Fair Wind Cruises

Fair Wind Cruises – Experience the Magic of Snorkeling Around the Big Island
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Have you always wanted to look at the ocean wonders deep beneath the water's surface around the Big Island? If so, it’s time to experience the magic of snorkeling with Fair Wind Cruises. Their tours will take you from the Kealakekua Bay to the Kona Coast, treating you to the sights of dolphins, manta rays, and so much more.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Fair Wind Cruises launches from Kona daily on their mission to show all their guests the most beautiful sights around the Big Island. Available morning, afternoon, and night, their tours take you on explorations along Kealakekua Bay, the Kona Coast, and beyond. All along the way, you’ll get to check out sea life of all kinds, including colorful tropical fish, dolphins, and monk seals. On top of that, if you choose the manta ray tour, you’ll get to swim alongside those phenomenal creatures at your leisure.

In order to check their island snorkeling experiences off your bucket list, you’ll need to book your spot ASAP. They often stay booked solid for weeks in advance, after all. So, make sure to reserve your tour as soon as you know you’ll be on the island. Fortunately, making reservations is as easy as pie through the online system on their website. Just scroll to your tour destination, select your preferred date, and indicate how many people will be in your group.

Once you’re all signed up, you just have to show up at the dock at the given time and date. Remember to wear your swimwear because there’s nowhere to change on the boat. Also, bring your own towel, sunscreen, and sunhat. UV protection sunglasses are definitely a great idea as well. Upon boarding the boat, the captain will let you know what to expect and then set off toward your destination.

Depending on your tour of choice, you’ll get to ride on their 60-foot custom-built catamaran, the Fair Wind II, or the 55-foot catamaran, the Hula Kai. Both boats offer comfortable seating with shade covers all around, plus have enough power to get through rough waves. The Fair Wind II kicks it up a notch with waterslides and a high-jump platform, while the Hula Kai comes with theater-style seating.

As you jet to your destination, take the time to enjoy the views and snack on whatever food and drinks they roll out. Then, you’ll have a chance to don their gear and snorkel through the crystal-clear waters in search of wondrous sights. More food and drinks will come your way after that, followed by even more fun in the sun. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Their most popular tours include:

Kealakekua Bay
Available in the mornings and afternoons, the Kealakekua Bay Snorkel Tour takes you on a 3.5- to 4.5-hour trip, starting at Keauhou Bay. During your travels, you’ll get to hear about the island’s history, see the Captain Cook Monument, and snorkel your heart out. Island-style cuisine will come your way all day long, too, along with tasty drinks from the bar.

Kona Coast
The Kona Coast Snorkel Tour lets you explore two exciting snorkeling spots filled with beautiful marine creatures. Depending on the conditions, you’ll get to snorkel around Pali Kaholo, Red Hill, or other popular spots plus use their stand-up paddleboards. A tropical breakfast, island-style lunch, and full bar complete the five-hour experience just right.

Manta Ray
On the Manta Ray Night Snorkel Tour, you’ll get a chance to spend over an hour swimming alongside gorgeous manta rays. You’ll first take a short jaunt by boat to the Manta Village, and then get into the water to see the rays gobble up plankton near the vessel’s lights. Although they don’t serve food on this trip, the full cash bar will open up after snorkeling.

Would you like to go on a tour all your own? Or perhaps you have a special occasion coming up? If so, definitely ask about their private charters. Depending on your tour of choice, you can bring up to 100 of your friends and family along for the ride. You just need to select your tour type and share anything that would make your trip truly special. The crew will then get to work in creating an excursion to remember.  

Insider Tips:
-For a full refund, always provide at least 24 hours’ notice for cancellations.
-Want a chance to see whales? Schedule at least one tour between December and April.
-Leave all your valuables in your hotel safe. There’s nowhere to stash your items on the boat.
-Bring cash, so you can buy drinks at the full bar and tip the crew at the end of your trip.