Na Pali Coast Boat Tour
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Na Pali Coast Boat Tour – North Shore Kauai

If you choose just one activity while visiting Kauai, make sure it is a Na Pali Coast Boat Tour. This 17 mile stretch of coastline is accessible only by foot (first 11 miles), air, or boat. The natural beauty will astound you. Emerald-hued cliffs with razor-sharp ridges tower above the Pacific Ocean, revealing beautiful beaches and waterfalls that plummet to the lush valley floor.

Na Pali Coast

So, when four members of my family jumped on a Southwest Airlines sale last summer and unexpectedly decided to come visit us, I knew this would be something I wanted to share with them. I immediately started researching the boat companies leaving from the north shore.

Depending on the ocean swells, one may find a Na Pali Coast Boat Tour leaving year round from Port Allen on the west side of the island. This is a long (1 1/2 to 2 hour) drive from Princeville. My husband and I have done it several times, once for our anniversary, but we booked a night in Poipu so we wouldn’t have to drive both ways in one day. Yes, we have lived on island for a long time and we are spoiled! The tours must go quite a few miles before even reaching the Na Pali Coast, but we wanted to go on the Captain Andy’s Sunset Dinner Cruise. It was lovely.

From April to October, however, a few companies leave from the north shore. This is a far better option as the beauty of the island starts right from the minute you step on the boat, and you don’t have to drive so far if you are staying on the north or east side of the island. I found four companies that offered tours, two leaving from Hanalei Bay and two leaving from Anini Beach. I thought I would share this comparision in case this is something you would enjoy doing. I hope it is helpful.

Na Pali Catamaran:

Leaves from Hanalei Bay

35 ft catamaran

22 passengers

Shaded seating


Ages 5 and up

Two morning tours and two afternoon tours

4 hours

$289 to $299

Na Pali Coast Hanalei Tours:

Leaves from Hanalei Bay

32 ft catamaran

18 passengers

No bathroom

Ages 4 and up; Less than 275 lbs.

One Morning and one afternoon 4 hour snorkeling tour $289

On 2 hour sunset tour $199

Na Pali Coast Sea Breeze Tours:

Leaves from Anini Beach

34 ft catamaran

14 passengers


Morning and afternoon tours

4 1/2 hours

No weekend tours

Ages 4 to 80


North Shore Charters:

Leaves from Anini

32 ft catamaran

16 passengers


4 hours

Ages 7 and up

Morning snorkeling tour, plus more expensive charters

No Sunday tours


Our Na Pali Coast Boat Tour Choice

In the end, I chose North Shore Charters and we could not have had a better time. The captain (and owner of the boat) was great, along with his assistant who had quite the sense of humor. It was a beautiful Kauai day as we coasted along admiring the lush volcanic hills standing majestic at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Several waterfalls came flowing over the edge of the cliffs. We were able to go in a few caves, including, my favorite, the cave that lost it’s ceiling and is now open to the sky.

On the way back, the boat anchored at Tunnels (Makua in Hawaiian) where one could go snorkeling over the reef. A sandwich lunch and drinks were provided. From there it was just a short trip back to Anini Beach. This is convenient as it can be a bit chilly heading into the wind after getting wet.

My family considered this activity the highlight of the trip, and were so grateful for the adventure. If you plan to take a Na Pali Coast Tour on your vacation, I would highly recommend this company. I am sure, however, the other three are just as good. Keep in mind that April and October can be iffy as winter swells may still occur, making it unsafe to leave from the north. So, book your trip at the start of your stay. If it gets canceled, you may be able to reschedule before you leave the island.

Na Pali Boat Tour

If you are ready to see an amazing part of the world, be sure to make your reservation for your Na Pali Coast Tour well in advance of your stay. They book up fast, especially the tours leaving from the North Shore. They are a bit more expensive, but so worth it!

For more information about our luxury, three bedroom, Kauai vacation rental on the north shore, go to any other page of this website. If you would like to subscribe to our blogs, scroll down to the bottom of the Guide Page of this website. You will be sent an email when a new blog is published. We would LOVE you to follow us on Instagram @honupoint. Mahalo!

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