Lanai sunset cruise

Sailing into the sunset.
Photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Cruise past Lanai’s stunning sea cliffs on this sunset sail

Lanai Ocean Sports takes you 4 miles to see the western edge of the island.

Around the time the sun turned the sky an orange sherbet hue, everyone pulled out their smartphones and began taking rapid-fire photos of the technicolor sky.

I was on the island of Lanai watching a Hawaii sunset in one of the best ways: from a catamaran in the evening. There’s only six of us aboard along with a crew of three, so it feels like a private charter.

Sunsets in Hawaii are world renowned and the view is even better when you’re on the open ocean, the wind in your face and the waves lightly rocking you.

A guest lounges on the cruise with Sweetheart Rock seen in the distance.
Photo: Tiffany Hill

On Lanai, get this experience with a sunset cruise through Lanai Ocean Sports. The locally owned company offers snorkeling and scuba diving sails and the popular sunset cruise.

After departing from the Manele Small Boat Harbor, the Lanai catamaran will head southwest for 4 miles. We passed Puu Pehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock, beautiful Hulopoe Beach, situated near to the Four Seasons Resort, and the historic fishing village known as Kaunolu, where King Kamehameha summered in-between battles while conquering the Islands.

Cruisers are also known to see frolicking dolphins. In fact, the waters of Lanai are home to three different species: bottlenose, spinner and spotted dolphins. If you’re lucky enough to take the cruise during Hawaii’s humpback whale season—from November through March—you’ll likely be treated to the sights and sounds of these gentle giants during their annual migration to the Islands’ warm waters.

The high sea cliffs of Kaunolu on the western side of Lanai.
Photo: Christine Hitt

Another bonus of the sunset sail are the cocktails, beer, wine and light pupu (appetizers). The friendly crew can mix up mai tais or bloody marys, pour you a Maui Brewing Co. lager or chardonnay. Appetizers include pita and hummus, crudites and shrimp cocktail.

Just remember when the sun starts to set, after you get your photos for Instagram, take a moment to just admire where you’re at and the beauty of Lanai. It’s worth it.

The sunset cruise is just under two hours long. If you’re staying at the Four Seasons Lanai, you can book the cruise at the hotel’s concierge desk. The bus for Manele Small Boat Harbor departs at 4:30 p.m. from the hotel lobby.