Free Course

Maui Snorkeling Excursion to Olowalu and the Coral Gardens, Maui - Hawaii

Explore Below:

Destinations > Hawaii > Maui

Blog Post - September 10, 2021

We booked an amazing snorkeling excursion. We were supposed to go to the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town, but because of choppy water we ended up going to Olowalu and the Coral Gardens instead. The water was calm on this part of Maui and we really enjoyed it. It turned out amazing as we saw lots of turtles and white tipped reef sharks!

We booked our trip through

We booked our excursion on a 50 foot  boat called "Leilani". We booked the 5 hour excursion from 8am to 1pm. We had to get to the dock by 7:45am.

The excursion included a continental breakfast of fresh homemade muffins, tropical fruit, Kona coffee and juice.

For lunch they had pulled pork sandwiches, pineapple coleslaw, jumbo steamed hot dogs served with potato chips. For vegetarian and vegan guests they provided a mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing (on the side), and a roll.

For dessert they had homemade white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

To drink they had complimentary beverages throughout the trip including Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. There's also an open bar (after snorkeling), serving Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde Lager and Big Swell IPA, wine and Mai-tai's.

They provide reef-safe sunscreen free of charge as well as snorkel equipment, flotation devices, and optical masks, so there is no need to rent these items for this excursion. We always bring our own snorkeling gear, but it was nice that they had it for everyone else.

You should bring a towel too.

Picture ID is required for passengers consuming alcoholic beverages.

Check-in: Ma’alaea Harbor (101 Ma’alaea Harbor Rd, Wailuku), Slip 68.

Check in 7:45 am. Departs 8:00 am and returns 1:00 pm.

Free parking can be found at the Maui Ocean Center. If you want to park closer, you can park at the Marina, but it is paid parking and it fills up fast.

This is what Slip 68 at the marina looks like:

Slip 68 at the Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui

After everyone checked in, we boarded the boat.

Boarding the Leilani boat

This is what the boat looks like:

Inside the Leilani boat
On top of the Leilani boat

They provided us with a delicious breakfast:

Breakfast on the Leilani boat

While they were serving breakfast they got reports from other boats that the seas were too rough to snorkel the Molokini Crater, so they let us know and re-routed to Olowalu. This is what it looked like when we pulled into Olowalu:

Olowalu Snorkeling Area

When we arrived at Olowalu, we all got off the boat and started to snorkel.

Getting off the boat to snorkel

As we were snorkeling, we saw sea turtles, white tipped reef sharks, and all sorts of fish.

Sea Turtle in Maui
White Tipped Reef Shark in Maui
Blue and Green Fish in Maui

After we were done snorkeling, we got back on the boat and they fed us lunch.

Lunch on the Leilani Boat

As we ate lunch, we traveled to the Coral Gardens. This is what it looked like when we arrived:

Coral Gardens Snorkeling Area in Maui

We got off the boat and started snorkeling. We saws lots of different fish, but no sea turtles or sharks at this spot.

Yellow Fish
Yellow Fish and Parrot Fish
Blue and Black Fish

Overall, this was an amazing experience. It was so fun to see lots of sea turtles, a white tipped reef shark, and lots of fish. We will have to try to go to the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town another time. We highly recommend booking this excursion!


Ma’alaea Harbor - 101 Ma’alaea Harbor Rd, Wailuku, Slip 68, Maui - Hawaii Map:

(Click on the map above to go to a Google Maps larger view.)

Olowalu (off the coast of Olowalu Beach), Maui - Hawaii Map:

(Click on the map above to go to a Google Maps larger view.)

The Coral Gardens, Maui - Hawaii Map:

(Click on the map above to go to a Google Maps larger view.)


Excursion Price: We purchased 2 tickets for this excursioin and paid a total of $392.24. We saved $42.86 by using the discount code DISCOVERY7. We tipped our crew $20 at the end of our excursion. You can see our electronic ticket confirmation below.

Total cost: $412.24


Excursion Receipt


These are the checklist items I recommend:

  • Bring cash for a tip for your crew.
  • You can bring some snacks, but they will serve you breakfast and lunch.
  • You can bring a water bottle, but they will have water and beverages on the boat.
  • If you get motion sickness, take some medicine before getting on the boat.
  • Bring a towel
  • You can bring your own snorkel gear, but if not they provide it.
  • You can bring your own reef safe sunscreen, but if not they provide it.
  • I filmed this video using a Go Pro Hero 9 Black video camera

Want to share your own travel experiences?

Build your own travel lifestyle Website using the same all-in-one platform that I use.

Host your Website, Build Your Courses, and Accept Payments with Kajabi!