71.7 F
Amy Fujimotohttps://alohawithlove.com
I grew up in Hawaii and when I'm not traveling the islands, I write down my Mom's recipes, hike with Daisy the waddling rescue, work on my 200+ gallon aquaponics system, and dream about my future van conversion so I can do some more traveling.

Comment below so we can discuss!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links to buy something I may earn a commission with no additional cost to you. This helps keep Aloha With Love running, thank you! Learn More.

I had a chance recently to board the Kai Oli Oli for a charity fundraiser being held for a local children’s shelter, women’s home and a US Vet center. The west side of Oahu has significantly less tourists, so the view from the ship was fantastic. The Waianae mountain range is absolutely gorgeous and I thoroughly enjoyed the food, cruise, and service.

This is a fun sightseeing cruise with beginner snorkeling opportunities. You will be supervised and floating devices are mandatory, but the area where you’ll snorkel is well known for both turtles and even dolphins! So if you’re looking for a safe snorkel experience, the Kai Oli Oli might be a good one for you to consider.

Aloha with love,

Book A Cruise: If you’re interested in booking a cruise in Hawaii, visit Aloha With Tours to shop my approved Hawaii tours and activities marketplace.

Board The Kai Oli Oli

My group met at the Ko Olina Marina located in the Ko Olina resort area in Kapolei. Finding the Marina was easy for everyone – we all live in Oahu so the staff picking us up at our homes was not an option. However, the Kai Oli Oli does offer hotel pickups (even from Waikiki).

Local Tip: The Kai Oli Oli cruise is most convenient for those staying at one of the Ko Olina resorts: Four SeasonsDisney AulaniBeach Villas, or Marriott’s Beach Club. These four resorts are clustered right at the shoreline on the west side of Oahu in Kapolei. The Marina where the Kai Oli Oli docks is located within Ko Olina. However, Waikiki visitors are also welcome!

I got there early and the Kai Oli Oli was just pulling in with their lunch group. The staff took about a half-hour getting the ship ready to sail again. Boarding was quick and easy. Since this was a private event, our fundraising committee had plenty of props, prizes and game equipment to bring along with them. So if you’re thinking of having your own private cruise or charter, this is certainly possible to do.

Boarding the Kai Oli Oli
Boarding the Kai Oli Oli

Getting The Kai Oli Oli Cruise Started

Once the Kai Oli Oli eases safely out of the harbor, the staff begins their safety speech on protocols, utilities, and sealife awareness. There are warm showers, bathrooms, life jackets, snorkel equipment, a roomy cabin with comfortable seating and even a photographer should you wish to document your time on the cruise and underwater. I was happy to hear the staff announce that we shouldn’t touch the wildlife and they especially made their point when they brought up that humans touching sea turtles could make them sick and die. Altogether, the informative speech took only about 10 minutes and then we were free to enjoy ourselves with the lovely Waianae view.

Local Tip: The Kai Oli Oli is a catamaran, which means it sails more smoothly than your average monohull boat. That means there’s a lower chance of becoming seasick since there tends to be less rocking. So if you want to go on a cruise but know you suffer from seasickness, choose a catamaran to give yourself the best chance.

Snorkeling On The Kai Oli Oli

The Kai Oli Oli will anchor right around Kahe Point Beach Park, a popular snorkeling spot for advanced swimmers/snorkelers because of the larger current when you come in and out of the water. Turtles and dolphins are known to frequent this area and it’s a personal snorkel spot favorite of mine.

Local Tip: Hawaiian Monk Seals are also known to favor this area, but do not approach or engage with them. They are a severely endangered species; but more importantly, they are big, fast, and dangerous and can seriously hurt you if provoked.

Since you’ll be able to slide right into the water from the Kai Oli Oli, beginner snorkelers can enjoy their snorkel time with ease. You are required to wear their snorkel jackets, a bright highlighter yellow so that everyone can see you. While the jackets do have a little air bubble in them, they’re not as cumbersome as the traditional bright orange flotation device life jackets. So you’ll still be able to snorkel fairly well even if you’re at an advanced level. This is a good compromise if you’re traveling in a group with mixed snorkeling levels. Plus, not everyone has to get in the water. At least half of our party chose to stay out of the water and instead enjoyed the view, sipped our drinks, and preferred the salty breeze in our hair.

