Small Ship Cruises
Hawaii | Hawaiian Seascapes | Adult Only
Immerse yourself in aloha and experience the islands from a different perspective
8 days / 7 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Hawaii is a tropical destination synonymous with paradise. What better way to hop among the islands than by small cruise ship? Watch for whales, “talk story” with locals, explore a sacred valley, and find plenty of time for play – paddle, hike, and snorkel. Immerse yourself in aloha and experience the islands from a different perspective. This adventure runs from Molokai to Hawai‘i or in reverse from Hawai‘i to Molokai depending on the week! (Please call your adventure travel consultant for more details).
The Hawaiian Islands have one of the most diverse land and seascapes in the world. It’s the kind of place where you can find yourself snorkeling with sea turtles in the morning, and then gaze out over lush, rainforest-covered pali—or cliffs rippling one after another almost endlessly. Natural features like lava tubes or sea stacks always seem to be just a short walk down the trail. Hawaii is also all about authentic local culture and “aloha” spirit. You’ll have the opportunity to “talk story” with the locals, and maybe take in a jam session with Hawaiian musicians. Learn the islands’ history while touring Molokai’s Halawa Valley and make and taste traditional poi. Watch the spectacular island landscapes drift by as you relax aboard the ship and sail to your next adventure. This carefully-planned cruise offers one of the best ways to get the most out of the islands, and enjoy the ride along the way.
- Snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta Rays. AT NIGHT.
- Stroll with your significant other to Sweetheart Rock, a sea stack that towers 80 feet over the waves.
- Spend time with the locals “talking story”, and experiencing their unique perspectives on the islands and life.
- Watch for humpback whales, dolphins, and seals in the Humpback Whale Marine Reserve—one of the world’s most important whale habitats, thousands of humpbacks migrate here each winter
- Unwind from a day of exploring with a complimentary massage or with the cocktail-du-jour from the top deck
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Hawaii has one of the largest elevation changes in the world, starting at sea level and topping out at almost 14,000 feet. Seeing the volcanoes soar overhead is even more spectacular when out to sea.
Halawa’s cathedral valley on Molokai isn’t just a lush green valley with towering waterfalls, but a site of great historic importance to the Hawaiians. This secluded valley holds several ancient heiau, or places of worship.
Wander through lava tubes formed when hot magma snaked its way from the volcano to the sea.
Molokai or Kailuna-Kona, depending on travel dates MKK or KOA
Molokai or Kailuna-Kona, depending on travel dates MKK or KOA
Embark the Safari Explorer at Molokai or Hawai'i, The Big Island
Welcome to Hawaii! • You’ll be transferred to the hospitality area to gather with fellow travelers and meet with your expedition leader • Later the captain and crew greet you with smiles and champagne as you board the awaiting Safari Explorer • This evening, settle in and enjoy dinner aboard the 36-guest ship, before a presentation about your week ahead.
- Note: This trip is operated by UnCruise Adventures in partnership with Austin Adventures. Trip itinerary will run from Hawai’i to Molokai or Molokai to Hawai’i, depending on travel dates. We have included the itinerary for Hawai’i-Molokai. Simply reverse the order if you will be departing from Molokai.
About the Safari Explorer
This high-end SUV of a ship is nimble, strong, and loving. The Safari Explorer has what mariners call “feet” that take her into wild areas most other ships aren’t certified to visit. Her performance-built rugged construction means access to faraway regions. But it’s what’s on the inside that makes this yacht the prize of the fleet. And with only 36 guests on board, the feel is decidedly exclusive. Lovingly called “the Bulldog,” she’s poised, her interior is a pearl, and the general mood is down-to-earth. For about half the year, she bops around the islands of Hawaii soaking up the laid-back aloha spirit. The other half she spends in Alaska sowing her wild oats. A protective spirit is infused in every part of the ship, and within the crew. She’s made for adventures, after all, and with them comes inevitable fun and folly.
Now that you’re settled in, the search is on as you set sail through an area known to be favored by marine mammals • Lava tubes, skiff tours, and kayaking are in store for a day of ultimate adventure • Fringed by coconut palms, Honomalino Bay offers opportunities for snorkeling, paddle boarding, and more kayaking • The bay reveals a diversity of colorful corals, sponges, and tropical fishes • This evening, you’ll anchor at an offshore location to enjoy some night snorkeling with Giant Pacific Manta rays.
Kealakekua Bay / Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i, the Big Island
Skiff to Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook was slain in 1779, for some of the island’s best snorkeling • Stroll through Kailua-Kona at your own pace • A fun and quaint seaside town, Kailua-Kona has the souvenir shops and open-air restaurants you’d expect in a small tourist hub, plus a surprising number of historic sites.
