorkel are safe for your snorkel adventure.

You can check with our Kauai Beach Guide to read about the beaches on the island but you will probably find that the organized Kauai snorkel tours will yield the best snorkeling results.

Kauai's coastline provides ideal conditions for snorkeling and the ocean surrounding Kauai contains a plethora of sea life, much of which you can see while snorkeling.

  • Kauai's coastline is both varied and beautiful ranging from the more gentle inlets and coves of the Poipu and south shore region to the dramatic, isolated and incredible shoreline of the Na Pali Coast, each of which providing for a great Kauai snorkel experience.
  • If you're an inexperienced snorkeler and you're concerned about your Kauai snorkel adventure, don't worry. The myriad of snorkel boats that travel the waters around the Garden Isle will provide you with all the gear, flotation devices and instruction you need to make your Kauai snorkeling tour easy and fun.

What types of fish can you expect to see on your snorkel tour off Kauai?

  • Moorish Idol
  • Goat Fish
  • Hawaiian Squirrel Fish
  • Sea Cucumber
  • White Mouth Moray Eel
  • Butterfly Fish
  • Trigger Fish
  • Parrot Fish
  • Cornet Fish
  • Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
  • Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins
  • Monk Seals
  • Humpback Whales (in season)

Kauai has a large fleet of snorkeling boats and snorkeling charters offering trips that traverse the Kauai shoreline.

Here are a few of your Kauai snorkeling boat options:

  • Large Sailing catamarans that offer sailing before or after your snorkel are a good choice for your Kauai snorkel.
  • Large and very stable and powerful power catamarans that would transport you quickly and with comfort to your various Kauai snorkel locations.
  • Smaller zodiac or "rigid hulled inflatables" designed for small and more intimate snorkel experiences often providing you with Kauai snorkel locations that are inaccessible to other snorkeling boats.
  • Small and private six passenger power catamarans that would provide a Kauai snorkel tour that would be just for you and your private group of friends and family.

Kauai is also one of the few islands that provide snorkeling trips that depart from the shoreline rather than from a boat.

  • These Kauai snorkel tours will take you via van to some of the very best snorkeling locations and the water entry from the beach often makes the snorkel experience a bit less intimidating for the less initiated. These are great family activities for snorkeling.
  • As an adjunct to your wonderful Kauai 'from the beach' snorkeling experience you are also likely to find that the Spinner and Bottle Nose Dolphins, the Hawaii Green Sea Turtles and Humpback Whales during the winter seasons, may all become a part of your snorkeling adventure as well.

Kauai Snuba Tours are similar to Kauai snorkeling tours and are available for you as well.

  • Snuba Tours are also included in the complement of Kauai snorkel trips. Snuba is a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling. A scuba tank is allowed to float on a floatation device at the surface above you. You swim perhaps twenty feet or so below and inhale air through a tube or hose. There are no tanks on your back. These tours also have entry from the shoreline so many beginners feel a bit more comfortable in trying this new experience.

Norwegian Cruise Line - Pride of America Cruise Ship:

The Snorkeling Tours on Kauai will not pick you up at the cruise ship pier. Your best bet is to either arrange for a taxi to take you to and from the departure location or to have Tom Barefoot's Tours arrange for a Rent-A-Car shuttle to pick you up at the Cruise boat pier. The best timing for most of these snorkeling tours is going to be on the Thursday afternoon or Friday morning of your cruise schedule.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Snorkeling Tours Sorted by Specific Tour


Snorkeling Tours Sorted by Company

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(11 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Blue Dolphin Charters

3 Activity Options

56 foot wide-beam sailing Trimaran, 27' Raft and 63' Catamaran

Blue Dolphin Charters offers spectacular motor sailing cruises to the NaPali Coast of Kauai and to the 'forbidden island' of Niihau. In addition Blue Dolphin also offers whale watches, snorkeling, snuba, dinner cruises, sunset sails and rafting excursions. All emphasis is placed upon customer comfort and its large boats each maintain large walk-in restrooms, fresh water showers and plenty of deck space.
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(6 Reviews, 5 Stars)

NaPali Explorer

2 Activity Options

Na Pali Coast Snorkel and Raft

Boasting two very fast and maneuverable rigid hull inflatables, Napali Explorer provides adventurous boats that are ideal for the conditions that can be found along the Napali Coast. The small groups taken on these tours make them very personalized and these boats are perfect for exploring the numerous caves and sheer cliff formations that make the Napali Coast so famous.
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(4 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Catamaran Kahanu

1 Activity Option

36' Sailing Catamaran, 36' double hull Hawaiian Catamaran

Catamaran Kahanu is a boat tour company that offers tours of the spectacular NaPali Coastline on Kauai's North Shore and also offers dinner cruises and whale watches. With a maximum capacity of only eighteen passengers these tours are very personalized and your captain and crew are of Hawaiian ancestry and have been lifelong residents of Kauai.
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(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Kauai Z Tourz

2 Activity Options

Dolphin tours on a 24 foot Zodiac Inflatable Raft.

