Snorkeling with Turtle Canyon in Oahu

Visiting Waikiki soon, and you are still wondering what activities you’ll be doing, there? Well, let me tell you that there are plenty of things you can do in Waikiki other than lying on the beach! And one of the most popular attractions is the Turtle Canyon snorkel cruise with a catamaran. Does this sound good to you? If so, then you should read this article so that you can plan your tour efficiently!


If you’ve never snorkeled with Green Turtles in Oahu, then it’s time to do it! You will sail through beautiful islands on a catamaran to search after spectacular Oahu Turtles Canyon. While cruising to the destination, you will enjoy seeing amazing sea creatures such as dolphins, migrating whales, and plenty of beautiful colorful fishes. Sailing is not the only activity you will be doing there. Snorkeling with Turtles Canyon is what you’ll enjoy the most!

What To Expect



You have the choice between two scheduled times. The first tour starts at 8 Am and the second at 11 Am, giving you the opportunity to choose the time that suits you best. You need to arrive at least half an hour before the embarkation for a quick check-in, and you are ready to go! Just be in time if you don’t want your boat going without you:)


Getting There

The tour begins at Kewalo Basin Harbor which is located in Makai of Ward Village. A beautiful harbor where you can stroll around and enjoy all the public open spaces before getting on board your catamaran. You can either be picked up from Aviator transportation service from your hotel or if you prefer, get there on your own.




Once you arrive, you will meet your crew who will give you brief instructions about the safety so that you can be ready. Right after that, you will start your adventure on board a 53-foot power catamaran called Honi Olan. Finding a great spot on the deck won’t be a problem on a Catamaran as these boats are extremely spacious and comfortable!


Onboard The Catamaran

After the check-in, you will sail to Turtle Canyon for about 15 min with an attentional crew and other passengers. While cruising, you will have the chance not only to enjoy spectacular views but also to explore whales and dolphins swimming at the surface of the water. And all this accompanied by refreshing drinks, delicious snacks, and great music! What could be better!



Now it’s time to drop anchor and get in the water to snorkel with the turtles. The crew will provide you snorkel gear, but if you are picky, you can bring your own set. There is a stairway at your disposition to go down from the boat safely. Then, you will be snorkeling with your guide for about 90 min among all kinds of beautiful turtles and fishes.


Back On Board

When you get back to the boat, you will be able to take a good shower to freshen up. The crew will spoil you from the moment you get on board until the end of the trip. They frequently come around to check if you need something.



If you opt for the Midday tour option, you will have the opportunity to participate to a delicious sandwich buffet for lunch.


Back To The Hotel

Upon your return to the harbor, a private car from Aviator will bring you back to your Waikiki hotel.

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What Is The Tour Duration

It will depend on the tour you choose. For example, the Morning tour (8 Am) lasts 2 hours, while the Midday tour (11 Am) lasts 3 hours because it comprises lunchtime with a sandwich buffet. Plus the drive from Waikiki to Kewalo Basin Harbor is about 15 min!

About The Sea Green Turtles

The Green Sea turtles are quite heavy and large. Their weight can reach up to 700 lbs and their size up to 5 ft. These turtles are herbivorous, and they mainly eat algae, sponges, and seagrasses. Their life span average is about 80 years or sometimes even more!

The green turtles are one of the largest turtles in the world. The males tend to be larger than females and their carapace measures about 5 feet. These green turtles live in tropical and subtropical coastal waters around the globe.

They often swim in shallow waters to warm themselves up. The colors of their shell are usually olive or brown, and their skins are mostly green. Females usually nest on the same beach as where their mother used to nest.

When their moment comes to lay their eggs, they dig in the sand and fill the hole of 200 eggs, which will stay two months before they open. The turtles are inoffensive and quite friendly to humans!Turtle Canyon in the sea of Oahu

When Is The Best Time To Do The Tour

Both morning and midday excursions are great but bear in mind that the sun tends to heat stronger in the afternoon than in the morning. However, there is a closed cockpit to protect you from the sun on the boat. So it doesn’t really matter. I would personally choose the midday tour because I like to eat and the buffet is excellent!

What Facilities There Are On Board

Since it is a catamaran, there is plenty of space onboard the boat. There are seats for everyone, a covered cabin, a shower, and a bathroom for your convenience.

What Is Included

  • Unlimited Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • 2 Alcoholic Beverages
  • Complete snorkel gear
  • Expert guide
  • Taxes, fuel, and handling charges
  • Service transportation back and forth from the hotel
  • Deli Buffet for lunch (only if you choose the midday tour 11 Am)


What Is Excluded

  • Tip for the crew ( Optional)
  • Additional Alcoholic Drinks ( It is possible to buy more alcoholic beverages on the boat)

Who Is This Tour For

Everyone can participate in this tour, even small children if they feel confident in the water. Many people don’t know how to swim, and if this is the case, a life jacket would be an excellent solution. It will allow you to float on the water and enjoy snorkeling with the turtles. Since swimming with the turtle is quite exciting, this tour is not recommended for pregnant women or people with a health problem related to heart disease or asthma.

