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Old May 6, 03, 1:14 pm #1
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Consolidated "Molokini/Maui Snorkeling" thread

I am looking for advice on a sailing/snorkel trip to Molokini crater for a group of four. We are not really interested in a large catamaran with 50 people on it. I think a smaller catamaran with 12-15 people (max.) would be ideal. Does anyone know of a high-quality company that offers this type of trip/boat. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 8, 03, 7:46 pm #2
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can't provide advice on a snorkel vessel, but having scuba dove at Molokini a few times, it has the largest concentration of coral in the Hawaiian Islands which overall are not known for their coral, so snokling should be very good, Scuba sure was!

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Old May 27, 08, 11:23 am #3

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Better Maui snorkel cruise... Molokini or Lanai?

I've read on many websites that the Molokini tour is the better one, but i've got a friend who has done both and he says that the Lanai tour is much much better.

If you've done them, let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old May 27, 08, 8:24 pm #4
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As far as just the number of fish I'd say I saw more at Molokini. But Molokini is more crowded and you might not be in a great 'slot' around the island/crater. Lanai trip was less crowded.

Last edited by philemer; Aug 11, 08 at 4:50 pm
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Old May 27, 08, 9:33 pm #5
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Molokini was great. Have not been to Lanai. But another highlight of our Molokini trip was the stop at "Turtletown", a mid-ocean site where there were dozens of large sea turtles swimming around. That was great snorkeling.

Ours was on Pride of Maui. (We were there in off season, so there were not many people on the boat.) I would recommend it.
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Old May 27, 08, 10:35 pm #6
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Old May 28, 08, 7:04 am #7

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We also did Molokini/Turtletown and I found Molokini to be a bit too crowded for my liking (though it's pretty neat to be snorkeling in the shadow of the crater). I felt that Turtletown was actually more beautiful and serene as far as the underwater experience was concerned, however we must have had an off day as we didn't see nearly as many turtles as I'd expect to see in a place called Turtletown (less than 10).

Tripadvisor reviews seem to express similar disappointment at Molokini.

I'd choose Lanai, but only because I've done the other. I think either way, it will be a memorable experience.
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Old May 28, 08, 12:52 pm #8

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Just took one from Lahaina to Lanai with Pacific Whale Foundation.

We snorkeled 2 spots- both completely empty except for us. Saw a number of fish, but not as many as in other places I've snorkeled. Maybe just because it's Hawaii? The staff was great and professional - highest compliments to them.

We also saw and rode with a pod of spinner dolphins for a good 20 minutes. That was definitely the highlight of the trip.

Compared to what I've heard of Molokini being crowded - I'd suggest Lanai if you want some peace.
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Old May 28, 08, 3:02 pm #9

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Did Molokini on a Zodiac boat a number of years ago, haven't done Lanai.

On the Zodiac, we checked out some sea caves, stopped in one open-water spot near a cave and spotted a huge ray along with a nice variety of fish.

Then on to Molokini. Pretty crowded, but great variety and numbers of fish. Had a fairly humorous incident when a German tourist got a little seasick and "chummed" for us and really brought the fish in close for a while.

If you drift over toward the edge of the crater where it really drops off, you can spot really large tuna and other large fish occasionally, they kind of dart in and out of view. Very cool.

I don't know if it was just our tour that did this or not, but we loaded up and went around to the back side of the crater and the guide asked us if we wanted to jump out there. We of course threw our gear on immediately and jumped in. UNBELIEVABLE!!! It was just like "The Abyss" or other movies or footage you see of the depths turning to pitch black as you look down. It literally took our breath away. Lots of fish hanging out all over the back side, and very eerie.

After that, Turtletown and swimming with a bunch of turtles.

GREAT tour overall.
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Old Jul 22, 08, 11:54 pm #10

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Ok so here's my review of the Lanai snorkel cruise.... within 15 minutes of leaving we saw a pod of over 100 spinner dolphins. We stayed with them for 15 minutes or so, got some great pics of some airborne dolphins. A bit later they dropped anchor and we snorkeled. It was NOT good snorkeling. Aside from 3 turtles, there was only really small fish. Very disappointing. Then they dropped us off at Lanai, FOR FOUR HOURS! The food from them was awful, there was not a ton to do on the beach there.

So I can now say I did Lanai, next time I'll do Molokini.
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Old Jul 23, 08, 5:37 pm #11

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Although I haven't been to Hawaii in a few years, I have had 5 visits. My favorite snorkel tour was with Trilogy. It was to Molokini and included lunch on board and drinks as well as homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Pontoon catamaran type boat ...saw LOTS of different fish. They gave a plastic coated card identifying types of fish. We also went to where the giant turtles swim. Outstanding crew..we got the boat at the marina. Have not snorkled at Lanai however my two trips with Trilogy were fantastic!
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Old Jul 24, 08, 1:37 pm #12

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We come to Hawaii annually and usually bring guests, so do a snorkel tour every year. We love the Gemini. Staff is great, and snorkel location is uncrowded. Usually see dolphins, or turtles or both on the way to the site.
This year we did both lanai and molokini, and found Molokini to be extremely crowded, but more fish to see. So in my family, I would choose Lanai, but my husband was willing to brave the crowds for the more fish to see at Molokini. Next year, we will go back to the Gemini, which we have done for the last 7 years (except this year). The crew is great, the videographer is awesome, and the location has good fish, turtles, eel, occasional octopus, and is uncrowded.




Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpbyu View Post
I've read on many websites that the Molokini tour is the better one, but i've got a friend who has done both and he says that the Lanai tour is much much better.

If you've done them, let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 24, 08, 4:10 pm #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferndale View Post
This year we did both lanai and molokini, and found Molokini to be extremely crowded, but more fish to see. So in my family, I would choose Lanai, but my husband was willing to brave the crowds for the more fish to see at Molokini. Next year, we will go back to the Gemini, which we have done for the last 7 years (except this year).
The Gemini site doesn't mention trips to Molokini. I wonder if they've stopped going there? http://geminicharters.com/snorkel.htm
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Old Aug 11, 08, 12:02 am #14

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Lanai is a shorter run, and the reefs are more pristine. Also, you will find this area less crowded.
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Old Aug 11, 08, 1:36 am #15

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Molokini was nice but crowded and we didn't see much of a variety of fish at all. I don't suppose you are going to Kauai? I saw so much more there and the turtles seemed larger than at turtle arches anyway.

We went with Pacific Whale Foundation to Molokini.
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