Kauai Z-Tours operates 16 passenger rafts along the southern coastlines of Kauai. Their complement of tours includes snorkeling excursions, whale watches and dolphin watches. The southern coastline of Kauai is ideal for rafting the majority of the year as opposed to the 'north shore' where the waves can become too dangerous in the winter. Sunny weather is usually on hand all year also so it makes for a great snorkeling destination.
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(1 Review, 5 Stars)

NaPali Riders

1 Activity Option

Inflatable Rafts and Snorkel Tour

Departing from their location in Waimea the Na Pali Riders takes a maximum of 36 passengers on its large zodiac rafts to experience the full 17 mile Na Pali Coastline. Not only do they view the coastline and snorkel but they are one of the few boats to visit and snorkel in the area of the site of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. In addition, viewing dolphins and whales from one of these speedy vessels is half the fun.
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(9 Reviews, 4.9 Stars)

Holo-Holo Charters

3 Activity Options

61' and 48' Sailing Catamarans, 38' Raft

Holo Holo Charters offers a variety of boat tours on Kauai on large, powerful and stable catamarans. Tours include beautiful snorkel and dolphin watch excursions to the NaPali Coastline, raft tours of NaPali during the summer months, dinner sunset cruises, whale watching and tours to the forbidden island of Niihau.
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(17 Reviews, 4.8 Stars)

Kauai Sea Tours

4 Activity Options

24' Rigid Hull Inflatable Rafts, Lucky Lady' 60' Sailing, Power Catamaran

Kauai Sea Tours is a large charter boat company that offers tours off the coast of Kauai and particularly the NaPali Coast with its beautiful 'signature' boat , Lucky Lady. In addition it also provides romantic dinner cruises and whale watches and also has a fleet of specially designed raft boats which are great for exploring caves, snorkeling and racing dolphins.
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(18 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Captain Andy's Expedition

5 Activity Options

55' Sailing Catamaran, 55' Gold Coast Yachts, 30' and 38' RAIV

Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures for years has offered tours to see the spectacular NaPali Coastline of Kauai. Sailing large and luxurious Gold Coast Yacht Sailing Catamarans, Captain Andy's will take you snorkeling and dolphin watching as well as provide romantic dinner and sunset cruises. In addition you can enjoy rafting adventures to the NaPali Coast.
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(5 Reviews, 4.6 Stars)

Liko Kauai Cruises

2 Activity Options

49' Catamaran

Liko Kauai Cruises offers morning and afternoon boat tours to the beautiful NaPali coastline. This 49 passenger vessel is specifically designed for the waters surrounding this coastline and every effort was made to make this ocean experience a comfortable and enjoyable one. Captain 'Liko' himself is a descendant of full Hawaiians from Kauai and Niihau and his trips reflect and educate about the culture of Hawaii.
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Outfitters Kauai

1 Activity Option

Hike to a Zipline Adventure, Kayak Tours, Bike Tours and Rides

Outfitters Kauai is an adventure company on Kauai that offers a combination of ocean and river kayaking experiences, hiking tours, bike tours and zipline adventures. Methodically developing one adventure at a time over the course of years, this popular company has produced some of the most notable Kauai adventures available on the island.
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Aloha Kauai Tours

1 Activity Option

Snorkel day on the coast of Kauai.

Spend a guided day at the Beach on Kauai's southern coastline with a snorkeling experience for any level.
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Recent Reviews


Top Activities
Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

Snorkeling is a big-time deal on the island of Kauai, as it is on all the other Hawaiian islands.

It is particularly nice on Kauai because not only do you get a place to snorkel that's going to be a great place to do that, but the island itself is so incredibly beautiful just to be seen from off the coast as you cruise along going to your snorkel area. It is perhaps the single most beautiful island that we have from that vantage point, in the Hawaiian islands. Not to mention the fact that there are dolphins which really, really add to all the snorkel trips. It seems like all the trips we have going snorkeling end up running into Dolphins on Kauai. It's just amazing how that happens. Of course, during the whale season in the wintertime, we're also going to be able to see Whales as well, but dolphins really add to each and every one of the special cruises that we have there. People go out and do the snorkeling.

