The Best Molokini Snorkel Tour

Hey there, fellow snorkeling enthusiasts!

You know what they say – life is better underwater! I’ve been lucky enough to explore the magical world beneath the waves for quite some time now. But let me tell you about one of my favorite snorkeling experiences: diving into the vibrant, clear waters of Molokini Crater in Maui with my boyfriend.

The thing is:

Molokini Crater isn’t just any ordinary snorkeling spot; it’s one of only three volcanic calderas on this planet where you can swim among a stunning array of marine life. From incredible coral reefs to playful dolphins and majestic Hawaiian green sea turtles – it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that perfectly captures the essence of Hawaii.

But wait, there’s more:

I get that there are so many Molokini snorkel tours out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to pick the perfect one. Trust me; I’ve been through that struggle myself! That’s why I decided to put together a detailed list based on our own unforgettable experiences exploring these aquatic wonders.

Warning: You may start daydreaming about your upcoming snorkeling adventure non-stop once you read about these amazing tours!

So buckle up and get ready as I take you through my top picks for the best family-friendly trips, private excursions, and luxury catamaran cruises that will make your Molokini Crater experience an unforgettable memory. Dive in!

Molokini Crater and South Maui Adventure from Kihei

Enjoy a chance to snorkel with Hawaii’s native marine life in an all-in-one underwater adventure, which takes passengers to Molokini Crater for snorkeling, followed by a trip to Turtle Town to swim with honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles.) The tour is aboard a high-speed eco-friendly boat that boards small groups to make the experience personalized.

The five-hour trip departs early morning for the best underwater visibility while snorkeling. Once at the Crater, you’ll gear up with snorkeling equipment and dive into the clear blue waters to explore the gorgeous coral reefs and see tropical fish species, manta rays, and other marine wildlife. In addition, you’ll be able to swim on Molokini’s backside; a site few people get to see.

After snorkeling, the tour takes you past La Perouse Bay, where you can see spinner dolphins, and makes a final stop at Turtle Town to swim beside the gigantic honu.

My boyfriend and I loved this adventure for its small group size and many snorkeling sites. Here’s what it’s the best Molokini snorkeling tour:

  • There’s a continental breakfast and lunch included in the tour. 
  • The early morning departure helps you snorkel in uncrowded waters.
  • Guests can also relax and sunbathe on the boat’s comfortable pontoons. 

Molokini & Turtle Town Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Malolo

Enjoy sailing from a luxury cruise with your snorkeling adventure aboard Malolo, a 55-foot catamaran with great amenities and an experienced crew. The family-friendly tour sails to Molokini Crater for snorkeling and additional stops at Turtle Town and Coral Gardens to swim with turtles.

Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast on the catamaran while it sails to Molokini and gear up with the tour’s high-quality snorkeling equipment for the adventure ahead. You’ll be swimming alongside colorful reef fish and tropical fish species while the crew teaches children snorkeling and accompanies them underwater. 

If the weather conditions are stable, your captain makes a second stop at either Turtle Town or Coral Gardens to spot Hawaiian green sea turtles. 

We had a lot of fun snorkeling on this catamaran cruise and enjoyed its many facilities. Here’s why it’s the best Molokini snorkel tour:

  • The tour also provides flotation devices like foam noodles, body boards, and float vests.
  • You can rent a 16-megapixel underwater camera to capture the action while snorkeling.
  • There’s a trampoline on the deck for children to play on and stay occupied.

Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso

Get ready for an incredible snorkeling trip aboard the most prominent catamaran in Maui’s waters, Calypso. This triple-decker cruise takes passengers to the sunken volcano of Molokini for snorkeling aside rare sea creatures, followed by a stop at Turtle Town. 

Guests can enjoy the many facilities on the ship while it sails to the snorkeling destination, like an onboard slide, a glass-bottom viewing room to spot sea creatures, and a delicious breakfast. Once you reach Molokini, enjoy swimming alongside 200+ fish species, manta rays, sea urchins, and even the occasional shark. 

Since Molokini is a Marine Life Conservation District and a bird preserve, you can spot a variety of colorful tropical birds soaring over your cruise, like the native wedge-tailed shearwater. 

My boyfriend and I always book a tour with Calypso cruise on our trips to Maui, as they offer fantastic facilities and a great crew. Here’s why it’s the best Molokini snorkel tour:

  • You can learn about the marine life inhabiting Molokini from the crew.
  • The tour provides high-quality snorkeling equipment and flotation devices. 
  • The catamaran has three restrooms and two freshwater showers.

Molokini Crater Zodiak Adventure Snorkel and Turtle Cove Swim

Ditch the luxury catamarans for a trip focused on snorkeling aboard the Reef Explorer, a sleek custom-built super raft. The tour ensures a smooth ride to Molokini at record speed while avoiding crowds and gliding effortlessly above the water. 

Once at the Crater, you’ll swim beside hundreds of tropical fish and explore the majestic coral reef spreading underwater. Next, you’ll enjoy lunch on the raft as the skilled guides sail to a secluded turtle cove that is unreachable by larger vessels. 

Enjoy swimming with the turtles in complete privacy, as it’ll be only your tour at the cove with the beautiful honu – often a dozen at a time!

My boyfriend and I had a fantastic time on this half-day snorkeling trip with the Reef Explorer, and here’s why we consider it the best Molokini snorkel tour:

  • The professional guides onboard lead you to the best snorkel sites and provide insights into Maui’s sea creatures. 
  • The tour includes snorkeling gear, floating devices, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. 
  • Guests will enjoy stunning coastal views of Maui from the raft.

Molokini Crater and Turtle Town Snorkeling aboard Pride of Maui 

Board the Pride of Maui catamaran for a unique underwater adventure of SNUBA – the perfect combination of snorkeling and scuba diving. The tour takes you to the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town with only a small group to ensure a private experience. 

In addition, the tour is ideal for beginners as the expert guides provide security and safety instructions. 

You’ll enjoy scenic coastal views as the spacious catamaran sails to Molokini Crater and swim alongside native fish species, sea urchins, manta rays, and sharks that occupy the Crater year-round. Next, you’ll sail to Turtle Town and swim alongside gigantic green sea turtles on the shores. 

We had a great time snorkeling aboard the Pride of Maui with its fantastic crew. Here’s why it’s the best Molokini snorkel tour:

  • The crew and captain have 40 years of sailing experience, ensuring a smooth trip. 
  • The tour includes breakfast, lunch, and an open bar serving drinks after snorkeling.
  • There’s a water slide for entering the waters with a splash, which children will love.

Molokini and Turtle Arches Snorkeling Trip from Maalaea Harbor

Enjoy sailing on a spacious ship to Molokini Crater on this tour, including a snorkel stop at the Turtle Arches reef. You’ll be onboard a 54-foot single-deck catamaran with an experienced captain and crew who take passengers to hidden snorkeling spots around Molokini for an immersive underwater experience.

The catamaran departs from Maalaea Harbor in Wailuku, and guests enjoy a delicious continental breakfast while sailing. Once at the Crater, enjoy snorkeling with Maui’s native marine life and cruise around Molokini’s rugged, red-rock back wall, which is home to a variety of seabirds.

Next, you’ll explore underwater lava formations and swim alongside abundant green sea turtle populations at Turtle Arches, your next snorkeling spot.

My boyfriend and I had a great time on this trip and enjoyed seeing new sides of the Crater. Here’s why it’s the best Molokini snorkel tour:

  • Guests receive professionally-fitted snorkel gear, such as optical masks and flotation devices.
  • The tour provides a snorkeling class, a fish ID class, and a guided reef tour.
  • There’s a fresh deli lunch on deck after snorkeling. 


Is the Molokini snorkel tour worth it?

If you’re looking for a way to see Hawaii’s native marine life up close, a snorkeling tour to Molokini is totally worth it. The tours are ideal for beginner and experienced snorkelers as they include demonstrations on deck and are accompanied by experienced instructors. 

How long does it take to snorkel at Molokini?

Most snorkel tours at Molokini last 45 minutes to 1 hour, which is plenty of time to see the marine wildlife and explore the reef. 

Can you snorkel Molokini without a tour?

Snorkeling at the Molokini Crater is only possible with a guided boat tour since you need a professional sailing crew to make the trip. The Molokini snorkeling tours are great for families and first-timers as they travel on spacious catamarans and provide all necessary gear plus meals.

Are there tiger sharks at Molokini Crater?

There aren’t any tiger sharks in Molokini because the area stays crowded with boats, which keeps this aggressive shark species away. 

Wrap-Up: The Best Molokini Snorkel Tour

The Molokini Crater, seen from Maui’s shores, is a favorite destination for snorkel enthusiasts worldwide. The sunken volcano attracts marine wildlife to its depths and has a variety of thriving coral underwater. So the Crater is great for exploring Maui’s marine life through snorkeling tours, with experienced crews and great facilities for passengers. 

Want to reach Molokini aboard a spacious catamaran? Book a tour with the Calypso and Pride of Maui catamarans.

Need a no-frills snorkeling tour of Molokini? Try the Reef Explorer with Zodiak Adventures, which sails to unreachable snorkeling spots. 

Looking for a family-friendly tour to Molokini? Don’t miss the Malolo catamaran tour. 

Snorkeling in Molokini is an unmissable experience!

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Brigitte