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From October 25th through November 15th the Four Winds is in Dry Dock. CLICK HERE  for info.

Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions

We want your Maui snorkeling experience to be the very best and your boat ride, aboard the Four Winds II, to be pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable.  To ensure you have the best time possible, we have compiled answers to some questions that our reservationists are often asked. We are also more than happy to answer any and all questions over the phone or via email too!  

Our knowledgeable and very friendly staff is available from 7:30am to 7:30pm (Hawaii Standard Time). So please call us, during those hours, and you can personally ask us your own very important questions. We consider every single question important!

However, have a scroll-through the questions and answers we have assembled below and hopefully we have answers to what questions you may have...

Parents

Q. Is this a kid-friendly activity?
A.

Absolutely! The Four Winds II is known as "the family fun boat" and it is truly the best vessel for families and groups with young children or even elderly family members. Our boat is the one of the few boats in her class that can offer something for all ages. Four Winds II is the only vessel on Maui to have a glass bottom viewing room that you can actually sit in! While other boats are only outfitted with a simple viewing port, they do not offer the 180 degree, total-immersion experience that sitting in an actual room, with glass below and in-front of you, provides!. It’s almost like sitting directly on top of the water! This is truly the best snorkel trip for kids!

Q. What is the best sunblock to bring for my child?
A.

Typically the best sunscreen or sunblock for kids has an SPF factor of 15 or better. The next important feature is that it needs to be waterproof. Brands like Bullfrog work great for kids. Another important item is that it is a sunscreen your child has used before in the water. Many sunscreens are fine on land, but once they are exposed to salt water... they can cause severe stinging of the eyes. This is no fun if you have a mask on and your eyes are burning. So make sure you test the sunblock in advance before your trip.

Most importantly DO NOT BRING SPRAY-ON TYPES aboard any boat. They are hard to accurately apply in breezy situations and much of the content ends up on deck. Since they are made of oils this can cause slippery decks. Additionally the formula of many of these spray-on sunblocks can cause corrosion on a boat. Lastly, and also important to know, is that the over-spray often winds-up on your fellow passenger. So the best type of boat-friendly sunscreen is a squeeze-type lotion.

Q. Can I bring a stroller onboard?
A.

Yes! The Four Winds II, allows strollers onboard (provided they are a collapsible/travel type of stroller). The Four Winds II is a great boat for young kids and even children under 5!

Q. Do you have kids masks and fins?
A.

Yes we do. Our snorkel fins start at children's foot size of 8 and our snorkeling masks can fit kids 3 and older.

Q. Do you have life vests for kids?
A.

We carry USCG approved life preservers for all passengers only in the case of emergency. We also have vests for children 20 – 60 pounds. Additionally we are equipped with emergency life rafts too.

Q. What if I am pregnant?
A.

Our vessels are very safe and stabile and we often accommodate pregnant guests. Many even go snorkeling too! Ultimately, when it comes to your own pregnancy, it is always best-advised to ask your obstetrician if they feel it is safe for you to be on a boat or go snorkeling. Each pregnancy is different and you and your doctor knows what is best.

Q. Are infants or babies okay?
A.

Absolutely! We love kids of all ages aboard the Four Winds II and have them aboard daily. Because of the stability, comfort and more-than-ample amount of shaded deck and cabin space, the Four Winds II is the ideal vessel for families with very young children.

Q. Do you have a lifeguard?
A.

We have what we like to refer to as our "Ocean Safety Crew". This is a dedicated crew-member, who is on a large surfboard that keeps a watchful eye on all our folks in the water. They even provide assistance with your snorkel gear if you are having any problems.

While they serve the same function that a lifeguard does on shore, they are not lifeguard certified. However, all our crew-members are highly competent in the water and are also Red Cross certified in both First Aid and CPR. So you, and your children, are in good hands, both in and out of the water.

Q. What drinks do you have for kids?
A.

The Four Winds galley and bar is very kid-friendly! We serve POG (Passion-Orange-Guava Juice), filtered water, Sprite, Coke and Diet Coke. We even have a kid cocktail we like to call "Jungle Juice" that is a mix of POG and Sprite.

