Molokini Snorkeling with Kids
If you find yourself in Maui with kids (or even without), what better way to experience the ocean than to take a Maui boat trip to check out the Molokini snorkeling spot. There are countless places to go snorkeling in Maui, Hawaii, but to visit Molokini Island off the coast is pretty amazing! This Maui crater is a half-submerged volcano crater that now is a u-shaped island. Nobody lives on this island, and it is known to be one of the best places to snorkel in Maui. Molokini Crater is unique in that its shape and location yields calm and clear waters for snorkel tours in Maui. Being that we were first timers, we wanted to be sure we were finding the best snorkeling in Maui!
Molokini Snorkeling Tours
When we first started planning out our trip to Maui, I immediately knew we had to try snorkeling for the first time. This activity was out of our comfort zones, but this was our new motto – pushing ourselves to try new things! I did a ton of research on which boat company in Maui to use to for the best Molokini snorkel tour. In my research, I noticed that one of the best places to snorkel in Maui was Molokini Crater, so that was our first requirement for the tour! Also since our kids (ages 4 & 8) were with us it was important that the boat was equipped with kids snorkel gear and experience with kids snorkeling.
Four Winds II Maui Snorkeling Tour’
We decided to book with Four Winds Maui, a highly rated snorkel tour company in Hawaii. We chose this company because we had read that they were a very kid friendly snorkeling tour boat. Also, they had glowing reviews online and even a fellow family travel blogger suggested we book with them as well! The prices of the Four Winds Maui snorkel tour were much more reasonably priced compared to some of our other options. This made it an even easier choice for our family’s first snorkeling trip.
Four Winds offers a few different options for snorkel tours, as well as whale watching and family fun boat tours. We chose the morning snorkel tour at Molokini Crater, Maui.
What to Expect on the Four Winds Snorkel Tour
The Four Winds boat leaves the pier at 7:30 am but ask that you arrive by 7:00 am for check-in. We arrived slightly before 7:00 am and parked relatively close to the boat. Keep in mind that you do need to pay for parking separately too, but it wasn’t much for a few hours. We gathered with the other people waiting to board our boat right outside of the designated pier. Before boarding the Four Winds Maui, we checked in and we had to tell the crew which meal we chose for lunch. You could choose from a pulled pork sandwich, a hot dog, or a vegetarian option. Once on board the boat, breakfast was available as well. This included some pastries, fruit, and drinks. In addition to the food provided, we also packed some snacks mostly for the kids as they are pretty much hungry 24/7.
Getting to Molokini Crater Snorkeling Spot
Once the boat gets out of the port, it quickly becomes cold and choppy for a little while as you leave the bay. The crew informed us that this day we went out was the first day in 2 weeks that they were able to go to Molokini Crater because of the snorkeling and Molokini weather conditions. Maui has many other snorkeling spots, but we were just so excited to see the crater! So we lucked out with a calm water day, and we were excited to experience Molokini Crater snorkeling.
Four Winds Maui Snorkeling Gear & Tips
Once we were underway and enjoying the ride to Molokini, Maui, the crew started to come around to ask for shoe size for the fins. They circled the boat handing out snorkeling gear to everyone who was planning on snorkeling and helped our beginning snorkeling crew understand what was what. Everyone got a mask, a snorkel, and fins. They also had other devices for snorkeling including a full face snorkeling mask, and there were options to also snuba and scuba dive. We just used the traditional gear since we really had no clue what we were doing anyway, lol. Four Winds had wetsuits that you could rent for an additional charge as well. They suggested you use them if you tend to easily get cold in the water. We opted against the wet suits and were perfectly comfortable in the water wearing just bathing suits.
Four Winds was more than equipped with gear that fit our kids, and all the other kids on board. In addition to the snorkel gear, life jackets for the kids and other floatation devices for adults were provided. Once we arrived at Molokini Crater, snorkeling was up next! The crew did a quick tutorial on how to snorkel, which was necessary for us newbies, we needed all the snorkeling tips we could get. By the time it was time to get in the water, we all were feeling very confident and ready to take on snorkeling in Maui, Hawaii!
What to Pack for the Molokini Snorkeling Trip
- Beach Towel
- Jacket – we just all packed raincoats to cut the wind and keep us dry
- Reef Safe Sunscreen – Sun Bum
- Waterproof shoes – easy on and off for the kids – Natives are our fav
- Snacks for kids – if they are like mine, they are ALWAYS hungry
- Waterproof Go Pro – we didn’t bring this but wish we did!!
Molokini Crater Snorkel Experience
The instant my girls got in the water they were nervous and started to panic. The water obviously isn’t like a pool like they are used to, and they were totally freaked to start. My husband and I divided and conquered to make sure they calmed down and got comfortable in the water. For younger kids (well adults can use them too) they offered a floatation raft, where you lay on it, but it has a viewing window so they can still see down into the water. My four year old ended up using one of those and we towed her around with the rope attached to it. She still got to see all the beautiful fish in the water and loved every minute! My older daughter (8 at the time), just took some time to adjust to the choppy waters and eventually was off looking for fish with me! So we definitely didn’t let their fears overtake them, and they ended up loving it so much that we were the last ones out of the water. The girls really enjoyed seeing all the fish in the water and will tell you, other than going to the hotel pool, the Molokini Crater snorkeling tour was one of their favorite things to do in Maui.
After snorkeling in Molokini Crater was over we climbed back on the boat for lunch. Not only did we get the lunch we chose earlier, but they also had drinks (including wine and beer). The ride back was really fun as we reminisced about our time snorkeling at Molokini as a family. While we were in the water snorkeling there was an underwater photographer, so we also had a chance to see those snorkeling pictures. Unfortunately, the snorkel pictures were not included in the Molokini snorkeling tour price, so we chose to pass on that purchase this time around. We were also fortunate to see a good amount of whales on both the ride to and from Molokini Crater. The captain was even so kind to seek the whales out and stop the boat when we saw some. It was sort of a mini whale watching charter on the way out and back! Other than the food, and the whales, the kids’ other favorite part of the return trip was getting a Four Winds temporary tattoo!
Best Molokini snorkeling tour
We absolutely loved this Molokini Crater snorkel tour and would do it again on with Four Winds in a heartbeat. We were thoroughly impressed with how this Molokini snorkel tour was perfect for families with young kids. It was 100% accessible for everyone to have an opportunity to enjoy snorkeling in Maui and it was also not intimidating for first timers like us. So when you are ready to plan that snorkel vacation, and looking for where to snorkel in Maui, you should definitely consider Molokini, Hawaii and choose Four Winds for a great experience. We are so glad we chose Four Winds for one of the best snorkeling tours in Maui!