When people think of Kauai, probably the #1 thing that comes to mind is the beautiful Na’Pali Coast. The Na’Pali Coast is literally the most beautiful and majestic coastline I’ve ever seen, with it’s perfect mixture of rugged mountains, green foliage, and crystal clear ocean water, it literally takes your breath away. Like I’ve mentioned before, there are only 3 ways to access this incredible sight, by land, by foot, or by air because the mountains are literally too rugged for roads to be built so you can drive there.
On our trip to Kauai, I was determined to see the Na’Pali Coast as much as possible, and hoped that we would be able to check all three off the list: air, boat, and hike. We managed to check off the by air on our trip when we did a helicopter ride over the island of Kauai, but ultimately we ran out of time for the by foot because we just didn’t have enough time to actually hike the Na’Pali Coast Trail. I knew that I’d want to see the Na’Pali Coast one more time before we left Kauai, so I decided to book a sunset cruise around the Na’Pali Coast for our last night on the island, so we could see it from the ocean.
My parents had been to Kauai earlier that year, and they happened to do a sunset cruise as well, and couldn’t stop raving about how amazing Captain Andy’s was, so we decided to book the same cruise. We opted for the Star Na’Pali Sunset Dinner Sail on a Catamaran that would sail us around the island, serve us dinner, and then sail back at sunset. At $149/person it was a little bit more expensive than the Classic, but we thought that it would be totally worth it!
The dinner cruise left earlier than I would have thought from Port Allen Harbor, but before we knew it we were checked in, lathered up with sunscreen, and boarded our catamaran to see the Na’Pali Coast one final time before we headed home.
I think that this was actually my first time out on a catamaran, so I was surprised at how big it was. There were plenty of seats all around the boat, and Chris and I decided to sit at the front of the boat so that we could have an uninhibited view of the Na’Pali Coast and the ocean during our trip. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the wisest idea because if you know anything about catamarans, you know that there’s a spot at the front that you can lay on that is literally just a net, which means that water can get through. So on very windy days, like the day that we were sailing, if you’re sitting behind the netting, like us, you are more than likely going to end up drenched by the time you make it to the Na’Pali Coast.
We immediately set sail, and even though the boat was going very fast, our captain made sure to stop anytime he saw wildlife swimming near us. During our trip we were able to see some dolphins and even a sea turtle swimming. Earlier in the year (November-May), you can also see Humpback Whales on your cruise, who make their way back to Hawaii every year to mate and birth their young. My parents were there in March and saw whales when they were on this very same trip!
After we saw the animals the captain would start the boat up again and we’d be on our way. During this time of the trip, the wait staff was walking all over the place and delivering us cocktails or whatever drink we might want, and we were all just enjoying the scenery. Just as a warning, this cruise is family friendly, so if you’re looking for something that’s purely adult you won’t find it here. We had a ton of kids on our cruise and they really enjoyed hanging on the netting at the front and being bounced around while we were cruising. Let me just say that while they really enjoyed it when they were bouncing around, they all looked really green after dinner and we were just sailing back to port. I think that the combination of the bouncing and then the sailing after dinner made them all a little bit queasy.
Before we knew it, we had reached the Na’Pali Coast and the captain shut off the engine, the staff served us our dinner, and we started to sail back. From what I remember of the food, it was good, but nothing super exceptional. It was food that you’d expect from any operation that was trying to serve that many people at once, but it wasn’t bad either. What was truly incredible about this trip, and really the whole reason why we booked this cruise, was so that we could get our last look at Kauai before we left. The views of the Na’Pali Coast from that sunset cruise are forever ingrained in my mind, and I’ll never forget how beautiful it was!
Once dinner was complete, Chris and I decided to move to the back of the boat to hopefully get away from the wind and water for a little bit, and we were a little bit disappointed that the view from the back of the boat was just as incredible as the front! We definitely would have saved ourselves a lot of grief, or at least wetness if we’d sat there first! Oh well, our night ended perfectly because we were dry and with the most incredible sunset over the Na’Pali Coast.
I hope that I’ve convinced you that you need your own sunset cruise around the Na’Pali Coast, and if you decide to go on one, definitely check out Captain Andy’s. The staff was excellent, and we really did have the best time! Also, if I have convinced you to go on a sunset cruise, here are a few things to remember for your own trip:
- Wear sunscreen: You’ll be leaving early in the afternoon when it’s still very sunny outside, so sunscreen is key. Like I’ve said multiple times, nothing kills a vacation more than a sunburn.
- Sit at the back of the boat: Chris and I were literally soaked by the time we reached the Na’Pali Coast because of all the water flying up around us. I had literally spent so much time getting ready and doing my hair and makeup for this trip, and it was all ruined before dinner! Granted we went on the cruise on a really windy day, but we got just as great of views and pictures at the back of the boat, so I wish that we’d just sat there to start.
- Take motion sickness pills before you leave: There were several people that were looking very sick during our cruise, and besides a sunburn, that’s definitely a way to end a trip on a bad note! If you’re prone to seasickness take some pills before you leave so that you don’t even chance it.
- Enjoy the memories: I find myself going back and forth between being a beach person and a mountain person, so maybe this is why the Na’Pali Coast is so incredibly beautiful to me. It was stunning by air, but being able to cruise around it at sunset, was an experience that I’ll never forget. I totally need to go back now!
And if you can believe it, I’m almost done recapping our 5th Anniversary trip to Hawaii, it only took me 2 years! I have one more post left about where to eat on Kauai, and then it’s onto another trip! Be sure to check out some of my other Hawaii posts below! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women for the first anniversary of Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!
Have you ever visited the Na’Pali Coast? Have you ever taken a sunset dinner cruise?
Other Hawaii Posts
My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala
A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
Where To Eat On Maui
An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon
Zipline Kauai with Skyline Eco-Adventures
Exploring Kauai From The Air
Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai
Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai