Molokini is one of the three top snorkel trips on Maui.
Molokini is a crescent-shaped island south of Maui, a volcanic caldera.
The island is a bird sanctuary surrounded by a marine preserve.
About 20-30 different boats visit each day. The boats line up inside the the caldera to take advantage of the clear shallow waters (average 20 ft deep).
You can not be squeamish about crowds if you plan on visiting Molokini. It is very crowded. It is important to choose the right boat for you, because you will be staying with and sharing water space with the people on your boat.
The morning is the best time to visit Molokini. That is when it is calmest and the conditions and visibility are the best.
Most boats to Molokini leave out of Maalaea Harbor, which is about a 30 minute drive from the Kaanapali resort and a 20 - 30 minute drive from the Kihei / Wailea resort area. Most leave at 7:30 am, with check-in a half hour prior to departure.
Most trips last 5-6 hrs and usually include a continental breakfast and a lunch and beverages throughout the day. Some even include alcoholic beverages after you finish snorkeling.
All boats include your snorkel gear and for an additional charge some boats offer Snuba.
Snuba is a combination of snorkeling and diving. Two dive tanks are secured on a raft with one tank per person. Each tank has a breathing apparatus, or regulator with a 20 foot line attached. A dive master watches your gauges and keeps track of the air in your tank while you descend (with help of a weight belt) down under the surface of the ocean to experience a real dive. The 20 ft depth of Molokini makes this a perfect spot for this as the 20 ft line allows you to go to the bottom of the ocean to marvel at the spectacular sea life. All the while being able to stay submerged without having to come up for a breath of air.
Only a handful of boats go out to Molokini in the afternoon. They are less expensive but there is a reason for it. Maalaea Harbor is one of the windiest harbors in the world. In the afternoon the wind picks up and the weather is not ideal for snorkeling. Eight times out of ten, the morning trips make it out to Molokini -- and eight times out of ten, the afternoon trips do not make it out to Molokini. Instead they go to Coral Garden.