Sea Paradise runs snorkel trips to Kealakekua Bay (and usually another good spot accessible only by boat) out of Keauhou Harbor, near the Sheraton. (They also do sunset dinner sails and night manta
The boat is a nimble sailing catamaran that has never been crowded the times we've gone in January and now, in early June. The trip price of $95 (we got an Internet booking discount of $10 each) includes breakfast (juice, coffee, pastries, excellent fresh fruit including ripe pineapple) and lunch (make-your-own deli sandwiches, potato salad, chips, cookies) and an open bar (local beer on tap, wine, cocktails).
Unlike the heavily-advertised Fair WInd II, Sea Paradise's boat Hokuhele never has been crowded when we have gone in January (last 3 years) and now in early June. Having fewer people makes it much faster to get in and out on the easy-access boarding stairway, giving more time in the water. There were 10 people on our June 11 trip.
This trip we had the usual stop in Kealakekua Bay, plus another stop south of Kauhou, off the coast at the Hokulia golf course. That spot featured different types of fish than we saw at kealakekua, plus sea arches and underwater lava tubes.
Instead of mooring the catamaran, Sea Paradise lets the boat drift, so that you have more flexibility in where to snorkel. This is a real
plus, because there are many different types of underwater topography
to view (shallow areas, deep walls, coral pinnacles) inside the bay and at the point.
The capatain and crew were efficient and friendly...because tehre are
fewer people, the experience can be more personalized and allow for more time in the water, rather that queueing up to get in and out of the water or get lunch.
We are very happy repeat customers for the morning deluxe snorkel sail and expect togo again our next visit! It was an hour's drive from S. Kohala this time (no traffic jams!) for an 8 am checkin.
Sea Paradise provides snorkel equipment (we bring our own); you bring
towels and sunscreen. I recommend it highly as a quality trip with lots of snorkel time, no crowds, a great crew, good foood and drink, and a nice sailing catamaran with plenty of shade as well as fun trampolines up front.