Cruise Ship Passengers
All day time Big Island snorkeling trips are available for cruise ship passengers. The Manta Ray tour is not available unless your cruise ship is on a rare itinerary that spends the night in Kona.
My wife and I snorkel a lot … and it takes a lot to impress us. We own our own sailing catamaran, so we are used to going to places that aren’t crowded and where the snorkeling is excellent. Whenever we go out on snorkel tours on the Big Island we are treated to conditions that we are able to find on our own boat – great reefs and uncrowded snorkeling.
The Fair Wind and the Hula Kai are both excellent trips. We review each boat in detail on their respective pages on this website. Our purpose for presenting this page is to show you the best snorkel options for comparison sake. If you have never been to the Big Island before, I would say that my first choice would be to go out on the Fair Wind, so you can snorkel beautiful Kealakekua Bay. If you’ve been there and done that before, then a trip on the Hula Kai is a must! You’ll see far more of the Kona Coast than you ever imagined!
If you are a cruise ship passenger and your boat arrives in port at 7am, you have ample time to make the check-in for the Hula Kai and this is the tour that we recommend for you. The Fair Wind can be done, but the timing is tight. If you order the Fair Wind and you don’t get there in time and miss the boat, they will charge your credit card in full for a no-show. Don’t underestimate the time it takes to wait for a tender in Kona and make it to shore! The Hula Kai check-in is 30 minutes later and is a much safer bet!
For our clients staying in the Waikoloa area, including the Hilton, Marriott, Fairmont Orchid, Hapuna Prince, etc, the Waikoloa Snorkel Sail is an excellent choice. Since this tour departs from the Waikoloa area it saves you the drive all the way into Kona town and it will take you to snorkel destinations that are difficult to access from shore.