Boat & Trip

Q. Is parking at the harbor free?
A.

No, within Ma‘alaea Harbor, it has recently been made metered parking as of August, 03, 2015. The cost is .50 cents per hour or $12 for a 24 hour period. Although there is free parking at the outter lots of the Harbor Shops and Restaurants above the harbor, it is quite a distance away to walk.

Q. What is the best age group for this trip?
A.

The Four Winds II is known as the "Family Fun Boat" and offers something for everyone! From the very young to the young at heart, the Four Winds II is ideal for families with kids and older family members. There is so much room aboard the Four Winds II and plenty of shaded cabin and deck-space too.  So people who do not even want to snorkel enjoy being aboard her for the day.

Another family-friendly feature is the Glass-Bottom Viewing Room. Four Winds II is the only vessel on Maui to have this unique feature where you can actually sit in! While other boats are only outfitted with a simple viewing port, they do not offer the 180 degree, total-immersion experience that sitting in an actual room, with glass below and in-front of you, provides!. It’s almost like sitting directly on top of the water!

When it comes to a non-swimmer, young child or grandparent, that is able go up and down the ladder-style staircase, there is nothing that can compare to our glass bottom viewing room, for providing them a great way to take a glimpse under the water without even having to get wet!

However, if getting wet is what you want to do... our super-fun onboard waterslide is the thing that is popular with many ages! There really is something for all ages aboard the Four Winds II.

Q. Can I expect thrills and adventure?
A.

You certainly can expect to have LOTS OF FUN aboard the Four Winds II. Both our Morning and Afternoon trips are a more relaxed and hang-loose style of trip. And this is why Four Winds II was designed for comfort and stability.

But if you want the adventure and thrills of an ocean rafting excursion... and you are someone who likes the wind in your hair, the thrill of discovering a side of Maui that only a few will see, and getting a chance to see dolphins in the wild... our sister-boat, the Maui Magic, is for you!

Maui Magic's Dolphin Discovery and Adventure Snorkel is the trip we recommend for those that want more adventure and thrills. In fact,  the Maui Magic is BETTER THAN ANY OCEAN RAFTING TRIP! Aboard the Maui Magic you get to enjoy all the thrills of an ocean rafting adventure, but you also get to enjoy your creature-comforts too!

Q. Is there a shaded cabin?
A.

There sure is! The Four Winds II is equipped with one of the largest shaded cabins and shaded deck-space of any snorkel boat on Maui. She offers plenty of shade for everyone on both her upper and lower decks.

Q. Can you purchase things onboard with a credit card?
A.

You can use a credit card onboard to purchase SNUBA. However purchases for wet suit rentals, and underwater camera rental, a video of your trip, or tee shirts require cash. It is also handy to have a little cash with you, should you want to leave a gratuity for the crew.

Q. Are there lockers onboard?
A.

In over 25 years, we have never had any issues with theft onboard any of our boats. So the need to lock-up anything seldom is necessary. The best thing to bring is a water-resistant beach bag or knapsack that can be zippered up to keep items dry and protected from the salt air. Snorkeling and being onboard our boats is a casual affair. So as far as extremely valuable jewelry or watches, we suggest that you leave those items at your accommodations. Unless you do not plan on getting in the water of course. However, should you happen to have something of great value, you could give it to one of our trusted crew for safe-keeping.

Occasionally, with special medicines, people have wanted the captain to store them, while they go in the water, and we are always happy to do this if required.

Q. Do you provide transportation?
A.

Other companies may provide this service. However, when we return (at noon) and many people like to visit the Maui Ocean Center, enjoy shopping at the Maalaea Harbor Shops or just simply take some sight-seeing opportunities along the way back. This is something you can not do if you go with a "free-transportation" option from some other company. We recommend you check into renting a car, if even for one day. Depending upon where you are coming from on the island, it is often cheaper than taking a taxi.

Q. Is there a place to change onboard?
A.

Yes, you can change in one of our two "marine heads" (or restrooms as they are called on land). Although the space is limited and not roomy it does offer someone a place to change in private. Think airline lavatory as far as size.

Q. What does “Molokini weather permitting” mean?
A.

Molokini is always our first choice for the snorkeling on our trips because it is the most requested destination. We do not go to Molokini when the wind or the weather will not make it the best snorkel spot. (The wind direction is the key factor not the wind strength.) We do make Molokini 95% of the time on our popular Morning Snorkel and 50% of the time on the Afternoon Snorkel. When we can not make it to Molokini, our alternate snorkel spot is Coral Gardens.

Snorkeling

Q. What type of added flotation devices do you have?
A.

We provide (free of charge) See Boards (or View Boards as some call them), Boogie Boards, and Sea Belts (a specialized snorkeling floatation belt that makes it possible for even non-swimmers to enjoy snorkeling) for anyone who needs them.

Q. Do you provide snorkeling instruction?
A.

We sure do! Our expert crew really know how to make snorkeling easy too! From non-swimmers to the first-time snorkeler... our snorkel instructors work magic and will have you snorkeling faster than you ever thought possible!

Q. Do you have to be able swim to snorkel?
A.

Actually you DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SWIM in order to snorkel with us. Seriously! We offer floatation devices like snorkel belts that will keep you afloat without you even having to do anything. No swimming skills required!

Q. Do you have kids masks and fins?
A.

Yes we do. Our snorkel fins start at children's foot size of 8 and our snorkeling masks can fit kids 3 and older.

Q. What size fins do you have?
A.

We have an amazing range of sizes in fins! From kids shoe size 8-11 all the way up to adult shoe sizes of 13-15. 

Q. What size masks do you offer?
A.

We have 3 different sizes or mask styles to fit just about any face. Our kid's mask can fit children from 3 years and up. We also have an adult mask for slender/narrow faces. Finally, we have a large mask for wide faces. So when it comes to snorkel mask sizes... we got the one for you!

Q. Can I bring my own snorkel gear?
A.

Sure! If you own your own mask, snorkel or set of fins we would definitely encourage you to bring what you feel comfortable snorkeling with. However, in the event you do not, we do provide you with snorkel, mask and fins for free.

Q. Do I have to wear my prescription glasses when I snorkel?
A.

No, because we provide the use of special prescription masks for those that need them at for free. We carry optical masks that can compensate from a -2 to -7.

Q. Can we use life jackets for snorkeling?
A.

We provide you with Snorkel Belts and Boogie Boards. Life jackets/vests or water ski jackets are designed to keep your head and chest OUT of the water, so these floatation devices are not conducive to snorkeling.

Q. We provide you with over 2 hours of snorkel time at our destinations.
A.

We provide you with over 2 hours of snorkel time at our destinations.

Q. How do I see the most marine life while snorkeing?
A.

The best way to see the most marine-life while snorkeilng is to spend as much time in the water as you can. Another important tip is to keep your eyes open and scan from side-to-side as you look at the bottom (or in front of you). When you have a mask on, there tends to be less peripheral vision, so turning your head from side-to-side helps to see more potential marine-life you could miss when you are just looking straight ahead.

Molokini Snorkel TIps:

  • Head towards the actual island and not where the boat is. The closer to the island you get... the more smaller and more colorful fish there are.
  • If you are competent and advanced snorkeler, you can kick-over to an area called "Reefs-End" to see an amazing array of corals and marine-life there. But please ask a crew-member for the best advice and direction before you attempt this.
  • SNUBA is a great way to see more marine-life at Molokini. It gets you deeper and closer to the action.

Coral Gardens Snorkel Tips:

  • If you want the turtles to come near you, is to swim calm and slow. No fast hand or arm motions. Kick slowly with your fins. Turtles are faster than you can ever swim, so if you attempt to kick to catch-up with them, they see you as a threat. So simply relax and be calm and many times the turtles will approach you!
  • Because of its unique locations of corals, this location is best to snorkel around the area the boat is.

Snorkel Safety Tips:

  • One important safety tip, to remember when snorkeling, is that you pop your head above the water to take a look at where you are and what your bearings are.
  • It is good to also keep an eye on the boat as a way to know where you are and how far away from the boat you are.
  • Do not attempt to dive deep or hold your breath for longer periods unless you are a more advanced snorkeler.

We also recommend you read our "411 on Snorkeling" feature. This provides very in-depth information and safety tips for anyone interested. 

Marine Life

Q. Can I swim with the dolphins?
A.

The Four Winds II does not travel to the more rugged coastlines of Maui where the dolphins typically reside. So it is only on occasion that we see dolphins. However our sister-boat, the Maui Magic, offers a Dolphin Discovery Adventure Snorkel where you can see dolphins in the wild. You just can not intentionally swim with them.

