Kauai is not nicknamed the Garden Isle for nothing; the Hawaiian Island easily passes for one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
If you are an avid reader of travel blogs and magazines, you’ve probably come across a feature on Kauai a few times.
You’ll find Kauai on many a traveler’s bucket list when it comes to the usual activities – resorts, beaches, and hikes. Feel free to add boating to that list as well.
Because what’s not to like about sailing in calm emerald seas against a backdrop of breathtaking vistas, pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and heart-stopping sunsets?
Not much we would guess.
Here are 15 best Kauai boat tours we think you would love.
1. Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail
Na Pali Coast is famed for its towering sea cliffs (pali) accented with cascading waterfalls, streams and narrow valleys.
Its natural beauty has led some to christen it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” This boat tour gives you the opportunity to undress its beauty the best way possible – from the water.
Set sail from Port Allen aboard a well-equipped catamaran and enjoy five hours of unadulterated fun. Marvel in the magical sights of Na Pali Coast and dive into the colorful waters at the snorkeling stop.
The package is inclusive of breakfast and a buffet lunch on board. The captain and crew provide loads of entertainment.
2. Na Pali Sunset Buffet Dinner Cruise
The romantic vibes of the Na Pali sunset make this tour the perfect tonic for couples. More so with dinner being served on board as you watch the orange flames of the Hawaiian sun fade into the horizon.
The deluxe sailing catamaran – the fastest in Kauai – glides past emerald valleys, sparkling waterfalls and cathedral spires piercing the blue skies, all serving to accentuate the moment.
A champagne toast and light appetizers will kick things off as you await the dinner buffet that’s served complete with wine, Mai Tais, beer and fresh juice.
Keep an eye out for marine inhabitants, including dolphins, whales, and sea turtles.
3. Deluxe Catamaran Cocktail Whale-Watching Cruise
Whale watching is one of the most rewarding aquatic experiences, and this tour promises to make it one of the richest and most memorable.
You can choose from two departure times depending on your schedule – 13:45 or 16:15.
Once on board, you will relish assorted pupu platter appetizers and get to wash them down with beer, wine or Mai Tais.
The captain will talk you through whale biology and behavior as you watch for the tell-tale signs of the resident humpback’s presence – tail slaps, breaches, and blows.
The scenery on the south coast of Kauai makes for spectacular viewing, so don’t forget to bring your camera.
4. Na Pali Sightseeing Sunset Dinner Cruise
After a day of adventure on the island, there is no better way to wind things up than by taking a sunset dinner cruise in Kauai.
The four-hour sightseeing cruise will be aboard a luxury catamaran with plenty of space to enjoy yourself.
Enjoy the views characterized by verdant valleys and jagged peaks, with an unlimited flow of your beverage of choice – wine, beer, coffee, or whatever mood you’re in the mood for.
The dinner comprises a three-course meal of the tastiest food Hawaii has to offer.
5. Niihau and Na Pali Coast Super Snorkel Cruise
This daylong sailing adventure takes you on a discovery of the most captivating destinations in Hawaii aboard a 20-meter-long (65-foot) catamaran, with spacious sundecks and lounging trampolines.
Enjoy the famous landscapes of Na Pali Coast as you uncover legends of yore.
The sailing adventure is not short on breathtaking scenery, and snorkeling is part of the offering.
Dive into the waters surrounding the “Forbidden Island” of Niihau and embark on a discovery of the abundant marine life in its reefs.
The friendly crew will narrate the history of Hawaii and tales of mythology to make this both an entertaining and educational expedition.
A light breakfast and hearty buffet lunch are included in the offer.
6. Whale-Watching Discovery (3-Hour Raft Tour)
Humpback mating season is usually an exciting time in Kauai, not just for the whales, but visitors as well.
This is because migrating humpback whales come here for the annual ritual, and that can only mean good news for all involved.
This half-day narrated tour will take you right into prime whale territory, where you will have the envious opportunity of watching these majestic creatures put on a spectacular show, leaping and crashing into the waters.
The moment is made more poignant by an underwater hydrophone so you can listen to their haunting vocalizations.
The roundtrip from Port Allen is inclusive of snacks and beverages.
In addition to whales, expect to see dolphins and turtles.
7. Sunset Dinner Cruise Off the Na Pali Coast
It is no secret that sunsets in Hawaii are postcard material. This boat tour presents you with the opportunity to soak it up in style as you savor a scrumptious dinner.
The four-hour cruise departs from Port Allen Marina Center and takes you on an exploration of the spectacular Na Pali coastline.
Along the way, the crew will share educational and entertaining stories about various points of interest, with a champagne toast at sunset.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities, and Kalalau Valley point will provide stunning panoramic views.
You will encounter plenty of waterfalls and sometimes spot a few mountain goats. As you head back, you will enjoy a Luau-style buffet dinner, replete with wine, beer or Mai Tais.
8. Kauai Sunset Catamaran Cruise with Cocktails
What’s a more beautiful experience than sailing as you watch a Kauai sunset? Sailing as you watch the Kauai sun go down as you sip on a cocktail provides that little bit of extra wow factor.
Board a luxury catamaran and sail out into the waters of the Pacific to catch the unique views of the famed Garden Isle sunset.
