Frequently Asked Questions about Sailing Kauai

Why choose NaPali Makai charters?

NaPali tour Boat with the least environmental impact

• Mostly sail and use small eco friendly outboards, zero (Sail) to low carbon emissions (Eco friendly outboards, very low carbon emissions).

• Aware of climate change & global warming
• Eco Conscious, low carbon footprint
• Support eco tourism through sustainable boating
• NaPali tour boat with the least environmental impact
• Use only reef safe sun screen while snorkeling
• No single use plastic water bottles
• Use mostly local and organic food.
• Hawaiian owned and operated business
• Captain Makai is a professional waterman, and grew up on a sailboat with over 25years experience working on tour boats in Hawaii.

How long does it take to get to the Harbor? Where are you located?

  • There are no freeways! Yay! so 30 minutes is…30 minutes.
  • We estimated your lifestyles and world clock, and chosen reasonable check-in hours.
  • We are 3-6 hours behind your Western USA time, and for East Asia and Europe we are 3-12 hours ahead.
  • Check-in is 7am for mornings. (Summer) Check-in is 1pm for afternoons. (Summer)
  • The captain leaves 15 minutes after check-in.
  • Please inform us of where your staying when you call in so we can better inform you.
  • Winter and Whale Season Check-in is at 8am.
  • Please call if you are running late so we can accommodate everyone accordingly.
  • Depart from Northshores-Hanalei, Moloaa, Makana (Princeville): 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Depart from Eastshores-Kapaa, Waipouli, Wailua, Lihue, Kalapaki, Nawiliwili: 45 min-1 hour.
  • Depart from Southshores-Koloa, Poipu, Kalaheo: 30-45 minutes.
  • Depart from Westshores-Kalaheo, Eleele (Port Allen), Waimea: 2-15 minutes.
  • Directions will be provided with the Reservation Hold Confirmation Email.
  • Google ™ Mapquest ™ Yahoo Map™ inform you that the dock is located in Waimea or Kekaha, but not the exact location.
  • Please call us 72 hours ahead to reschedule at 808-639-9352.
  • Your captain will give you a briefing before the tour departs.

Will the Kauai bus take me to the Check-In Location?

The bus does have a route which runs between Lihue and Kekaha. You can download the Kekaha Bus Schedule from… and also find the schedule of any connecting bus routes you need (for instance if you are in Hanalei you will need to take the Hanalei to Lihue bus and transfer at a shared stop). The “Old Kekeha Store” stop will take you slightly past the harbor but is not a very far walk. If you miss that stop you can jump off at the intersection of Elepaio road and Pueo road, but then you will be about a mile and a half away. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the bus driver what stop is nearest the harbor and they will likely point it out for you as you pass.

What if I am on the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)?

We recommend the 1PM tour on Thursday. We will have all Thursday afternoon available as long as weather permits. In your submissions or questions please inform us that you are on the NCL. We would like to confirm you before your arrival to Kauai. You will not be confirmed until you have spoken with a staff member. All Thursday afternoon tours are 5 hours and leave at 1PM.

Where did Hawaiians come from?

Approximately 3000 years ago, Polynesians began exploring the numerous islands of the vast Pacific Ocean.  These voyagers left Asia and brought with them plants and animals that allowed them to survive on islands where no humans had been before.  It took over 1500 years for this wave of colonization to reach Hawai‘i, the northern frontier of Polynesia.  The similarities in languages and customs between the island groups of Hawai‘i, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) formed what we now call the Polynesian triangle.  Archaeological evidence shows that people probably arrived in Hawai‘i between 800 and 1000 A.D.   Similarities between languages, fishhooks, ornaments, and other artifacts indicate that Hawaiians came from the Marquesas or another East Polynesian Island group.   Oral histories speak of people sailing from Kahiki (usually understood to be Tahiti).

Life in old Hawaii

Archaeologists often focus their attention on house sites, which are usually close to the sea.  Prior to Western influence, Hawaiians lived in clusters of structures (kauhale), rather than in a single house.  Part of this was due to the ‘aikapu (the eating taboo), which prevented men and women from eating together.  Thus a household cluster would have separate sleeping and eating quarters for men and women; there might also be other hale (houses) for menstruating women, for a shrine, for storage, and so on.  Hawaiians also had multiple places to stay, depending on what they were doing.  For example, a farmer had a shelter in the mauka fields for times when he had to work there, and fishermen often used caves to sleep in or repair nets when they were away from home.  Small shelters along trails were used by people traveling from one place to another.  There are many village sites in Hawai‘i, some of them quite large, but people also lived in smaller family groups scattered across the landscape.

How can we get to the Kalalau Valley and on to the beach?

A Napali Makai tour will take you past the Kalalau Valley and after witnessing the breathtaking views you may want to get a closer look. Part of why this area remains so beautiful is that it is not particularly easy to access. The closest road takes you to Ke’e beach at Haena State Park, which is the beginning of a challenging 11 mile hike into the valley. The fabled Kalalau Trail is not for everyone, but if you have it in you it is an amazing experience. It isn’t the kind of trip you can make on a whim, so do some research, apply for a camping permit (, pack light, and prepare for a once in a lifetime journey.

Can you smoke on the Boat?