When dolphins approach the Maui Magic, it is illegal for anyone to enter the water with intention to swim with them. However, if dolphins happen to arrive while you are in the water that is acceptable. The Maui Magic wants you to have an amazing Dolphin Discovery, but out first obligation is to protect and preserve Hawaii's precious marine life. Hawaii's dolphins are a treasured and protected resource.

Q. Can I swim with turtles?
A.

Because of Molokini's unique location, and distance away from Maui's shoreline, it is not a spot that turtles will often travel to. However, turtles are frequently sighted at Coral Gardens where our Afternoon Trip usually snorkels at.

We also have our sister-boat, the Maui Magic, and she offers the opportunity to swim or snorkel with turtles almost daily because of her unique snorkel destinations.

Just remember, when it comes to swimming or snorkeling with turtles, you just can't attempt to touch them or harass them in any way. The Maui Magic has a selection of snorkel locations where turtles are often present. We typically see turtles at these special locations almost always. But always remember that the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is a protected species within the waters around Maui.

One snorkeling tip to use, If you want the turtles to come near you, is to swim calm and slow. No fast hand or arm motions. Kick slowly with your fins. Turtles are faster than you can ever swim, so if you attempt to kick to catch-up with them, they see you as a threat. So simply relax and be calm and many times the turtles will approach you!

Q. How often do you see dolphins?
A.

On occasion we will see dolphins. But not often. Dolphins tend to locate themselves near, and around, the more rugged coastlines of Maui. These areas can be more rough-water and do not lend themselves to a comfortable or relaxed type of trip like the Four Winds II offers.

However, our sister-boat, the Maui Magic has a dedicated Dolphin Discovery Adventure Snorkel that searches for dolphins and frequently has the thrill of seeing them in the wild.

Keep in mind, the Hawaii's dolphins are wild and will change their locations that they frequent. But Maui Magic, and her expert crew, always take the time to search for them and have about an 80% on-average success of seeing them.

Q. How often do you see turtles?
A.

DAILY! Our captain takes the time to visit a turtle cleaning station during the trip. There you can see turtles surfacing for air above the water.  Also, at our alternate destination, Coral Gardens, we see them quite-often both above and below. Our Afternoon Trip typically visits Coral Gardens due to the late-day weather conditions at Molokini. Coral Gardens is a great place to both snorkel and SNUBA because of this.

Also, our sister-boat, the Maui Magic, has multiple destinations that she can choose from and offers the chance to snorkel or SNUBA with turtles at almost every location she visits.

Q. What marine life can I expect to see?
A.

Wow, well that is a long list of amazing marine creatures you have the chance to see! On any given snorkel you can see dozens of different types of marine life! On most any day you have the chance to see Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, about a dozen types of Wrasse species, Black Triggerfish (also known as Black Durgon), PufferfishSurgeonfish, Unicornfish, Goatfish, Tangs, Pencil Urchins, and more!

Just remember... the longer you snorkel, the more you will see!

At Molokini, because of its unique location, some snorkelers, and those that chose to SNUBA, have been lucky enough to see, Octopus, Ulua, and three species of Eels. On rare occasion we have seen Eagle Rays, Manta Rays, Hawaiian Monk Seal, and other marine species that prefer deeper waters.

Our alternate destination Coral Gardens is known for its array of live corals. Typically our Afternoon Trip visits this spot. Another type of marine creature, people often forget is alive, is coral. The amount of corals vary in density and population depending on the location we snorkel at. While Hawaii does not have the highly colorful soft corals like the South Pacific does, you can typically see Antler Coral, Lace Coral, and a variety of Cauliflower Corals when you snorkel. Hawaii is actually home to two types of unique Cauliflower Corals that are endemic only to our waters.

Corals may grow as little as 1/4 inch per year and are prone to damage by anchors, swimmers, and divers. So please remember not to touch or step on live coral. Their delicate structure may be injured and then allow infection or algae to take hold, weakening and potentially killing the entire colony. Since December 1998 it is illegal, in Hawaii, to collect live corals at any time without a scientific collecting permit.

So remember, when it comes to the marine life... Enjoy them without causing damage. Take pictures and take home memories and not marine life.