Gear up for a day of play on the “Private Island ” • Thousand-foot sea cliffs line the shore, and ancient volcanic plugs sit both above and below the water’s surface as host to a wide diversity of marine life • Snorkel, paddle board, kayak, explore by skiff, or stretch your legs on a hike—whichever activities suit your fancy • Take a stroll to Sweetheart Rock, a sea stack jutting 80 feet above the crashing surf, and discover the legend of the princess Puu Pehe • Learn about the islands’ plantation days with a visit to the quaint Lana‘i Culture and Heritage Center.
Olowalu / West Maui
In ancient times, Olowalu was considered a place of refuge • Today, it delivers a treat of snorkeling among coral gardens teeming with underwater life and a known sea turtle habitat • The Humpback National Marine Sanctuary—located between Lanaʻi, Molokai, and Maui—provides front-row seats as you cruise through these productive marine breeding grounds searching for dolphins, whales, and other marine life.
A warm Aloha spirit gives you a sense of Hawaii long ago • No stop lights, no high-rises, just a welcome slower pace • “Talk story” with locals and experience their land and traditions as few visitors ever do • You’ll hear legends and lore, then take in a cultural lesson in taro patches and poi making, or hike to a towering waterfall in Molokai’s Halawa Valley—one of the island’s most historic places • At the Molokai Museum, discover the history of this ancient homeland as you enjoy an evening paʻina (feast), complete with a home-style Hawaiian jam session.
Arrival & Departure
This trip runs from either Molokai to Hawai‘i or in reverse from Hawai‘i to Molokai depending on the week so please plan accordingly. We suggest that you book your flight to the Big Island (Kailua-Kona) or Molokai at least one day prior to your trip departure. You may arrive on day of embarkation as long as your flight arrives no later than 2:30 pm. If you are arriving on the day of embarkation, your airport transfer is included to the hospitality area in Molokai or Kailua-Kona (dependent upon your embarkation city). If you arrive independently prior to embarkation day, you will need to check into the hospitality suite no later than 3:00 pm with your luggage. You will have time relax on the beach or walk through town before arriving back no later than 4:30 pm to meet your expedition leader, followed by a 4:45 pm transfer to the boat for your embarkation. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the airport or our recommended hotels in Molokai or Kailua-Kona (dependent upon disembarkation city). Please schedule departing flights for after 12:00 pm.
Hiking: Difficulty varies depending on group, no experience necessary.
Kayaking: Coves, inlets, open water, no experience necessary.
Boating: Interpretive small ship wildlife cruise with captain and crew.
Paddle boarding: Stand up paddle boarding, no experience necessary.
Snorkeling: Snorkeling in protected bays, no experience necessary. Optional night snorkel.
Skiff excursions: Inflatable skiff explorations with guides and crew, no experience necessary.
Wildlife Viewing: No experience necessary but come prepared to look and listen.
* Note: Daily itinerary is kept purposefully flexible to maximize wildlife sightings and natural encounters.
Get a sense of Hawaii long ago. Talk story and be enticed by Hawaiian legend and the hula’s rhythm. During a week of kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and cultural visits, the history of this ancient homeland unfolds. With no stop lights and no high rises, you’ll welcome leisure time in the paniolo town of Kaunakakai, the scent of plumeria, and Molokai’s slow pace. Gear up for water play at Lana‘i and hike to the island’s spatter and cinder cone. And if you’re lucky, paddle an outrigger from a Maui beach and linger under Lahaina’s giant Banyan tree (with tuneful Myna’s perched limb-to-limb).The Humpback National Marine Sanctuary provides front-row seats as you cruise these marine breeding grounds keeping watch for dolphins, whales and other marine life. By skiff, explore shores lined with lava tubes and coconut palm-fringed bays. Discover coral gardens full of underwater life, snorkel in a known sea turtle habitat by day, and at night, with Giant Pacific Manta rays. Skiff into Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was slain in 1779 – for some of the island of Hawai’i’s best snorkeling. This is just the beginning – discover for yourself this place they call The Islands of Aloha.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals aboard the ship: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages are included in the trip price of this cruise.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- All meals aboard ship.
- Double occupancy cabins with private baths.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- All “from-the-ship” adventure activities and equipment.
- Premium spirits, wine, beer; non-alcoholic beverages.
- Wellness amenities: fitness equipment, yoga mats and a complimentary massage.
- Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Entry fees to national parks/preserves.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to UnCruise Adventures captain and crew.
- Port taxes and fees ($375 per person).
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.