Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll find answers to the most common questions we receive about our Napali, Niihau and Kauai boat tours on this page. Contact us if you have a question that’s not answered below and we’ll be happy to help!
Please review our Passenger Policy here.
What does it mean to be barefoot?
The deck has a non-slip surface best fitted for bare feet. Flip flops, shoes, water shoes etc. can grip too much or not enough.
Are we going to get wet?
Yes. Minimally, you can expect to get some “sea spray” on our Kauai tours. The farther up front you are on the vessel the wetter you will get. The driest part of the vessel will be in the covered cabin area.
What is so special about the Na Pali coast?
The Na Pali coast is one of the many wonders of the world. With its unique cliffs, valleys caves and lava tubes, which were formed over thousands of years, Na Pali is the gem of Kauai.
What is so special about Niihau?
The island of Niihau is privately owned and visitors are not allowed to land on the island. With almost no annual rainfall, the waters around Niihau are some of the clearest and most pristine in the Hawaiian islands—making them a world-class snorkeling and diving destination.
Are there restrooms on your boats?
Yes! All our boats have restrooms. Holo Holo and Leila (our catamarans) are equipped with 2 restrooms. Holo Holo has 2 restrooms on the deck and Leila has 2 restrooms down in the hull of the vessel. Our Adventurer rafts each have a single restroom on board.
If I can’t swim will I be able to snorkel?
We do not recommend snorkeling for non-swimmers. All our snorkel locations are in areas that are over-head deep so “wading” or standing up on the bottom isn’t possible. This makes it a danger to non-swimmers.
When is the best time to see whales?
Humpback Whale season is from November thru March. Humpback Whales do not have a specific time of the day that they are more active, so you can see them at any time throughout the day. Sometime we get lucky and see different types of whales throughout the year.
How cold is the water?
Water temperatures vary throughout the year but mostly stay around the 70 degree mark.
Will we need swim suits/wet suits?
We recommend that you wear a swim suits for our snorkel tours (bring a towel and dry clothes to change into after snorkeling). Wet suits are not needed on Kauai but if you are one to get cold easily you can rent or buy a wet suit from an outside vendor as we do not carry wet suits.
How many passengers does your boat take?
Holo Holo takes up to 49 passengers and Leila takes up to 37. Our Adventurer rafts take up to 25 passengers each.
What time do we eat?
On our morning snorkel tours we start breakfast just after we leave the harbor and lunch is served later in the day. For our sunset tours, dinner is typically served 1-2 hours after departure, depending on the day and tour.
What happens if the weather is bad?
Tour routes and destinations cannot be guaranteed as sometimes weather does impact our itinerary. If we expect we need to alter our route or are unable to snorkel due to weather or ocean conditions, we will provide as much notice as possible. Our captains are knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to Kauai weather and ocean conditions. If at any time there is a concern from the captain they will come up to the office after check in to let you know about their concerns. Captains will then give you the option of rescheduling or cancelling at no charge. Winter (November – February) ocean swells tend to impact our tours the most as the Na Pali Coast is located on the Northwest side of the island; if you are touring during these months please call us for the most accurate information.
What about sea sickness?
It is a possibility especially if you are sensitive to motion. If you are not sure, we recommend an over the counter treatment. Better to be safe than sorry.
Do I really need my photo ID?
Yes. We require all passengers that will be partaking in alcohol to have a photo ID. We are not able to serve passengers alcohol if they are not able to show a photo ID upon request.
Why should we pick a Holo Holo boat tour?
We have been running tours since 1998. We are the originators of “The Na Pali/Niihau Snorkel Tour” and the only company that does the Niihau tour daily. We are also the only company on the dock whose entire fleet of vessels was built here in Hawaii by our owner.
What does Holo Holo mean?
Holo Holo means “Let’s Go” in Hawaiian. Locals use it as a term to go do something active. “We go Holo Holo!” which means “Let’s go cruising!” Holo, by itself, means “to sail”.
Where should we park?
For Port Allen Departures: Please park your vehicles in our designated gravel parking lot located on the right side of the road after the Port Allen Marina Center. Come into our office located in the Port Allen Marina center to check in.
For Hanalei Departures: Parking is located in the back of the Tahiti Nui Restaurant in Hanalei. Look for the Holo Holo Charters sign and an agent will direct you to an appropriate parking space.