If you want to explore every last inch of the magnificence of Kauai, then you definitely need to get out on the water – and local boat tour companies are here to help. By signing up for a tour, you can cruise along the beautiful waterways to enjoy the scenery, spot all the sea life, and learn about the island. Prefer to try your hand at catching the big one? Sign up for a fishing charter instead. Either way, you’ll want to set your sights on the following nine best Kauai boat tours and fishing charters.
Holo Holo Charters
With its 4,000-foot-tall cliffs, sea caves, and secluded coastline, the Napali Coast offers endless chances for exploration with Holo Holo Charters. They’re happy to take you out on their 65-foot motorized catamaran, 50-foot motorized sailing catamaran, or rigid hull inflatable boats. Depending on your selected tour, you’ll zip along Napali Coast with stops for snorkeling fun – or go down the coast and beyond to the Lehua Crater at the island of Niihau.
Blue Dolphin Charters
By taking a trip with Blue Dolphin Charters, you get to enjoy the Napali Coast and South Shore views from the open and upper decks on their 65-foot catamaran. They offer many different tour experiences, too, so you can pick out your perfect adventures. You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, ride the slide down into the water, enjoy the sunset, or simply cruise around all the best scenic landmarks across Kauai. No matter where you go, the tour crew guarantees you’ll see dolphins and so much more.
Kauai Zodiac Tourz
For a more visceral boat tour experience, go on a ride with Kauai Zodiac Tourz. On their tours, you’ll get to hop aboard a 25-foot rigid hull inflatable zodiac boat for the adventures of a lifetime. The low-slung boat design puts you right on the surface of the water where you can see all the marine life up close. As you explore South Shore, the Napali Coast, and everywhere in between, sea turtles, tropical fish, and many other sea creatures will join the fun, for sure.
Captain Lani Swain and his wife, Debbie, make it their lives’ work to treat their guests to memorable tours of the Napali Coast and beyond. At Catamaran Kahanu, on each trip, they take up to 20 passengers along the coast to check out the magnificent waterfalls, cliffsides, and sea caves. From December through April, you can even join them for a whale watching tour, letting you gaze in awe at these beautiful creatures while listening to their soulful melodies.
For over 40 years, Capt Andy’s has served as the go-to place to enjoy stellar views while cruising along on star-class yachts, sailboats, and rafts. You get to choose your own adventure, too, by weighing all their different tour options. They have dinner sunset cruises, Napali snorkel picnic sails, and so much more. You can even go on Napali cave patrols or decide to spend the day exploring the Napali shores. Want a truly exhilarating ride? Go on the Raft Whale Watch to come face to face with beautiful humpback whales.
Smith’s Fern Grotto
If you’d like to go on a leisurely cruise up the Wailua River, Smith’s Fern Grotto excursion is definitely calling your name. On this trip, you’ll join up to 130 other guests for a one-hour trip along the riverside. While on their riverboat, you’ll hear amazing Hawaiian stories and songs – and even get to learn how to hula dance. Then, once you land on the shores, you’ll walk through the rainforest to the grotto where you’ll see all the ferns growing at every angle, even upside down!
Captain Trips Sportfishing
By joining a Captain Trips Sportfishing charter, you get the chance to add to your big fish tales – and back them up with real catches. You get to design your perfect deep sea fishing experience by selecting between their trip durations and group sizes. Each boat can carry up to six people, but you can arrange for multiple boats to take your group out at the same time. No matter which trip you select, you’ll go out to all the best fishing spots to catch giant tuna, mahi-mahi, and tons of other monster fish.
Ohana Fishing Charters
For a chance to fish off the coast of Kapaa, join Ohana Fishing Charters for a shared or private trip. On their shared trip, you’ll team up with your fellow charter guests to reel in the big ones. As you do that, the crew will clean, fillet, and divvy up your catches to give everyone a taste of what’s biting. Prefer to keep all your catches to yourself? Just sign up for a private charter instead.
Captain J’s Deep Sea Fishing Kauai
If reeling in a majestic striped marlin is on your bucket list, let Captain J’s Deep Sea Fishing Kauai lead the way to greatness. On their half- and full-day excursions, you’ll get to hop onboard their powerful sport fisher vessels and head out to where the big fish are biting. The captain and crew will help you dial in your technique and reel in your catches time after time. At the end, you’ll get to take home a portion of the catch to enjoy at the BBQ grill or at a restaurant willing to prepare your fish to your liking.
After signing up for your first trip out on the water, don’t be surprised if you want to go out again and again. Every last inch of the island’s waterways is well worth exploring, so you’re bound to have a wonderful trip every time. So, go ahead and sign up, knowing full well that you’re going to see and experience something new on each trip.