The Best Snorkeling in Maui – Molokini Crater with Redline Tours
The first time we went to Maui, we were convinced that we had found the most perfect island save for one thing; we are both avid snorkelers and the snorkeling seemed to be OK at best. A small price to pay for an island as magical as Maui in every other way.
This year we spent a morning with Redline Rafting to snorkel Molokini crater, and very happily learned how wrong we were about Maui snorkeling!
We knew we wanted to see Molokini crater and were set on going with Redline Rafting for a few reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is that zooming across the water on that speed raft letting the gorgeous coastline of Maui speed by in a blur of beauty looked like it would just be too much fun; and it was!
The second, is that Redline is one of the first boats in the morning to arrive at the crater to snorkel Molokini. Snorkeling is always better with less of a crowd, and we were the only snorkel boat there on the day that we went!
Though waking up and getting out early isn’t exactly our favorite way to start the day, we loved catching the beautiful sunrise in Kihei and seeing the sun break over Maui’s mountains as we boarded the raft. With a spot as popular as Molokini the earlier the better, and Redline seems to get there the earliest!
The third reason is that the Redline raft only takes out fairly small groups. We have been on snorkel boats before that are so packed that even with just one boat you still see more fins in the face than fish in the sea!
The day started with our two captains taking us out to Molokini and explaining what we would see when we arrived. When we got to the crater and the boat was tied up we were served cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit for breakfast and had more of the crater and it’s history explained to us.
Molokini is a submerged crater that is a protected wildlife and marine area, where visibility often exceeds 180ft. Needless to say, we were, even more, excited to jump in after hearing more about the site.
We immediately saw how wrong we had been about Maui; it does have sensational snorkeling, it just takes a boat ride to get there!
Even the plastic bouys looked amazing and otherworldly in the clear ocean waters around the crater.
After snorkeling two spots at Molokini, we took a trip down the coastline to explore more of the sheer cliffs that make up Maui’s “forbidden coast.” Since we were there in the Winter, Hawaii’s whale season, this portion of the day became a whale watching tour. We were told by our captains that at times during whale season the water gets so full of leviathans that they have a hard time navigating the boat where it needs to go. Boats are required to stay a certain distance from each whale, which means that if you are surrounded you basically are stuck in one spot until all the whales decide to give you some more breathing room!
The last stop of the morning was to turtle town for some up close and personal encounters in the water with the protected Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. This is also where delicious deli sandwiches and pasta salad was served for lunch.
All in all, we had an absolutely lovely morning out on the water with Redline. The captains were both knowledgeable about Maui and all of the ocean life and were very relaxed and easy to get along with. We loved snorkeling Molokini Crater and are pretty sure that it is not only the best snorkeling in Maui but probably the best snorkeling on all of the Hawaiian islands!
Do You Want To Do it Too?
The tour departs daily from Kihei Small Boat Ramp at 7:00 in the morning and returns at noon. The tour costs $124.95 from the Redline site and includes breakfast, lunch, wetsuits and all snorkel gear. They even provided a prescription mask for one of the people on our boat who wore glasses!
Thank you Redline Tours for our gorgeous morning on the water; as always all opinions are completely our own and we would never recommend something we didn’t love, no matter who pays the check.