Ride the Swells in an Ocean Raft Maui
Climb aboard one of Maui’s ocean rafts for a thrilling cruise above the whitewater and a different take on the ocean-voyaging experience.
RAFTING is an adventure at sea, one where you’re sure to get wet during an adrenaline-fueled jaunt in an aerodynamic craft that the U.S. Coast Guard uses as its rescue vehicle of choice.
While out on the open ocean on one of these 30-foot rigid-hulled inflatable crafts, climbing swells, bouncing off crests, windswept, wet and happy, you’re likely to see pods of SPINNER DOLPHINS. Known for their aquatic antics, these friendly marine mammals are sure to put on a show.
Ocean rafts offer a more INTIMATE TOUR than larger catamarans. They’re fast, safe and cause minimal disturbance. Many companies limit their load to no more than 20 passengers, and first-time SNORKELERS receive personal attention.
Centuries ago, fiery eruptions poured molten lava into the sea, forming enchanting arches, grottos and sea caves on a coast once home to ancient Hawaiian settlers. Fortified by the towering slopes of Haleakala and inaccessible by car, the KANAIO COAST remained virtually unknown to visitors for years. Now, this coastline can be explored with BLUE WATER RAFTING, Maui’s first rafting company. Tours take people to view the rugged beauty of this otherwise-hidden VOLCANIC SHORELINE.
Some rafting tours include snorkeling options in nearby bays that are havens for a vast variety of aquatic creatures. Others offer the opportunity to snorkel or dive LANA‘I’S reefs and caves, which are teeming with TROPICAL FISH, 200-pound GREEN SEA TURTLES, WHALES, MANTA RAYS, UNDERWATER CAVERNS and ANCIENT HAWAIIAN BURIAL CAVES.
Most rafts have sun canopies and easy-access boarding ladders to make getting into and out of the boat easy.
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson