Funny how a day can be more fun by letting it unfold and making the best of what it throws your way. After researching several options how to get over to and explore Lanai for a day from Maui we decided on the Expeditions ferry/jeep combo. Problem was no jeeps were available for a week. So we decided to hop a ferry ride to Lanai and spend the day picnicking and snorkeling at Hulopo'e Bay. We took the 9:15 a.m. ferry from Lahaina - make reservations cause it sure made for a no hassles boarding. Found a place to park our car at a residence all day for $10!! Round trip ferry ride was $180 for two adults and a 15 yr old. Reasonable considering the alternatives. The staff were professional and the captains were excellent navigators. The no frills voyage takes about 50 to 60 minutes. There's plenty of storage for carry ons and if you get there early you can ride on top, though the bottom cabin is just fine. Ride over was smooth and seeing dolphins was a bonus. The ride back was rougher, but a whole lot more fun blasting through the swells though I wouldn't advise using one of the 2 restrooms onboard with the boat pitching up and down. Anyway, we found out on Lanai that for $10 a person you can catch a ride all day on shuttles between the resorts, downtown and airport. We paid for the shuttle at the dock and headed over to Hulopo'e Bay where we spent a couple of hours snorkeling (take your own gear). Best view of fish we had was on the left side facing out near the rocks. The water was mostly calm as it was the morning, but some sets of waves were big. Hardly noticeable if your out in the water, but the large ones can knock you over if you're standing close to shore. Not real bad since lots of the kids were having fun getting tossed over. After picknicking, snorkeling and showering (don't forget your comb or brush) we headed up to the lobby of the Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay to catch the shuttle to Lanai City. Unfortunately, we were given the wrong pickup time and since the shuttles run on a one hour circuit we had to wait 45min for the next one. One of the attendants suggested we get drinks or appetizers in the resort's Sports Bar. Ok, so we did. Guess what, the lounge has an incredible ocean view. The mixed drinks were pricey, $15 each and shave ice was $4 for my daughter, expensive but excellently mixed. Anyway, long story short, we made it to Lanai City after a 20 min ride. In the city, I found that if you are friendly, the folks there are really friendly. Cars will stop let you cross roads when there's not even traffic behind them. Not sure I'd call I'd call Lanai City a city since it's small with only a few shops, but I have to say it epitomizes the "let it happen and soak in the moment" stay we were having on Lanai. Escape on a day trip there and if you don't rush it, it'll last a whole lot longer.
If you own or manage Expeditions Lahaina/Lanai Passenger Ferry, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.