The staff had two people supervising us from the water – one who sat on a surfboard and another in the water. A third staff member (the photographer) was also in the water actively swimming with our group to take pictures and point out sea creatures swimming by. I’m also sure another staff member was on the boat supervising the snorkelers from high above and occasionally checking on the rest of us on board to make sure we weren’t getting too rowdy!

Read More: Snorkeling At Electric Beach (Kahe Point Beach Park)

Anchoring the Kai Oli Oli to our snorkel spot. The staff also spotted a sea turtle at this time so a few of us were watching it swim.
Anchoring the Kai Oli Oli to our snorkel spot. The staff also spotted a sea turtle at this time so a few of us were watching it swim.
Snorkeling in front of Kahe Powerplant.
Snorkeling in front of Kahe Powerplant.

Dinner And Drinks On The Kai Oli Oli

Once we had enough of snorkeling, we moved on to dinner and drinks to enjoy with the setting sun. Dinner was a simple fare of kalua pork, buns, lettuce, etc. to make sandwiches and teriyaki chicken. Non-alcoholic drinks were free-flowing, and those who wanted alcohol could have up to four glasses. Some people ate in the cabin, but most of us ended up taking our food outside and ate in small groups as we laughed, talked, and ate our fill while looking out at the horizon. Since this was a private function, our fundraising committee also brought with them extra snacks that we had been snacking on since the beginning of the cruise.

The bar in the cabin.
The bar in the cabin.

Sunset And The End Of The Kai Oli Oli Cruise

By the time we were finished with dinner, sunset was upon us and it was a beautiful one! Waianae feels so wide and empty compared to rest of Oahu island and I could definitely feel it here. Once the sun had gone done, I turned around and looked back at the island and enjoyed the night view as we made our way back to the Marina. The ship had some playful LED lights, music, and we occupied ourselves with some games and prizes (although I could have easily just sat and enjoyed the view with my friends).

At the end of the night, I was very happy with the experience and I would probably do this again if given the chance. It was a nice evening that was stress-free and all I really had to do was look around and soak in the natural beauty around me. It took us about another half-hour to 45 minutes to pull in back to the Marina and even though it was very dark by then, the breeze and night lights were still pretty to look at.

Thank you Kai Oli Oli for the wonderful excursion. We had a blast!

Book A Cruise: If you’re interested in booking a sunset cruise in Hawaii, visit Aloha With Tours to shop my approved Hawaii tours and activities marketplace.

Sunset from the Kai Oli Oli.
Sunset from the Kai Oli Oli.
The night view of Waianae.
The night view of Waianae.


Most Popular Things To Do In Oahu

People flying into Oahu are always asking me what they should do, see, and eat here. While you can't go wrong with aimlessly exploring, it is good to have at least a few spots set in your agenda. Here's...

Breathtaking Sunset Beach Is Famous For Sunsets And Surfing

It's really hard to beat Sunset Beach when you talk about the best beach in North Shore, Oahu. The waves are calm especially toward the end of summer and the 2-mile stretch of golden sand makes you feel like...

Kealia Trail Is A Switchback With Ocean Views

Kealia Trail holds a special place in my heart. Soon after Daisy joined our family, Mom and I took her out on her first hike to Kealia Trail. I had done my research for an easier hike that allowed dogs...

Waimea Bay For A Beautiful Beach Day

When my friends and I decide to go to the North Shore for a beach day, Waimea Bay is pretty close to the top of the list. The view is gorgeous, the water is an enchanting blue, and it's...

Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove in Pupukea

I love snorkeling at Shark's Cove in Pupukea, North Shore. Located just a few minutes drive north past Waimea Bay, Shark's Cove is guaranteed to give you an amazing time snorkeling with colorful fish in Oahu. Despite its name, Shark's...

The Different Regions Of Oahu And Things To Do

Oahu is the most popular Hawaiian island to visit, especially for first-time Hawaii travelers. There's a little bit of everything here from an excellent and busy downtown to secluded hikes and pristine beaches. Oahu can be split into 5 regions,...

Real. Local. Non-touristy.

My emails will make you smile!

I'm all about living life in Hawaii with passion, honesty, and respect. So if you like legal hikes, authentic experiences, and a kind and humble personality, I'm your local girl!

You'll love reading my fun and down-to-earth emails from a local perspective. I'll send you my personal tips, travel suggestions, and DIY project ideas that are perfect for Hawaii living.

Sign up below and you'll be added to my email list!

Aloha with love, Amy

Aboard The Kai Oli Oli Snorkel Cruise Along The Waianae Coast