Maui Snorkeling

Maui Snorkeling at Honolua Bay, a favorite for both beach snorkeling and  snorkeling tours Why is Maui snorkeling such a favorite vacation activity? Because it's so easy - if you can float, you can snorkel.

This page will help you make your most important decision - do you want to take yourself to one of the free Maui snorkeling beaches, or pay for a Maui snorkeling tour on a boat?

We like both - we book one snorkeling trip and usually visit a couple snorkeling beaches each time we visit Maui.

Maui Snorkeling Trips

In comparison to beach snorkeling, Maui snorkeling trips combine snorkeling with the fun of sailing or motoring on the ocean as well as upclose viewing of ocean creatures such as dolphins and, in season, humpback whales. Snorkeling tours are also a relatively inexpensive Maui activity, especially since they usually last from a half day to most of a day. Check the following when selecting your snorkeling trip:

• Where you depart - usually Lahaina Harbor, Kaanapali beach, Mala Wharf, or Maalaea Harbor

• How long you are out on the ocean - anywhere from two hours to all day Use the buddy system when snorkeling in Maui.

• Type of boat - large motorized boats or smaller sailing catamarans

• Snorkel destination - most common destinations are Honolua Bay or Lanai island from Lahaina and Kaanapali; and Molokini island from Maalaea.

• Cost - general rule: as the boat gets larger and carries more passengers, the price gets lower. Sometimes kids are free.

• Onboard meals - some boats offer burgers and hot dogs, while other boats offer more upscale fare

• Other activites - such as watching whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.

Snorkeling trips in Maui can start with a catamaran from Kaanapali beach.

Several types of smaller boats, such as catamarans and power rafts, also offer snorkeling trips out of Lahaina Harbor, Kaanapali beach, and Maalaea Harbor. Catamaran sailboats motor right onto Kaanapali beach.

Consider what else you get to do (such as watching whales or sailing), cost differences between the different Maui snorkeling tours, how easy it is to find your own snorkeling beaches, and how much of a crowd is around you on the snorkeling boat or snorkeling beach.

Read about our early morning Dolphin Snorkel Sail on the Gemini catamaran.

Maui Snorkeling Beaches

Protected snorkeling at Kapalua Bay in northern Maui Beach snorkeling in Maui doesn't cost much. For us, beach snorkeling is free because we bring our masks and snorkels from home, and skip swim fins and wet suits. There are many Maui dive shops where you can rent or purchase snorkel gear.

Although there are lots of Maui beaches, not all of them have the right conditions for snorkeling.

See my Free Maui series page Maui Snorkeling Beaches to help you select the right beach for your beach snorkeling.

Molokini Snorkeling Tours

Molokini snorkeling tours offer clear water visibility at Molokini Crater, an island created from the top of a volcano off the southwestern coast of Maui.

Read about our Molokini snorkeling tour with Pacific Whale Foundation on a big motorized boat.

Maui Snorkeling Video

This short Maui snorkeling video is from the Travel Channel - "Samantha Brown journeys beneath the warm waters of Maui, and takes photos of the unusual and exotic marine life below".

Maui Ocean Center

A diver swims in the reef aquarium at the Maui Ocean Center. If you would like to view a variety of reef fish and sharks without even getting in the water, visit the Maui Ocean Center near Ma'alaea.

The parking lot for the Maui Ocean Center is also the parking lot for the Ma'alaea Pacific Whale Foundation tours, so combining these two activities can save some drive time.

Watching a scuba diver while we were standing in the clear see-through tunnel of the Open Ocean exhibit made us feel like we were snorkeling or scuba diving - but without the need for any gear.

My Other Maui Snorkeling Pages

Maui Snorkeling Overview

Maui Snorkeling Beaches

Maui Snorkeling Tours Kapalua Kai Catamaran

Maui Snorkeling Tours Gemini Catamaran

Molokini Snorkeling Tours Pacific Whale Foundation

Return to Maui Family Vacation from Maui Snorkeling

Maui Bucket List

Click on a link or picture below to go to the related Maui Bucket List activity:

Haleakala Volcano

Maui Bucket List - Volcano Haleakala

Road to Hana

Maui Bucket List - Road to Hana


Maui Bucket List - Luau


Maui Ocean Activities Bucket List


Maui Bucket List - Lahaina Banyan Tree