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“Great day”

Makana Charters and Tours
Ranked #1 of 11 Tours in Waimea
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Native-Hawaiian owned and operated tours of Kauai's scenic Na Pali Coast. We use spacious catamarans that are large enough to walk around and be stable in the ocean, yet small enough to fit in the many sea caves along the coastline (weather permitting). Price includes homemade deli-style lunch and snorkeling time along the coast.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed June 18, 2014

We chose this company because of their smaller boats. They only take 12 people out at a time. The day we went there was 9 of us. We went on the AM tour as I read it's calmer then. The first hour of our trip was beautiful and calm but after that the wind picked up. It was a rough ride but no one got sick. The captain was amazing at driving the boat and getting in and out of the caves even with the wind and waves. The lunch was great with homemade cookies. Our deckhand David was great and very informative. We learned so much about the ancient Hawaiian culture on the NaPali coast. We would recommended this tour to anyone looking for a more private tour. We will book with them again if we are back on Kauai, we even had time to snorkel in a spot.

4  Thank libbiroed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 - 345 of 345 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2014

First let me say that I gave this small boat cruise off the Na Pali coast in Kauai an average rating because of the weather conditions. Our family of six chartered the "Makana" on March 18, 2014 to see the beautiful Na Pali coast on Kauai's rugged north shore. The tickets cost $139 for adults and $95 for children with a 10% discount if you order online. The "Makana" is a 32' catamaran that limits seating to 12 passengers. Our Captain, Chris, has 13 years experience sailing the Na Pali coast, six as captain of the Makana. He was assisted by the first mate, Kurt, who was very personable and competent. On our four hour voyage we were joined by a nice family of five from Lubbock, TX. We began our cruise at the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor near Waimea, which has the advantage of being the closest point to the Na Pali coast and therefore the shortest transit time.

After we shoved off from the sheltered cove and entered the open sea we began to feel the effects of the winds and waves as the weather that day was windy and cloudy with isolated squalls offshore. The good ship "Makana" handled the open sea well until we reached the breakers off the Na Pali coast salient. As we rounded the point the white caps rose and the wind escalated which made our cruise uncomfortable despite Captain Chris' skillful piloting of the vessel. We bounced around and were soaked by the salt spray. Finally, when a squall arose directly in front of our course we were forced to turn about and return to Waimea. All aboard were relieved to retreat to calmer waters.

Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the beautiful caves and coves for which the fabulous Na Pali coast is so famous. As a consolation we did see a large pod of spinner dolphins, five bottlenose dolphins, two whales spouting in the distance and a couple of green sea turtles. We anchored near our point of origin for a lunch consisting of ham or turkey sandwiches, fruit and snacks, soft drinks and cookies. We were offered the opportunity to swim and snorkel but declined due to the wind and the temperature.

If you decide to take a Na Pali coast cruise here are some tips to assist you:

1. The best month to take this cruise is usually in August. The weather on Kauai's north shore is usually calmer in the summer months.

2. Although they advertise an onboard bathroom, understand the it is actually a tiny, step-down compartment with a three-foot high door. The elderly persons and those with disabilities will find it very difficult to enter and exit.

3. Tickets once purchased are non-refundable and can only be rescheduled with 24 hour notice so plan your cruise in the early part of your visit to Kauai so you will have enough time to reschedule if the weather is bad.

4. Wrap your wallets, cameras and other items in plastic, zip-lock bags to prevent them from getting wet onboard.

5. Bring disposable rain ponchos if you do not want to get wet from the salt spray or squalls. You probably will get wet so dress accordingly.

6. Take dramamine the night before if you are prone to sea or motion sickness.

7. Bring binoculars to see the whales and other sea life.

8. Don't forget the sun screen, chapstick, hats, sunglasses and dry towels.

20  Thank Rich_Debbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We have been wanting to go on this tour for quite some time, because of the excellent reviews. Having taken several other Napali tours over the years, I didn't think that there was much that we had missed. Boy was I wrong ! I was astonished to see the beautiful Napali coast this up close. Try putting a 49 ft. catamaran into a 60 ft sea cave, and then turning around in the cave. Awesome !
Captain Mike was great, and don't forget to have Daryl explain his special " Island tan ". We had a wonderful time. Put his at the top of your lis of things to do, while visiting Kauai.

3  Thank Peter V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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Thank MarieTheNight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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