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Napali Coast Tours From Hanalei

The 2022 summer north shore season has officially commenced, and boy are we ready for a good one!

We’ve been running our Napali Coast raft boat snorkeling tours out of Hanalei since 2012, and each season presents its own difficulties but, to be honest—the last four years have been exceptionally challenging. And it’s not just us; they’ve been exceptionally challenging on all of Hanalei’s businesses. Let us explain what’s been going on…


Napali tours from Hanalei

Hanalei Floods of 2018 | Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Roth, CC-BY

It was the spring of 2018 and Kauai was earning her reputation as one of the wettest places on Earth. The island, and particularly the north shore, was saturated. Then on April 15th, it rained some 49 (forty-nine!) inches in 24 hours—breaking state and national records. It was just too much for both the Hanalei and Wainiha Rivers—they both blew out causing severe flash flooding in the town of Hanalei, widespread power outages, and several landslides that blocked the Kuhio Highway. Homes and businesses were wrecked, Blackpot and Ke’e Beach Parks as we knew them were forever changed, there were even confused and displaced bison roaming around on the beach!

Hanalei floods

During the 2018 emergency, we used our tour boats to deliver food, water, and medicine to areas cut off by the landslides and to transport people and pets out of those areas.

Instead of getting into the details about all the property damage and implications (sections of Kuhio Highway were closed for 14 months!), we’ll keep it short and just tell you that for Holo Holo Charters, the 2018 north shore season never got started and as far as the 2019 season– we were able to pull of some tours, but it was a logistical nightmare, and it amounted to less than half of what we would normally run.

So, in early 2020, we were relieved to be getting back to business as usual. Until (cue the ominous music)… well, we don’t need to tell you what happened in March 2020. You know.

Total shutdown for the 2020 season. And not just the north shore part of our business– Holo Holo Charters was completely shuttered for a solid 13 months, as were most of the Kauai boat tour companies.

In early 2021, things were looking hopeful; the vaccines were becoming widely available, restrictions were loosening, and people felt comfortable traveling again. Once again, we were relieved to be getting back to business as usual. Until (cue the ominous music) mother nature struck again.

Yep, another radical spring rain event and another major mudslide on Kuhio Highway. Nobody could believe it; was the north shore cursed!? This new mudslide occurred on a steep section of highway called “Hanalei Hill” and repairing it took seven months of crews working around the clock. During those seven months, traffic flow was limited to one lane, and traveling the two measly miles between Princeville and Hanalei was taking several hours. So much like the 2019 season, in 2021, we were able to pull off some tours, but it was a logistical nightmare, and again, it amounted to less than half of what we’d normally run.

That brings us to the present day– May 2022—and we’re really hoping this is the season we actually get back to business as usual. The time has never been better to book a tour with us– our two raft-style boats are both sporting brand new, high-tech, fuel-efficient diesel outboard motors, we have a shiny new van to transport our guests from the parking area to the Hanalei River mouth (where the tour begins), and our north shore captains and crew are rearin’ and ready to show our guests an amazing time on the incredible Napali Coast.

Hanalei Boat Tours

Thank you for supporting Holo Holo Charters and all the Hanalei businesses that had the resolve and resilience to hang on through these last four years! Book your Napali Coast boat tours out of iconic Hanalei Bay Today!



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