Big Island Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay with Fair Wind II

Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii was excellent. We’d probably rank it in our top three snorkeling experiences.


Kealakekua Bay

You can access Kealakekua Bay by kayak from Napo’opo’o Bay, by a four to six-hour round-trip hike or by a tour boat. We opted for the easy peasyness of a  tour boat. After researching our options we chose Fair Wind II. (See my post: Planning to Explore Kealakekua Bay)

Kealakekua Bay is blessed with beauty. On our visit, I think I may have seen more shades of vibrant blue than I knew existed. With the bay being a protected marine preserve, we saw an abundance of colorful, tropical fish. My husband and sister were excited to see a moray eel and a small barracuda. We enjoyed the snorkeling so much that by the time we got back onto the boat for a break and lunch, we got the very last hamburgers and the last bits of side dishes.

We took the Fair Wind II morning snorkel cruise and BBQ ($125 per adult) which was a 4.5-hour cruise departing from Keauhou Bay. This tour included a light breakfast along the way to Kealakekua and a barbecue lunch at the snorkeling site. All snorkel gear and flotation devises were provided along with safety instructions and snorkeling advice.

Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

A “fish-eye-view” of Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua Bay

We’ve been on quite a few snorkeling excursions in Hawaii, so we have some background for comparison.  Here are some of the features of this tour that we liked:

  • No-tangle snorkel masks were provided.
  • During humpback whale season, this tour almost doubles as a whalewatching tour. We saw a whale on our brief (approximately 30-minute) sail to Kealakekua Bay.
  • If you’re too timid to snorkel or don’t want to get your hear wet, inner tube-like floats with clear windows to see into the ocean were provided.
  • This tour catered to just about anyone’s interests from the expert snorkeler to the novice to someone who just wants to see this historic bay.
  • The staff were extra attentive and helpful.
  • The bathrooms were roomy, clean and had fresh air coming in. If you’ve never been on a catamaran cruise, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Well, I’ve been in some restrooms on boats that had no fresh air and if you were feeling the slightest bit queasy, a visit to the restroom could almost push you over the edge.
Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling

Trumpet Fish swimming in Kealakekua Bay

We really enjoyed our time on this snorkel tour. In fact, we’d like to go again when we’re back on the Big Island.

Have you snorkeled in Kealakekua Bay? Did you go with the folks at Fair Wind II? How was your experience?


See more ideas of what to see and do on Hawaii’s Big Island.

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Instagram.

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