Top 5 Maui Sunset Cruises

Maui sunsets are as exceptional as the rumors suggest, ranging in colors from whisper pink to fiery red and reminding all who witness them that nature’s shows are the best. Savoring them from the island’s shores is a highlight for kama’aina and visitors alike, but watching them from the stern of a boat? Now that’s another story.

best Maui sunset cruises

Sunset cruises go down as one of the most popular activities on Maui for a reason: They provide beauty and romance in equal measure, as well as an ambiance seldom found on terra firma.

Here are the top 5 dusk-on-deck affairs—and why you should book a spot on one of them.

LUAU WHY WHERE
Sunset Dinner Cruise Full Dinner West Maui - Lahaina BOOK NOW
Adventure Sunset Sail Most Luxurious South Maui - Makena BOOK NOW
Lahaina Sunset Sail Best Price West Maui - Lahaina BOOK NOW
'Alihilani Sunset Sail Best Value West Maui - Lahaina BOOK NOW
Island Rhythms Sunset Cruise Live Music Central Maui - Maalaea BOOK NOW


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Sunset Dinner Cruise

maui sunset dinner cruise

Lahaina serves as the point of departure for this roughly two-hour trip around the Pacific, where guests are treated to a number of sensory pleasures: Food is grilled on-board by Maui’s premier farm-to-table catering team, Three’s, while hospitality is served under the evening’s radiance. During an elaborate meal (think: island-grown greens, lemongrass-curry shrimp, coconut-whipped Molokai sweet potatoes, and fresh Kula strawberries), patrons will be serenaded by island-style music—and enthralled by the sun slipping behind the horizon. Add an open bar, complete with Maui Brew Co. beer, and you’re in for a night you won’t soon forget.

Know Before You Go:

  • Vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free? Not to distress: Just call ahead of time to hear about your dining options.
  • Bring a light jacket (or, ladies, a pareo to wrap around your shoulders): Evenings on the ocean tend to be chilly.
  • Keen on learning more about Maui and its marine life? Then this is the cruise for you: A Certified Marine Naturalist is always on board—and they’re always happy to answer your questions.

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Adventure Sunset Sail

adventure sunset sail kai kanani

There are few beaches as glorious as Makena’s Maluaka—and only one commercial vessel that departs from it. That catamaran—the luxe Kai Kanani—not only hosts excellent snorkeling trips but also splendid sails, taking guests out into the sea to witness a sunset with the volcanic caldera Molokini in the distance. Kai Kanani has been building its stellar reputation for three decades, and such perseverance—and such a love for island culture—is apparent in the cruise’s details: The crew is knowledgeable and friendly, the spirits are from Maui wineries, breweries, and distilleries, most of the organic fare is locally-sourced, and the live ukulele music is performed by the acclaimed Dwight Quenga. With eats ranging from seared ahi to charcuterie—and a captain that knows how to tell a fine joke—their Adventure Sunset Sail is one for the record books.

Know Before You Go:

  • Staying in Wailea? No need to stress about driving or taking Uber: The Kai Kanani offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the enclave’s resorts.
  • Vegetarian options are available, including chickpea salad, hummus with crudité, a garden salad, and more.
  • While it may be a sunset dinner cruise, the Kai Kanani recommends donning swimwear underneath for boarding and disembarking the boat.

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Sunset Sail

sunset sail pacwhale eco-adventures

Prefer to dine on land? Then this is the sunset cruise for you. Launching from Lahaina aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation’s newest luxury catamaran—the aptly-named Ocean Spirit—this two-hour voyage includes first-rate pupu (or appetizers) and superb drinks (to say nothing of the epic views). And what appetizers they are: Seared ahi crostini and BBQ Kalua pork quesadillas with Maui Gold pineapple chutney are just two examples from this well-chosen menu. Certified Marine Naturalists will join you on board to give you info on Maui’s history, culture, and environment, while chill, island-style music will enhance the serenity of the whole experience.

Know Before You Go:

  • Traveling with your littles? Children 2 and under are free.
  • This cruise sets sail Sunday through Thursday between 4:30 and 5pm, but guests are expected to check in 45 minutes before departure. In other words, make sure you’re in historic Lahaina town in advance: Traffic on the Pali can be jammed.
  • Those interested in becoming a member should check out Pac Whale’s website ahead of time or inquire on board: Benefits include 20% off Pac Whale cruises, VIP boarding, 10% off admission to the Maui Ocean Center, and exclusive invitations to online events.

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‘Alihilani Sunset Sail

alihilani sunset sail maui

‘Alihilani translates to “where the heavenly horizon meets the sea”—which is no better way to describe a sunset on Maui. The newest catamaran in Sail Maui’s fleet—a sleek, 65’ catamaran complete with trampolines for lounging—is an ideal vessel on which to watch one. As the sun goes down, Sail Maui’s affable staff will treat you to a selection of drinks (champagne, Mai Tais, wine, and locally-brewed beer) and an array of hot and cold eats. With panoramic views and guests limited to 49 passengers (read: a lovely, intimate experience), the ‘Alihilani Sunset Sail underscores why Sail Maui has consistently received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. Having serviced visitors and residents for over 25 years, the company has their excursions down pat, giving you, well, a heavenly experience.

Know Before You Go:

  • >While Sail Maui provides vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options through their catering services, those who have severe nut allergies or celiac disease should be aware that they cannot guarantee there has been no cross contamination.
  • As with most cruises, Sail Maui suggests bringing a hat, sunglasses, a camera, and a light jacket.
  • Excursions are from Lahaina Harbor, Monday through Saturday, and guests are asked to check in 15 minutes prior to departure. Post-sail, slip into the Pioneer Inn across the street from the wharf, where you’ll find a terrific cocktail menu.

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Island Rhythms Sunset Cruise

island rhythms sunset cruise

Marty Dread has been serenading Mauians for over 23 years—and, as the “Reggae Ambassador,” the world too, with performances at The White House, Moscow’s Red Square, and Harlem’s Cotton Club (as well as in Brazil, Tahiti, Thailand, and more). He also shares his gifts with guests of PacWhale Eco-Adventures’ Island Rhythms Sunset Cruise, a lively, multi-generational fete that will have the whole family dancing as the sun sets. The party takes place aboard a 65’, high-tech, eco-friendly catamaran, and the grinds—such as kiawe-smoked pork and tomato-basil bruschetta—fuel the fun. The memories? Those are there for the taking.

Know Before You Go:

  • One of the biggest draws of this cruise is that it departs from Ma’alaea Harbor, a convenient, centrally-located wharf.
  • This may be a gliding party—if you will—complete with a full bar, but PacWhale Eco-Adventures promotes responsible drinking. To this end, alcoholic beverages are limited to three drinks per adult.
  • Traveling during the winter months? Keep your eyes on the water: Guests of this sunset sail—as well as the others listed here—might see a Humpback Whale or two. We did say Maui is noF ka oi, didn’t we?

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Still can’t decide?

Get more in-depth information as well as even more options for your Maui sunset cruise.


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