A Day at Sea: Kauai Boat Tours

Upon arriving in Kauai, we saw why Hawaii’s “Garden Isle” is often considered the most scenic and beloved of the islands. We knew we wanted to take in the stunning scenery from every angle that we could; by foot, by air and by sea. We researched the companies offering Kauai boat tours and found Captain Andy’s through their glowing tripdvisor reviews.

We booked the snorkel adventure tour on the 55′ catamaran and got ready for a day at sea. The day of the tour we met at the office in Port Allen and discovered that due to weather conditions the boat was not going to be able to head up north to the Na Pali coast. We had the choice of either going east along the southern coast or coming back another day to try to head up to the Na Pali coast. We didn’t relish the thought of waking up while it was still dark and driving an hour to Port Allen from where we were staying a second time, and so we decided to go wherever the boat wanted to take us that day.

The Tour

The trip started with coffee, water, pastries and fruit laid out for all to enjoy as we cast off from the dock at Port Allen. The catamaran is a beautiful and comfortable boat, and though we spent the day under the power of the engine, motoring faster than the wind, it sure looked pretty with it’s sails hoisted. We settled in on the trampoline stretched across the boat and got down to business of enjoying the sun, wind, and spectacular views!

The captain took us along the coastline to enjoy the sunny day and beautiful views while looking for wildlife, which we found in spades. We saw countless pods of dolphins and whales waving a flipper or their tail in our direction. One of the most memorable parts of the day was when one of the crew dropped an underwater mic (hydrophone) into the water to hear the whales below us.

The humpback whale’s songs sound like something out of this world or out of the past and was actually one of the noises used to make the dinosaur sounds in “Jurassic Park.” It was so other-worldly I was tempted to think we were being played a recording, but when the song stopped the crew member holding the amp said “that means the whale is coming to the surface, keep an eye out because that sounded very close.” Next thing you know a huge humpback broke the surface just yards from the boat!

All of the crew were very knowledgeable about the whales and other wildlife in the area and eager to answer any questions we had. The most constant theme of the day was how cheerful, easy-going and helpful all of the crew were. They were beyond accommodating and eager to please. Every time you turned around they were there offering you a fresh drink or a strangely delicious pretzel in defense against motion sickness. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but the best way to defend against seasickness is having some food in your stomach and nibbling on something salty like a pretzel or cracker.

We stopped for lunch and a snorkel right off of the beach where “7 days and 6 nights” was filmed. The island of Kauai has been featured in over seventy Hollywood movies and tv shows so it seemed as though everything we looked at was the site of one filming or another. The water was beautiful and clear and though we didn’t see too much wildlife or coral we did have a blast swimming around and jumping from the boat into the amazingly clear water.

Afterward, there were ingredients for sandwiches laid out and wine, beer, and other drinks. On the way back to Port Allen, the crew continued to ply us with cookies and wine which we lazily accepted while enjoying the views. The trip is really more of a beautiful experience of wildlife, coastline and boating than it is phenomenal snorkeling. All in all, it was an absolutely lovely day on the water and just what we were hoping for.

Do you want to do it too?

Whale season in Kauai runs from December through April when the Hawaiian Humpback Whale, makes its annual migration, and this is a unique opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. The many different species of dolphins that call this area home, the stunning coastline of Kauai and the incredibly clear ocean waters can be spotted year-round.

Capt. Andy’s offers several tours a day from their Port Allen office. The knowledge and experience combined with the personal touches and family-type atmosphere of the captain and crew made us feel welcome and created an invaluable experience. Tours run from $69 (online price) for a two-hour sunset sail up to $159 (online price) for the Na Pali snorkel BBQ sail.

Many thanks to Capt. Andy’s for this excursion. As always, all opinions are our own.


I think of California as officially "home" but can usually be found a lot closer to the equatorial belt. After finishing a Masters program in 2011 I found myself trying to decide between a couple of different high-powered career options. I decided I wasn't quite ready to "grow up" and went with an entirely different plan which involved selling off everything I owned with my partner Tom and buying a one-way ticket to Colombia. Our plan was to travel "Till The Money Ran Out" and then go home to start our grown-up lives. Instead, we started our own app development company on the road and have been criss-crossing the globe, traveling, working, eating spicy food and refusing to "grow up" ever since. You can find me on Twitter, , Facebook or send me a message using our About Us page.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the post! I’m looking to do the exact same thing with Kauai: see it by land, air and sea! Checking out Capt Andy’s now.

  1. July 8, 2015

    […] that it is a comfortable day. We have been lucky enough to experience amazing boat trips, like our whale watching trip in Kauai and know what can be done to accommodate […]

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