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Whale watch

Captain Chris is such a nice guy -this is the third time that we are whale watching with him and he... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Lisaiwata
,
Honolulu, Hawaii
via mobile
Bucket List Worthy

Chris and Brad were top notch guides, combining a comfortable, laid back approach with impeccable... read more

Reviewed January 6, 2019
Bonnober
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Reviewed March 29, 2017

This is a really fun half day out for those with an adventurous spirit! The zodiac boats are not for the faint-hearted. You sit up on the inflated sides, holding on to ropes to keep you stable, zipping across the ocean at high speeds. I had been in zodiacs before, so it didn't occur to me that I might get sick... but boy, did I ever! This is not something that is mentioned on the website... the going is rough and if you have any fear that you might get sea sick, take motion sickness tablets before you leave. I really wish I had! Feeling so awful really affected my ability to enjoy the experience.
Having said that, our 11 and 14 year old boys LOVED this trip- loved bouncing around in the zodiac, wanted to go faster and didn't feel sick at all!
Although their website promotes snorkling as a major part of the tour, we were not able to snorkel due to rough conditions and I gather that this would be the case for most of the winter months, which they really should be more clear about. But the upside for the winter months is that whale activity is prolific, and Captain Chris seems to know the best locations- we saw humpback whales VERY close up-such an amazing experience. The zodiac boat can get you much closer than the other tour alternatives would. The scenery up the NaPali coast is uniquely beautiful and well-worth seeing, but for the effort and price, it was the whales that made it worthwhile- without that I would have felt very ripped off!

Date of experience: March 2017
Thank KazAndTheBoys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2017

We were instructed to check in at 7:00 am for a 7:30 am departure. When we arrived at 7 am, "Captain Chris" was not there yet. We ended up not leaving until 8:30 am because two of the other passengers were late, which was frustrating. Once you are on the raft, the ride is VERY rough. You sit on the side of the raft and hold on to ropes the entire trip. It is not a relaxing boat ride in any way. I don't recommend taking kids, I was worried my 13 year old was going to fly out! A lady on board got sea sick and was vomiting off the back of the boat, and no one slowed the boat or helped her in any way. It was so rough and bumpy, I worried that my spine was going to crack! We didn't go inside any caves or stop to snorkel. We did see whales, which was the only redeeming thing from the trip. "Brad" the photographer came with us, but Captain Chris was so focused on Brad getting pictures and videos of the whales that he blocked our view of the whales several times. This trip was nothing like I thought it would be and for the cost, I was so disappointed. I should have read reviews on Yelp or Trip Advisor before I booked, instead I went by how it looked from their website. My mistake.

Date of experience: March 2017
2  Thank cmegayers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napali_Riders, Manager at Na Pali Riders, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2017

Aloha, We are so sorry you felt displeased with your tour with us, and hope we can make it better based on the feedback you've provided. Please email us at info@napaliriders.com so we can work on a method of compensation for your tour. Again, thanks for joining our tour and hope your vacation on Kauai was a good one.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2017 via mobile

Clearly Captain Chris and Brad know their way around Kauai! We saw spectacular views along the way and got up close the the sea caves.

We were told ahead of time that snorkeling was not in the itinerary as it was cold and a little rough m, but we spent what felt like a really good amount of time chasing whales. And we saw three groups of whales!!

We decided to spring for the photos and videos from the trip since the quality of their camera was soooo much better than my iPhone.

And a very special thanks to Brad who lent me his boogie board for the day! Yes I used it and didn't die.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank tms221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2017 via mobile

My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I first hopped aboard the zodiac boat with Cap'n Chris and a bunch of our wedding guests back in 2006. We took another run with him up to the Na Pali in 2011. So today, my wife and I took our 9 yr old daughter with us for our third trip; my kiddo's first (a little chummy, but she couldn't stop talking about it this afternoon!). Great experiences and memories were made on all three excursions. Lemme tell you about today's...

It's a zodiac rigid bottom boat with twin 250s. That's the part where you "hang on" as. **If you're staying on the South Side, a 30 min run to Waimea is way better than having to make a long and unpredictable drive to catch other boats up North.** You can make it easily from Poipu to Na Pali Riders in 30 minutes at 7AM.

Out of the harbor you're moving fast to get around Polihale (gorgeous ride and views of beach and Niihau). Hang on and look around because now you're already seeing some "cool stuff". Look for Spinner Dolphins, Humpbacks (in season), and if you're paying attention, Laysan Albatross.

Yes, it's a rough ride in the zodiac and the current and winter swell can make you bounce around (and giggle too!) as you race to the Pali. You might not get to snorkel for these same reasons. But you're never going to get any closer to the majesty that is the Na Pali. Cap'n Chris takes you there. His mate helps with the spotting and takes some amazing pix and video of your trip. You can preview the images and buy a CD later back in Waimea if you choose.

I give Na Pali Riders a 4 out of 5. I will definitely return again with my family and friends for another excursion. Here's a suggestion...

I would like to see Cap'n Chris re-brand a couple trips each week in season as whale watch trips "along the Na Pali" - specialty trips for the cetacean lovers. He's great at getting you out to see the sites, but I think his passion is the marine life and being on the water. Maybe you can charter a 1/2 day with him and do just that - I didn't ask. I would totally bump Na Pali Riders up to a 5 out of 5 if we just went lookin' for the cool stuff in the water and maybe skipped a waterfall and a sea cave. But I get it, they are Na Pali Riders and that's what lots of visitors want to see - it's breathtaking and immense when viewed from the water. Go check them out for yourself. Hang on!

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank keith_ineg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2016 via mobile

We were told we needed to reschedule our trip from noon to 7:30 am because of wind warnings. Turns out going earlier worked in our favor. This tour allowed us to see amazing views of the na pali coast line. We weren't able to enter the caves because of the rough weather this time of year but we got close enough to appreciate them. We saw a ton of spinner dolphins and a couple of whale blow holes.

The co-captain took pics and videos for us which we could buy on disc for 50 bucks. Our tour was windy and bumpy so having the option to buy pics was a bonus for me.

Date of experience: November 2016
1  Thank berlykim55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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