The place: Napali Coast, Kauai
The drink: Wine. More Wine. Wine. Unless you like beer.
“The first two miles are the easy part,” I heard a crew member telling a fellow passenger. “After that it gets rough.”
As I recalled my four hours earlier in the week spent crawling over slick rocks, climbing up steep dirt-covered paths while meandering around those first two miles of the Napali Coast trail in Kauai, the word “easy” wasn’t one that came to my mind. But later he pointed out hikers further along the path who were plastered against the wall while navigating a 14” wide path that led directly down the side of a steep cliff.
Okay, so that is harder. But there was no question that we were currently taking the easiest way of all to see the scenery of one of the most spectacular sites in the world. Aboard a luxury yacht.
We were aboard the Southern Star on a six-hour snorkeling sail. We set off around 8:00 a.m. with just 50 passengers on board the 65’ luxury catamaran. We were greeted with coffee, juice and freshly baked pastries while we set sail to view the entire 15-mile coast, accessible only by foot, air or sea.
A short while into our trip, we were charmed by the dozens of dolphins who choose to “surf” along side us, as the captain slowed down so we could all get a good look. After sailing along the entire coast to see the soaring 1000-foot cliffs made famous by such movies as Jurassic Park, South Pacific and Six Days, Seven Nights, we pulled into a small cove for snorkeling. After receiving our equipment and a detailed lesson, we suited up in masks, snorkels and flippers then plopped ourselves off the side of the boat to explore in the slightly chilly waters. We enjoyed seeing the fish dart in and out of view and spotted a large turtle meandering along.
Then it was back on the boat for just-cooked burgers, baked beans and a delicious cole slaw. The chef had come by earlier to take our order from the selection of chicken breasts, burgers or veggie burgers. Lunch is served with your choice of soft drinks, wine or beer. And the wine and beer just kept coming for the rest of the trip, graciously and continuously served by a friendly crew member. I didn’t realize I was about to have my 4th glass of wine – until my husband, rather unnecessarily in my opinion, pointed it out.
The tour is pricey – $149 for adults if booked online. But for that you get true luxury, gourmet food, snorkeling equipment and instruction and a truly unforgettable experience in Kauai. Oh and one more thing – the most beautiful bathrooms I’ve ever seen on a boat with plenty of space to change into my bathing suit. It’s worth the splurge.