Catamaran Kahanu

Experience The Na Pali Coast on the Majestic Catamaran Kahanu
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Catamaran Kahanu half days tours give you as a guest a unique perspective on the rich cultural heritage of the island, brought to one by the most knowledgeable and beloved characters on the island, Captain Lani Swain along with his wife Aunty Debbie and the amazing crew. It will also allow you to experience the beauty of the Na Pali coast and the rich wildlife that calls the island home up close and personal. 

- The Local Expert Team

Enjoy an awe-inspiring journey to Kauai’s Na Pali Coast with Catamaran Kahanu. As a guest, you will learn all about our Hawaiian family business, dating back to 1985, and discover one of the greatest treasures of Kauai, the cliffs of Na Pali. Your adventurous voyage will take you to where Captain Lani’s (Catamaran Kahanu’s Captain) family once lived, and you will learn the culture and history of the ancient people who once thrived in these remote valleys. The lava tubes, sea caves, and cascading waterfalls will also make an impact as well the purposes and dolphins, known there as the naia, the humpback whales, the kohola, the sea turtles or honu, and more (December to April).  

Catamaran Kahanu features two main choices when it comes to tour options. First, is the Kauai Whale Watching Tour, with a duration of two hours. This tour departs from Port Allen and allows you to get up close and personal to the ocean’s gentle giants. Aim to visit from December to March if your goal is whale watching because this is their most active viewing season. 

If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a mother whale, nurturing her young calves to swim toward the ocean surface. Captain Lani and the crew will include lots of local history, lure, and stories along with your voyage. You will even likely glimpse a view of some sea turtles, porpoises, and dolphins during your excursion. Soda, juice, and pretzels are available during your sail. 

Catamaran Kahanu recommends you bring along a bottle of water and wear comfortable clothing that protects you from the sun during the whale-watching tour. Ideally, this will include wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, comfortable footwear, and a hat or visor. During your sail, you will be barefoot, so make sure you bring along a bag to hold your shoes while on board. 

The second option you can take advantage of at Catamaran Kahanu is the Na Pali Coast Boat Tour. This immersive excursion lasts around five hours and is offered year-round. As a guest, you will partake of the beauty that is the Na Pali Coast, along with wildlife like porpoises and dolphins. Your Captain Lani and crew will regale you with historic facts and cultural tidbits about the island throughout the experience. 

Enjoy views of Niihau island, approximately 17 miles in the distance, though it seems close enough to swim to, as the tour travels north. You will have a chance to experience for yourself the beauty and majesty of island waterfalls, sea caves and cliffs. Guests can swim and snorkel when the tour stops at the protected Nualolo Kai reef. The historic setting of this region was a Hawaiian fishing village. Today, you will likely see sea turtles swimming uninhibited in their natural environment. This tour also includes snorkeling instructions and gear. 

During the tour, you can enjoy a deli-style lunch, which gives you the choice of ham or turkey, two types of cheese, pasta salad with roasted red pepper dressing, tomatoes and lettuce. Dessert includes chocolate chip cookies and fresh pineapples. Juice and sodas are also available. 

Guests are encouraged to bring along water either in hydro flax or bottle. You should also wear comfortable clothing, which includes swimwear with cover-ups, shorts, and a t-shirt. Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by wearing either a long-sleeved shirt and/or a visor or hat. Make sure you pack a bag with a towel and camera to ensure you are ready for anything. On board, you can go barefoot but sandals or slippers are recommended for off-boat activities. 

Due to the immense experience of Captain Lani and the Catamaran Kahanu’s amazing crew, your comfort, satisfaction and enjoyment is guaranteed. This means, though, that Captain Lani will deviate from the predetermined tour if ocean conditions get too rough along the Na Pali Coast. In this event, the Captain will steer the tour towards calmer waters. 

Insider Tips:
-These tour options are for individuals who are in good health overall. If you have had surgery recently, have a heart condition, or are pregnant, a tour on the Catamaran Kahanu is likely not the experience for you.
-Guests are asked not to wear aqua shoes from the shore to the catamaran, because red dirt will gather on the bottom of these shoes and end up on the catamaran. Instead, you are encouraged to go barefoot on board. Or to wear aqua shoes that are clean on board and other footwear on land.