If you like your vacations big, rowdy, and full of fun, then booking a charter via one of Maui’s larger motorboats is apt to be right up your alley. This is especially true if you are booking with a larger group or have active, adventure-oriented individuals (or you are one yourself!), and the Maui Snorkeling company that operates the Lana Kai II boat will suit such a party just right.
Maui Snorkeling, also commonly known as Friendly Charters, is a family-owned company that has been in operations since 1995. They have always only had one boat, focusing all their efforts on delivering a premier, VIP experience to every one of that boat’s guests. And they certainly have had quite a few guests! The Maui Snorkeling group prides itself for having led around one million passengers through Maui’s gorgeous coastal waters since its inception. This includes tens of thousands of whale watching adventures and snorkeling excursions, as well as private booking on their premier yacht.
Maui Snorkeling retired their first ship, named Lana Kai, in 2020, replacing her with something just a bit bigger with just a bit more amenities (making now a better time than ever to book with this outfit). Christened the Lana Kai II, this 53-foot, double-decked, catamaran-styled, twin-dieseled-powered aqua dream machine is well-equipped to slice through the waves and take guests on an incredible boating adventure. Some of the top amenities on the Lana Kai II include easy water entry and exit points, two toilet rooms, a large shaded cabin, and, the big favorite, a blow-up water slide that connects to the top deck and sends guests careening into the water below.
The tours offered by Maui Snorkeling are pretty simple as there are only two! Remember, this is a family-owned and operated endeavor, and they operate on some nice keep-it-simple principles that enable them to focus on providing the best journeys for their guests. If neither of the following two tours jives with you, however, you can also hire them for a private and group charter for any activity, this includes (but isn’t limited to) snorkeling, whale watching, and island chartering.
So, the two tour offerings you have aboard the Lana Kai II are as follows:
The Morning Snorkeling Tour
The morning tour lasts for five hours, from a 7 am departure time at the docks to a noon return. This snorkeling tour takes guests to the Molokini Crater which is teeming with underwater life and includes snorkeling along Turtle Town, an area consisting of a dozen distinct reefs where sea turtles are active.
The Afternoon Snorkeling Tour
This is a shorter tour that takes guests to Coral Gardens, a calm area that is ideal for those who are prone to seasickness and hungry to see sea life in their natural environment. It’s common to see humpback whales on the way to this snorkeling site during their migration months.
All tours and all private charters operate out of the boat dock at Maalaea Harbor. You will have to find transportation to this location as Maui Snorkeling does not offer shuttle pick-up service at this time.
-The crew aboard the Lana Kai II have a lot ready for you. They will provide food, drinks (this includes alcoholic Mai Tais, and they will accept BYOB service, just note that no alcohol is served until after all swimming/dives are complete), and all of your snorkeling gear, but there is one key thing that they expect you to bring if you want it: A towel.
-Maalaea Harbor provides parking, but it isn’t free. If you aren’t getting dropped off, plan to pay $0.50 per half-hour for this parking lot. The machines take credit cards and cash with no change given.