As you sip on tropical cocktails, there will be plenty of delicious appetizers to pair the drink with.
All the while, you will be serenaded with beautiful tunes from live Hawaiian musicians, with the warmth of the ocean breeze brushing against you.
Sunset experiences never felt this good.
9. Na Pali Sunset Dinner or Morning Continental Breakfast Cruise and Snorkel
Set sail after the captain’s safety orientation talk at Port Allen, Eleele, and go on a sightseeing tour that doubles up as a snorkeling adventure.
The cruise lasts five hours in total, with the option of a 7 am or 1 pm departure. Irrespective of your choice, you can be assured this will be five hours well spent.
Admire the breathtaking sights of the longest beach in Hawaii, with the ridgeline of the Waimea Canyon and Forbidden Island of Niihau visible in the distance.
Photographers are in for a treat, but sometimes, the best memories are never snapped. Take a refreshing dip or dive into the water for a snorkel – snorkeling gear is provided.
A three-course buffet meal awaits you for dinner, with beer, wine, and Mai Tais to chase it down.
10. Leila Na Pali Sunset Dinner Sail
Concerning natural bounties, Kauai has a lot to offer, but the trophy for its star attraction definitely goes to the Na Pali Coast.
This dramatic coast is like a party platter crammed with delicious appetizers – some sea caves here, sparkling waterfalls there; a lovely stream here, an emerald cliff right next to it.
This catamaran adventure gives you sufficient time to take it all in as you sail the Pacific, catching striking views of the tropical sunset.
Speaking of appetizers, a filling buffet is provided onboard, with a full selection of locally-made items and a long list of beverages to accompany the meal.
11. Na Pali Coast Catamaran Snorkeling Cruise with Lunch
Board a catamaran cruise and embark on a half-day expedition to Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, a fertile land endowed with natural attractions.
A cruise along the Kauai waters is the best way to enjoy Na Pali’s unique diversity; this tour starts you off the right way with a continental breakfast following the 7 am departure.
There will be a lot of sightseeing to do, and conditions permitting, you will have an hour to enjoy a swim or go snorkeling in the vibrant waters.
The warm Hawaii waters are a favorite frolicking ground for dolphins and turtles, so be on the lookout for them, as the captain and crew narrate stories about the island and marine life.
Tuck into a fresh buffet lunch back on deck and relax with your beverage of choice.
12. Aloha Sunset Sail with Hawaiian Style Buffet
This is a short two-hour cruise that should get you into the spirit of Hawaii.
The evening cruise sets sail from Port Allen Harbor, with a view to catching the sun before it disappears below the horizon.
Your catamaran will glide along Kauai’s famed south shore, serving you a real-life big-screen view of this tropical paradise.
Celebrate homegrown sounds by jamming to classic island tunes from the ‘70s that will give you an authentic feel of the tropical island’s lifestyle.
But true aloha hospitality is not complete without a local delicacy, and this will be offered in the form of a bento-style buffet.
Throw in an idyllic sunset at Poipu Beach and authentic trade-wind sailing, and you’ll have a good sense of what traditional Hawaiian lifestyle was like.
13. Afternoon Na Pali Sea Cave and Lava Tube Adventure
This tour is the perfect way to while away an afternoon in Kauai.
The three-hour cruise departs from Hanalei Bay aboard a high-speed hull raft, which is one of the few ideal ways to get to the coastline and discover the lava tubes and sea caves.
If the weather is good, the raft will pass through the fairy-tale sea caves and lava tubes, providing a close-up view of the beautiful landscape.
The captain and crew will shed interesting insights into the lives of ancient Hawaiians who called this mythical place home and prepared for battle in its valleys.
Some snacks, including Kauai Kookies, will be provided to help you keep your energy levels up and make the most of the adventure, which also entails watching marine wildlife.
14. Kauai: Full-Day Waimea Canyon & Wailua River Tour
Mark Twain referred to the striking Waimea Canyon as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and you’ll have the opportunity to see why.
This is a tour that does a good job of unlocking the splendor of this unique place, combining the grandeur of the land with the fabulous beauty of the waters.
There will be a visit to the Waimea Canyon State Park where the canyon itself sits.
As you make your way there, you will spot the island of Niihau, Nawiliwili Harbor, Queen Victoria’s profile and the Poipu Resorts.
You will also get to marvel at the Fern Grotto, a natural fern-covered lava rock cave, and see Opaeka’a Falls, a site that has served as a filming location for many movies.
This tour is chockfull of attractions, and of course, is not complete with a cruise on the Wailua River.
15. Kauai: Full-Day Tour with Fern Grotto River Cruise
This is one of the most complete tours of Kauai, combining a ground tour with a river cruise and airplane trip, although the latter is optional.
The seven-hour experience will take you to more attractions than you can keep track of, from beaches and mountains to ancient Hawaiian sites and waterfalls.
One of the notable excursions includes a visit to popular North Shore destinations, including Kilauea Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary and the Kilauea Lighthouse.
Other beautiful sights include Anini Beach, Hanalei Bay, Hanalei taro fields, Sleeping Giant and more.
Enjoy a boat cruise along the Wailua River aboard a spacious open-air riverboat, which smacks of that trademark laidback tropical vibe synonymous with Hawaii.