Maui > Activities > Lanai Dolphin Snorkel
Lanai Dolphin Adventure
Humpback whales aren’t the only mammals in Hawaii’s waters. Dolphins— particularly spinner and spotted dolphins— are found en masse around Hawaii. But dolphins can be a lot harder to spot from shore than their whale cousins. After all, they’re a fraction of a whale’s size, and they don’t always hang out near the coast. This elusiveness makes seeing a dolphin— or a pod of a hundred, for that matter— a magical experience. Fortunately, there are boat captains around the island who can help improve your chances of seeing dolphins on a dolphin search snorkel tour.
Dolphin searches don’t guarantee dolphin sightings. But they significantly up your odds. At the very least, if you don’t spot a dolphin, you’ll be treated to an epic day of snorkeling and cruising on the water. Here are some of our favorite dolphin search snorkel tours:
Departing out of Lahaina Harbor, Maui Adventure Cruises offers snorkel tours to Lanai— home to one of the biggest dolphin populations in the state. According to the seasoned crew members, dolphins are spotted about 80% of the time on trips to Lanai.
Maui Adventure Cruises utilizes large, speedy-but-stable rafts for their snorkel tours. This means you’ll be seated just above the ocean’s surface, and if dolphins come along, you’ll get unparalleled up-close views. Dolphins aside, this tour visits two premier Lanai snorkeling spots known for exceptional visibility, vibrant coral heads, tropical fish, and seclusion. If you’re extra lucky, a pod of dolphins might infiltrate your snorkel session!
This owner-operated snorkel tour company is based out of Kihei Boat Ramp. Redline Rafting hosts Molokini snorkel tours, but they also visit Maui’s South Coast near La Perouse— a favorite haunt for spinner dolphins.
But searching for spinner dolphins isn’t Redline’s only appeal. This company is usually the first to reach Molokini’s perpetually-crowded crater in the morning, allowing for an hour or so of undisturbed snorkeling. Redline’s South Coast excursion also stops at Molokini’s back wall for a quick snorkel sesh, weather permitting. Plus, the ride on Redline’s nimble 35-foot raft is an adventure in itself, dolphins or not.