Earlier this year, TravelMag named Kauai’s beach towns of Hanalei and Poipu among the 30 most charming the USA has to offer. But don’t forget to check out the sunset cruises that seek out the rugged Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, with its remarkable series of vertical green cliffs rising from the Pacific along the west coast of Kauai. They twist and crumple unlike any other cliffs you’ve seen before, as though from a fantasy film. No tour in this part of the world can beat looking back to shore over a glass of fizz as the rocks are bathed in the warm light of sunset.
Unsurprisingly, these sunset boat trips are popular and a number of yachts and catamarans depart from various points along the south coast of Kauai for the spectacle. The best kind though is the dinner cruise, which adds a little something extra to the natural marvels offered by this part of Hawaii. We have condensed the list down to the best three dinner cruises at sunset, taking into account many factors like the duration, value for money, health and safety, and reviews from previous travelers.
FROM: $150/per person
Heading out onto the open ocean for 3.5 hours from Port Allen, this 65-foot catamaran cruise is one of the most popular and has a third-party eco-friendly accreditation too. You’ll get to cruise along past the undulating cliffs, waterfalls that empty right into the Pacific, and various secluded beaches along this stretch of remote coastline. As the sun dips, crack open a beer or order yourself a Mai Tai and tuck into the hot buffet, then raise a toast at sunset with a glass of champagne before heading back to dry land.
From $150/ per person
Leila is a catamaran made in Kauai, perfectly designed to handle the sea conditions that surround this beautiful island. At 4.5 hours, this is the longest cruise on this list, which can be a blessing in good weather and a curse to those who are unfortunate enough to get seasick. For most however, it’s the former, with longer to appreciate the cocktails, wine and beer on board, while learning all about old Hawaiian legends from your captain. Marine wildlife such as dolphins can often be spotted in the water. A buffet is served on this tour at the beginning of the trip.
From $168/ per person
For a larger luxury catamaran trip along the Nā Pali coast instead, with a special viewing deck and bar, the Lucky Lady takes passengers on a four-hour sunset cruise. Tune in to your engaging crew’s stories of Hawaiian folklore, be on the lookout for turtles and whales in the often impeccably clear water, and then enjoy the view of shore as the sun starts setting. Golden hour is also perfect for grabbing a drink and heading to the upstairs observation deck. By sunset, it’s time for the best part, a three-course dinner of Kauai cuisine, washed down with limitless drinks, alcoholic or otherwise.