Q. When is whale Season?
A.

The Humpback Whales usually arrive to Maui's warm waters at the end of November and begin to leave in April. We see them almost every day from late December until mid April. Since the Humpback Whales come to Maui's waters to birth their young and mate, the newborn babies are more active during the later months of their stay.

Food & Beverages

Q. Are alcoholic beverages extra?
A.

No, because all the drinks aboard our boats are free. We only ask that you drink responsibly and would never drive after drinking. Please have a designated driver if you plan on enjoying our open-bar.

Q. Do you actually cook onboard?
A.

Yes we do! Our charcoal BBQ grills get fired-up and our talented crew cooks burgers, boneless & skinless chicken breasts, hot dogs and veggie burgers. And they know how to cook a good barbecue lunch too! People always comment on how delicious our hot barbeque lunch is. Many of Maui's snorkel boats can not offer you a hot cooked meal. Additionally, our grills are located at the stern (or back) of the boat, the rest of the boat is free and clear of any BBQ smoke. Nothing tastes better than a nice hot meal after some good snorkeling or even SNUBA!

Q. Do you have vegetarian or vegan food options?
A.

We do have vegetarian burgers (Boca Burgers).  However, we do not have any vegan menu items. If you do have special dietary requirements you are most-welcome to bring your own food onboard the boat. If you do bring foods, please bring them in a small cooler bag as our galley space is limited and we can not refrigerate anything for you.

If you would like more facts about our Boca Burgers you can visit their website for nutritional facts.

Please note that the veggie patties are cooked on the same grill as the meat items that we BBQ for lunch.

Q. Do you offer gluten-free food?
A.

Yes, we do! Our Morning Snorkel Trip includes a Gluten-Free selection of BBQ pulled-pork and marinated chicken breasts for lunch. We also have lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions that can accompany the BBQ pulled-pork and chicken breast. While we don't have Gluten-Free buns, you are welcome to use your own or use some lettuce leaves.  For breakfast we offer tropical fruit and cream cheese.  You are more than welcome to bring your own Gluten-Free muffin or pastry.

Our Afternoon Snorkel Trip offers Gluten-Free all-beef hamburger patties (with no filler) and Gluten-Free marinated chicken breasts with all the above mentioned trimmings.

Medical & Well-Being

Q. Is anyone Red Cross certified?
A.

Every single crew-member and captain in our company are Red Cross Certified in First Aid and CPR. This ensures you are always in good hands aboard the Maui Magic.

Q. What sunscreen do you recommend?
A.

Since sun reflects off the water, it is best to bring an SPF factor of at least 15. Bring squeeze-type lotions please. We do not recommend bringing the aerosol or "spray-on" types. With the ocean breeze, spray-on sunscreens are difficult to accurately apply without most of it going everywhere else but on your skin. Plus the spray-on formulas also corrode boat metals and make decks slippery when over-spray gets on them.

Q. Do you have Dramamine or Aspirin onboard?
A.

No, due to health laws and the risks involved with dispensing any types of medications, we can not provide these items to you. So none of our crew even carry them. If you require any medication, or think you may need some, please bring it with you.

Q. Is it okay to swim in the ocean when I am having my period?
A.

Yes, it is safe! There is no danger to you. Our female crew-members are always in the water and never have had any incident during their time of the month. Nor has a woman's menstruation cycle ever been scientifically associated with any form of danger from marine predators.

Q. Will I get seasick or experience motion-sickness?
A.

The Four Winds II was built for stability and a comfortable ride. She is 55ft. in length and 30ft. wide. She is one of the most stabile snorkel boats in her class. However, for those who want a little more insurance to prevent sea sickness (motion-sickness), there are a number of methods to overcome seasickness, including natural remedies and over the counter prescribed medicines. For prescribed medicine you will have to consult your GP. Natural remedies can be found at your local health store and pharmacy.

Ultimately, it is not just a boat trip that can be a worry for those that are prone to motion-sickness.  There are many other activities and tours that motion-sickness can be an issue. Helicopter Tours, driving the Road To Hana and even driving up to Haleakala Crater (to see the sunset or sunrise) can all be an issue. We would recommend you invest in a type of motion-sickness preventative to make your Maui vacation enjoyable.

