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We took the Napali Explorer excursion on a zodiac, but I do not recall the name of the provider.
We stopped to snorkle and then went all the way around the Napali Coast. Most of the time they explore some caves, but our seas were too rough for us to get that close.
The trip was great. We got soaked, but the ride was fun, the scenery was priceless and we got up close to many, many whales. You really do not bounce around too much so it is appropriate for all ages, but I would not recommend it for anyone with sea sickness issues. The providers were also really informative about the history, geology, etc of the areas we visited.
We booked this excursion thru the ship (POA) last week. It was a 7 hour tour. Beautiful scenery. We did view majority of the Na Pali coast line. We did go into a cave which was very cool. On the way back, the captain dedicated a couple hours searching for whales. Did see some whales, turtles and dolphins. Sandwiches were provided while some snorkeled. You could feed the fish with leftovers of your sandwich. Lots of fish. Many did not take their digital cameras due to the warnings of equipment getting wet. I took mine and didn't have any problems. Many were disappointed as the views were awesome. The crew did take lots of very good photos of the passengers and scenery that could be purchased ($20 cd with about 200 photos) and apparently you can edit on your own (take out the faces you don't want to see). I thought the tour price was high at $171 per person. By the 5th hour, many passengers including myself were ready to head back. The last 2 hours seemed like 5 but the scenery was still priceless! It was a pretty smooth ride. Lots of wind and some did get a little wet. They offered rain jackets/wind breakers. The boat doesn't offer a lot of shade so if you're not a sun worshipper, be sure to get a spot under the canopy. It was a 45 min van drive from the ship. There was a restroom available at the park before you get on the boat and there was one on the boat (definately use the restroom before getting on the boat). The return van drive was an hour as they stop at their store for folks that want to purchase the cd. They show it first. I thought that it was a good deal. Our captain gave each person a free t-shirt. Of course, they had other items for sale there. Crew was very nice, attentive and the captain gave lots of narration. The POA cruised by the Na Pali coastline but the Explorer tour got you up close and personal.
Thanks AppleRun. Na Pali Riders is a different company than the trip you describe. I believe they operate operate out of the same marina but Riders offers a 4 hour trip for $99 (last year's price). As your experience illustrates, I thought more than 4 hours of exposure to sun & wind (& with no restroom) was more than we were prepared to try. We are planning a sailing snorkel trip in Kona & wanted to try one of the zodiac trips on Kauai. From the description, Riders seems to offer the best balance of time & sightseeing of the raft trips I have been able to find. However, they seem a little disorganized -- when I contacted them about a trip at end of May, they suggested I check with them when we arrive on the island -- so was hoping to hear of someone's experience with them.