Adventure Cruises in Lanai
About Lana'i cruises
Lana'i cruises are the best way to explore the Hawaiian archipelago's smallest and least developed touristic island - without renting an off-road vehicle. This exclusive getaway is a playground for billionaires and adrenaline junkies alike, boasting some of the region's most breathtaking scenery and exciting activities.
Adventure cruises to Lana'i let visitors access hard-to-reach attractions, including remote beaches and nature trails alongside signature don't-miss destinations. Adventure abounds here, with fascinating rock formations, whale watching, and stretches of sand so beautiful that you'll have to see them to believe them.
Top Things to do in Lana'i
Smaller and less developed than Hawaii's other main islands, Lana'i is a dream destination for small ship cruises. Visitors can try dozens of adventure activities, with dramatic scenery and wildlife seldom seen by other tourists.
Swim and Snorkel on Colorful Coral Reefs
Lana'i beaches have a reputation for challenging conditions, with big waves and powerful swell best suited to surfing. But, some sheltered coves are well-protected enough for swimming and snorkeling.
Hulopoe Bay is one of the island's best spots for underwater wildlife watching, with hundreds of fish species, plenty of colorful coral, and a chance to spot whales and dolphins from the shore during the winter months. Land lovers can explore dramatic cliffs, tide pools teeming with life, and Puu Pehe rock, a legendary Hawaiian landmark.
Watch Migrating Whales and Dolphins Spray and Play
Each winter, the waters between Maui, Molokai, and Lana'i transform into a superhighway for migrating marine mammals like whales and dolphins. The top species to spot are humpbacks, spraying, splashing, and breaching alongside their newborn calves.
Adventure cruise passengers have an advantage when it comes to whale watching. High-speed skiff tours make it easy to get up close and personal with these elusive animals without booking additional tours and travel. These smaller vessels are easier to maneuver than larger whale-watching boats as well, making them a favorite among photographers.
Tour Otherworldly Rock Formations
With a name like "Garden of the Gods," you might expect this destination to be lush and green, loaded with tropical vegetation. But instead, this legendary Hawaiian landmark is made mostly of alien-looking rocks and dust.
According to Hawaiian legend, an epic battle between two priests took place here, costing the location all its plants and animals. The site is known for stark, barren landscapes that transform near dusk - with the sunset casting incredible shades of orange, red, and even purple on the stone. On clear days, you can also see the islands of Oahu and Molokai from here!
Unbelievable Views on the Munro Trail
This nearly 13-mile-long trail is the only place in the archipelago where you can enjoy views of six different Hawaiian islands. As you explore the route, found at Lana'i's highest point, you'll glimpse forest, canyon, and ocean landscapes, with tropical and desert plants and animals along the way.
Many visitors prefer to hike or bike the Munro Trail, but there are plenty of options for less intrepid guests, including Jeeps and off-road vehicles. No matter how you plan to explore, pack comfortable walking shoes, sun and rain protection, and a high-quality camera.
Wander Beautiful Footprint-free Beaches
Lana'i Cruises offer a distinct advantage in beach exploration, allowing visitors to reach the island's most and least famous sands, and everything in between. Legendary destinations like Hulopoe and Polihua are famous for their powder-soft shorelines, nesting sea turtles, and epic views of the surrounding ocean.
If you're up for an adventure, head to remote Shipwreck beach, where two World War II-era ships were intentionally run aground. Off-road vehicles are typically required for adventure activities here, but small ship cruises can easily take guests ashore without extra equipment.
Top Tips for visiting Lana'i
You'll find far fewer options for shopping on the island of Lana'i than elsewhere in the Hawaiian archipelago. Be sure to pack carefully and arrive with all the essentials from home.
Lana'i is among the coolest and wettest of the Hawaiian islands. Pack protective gear for rain and warm clothing to keep the chill out on brisk evenings.
The ocean around Lana'i can become surprisingly rough during winter. If swimming and snorkeling are essential parts of your itinerary, avoid booking between December and February.
Best time to cruise Lana'i
The weather around Lana'i is generally cooler and wetter than elsewhere in Hawaii, with daily temperatures ranging from the high 50s to the upper 70s. This island also sees more rainfall, with a peak in precipitation between November and February.
Lana'i has fantastic weather for cruising and low visitor numbers during the shoulder seasons, during April and May, and from September to November. However, the best time to visit Lana'i for surfing and whale watching falls between December and February, when tourism is at its peak. Consider which activities you prefer to participate in, and plan ahead to avoid disappointment!
Where do Lana'i cruises depart from?
The Kaumalapau Harbor and Manele Small Boat Harbor are Lana'i's main ports, but most adventure cruises skip these developed areas, anchoring in protected coves and sheltered bays instead. This offers easy access to the island's top land and sea attractions and views of the undeveloped coast.
Lana'i adventure cruises typically start and end elsewhere in the archipelago, with itineraries traveling between Kona and Molokai. Don't plan to start or end your adventure here.
The tiny Lana'i airport has just one runway and four gates, connecting the island to other destinations within the archipelago via charter and commuter flights. This is one of Hawaii's smallest and least used arrival points.