Natural Remedies:

There are several natural potential remedies to prevent motion-sickness. Some of them only seem to work for certain individuals and situations. Hopefully you can find the right combination of things for your situation. Here are a few that our passengers, friends and crew have recommended:

  • The most-popular and effective devices are Sea-Band Relief Bands. These are available at Amazon and other retailers. They seem to be the most-popular and effective on most people.
  • PSI Bands are another great item available at Amazon and other retailers too.
  • Ginger for some reason seems to be one of the better natural cures. Try a combination of things like ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger cookies, and ginger pills before and during your trip. Ginger root powder capsules are also available in health food stores and many people swear by the powder.
  • Anti-nasuea Ginger Gum (from Sea-Band) is available on Amazon and other retail stores. That is also a highly successful product to use and have handy.
  • People that tend to get motion sick or people that are not sure should always avoid caffeine or alcohol before and during offshore trips.
  • Eating saltine crackers and drinking Coca Cola seems to help some people and can even act as a placebo when nothing else is available.
  • MotionEaze, is a non-drowsey and non-pill form of natural motion-sickness preventative. It is applied behind the ear and many people (especially kids) find it effective. It too is available at Amazon and other retailers.
  • Quease Ease is another non-pill natural option. it  is an inhaler that provides an aromatherapy option against the effects of motion-sickness. It is mostly effective for adults or elderly who have mild issues with motion-sickness or those who do not want to take pills. It too is available from many retailers and also Amazon.

Onboard Techniques & Tips:

  • One of the best remedies for dealing with motion-sickness is to get into the water! Believe it or not, this works 98% of the time. Your equilibrium will stabilize in the water and also the feel of the water surrounding your body is very calming.
  • We have a Ginger puree onboard all our boats, that can be mixed with Sprite or Club Soda and works quite well. So if you are feeling slightly-off, simply ask a crew-member to make you our special natural Ginger Ale.
  • Try to remain in a place where fresh air is blowing on your face.
  • Try to keep your mind occupied.
  • Try to keep your eyes directed at the fixed horizon, or land/islands, as much as possible.
  • Stay on the lower-deck and stay out of the bathrooms or cabin. Enclosed spaces only aggravate the symptoms of motion-sickness.

What To Bring

Q. Should we bring cash onboard the boat?
A.

It is helpful to bring some cash if you should you want to rent a wetsuit, rent an underwater camera, purchase a souvenir video of the trip, a t-shirt or if you feel like tipping your crew.

Q. Do we bring towels?
A.

Yes! We recommend a beach towel. If you are staying at a hotel, it is always best to ask your hotel's beach and pool staff for extra beach towels the day before. This way, they are ready to bring with you and you can pack them in advance. In some hotels you can request to have these delivered to your room the evening before.

Q. Should I bring a hat?
A.

Sure! However, the Four Winds II is also a very well shaded vessel. So there is plenty of shaded cabin and deck-space that you can seek shelter from the sun.

Q. What do you suggest that I bring for the trip?
A.

We recommend the following items...

  • Beach Bag or Water-Friendly bag to keep your goodies in.
  • Swimsuit
  • Towels
  • Non-Aerosol Sunscreen (over-spray from aerosol makes boat decks slippery).
  • Light Cover-Up or Light Jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (make sure you've got lots of storage on your media card).
  • Perhaps Some Extra Cash (should you want to rent a wetsuit or purchase an underwater camera, a souvenir t-shirt or if you feel like tipping your crew).
  • We provide sanitized, quality snorkel gear and flotation devices free of charge. But you are welcome to bring your own gear if you feel more comfortable with it.

Accessibility

Q. Are Wheelchairs okay?
A.

Yes! The Four Winds II can accommodate wheelchairs on a daily basis. And we do this with great success too! Please keep in mind that the whomever requires the wheelchair will initially need carried up a couple of stairs or walk up, on their own, a couple of stairs to get onboard. Our crew will assist you in accomplishing this. Once onboard the wheelchair can be used.

Q. What if someone in my group has a disability?
A.

We welcome every passenger to experience the marvelous experience of being out on the ocean. We have accommodated many individuals, from young to old, that have various disability levels. Our crew is compassionate as well as amazingly adept at dealing with many types of passenger's special needs.