The snorkel trips, many of them go out to this area of the coastline on kind of the north side, which is referred to as the Napali Coastline. This is where you have the big giant cliffs that come straight down to the sea, absolutely amazing, one of the wonders of the world to see these. And then beautiful spots off the coastline where you can do some snorkeling. If you're there in the summer, which is primarily the time you want to be in Napali because the waves are not as big as in the winter. Winter, it can be just amazingly strong there and difficult on many days to actually get out there to do any snorkeling, but during the summertime, it's just beautiful. Usually very, very calm and you've got not only the cliffs that you can view and so on, but you've got caves that you can get into and snorkel around, and at least take your boats in there, the smaller ones in any event.

There's also some places that happen along the southern coastline that can be seen with snorkeling. There's places throughout the island of Kauai. Although primarily we have different boats that go out to do snorkeling on Kauai, there is one company we have that, if you didn't want to on a boat for some reason, you could go off the shoreline. It's fairly unique as a company. We don't have many of these that happen throughout the Hawaiian chain, but this is one that's been happening for quite a while, and people quite enjoy it. You'd actually just go in right from the shoreline, do some snorkeling. They transport you from your hotel out to the special area they do this, and then they teach you how to snorkel and so on, if you want to learn that. By the way, there's also another company that does SNUBA kind of in a similar way, so you can do SNUBA right off of the shoreline on Kauai.

But primarily the majority of people are going to go out on boats, and those really come in two varieties, larger boats and smaller boats. People usually gravitate toward one or the other. Larger boats are nice in the sense that they're big and they're sturdy. They're stable on the water, less movement, that kind of thing. Also, some of them have a couple decks, so on the top deck you've got really a great bird's eye view of what's going on, particularly looking at the Dolphins and that sort of thing.

The smaller boats are more like the Zodiacs or Radon-type boats. Much smaller, but much faster and much more maneuverable. Carry many less people, and give you a chance to cover more ocean. They're also nice in the sense that, since they are smaller groups and they may be 10 or 6 people on your trip ... maybe a little bit more ... maybe 15, depending on the boat that you're going on. But they give you more of an opportunity, I think, to ask questions of the captain and get a little bit more personalized and that sort of thing. Also the fact that you're just right there on the water seems a little bit more ... you're just closer to the marine environment than you are on the larger boats. But not everybody wants those.

A lot of the Zodiac-type boats, you have to be careful if you've got a bad back, or if you're kind of an older person, maybe, that doesn't feel like you have the balance and so on that you might need. You can actually end up in some areas where you're just kind of skimming over the surface of waves, and it can be a little bit harsher to your body. You need to be able to withstand that. Many, many people do. I think as a generalization, people that are younger or really physically younger are going to gravitate more toward those type of boats, and then the other ones are just a little more stable in the water.

Snorkeling big. It's probably the single biggest activity that we have on Kauai, and it's something that you should consider, because there's much more to it than just the snorkeling and the fish. But it's the beautiful views and the sightseeing from the ocean, and it's the whales, if that's time of year, and it's the Dolphins. They're there all the time. Definitely plan on enjoying a snorkel tour in Kauai.

If you have any questions about Tours or Activities in Hawaii, just give us a call, or check out tombarefoot.com. We're here to help.


Hawaii snorkeling is by far the single most popular category of activities to be found in Hawaii. One reason for this is that snorkeling in Hawaii is often a component of many different types of tours found on any individual island such as many of the dolphin watches, whale watches, diving tours, raft excursions and even in some cases dinner cruises.

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Great Oahu snorkeling spots can be found off the coast of Waikiki and Honolulu but many excellent snorkel areas can be found off the coast of Waianae, Kailua, and Haleiwa as well.

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There's a reason people love snorkeling on Maui. The ocean waters surrounding Maui and its neighbor islands of Lanai and Molokini are comfortably warm, have great visibility (often in excess of 100 feet), and are teeming with beautiful coral formations and colorful tropical fish.

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The Big Island of Hawaii has a number of different boats that offer snorkeling tours. Many of them cruise the coast off Kona down to Capt. Cook. Most of the boats offer morning and afternoon trips and one trip even offers "night snorkeling" to see the giant Manta Rays.

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