Why Should You Go On This Tour

There are five good reasons why you should go on this tour!

  1. You don’t have to bother renting a car or taking the bus to get to the Harbor or return to the hotel.
  2. You will get close up with the most impressive turtles in the world.
  3. You have no restriction on the number of beverages.
  4. The experienced crew remains at your disposition for anything you may need.
  5. A guide accompanies you in the water to swim with you and the turtles.

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What To Bring


  • Although seasickness is much less experienced on a catamaran, you never know. So you better take some precautions such as patches or pills with you.
  • If you are not comfortable changing outfit on the boat, then it would be better to wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes.


  • Knowledgeable and attentive crew
  • Delicious sandwich buffet if the option is selected
  • Unlimited beverages
  • Amazing experience with the turtles
  • Plenty of space, shower, and bathroom



  • There is no possibility to buy pictures on the boat.

In Conclusion

Green Turtles are not the only sea creatures you will discover in Oahu. There are also plenty of beautiful fishes, dolphins, and migrating whales that you will have the chance to see on the way to the Turtle Canyon. So if you go to Hawaii, don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel with these incredible seas turtles and book your trip now!



Have you already snorkeled with the famous Turtles Canyon? If so, How was it? Please, feel free to share your experience in the comment below.


  1. Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise? Wow, that sounds great! I have always been fascinated by the sea and the creatures in it. I don’t know if I can travel to Waikiki, but I will try underwater diving in my country, Greece. Safety is what bothers me the most here. I understand that safety measures will be taken, but what if I encounter a shark, for example? Can it get dangerous underwater?

    • Hi John,

      Greece is a beautiful country, and the underwater world is as beautiful as Hawaii:). If you snorkel in Greece, you will rarely if ever encounter a dangerous shark. They are usually inoffensive there. But in Hawaii, they are more chances to encounter sharks, which some of them can be aggressive. For example, the tiger shark is quite dangerous. These type of sharks are generally found around Maui water. Now there are 8 millions of visitor each year in Hawaii, and only 22 of them have been attacked within the last three years. The island with the most shark attacks is in Maui. However, there is nothing to worry about because the organized tour knows what they do and they will never put their passenger’s life in danger. But here are some tips to apply if you ever see a shark in the water.

      Avoid swimming at night, alone or in deep area. 
      Don’t enter the water if you are bleeding
      If you see a shark, don’t splash water all over. Stay calm and swim very slowly to the shore.
      Avoid snorkeling where there are fishing and spearfishing activities. 
      Never go swimming where there are lifeguard warning signs.

      I hope it helped and if you need to know more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  2. Hey Daniella,
    I loved your post! You seem to have a lot of knowledge and passion for cruising.
    What goes through your head when you’re snorkeling with turtles?
    It seems like an amazing experience! I go cruising quite often but I have never been snorkeling. I guess will have to put that on my bucket list.



    • Hi Paola,

      Thank you, I am glad you liked the reading:) Yes, as you can see, I am very passionate about the sea world. 
      To answer your question, it is pretty exciting to see turtles up close because they are quite big and impressive, but inoffensive. You can be reassured! 
      It is very unusual to see someone that go cruising without going snorkeling:). You should definitely try because you are missing the best part of cruising!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  3. Hi Daniella,
    I loved reading all of the details about this tour. It sounds amazing. I’ve been to Oahu, but have not done a snorkel tour with sea turtles. I wasn’t sure where this is located. Is it near Waikiki? We stayed in the North Shore so just trying to figure out what part of the island this is located in. Also, you mentioned that there is no possibility to buy photos on board the catamaran. I assume you can take as many personal ones as you like though. Is that right? Thanks again for the thorough review. Sure makes me want to go…right now!

    • Hi Jackie,

      Waikiki is a beachfront district that is located on the south shore of Oahu. Both places are very close to each other. Almost every visitors that go to Oahu go to Waikiki as well.
      Yes, of course, you can take as many pictures as you want. It is just that some tours offer the option to buy pictures on the boat, while this tour doesn’t.

      I hope it helped and if you need any help, please let me know, I will be more than happy to assist!
      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  4. Great review, Daniella! I can’t wait to go and check out the sea turtles on this adventure. We go to Hawaii often, but have never done this snorkel trip. It looks amazing. You were very thorough with your review and all of that information is really helpful. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a snorkel trip that provided a shower.

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to your next review.

    • Hi Jackie,

      If you go to Hawaii often, you should definitely consider doing the Canyon turtles snorkeling tour. I am pretty confident you will love it! The boat that does the tour is well equipped and offer all the comfort needed to have a pleasant snorkeling trip. So, yes, you can take a shower or just change your clothes if you wish to in the bathroom:)

      Thank you very much for the kind comment and stay turned for the reviews!
      I wish you a wonderful day!


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