For many years, the Four Winds II has participated in helping to assist the Make-A-Wish Foundation in making it possible for children, with life-threatening medical conditions, to experience our trip at no cost to them. While we take an active role in caring about the environment, conservation and marine life preservation the Four Winds II cares most of all about people! That is why we continue to participate with providing fun to kids in need and donate many trips annually towards this worthy cause.

SNUBA

Q. Can my child SNUBA?
A.

Absolutely! If your child is 8 years or older they can SNUBA. And kids that are confident swimmers and can snorkel love the experience too!

Q. Do I need to know how to swim?
A.

Yes! You do need to be comfortable with snorkeling and being in the water in order to have the best possible SNUBA experience.

Q. How deep can SNUBA go?
A.

The length of the air hose determines how deep you can dive. Because Molokini is a protected Marine Preserve, there are rules in place which limits the depth of SNUBA diving to 10 feet below the surface of the water while we are in the crater. Ten feet might not sound like much, but it gives you a completely different perspective of the underwater world! Many people who were not sure whether they wanted to learn and get certified for scuba, try SNUBA diving first. Once they get the hang of breathing underwater, many decide they do want to learn to scuba dive and get certified. It is a great introduction to the sport!

Q. How long does it take to do SNUBA?
A.

SNUBA is so easy to do, it only takes about 20 minutes of onboard instruction and then you get to spend approximately a half-hour in the water with the fish. There is nothing like seeing all of the sea creatures up close and personal like SNUBA can offer!

Q. How much does SNUBA cost?
A.

SNUBA is reasonably priced at $59.00 per person and is payable to the SNUBA instructor on board via cash or credit card. This includes your SNUBA gear, air tank, instruction and everything you will need.

Q. How old do you have to be to SNUBA?
A.

The cut off age for SNUBA is 8 years old, as long as they can swim and are not afraid of the water. SNUBA is a great way to introduce scuba or just get to experience the marine life in a whole new way.

Q. I am a certified scuba diver; can I dive from your boats?
A.

We don’t host scuba dives, only SNUBA. Our insurance policy prevents us from scuba aboard our boats. We suggest a dedicated scuba boat charter for the best scuba diving experience. Companies like Ed Robinson, Mike Severns and B&B Scuba are some of the ones we recommend.

Q. Is there any certification necessary?
A.

No, there is no previous experience or any certification needed. SNUBA is actually very easy! Your SNUBA instructor will teach you the basics of SNUBA within a short amount of time right onboard the boat.

Q. What is the difference between SNUBA and snorkeling?
A.

When you snorkel you are floating face down on the surface of the water, with a clear mask over your eyes so that you can see all the wonders underwater and have fins on your feet to make getting around in the water much easier. While snorkeling, you are breathing fresh air through your mouth (not your nose) by way of a curved snorkel tube that takes in the air from up above the surface of the water.

When you are SNUBA diving, you are swimming under the surface of the water, again outfitted with a clear mask and fins, but you breathing compressed air through a regulator mouthpiece that is attached by a SNUBA harness which connects your air hose to a scuba tank that is floating on a raft on top of the water. Because the heavy tank is floating on the surface of the water, you’ll be much more comfortable than having that heavy tank on your back as you do when you scuba dive. You will also be wearing a weight belt to neutralize your buoyancy, because you don’t want to be popping up to the surface.

You want to stay underwater to get closer to all the marine life. At first, it’s sometimes a little tricky feeling comfortable breathing underwater since it seems so unnatural, but once you catch sight of some of the colorful tropical fish or a turtle, most people overcome any anxiety they may have had.

Q. Should we reserve SNUBA ahead of time?
A.

We don’t take reservations in the usual sense. Let us know how many in your party are interested in SNUBA so we can put your name on a priority list. The space is limited but every effort will be made to accommodate all those interested in trying SNUBA and those on the list have priority. When you sign up it does not obligate you to the SNUBA adventure. 

Q. What is SNUBA?
A.

SNUBA is a cross between scuba and snorkeling. You use a respirator to breath but the tank is not carried on your back, it stays afloat on a raft above you. You are attached to the tank via a 20 foot hose. If you have never been scuba diving but have always wanted to try it, then SNUBA is for you. You can check-out more on SNUBA by visiting their website.

Q. Will I SNUBA alone?
A.

NEVER! You are in safe hands when it comes to this amazing underwater activity. Your SNUBA instructor is certified by SNUBA International as well as a certified dive instructor. They will accompany you, and watch-over you, the entire duration your SNUBA experience.

