Lanai Snorkel Tour

Of course if you haven’t heard of Lanai you will now have heard of it and want to go to it! Lanai is the Pineapple island (due to the plantations) and is the 6th largest island among the Hawaiian Islands. I will talk about snorkel trips to Molokini, fish in Lanai, Lanai Beach and Molokini Snorkel Tours!  

Lanai Snorkel Tour

The island is only 140 square miles big and only inhabits just over 3000 people. It is quite small and laid back but amazing just like any other Hawaiian Island. It is interesting because only 2% of the island is owned by the Government and the rest is owned by Larry Ellison who is the founder of Oracle. Most of the main paths are dirt roads and accessible by ATV’s but the main roads are paved so you are not living out in a tent and of course there are very nice establishments such as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai so you can live like a King as well!  If you are looking for tours specifically scroll down to the bottom from Maui!

To and From

Even though the island is small, yes there is an airport there. Lanai Airport (LNY) connects through Honolulu International Airport (HNL) or from Maui at Kahului Airport (OGC) and both with have daily flights so there is nothing to worry about. Your best airlines and cheapest are Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

If flying is a little more than you want to spend there is a great option of using the Maui to Lanai Passenger Ferry. They have daily departures from both for a very reasonable price.  Website:

Lahaina Departures:

(public loading dock in front of Pioneer Inn)

Departs for Lanai at:

6:45am 9:15am

12:45pm 3:15pm


Lanai Departures:

Departs for Lahaina at:

8:00am 10:30am

2:00pm 4:30pm



ADULT: $30.00 each way

CHILD: $20.00 each way

Lanai Beaches

Even though Lanai is quite smaller than most of the other Hawaiian Island there is still a lot of great snorkeling all around the island. I will go over all of these hot spots to snorkel in a clockwise direction of the island from Shipwreck beach 2 o’clock position if you are looking at Lanai straight down.  Bring all of your own gear including fins, mask, snorkel and you may want to bring a wind resistant beach umbrella and a compact beach chair as some of the places are a little tougher to get to. 

Shipwreck beach 

NOT A GOOD SPOT FOR SNORKELING. Every though it is a very famous beach and does have good reef and coral the currents are strong and not ideal for snorkeling. The reason I am putting this on, is this is usually the first place people want to go snorkeling but very unsafe. Not to say it isn’t amazing and I would highly recommend going here for a visit. Having 8 miles of beautiful beach you can catch some UV, enjoy drinks and lunch along with fishing and hiking.

The beach overlooks Kalohi Channel where you can see Molokini Island (great for snorkeling) and you will also overlook the amazing World War II Liberty Ship. Take your camera! You can get to the beach by a 4 wheel drive car (jeep, atv, etc..) from Lanai go down highway 44 and turn left on the dirt road until you see the beach or the Liberty shipwreck. Bring all the amenities including water, snacks and reef safe suntan lotion. There are outhouses so maybe bring some Toilet Paper to.

Manele bay

Right by the Public Harbour the sandy beach offers great snorkeling and lots of diverse marine life. It is part of the Marine Life Sanctuary and Underwater Marine Park. Enjoy with the whole family and looking out into the ocean for great views.

There are facilities there but be careful during high tide and windy conditions.

Hulopo’e bay

Easy snorkeling for everyone with lots of amenities and a great place to start on the island for easy access and fun! Most south it is easy to get to just ask and you don’t even need a 4 wheel drive car to get there. It is close to Manele Bay Hotel and a short walk to the ferry terminal to get to Maui.

Here there are no strong currents but still wavy so you can surf, body surf, enjoy the sun and check out the tide pools that open around the beach for great marine life. The snorkeling here is fantastic as mentioned already but it is awesome for the whole family and you may even see dolphins, sea stars and lots of marine life.

There isn’t any lifeguards so watch the little ones and buddy up if you are snorkeling. There are bathrooms, showers to rinse off all of the salt and much more amenities but bring your own food to save a few dollars!

Shark Bay

Shark Bay is actually just east of Hulopo’e bay but easy to mention that first and then head to Shark Bay. There is strong currents so be cautious but the sand and lava floor are protected by the cove and there are some marine life but again be VERY cautious if you do head out snorkeling. There is a bit to see but not as good as some of the other areas.

Sweetheart rock is the 75 foot rock protruding from the ocean that is a wonderful sight and again bring your camera!

There are no lifeguards or facilities but Hulopo’e Bay is close so just make sure you have used the facilities first before you head over there and being water.

Huawai Bay

South of Lanai on the 440 and follow Kaupili Road to Manele Road and you will hit the ocean. There is a steep hill leading down to the beach so if you have knee or hip issues be cautious but once you are are there you will find great snorkeling and fun!

You will find sandy beach and beautiful water for snorkeling. The water does drop quite quickly so wear a snorkel vest and always swim with a buddy.

There are no lifeguards or facilities so make sure you are good to go have fun before you do!

Fish in Lanai

There is a vast array of fish in Lanai much like every other island you will see green turtles, spinner dolphins, spotted moray eel, butterfly fish, manta rays, you might even see an octopus, sea urchin and cucumber, and so much more!

If you are there during the winter months you will be able to see humpback whales almost everywhere and what a sight it is. The whales are making there way back from Alaska for warmer waters and this is a stop off in their migration habits and it is spectacular.

Snorkel Trips to Molokini and Lanai

Along with Molokini Snorkel you can get tours to Lanai that will give you a great excursion so it just depends on what you are after. Here are our recommendations

Hawaii Ocean Project

Cruise aboard the Kaulana which is a 70’ double decker catamaran and get ready for fun!

For the Lanai tour you will head from Maui at Lahaina Harbour you better be an early riser because they are taking off at 7 am! From the top deck you don’t even have to enter the water but of course you will and you will enjoy a breakfast, BBQ and drinks after snorkeling of course and if you are on the top deck and don’t want to walk all the way down to the water, take the slide!  


Again hoping you are an early riser to see Molokini you will see some of the most beautiful clearest waters in the world. You will set sail on the Princess which is a 65’ double decker Yacht that is amazing regardless of the weather conditions.

Check out the website for more details on pricing and departures.​


Adventure Maui

Another great excursion company that offer lots of trips with smaller crowds. You pay a few dollars more but it is worth it for the exclusivity of small groups making it more intimate. They have tours leaving every Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday with all the amenities leaving from Lahaina Harbour 730 am to 130 pm.

You will stop at 2 great snorkeling spots at Lanai and on the way checking out beautiful views so bring your camera and make sure it’s waterproof especially if the waves are a little rocky!

There are also many different options for tours including landing trips on Lanai, dolphin and whale watching and much more!​

Check out the website for more details on pricing and departures.​


Overall Thoughts!

​Lanai is and amazing place to snorkel and visit.  If you have the time head to the island for a few days or stay a little longer.  There is so much to do there and has a nice relaxing feel compared to the hustle and bustle of some of the bigger islands (not Maui though).  Bring your snorkel gear and rent a 4x4 vehicle and have some fun.  You can make your way around the island to do great snorkeling without a tour but if you are looking for a tour you will have to do it from Maui.  

There are lots of options from Lahanai but check out our recommendations first and have a great trip!  You will not be disappointed.

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