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Frequently Asked Questions


We take health and cleanliness very seriously and are regularly monitoring the circumstances around this subject. We continue to take steps to maintain elevated safety protocols for our guests and staff. Sanitation is always available to guests and staff while on the canoe, and we’ve modified our approach to greeting and boarding to limit contact where possible.

We appreciate that you have chosen, or are considering, Eka Canoe Adventures for your next excursion and we will take every step to keep you and your party safe and healthy. If at any point you feel concerned with a situation relating to COVID-19, please notify our captain and he/she will take steps to rectify the arrangement.

How many other people will be on my tour?

We pride ourselves on offering one of the smallest group sizes out there! Kini Kini (the canoe) comfortably seats 12 guests with plenty of leg and elbow room. And let’s not forget the 200+ square feet of deck between the two hulls!

Is there a minimum number of customers each tour?

Yes, the minimum number of guests per tour is two. Some lucky couples even get a “private” tour sometimes (mostly in the off-season)! Since we typically offer four manta ray snorkel experiences per evening may ask our guests to consolidate two trips into one, depending on bookings. But don’t worry, we only take a maximum of 12.

Is this the best way to explore the Kona coast?

We certainly think it’s pretty awesome! However, unless we are taking guests out on a private charter, we primarily specialize in manta ray snorkels, which include a very short boat ride to the mouth of the bay. If you’re looking for something truly different than your run-of-the-mill boat ride, look no further! If you’re looking for a coastal cruise, please consider our private charter offering.

How are you different from other ocean operators?

Kini Kini is one of only a few historically accurate traditional Hawaiian double-hull canoes in the world, and the only commercially licensed Hawaiian canoe that we know of! We specialize in manta ray snorkel experiences with small-group sizes. Join us as we take you on a one-of-a-kind adventure on a one-of-a-kind vessel.

Can I bring my own camera?

You can! We are not responsible if it get’s lost at sea, damage, or destroyed. Please prepare your equipment accordingly. The safety of our guests and crew are our top priority.

What are the chances that my trip gets cancelled?

We will not confirm a trip unless the minimum is reached for that tour. Once confirmed, we only cancel due to weather or a mechanical issue on the vessel. If this happens we do our very best to coordinate with guests and consolidate trips into days where the weather is safe for us to set sail. If the trip is cancelled, you can certainly expect a full refund.

What if I need to change my plans and reservation?

We recommend you book an excursion with us early in your visit to the Big Island in case changes need to be made or we offer a free re-try on our “manta sighting” guarantee. If you need to change or cancel plans, please give us 24 hours notice to receive a full refund.

How far advance should I reserve my trip?

As early as you want! We recommend booking a trip with us as earlier in your visit to Big Island. If plans change, you have time to reschedule! If you don’t see manta rays on our manta ray night snorkel trip, we will reschedule you for another free trip to visit the manta rays again. As you can expect, we rarely need to make good on this promise because the mantas are almost always waiting for us!

What happens if I get seasick?

If you’re concerned that you will get seasick, we highly recommend you take seasickness medication before embarking with us. On our manta ray night snorkel, you only spend 10–15 minutes on the canoe; the rest is in the water where you are less likely to feel seasick. If you are on our Holomoana Water Taxi (seasonal), the trip is 45–60 minutes on the canoe. If you are seasick on the canoe, we will move you to the back of the vessel where you will experience less motion.

How deep is the water?

Too deep to stand! 30+ feet. We require manta ray night snorkel participants to have at least some swimming experience, though we provide snorkeling instructions and flotation devices. A crew member is also in the water with you at all times – the first one in and the last one out.

I’m concerned about the sharks and other sea creatures.

Manta rays are large creatures, but fear not, they only feast on plankton. Shark are out there, but they are very rare to even be seen on our manta ray snorkel experience. There are many snorkelers in the water being guided by 8+ ocean operators similar to ourselves. Focusing our lights close together brings the plankton into a large mass which attracts manta rays for everyone to see! Simply put, there is safety in numbers! You may occasionally spot a playful dolphin visiting some of the snorkeling groups.

Where is the restroom?

We recommend you use the restroom at the pier (near the trailer parking) before checking in for your trip with us as there is no restroom on the canoe.

What kind of snorkel gear is provided?

We provide high-quality, comfortable masks and snorkels, vs. a full face snorkel mask. Wee also have several prescription mask options that help those who require glasses. You can wear your contacts with a normal mask, but be mindful to keep them from getting wash away by a splash of ocean water.

Is there any shade on the canoe?

Thankfully our manta ray snorkel trips take place at night! Our Holomoana Water Taxi (seasonal) and private day charters will not have much shade on the canoe. Depending the time of day, our sail casts a pretty big shadow! We encourage our guests to bring hats on our daytime adventures, apply environmentally-friendly sunscreen, and/or wear a rash guard to protect yourself from the sun.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

We currently do not supply snacks or food on any of our trips, as they are all quite short! You are welcome to bring your own snacks. For your safety, please leave alcoholic beverages on solid ground!

I am not a great swimmer.

We do ask our manta ray snorkel participants to have swimming experience. If you are concerned about your ability to swim, please call us to discuss this. There are certain steps we can take to make you feel comfortable and safe on our trips like the utilization of floatation devices and placing you close to the vessel.

I’ve never snorkeled before. Will you show me how?

Yes! We will get you fitted with a mask and teach you how to position the mask. While breathing through a tube seems a bit weird, it will become second nature after the first couple of minutes. Our small group sizes allow us the time to give every guest individual attention, especially when getting prepared to jump in the water.