No smoking at anytime on board.

Cancellation Policy?

Cancellation must be done 48 hours before the Napali Makai Tour with full refund. No refunds after 48 hour.

How is the weather on Kauai?

Weather on Kauai can be rainy at times, that’s how we got the name Garden Island. The north east side of the island gets the most rain up to 150 inches of rain per year. The weather comes from the northeast. The average weather is northeast trade winds 10-25mph light morning and afternoon showers. The west side of the island is the drier side which gets about 15 inches of rain per year. We depart from the sunny, drier side of the island going to the Napali Coast. Going to Napali Coast from the Westside is also a lot calmer because the trade winds are blocked by the island.

How long is each tour?

All tours are 5 hours.

What is the difference between a whale watching tour and the full 4 hour Napali Coast Tour?

A whale watching tour is seasonal. The waters of the Napali Coast house migrating humpback whales from the months of December to April. During one of these tours we’ll be out on the waters for 2.5 hours for the primary goal of finding and observing this magnificent creatures. If you happen to book a full tour during Kauai’s whale watching season, you’ll likely have the fortune of seeing a family of humpback whales during your passage to the various activities of a Napali Coast tour. One of the great benefits of these catamaran tours (especially if you and your family book a private tour) is that Makai can customize the tour based on the passenger’s interests. If the passengers want to spend a little extra time around the whales, that is exactly what you will get.

What is your refund policy regarding the deposit?

No deposit will be taken. Only the credit card info will be held and charged 24 hours before the tour. You have 72 to 48 hours to cancel for tour price refund.You will need you to call# (808)-639-9352 to confirm the tour.

What are some things I can do to prevent motion sickness?

Step 1)Use over-the-counter medication containing dimenhydrinate or diphenhydramine to prevent motion sickness. Begin taking the medication a hour or more before boarding, to allow the medication time to work. Continue taking it at the recommended intervals.Step 2)Use a prescription scopolamine patch if you have experienced motion sickness in the past and haven’t had much luck with over-the-counter medication. Apply the patch to the skin behind your ear.Step 3)Buy a wristband to prevent symptoms from occurring. Wristbands, sold at drugstores under such brand names as Sea-Band and BioBands, contain a hard round knob that gently presses against an acupressure point in your wrist, purported to control vomiting and nausea.Step 4)Bring ginger candy, tablets, capsules or cookies with you on the tour. Start using these natural remedies at least 24 hours before you embark on your tour. Consumer Reports recommends using ginger candy and capsules for mild symptoms, although ginger is not effective in all cases.Step 5)Eat crackers and drink soda if your stomach starts to feel unsettled. Take small bites or sips, gradually increasing the amount you eat or drink as queasiness diminishes.Step 6) Look out at the horizon if you start to feel ill.  Keep your eyes on one fixed point reduces aggravating stimuli that can cause symptoms.

What type of Dolphins can we see during the tour?

Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), are small dolphins which belong to the family of Delphinidae. These species grow up to a size of 1.8 m in length and weigh up to 75 kilograms on average, whereas their maximum size can be up to 2.1 meter and weigh up to 95 kg. These species vary in their shape, size and color according to the geographical location. They have slender body with a long and thin beak, which is black on the upper part and white beneath. Their flippers are generally small and pointed at their tip. These dolphins are of light grey or dark grey with white belly.Distribution and HabitatThese species occur in tropical and sub-tropical oceans. The largest populations of spinner dolphins are found between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer and mainly found in the waters of Hawaii. These creatures are found in thegroups of hundreds and thousand in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. They live in the deep ocean where they track prey. These species rest in bays and other protected areas during the day time. At night they move ingroups to feed on squids and fish.DietThese dolphins are carnivorous in nature and feed mainly on squids, shrimps and different mesopelagic fish. They dive up to a depth of around 300 meters to catch their prey. These creatures are also known to feed on reef fishes and other organisms. Their sharp and pointed teeth, which are about (45 to 65) in numbers, are present on each side of upper and lower jaws. They are known to feed mainly at night.Breeding / ReproductionThe females of these species reach sexual maturity at the age of about (4 to 7) years, whereas the males reach sexual maturity at the age of about (7 to 10) years. The mating in these species takes all year round and the gestation period is about 12 months. One female may mate with the multiple males. They give birth to calves at the interval of (2 to 3) years. At the time of giving birth to the calves the female comes to the surface and as soon as the calf is born the mother takes it to the surface, so that it could take its first breath. The calf remains with its mother up to the age of about (3 to 8) years.ConservationThese spinner dolphins have suffered a huge population loss as they are entangled in the nets of tuna fishermen. The fishermen tried to catch these dolphins on a large basis due to which it decreased their number. In the eastern tropical Pacific region, the population of these species has decreased up to 80 %. The population of these species has come down from 2 million to 40,000. Now, these fishes are being conserved in captivity as well. These dolphins are displayed in Hong Kong, U.S., Philippines and Indonesia. All species of dolphin are protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

Should I bring sunscreen?

Please bring on the trip reef safe sunscreen to help keep our reefs healthy and thriving with fish. You can also bring a hat and sunglass to protect you from the strong sun here on Kauai.

Where does Napali Makia Sail