To be completely honest with you, we weighed the pros and cons of each tour in Kauai because we were trying to stick to a budget. We knew that seeing the Na Pali Coast by boat would be cool, but we were not prepared for the unbelievable experience that we ended up having with Capt. Andy`s. If I could give you just one piece of advice while traveling to Kauai, it would be this: Sign yourself up for the Star Na Pali Snorkel BBQ Sail with Capt. Andy`s immediately! You are going to absolutely love it, and here`s why.
Exploring The Na Pali Coast
This stunning area is known to be one of the most beautiful shorelines in the entire world and it’s easy to see why during a Na Pali Coast tour! Picture this: clear blue waves rolling into white sand beaches surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Lush, green ridges up to 4,000 feet high sprinkled with powerful waterfalls and scenic rivers. All in a protected area with no infrastructure, no roads, and barely any people. This place is paradise!
The Hawaiian Government along with the local community have worked very hard to protect this 17 mile stretch along Kauai’s North Shore. The ecosystem is fragile and it’s important to respect the land as well as the wildlife living in the area. Fun fact: Dozens of movies have been shot along this coast including Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean!
Nothing beats cruising in comfort and Capt. Andy’s 65′ Star Catamaran is nothing short of luxurious. We felt like impostors who had snuck onto a celebrity’s private yacht and should be kicked off any minute… seriously. The boat offers two large bathrooms, an air-conditioned indoor bar/lounge area, an outdoor dining area, padded benches, and a BBQ area. Our favourite part was the large trampoline nets on the bow where you can sprawl out and soak up some sun! It’s a perfect place to spot the spinner dolphins that like to play in the surf below. The snorkel platform at the back of the catamaran made it super easy to get in and out of the water and they even had hot water showers to rinse off afterwards!
Even when the winds pick up and the ocean gets choppy, this boat handles well. With that being said, seasickness is a day-ruiner so we always take Gravol before tours like this. The catamaran capacity is around 40 people, but we were super lucky to visit on a day where there was only 21 of us!
One of the many reasons travellers choose a Na Pali Coast tour is because of the diverse wildlife both on land and in the sea. During the winter months, the warm waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands turn into breeding and birthing grounds for humpback whales. During these months whale sightings are almost guaranteed – we saw over a dozen whales during this tour! Spinner dolphins, monk seals, and green sea turtles are also incredibly common year round. You might even get lucky and see a manta ray (like we did!), sharks, or other species of whales.
The Na Pali Coast tour offers some amazing snorkelling opportunities and Capt. Andy knows some of the best spots. During the tour, your captain will pick a great snorkel location at the time based on tides and weather. High quality snorkel gear will be provided but if you prefer using your own, that’s okay too. Chances of seeing sea turtles and tons of tropical fish are very high. If you’re really lucky, a pod of dolphins or even a manta ray might just cruise by! Make sure to bring a rash guard to avoid a sun burn and pack a towel to dry off after that warm shower.
Food & Drinks
The Star Na Pali Snorkel BBQ Sail offers muffins and coffee upon check-in followed by a small but delicious buffet-style breakfast. For us, this included apple cinnamon-baked oatmeal squares (GF and Vegan), Greek yogurt, fresh fruit trays, fruit juice, coffee, and tea. We were able to help ourselves to this fantastic spread at our leisure throughout the morning! After we finished snorkelling, beer and wine were served by the lovely crew.
For the lunch BBQ, we had a choice between a grilled chicken breast or a beef burger on a homemade bun. It was accompanied by coleslaw and baked beans and all the food was fantastic! Capt. Andy’s is great at working with any dietary restrictions, just make sure to give them a heads up when you book!
The crew on this boat tour was absolutely exceptional! Right from the start, each member was friendly and accommodating, making us feel at home as soon as we stepped foot on the catamaran. Capt. Andy’s crew was also very knowledgeable and shared a ton of information regarding not only the coastline but the entire island of Kauai. They got just as excited as we did about the wildlife and had a sharp eye for spotting whales in the distance!
Towards the end of our cruise, the captain dropped the sail and we enjoyed a relaxing sail back to the harbour. This was the perfect time to bask in the sun, chill out on the trampolines and enjoy the open bar!