Ticket Purchase

Q. Can I purchase tickets as a gift?
A.

You sure can! And giving the gift of a Molokini Snorkeling Trip or Coral Gardens Snorkel, aboard the Four Winds II, makes the perfect present too! If you know the date that you want to purchase for, you can simply buy the tickets online and reserve them in your recipient's name. If you are unsure of the date, we offer the option of a gift certificate that they can use for any day they would like.

Q. Do you cancel during bad weather?
A.

Maui typically has the best weather for boating. But occasionally it does happen where we have to cancel a trip due to high surf, rain or high winds. The responsibility for this rests on our U.S. Coast Guard Certified Captain to make the ultimate decision if it is best to cancel vs. go out. We monitor and check the weather daily and do our best to give notice of cancelation as early as we can.

Before we cancel any trip, we try to change the destination and see if we can to find better conditions at other snorkel spots. However, it is not common when we have to cancel a trip, but in the event we cancel a trip we always provide a full-refund or offer the opportunity to go out on another day.

Here are a list of things to remember in this case:

  1. Safety first! It is for your safety and the safety of our crew if we ever have to cancel.
  2. The factors that can cause a cancelation are high-winds, large waves or swells, strong currents, rain or murky water from caused by a storm. Either of these alone or a combination can cause us to feel the necessity to cancel.
  3. We want you to snorkel with us, so we do not like it if we ever have to cancel.
  4. We always will provide you with a refund or option to snorkel with us on another day.
  5. We are a business and we lose money when we do not go out. So cancelling is not what we enjoy when we have to do it.
  6. We know your vacation time is precious and so we will do our best not to cancel unless we absolutely have to.
  7. Maui's weather can vary from morning to afternoon. So while the weather is good in the morning, it can change in the afternoon (and vise-versa).
  8. We will always do our best to give you as much warning as possible. But, here in Hawaii, weather and ocean conditions can change in a matter of hours, and so many times we do not have the luxury of many hours of notifying you in advance.
  9. We would not want a boat of sea-sick passengers. So if wave conditions are rough, this can cause a cancelation even if there is no rain or high-winds.
Q. Do you offer refunds for tickets purchased?
A.

Yes, we do. However since we need to also be able to try and sell those seats. While other companies require a 48 hour notice... we only require that you give us at least a 24 hour advanced notice. Please read our policies page for more details.

Q. Can I get a refund if I had a medical emergency that prevented me from giving proper cancellation notice?
A.

Yes, of course. in the case of a medical emergency (that occurs on the island), preventing you from giving us the minimum 24 hour notice, we only require that you provide a letter from the Maui doctor that has/is treating you to receive a full refund of your purchased tickets. Please read our terms and conditions page for more information.

Onboard Etiquette

Q. Can I wear my shoes or slippers onboard?
A.

Shoes on or off... we leave that decision up to you. While some boats will require you to remove your shoes, Four Winds II has deck surfaces that can work with most shoes and bare feet too. We do recommend shoes-off, when possible, since those wearing shoes can literally step on someone else's toes as they walk around the boat (OUCH!). So if you choose to remove your shoes our crew will keep them safe and return them to you when you disembark.

Ladies... keep in mind to "dress for the occasion". Snorkeling, and being aboard the Four Winds II, is an fun and very informal event. So high heels or platform shoes is definitely being "over-dressed" for the occasion.

Q. Is tipping required?
A.

Only if you want to. Although it is not expected of you, it is deeply appreciated. We take good care of our crew and we have one of the BEST CREWS on the island! But many of our crew-members also go out of their way to make each and every individual guest-experience unique and special. Rewarding them with a gratuity, for a job well-done, is simply the nicest way to thank them for doing a great job. As the humorous saying goes... "Wind and waves may tip a boat, but only you can tip the crew".

Q. Glass-bottom Viewing Room
A.

The only things we ask about entering our glass-bottom viewing room is that very-young children or infants are accompanied by an adult relative or parent.

The other important piece of etiquette, that we insist-upon, is that all people must be dry and no wet items are brought down inside. Since the floor is actually clear Lexan (used in making bullet-proof glass) it can become slippery when wet. So we keep the glass-bottom viewing room a dry and safe area at all times and for all ages.