Lanai Dolphins – Facts & Information

The Hawaiian island of Lanai is an unspoiled paradise in the midst of the Pacific Ocean. Just nine miles away from Maui, it’s a place of stunning beauty characterized by its secluded beaches, lush green forests, and colorful coral reefs. But what many don’t know about Lanai is that it’s home to one of the most unique and fascinating creatures in the ocean – spinner dolphins.

Lanai Dolphins Diving


About Spinner Dolphins

Spinner Dolphins are among some of the most intelligent animals on earth, and they can be found around Lanai. These majestic sea mammals have a unique set of behaviors which include spinning in midair or leaping out of the water while they’re swimming. This behavior is thought to be a way for them to communicate with each other and attract potential mates (but we think they do it just for fun!) The spinner dolphins that call lanai home also have distinct physical characteristics; their bodies are narrow and slender, their snouts are long and pointed, and they have distinctive shades of coloring with grey patches near their flippers.

Lanai Dolphins Surface


Lanai Dolphin Pods

Spinner dolphins typically travel in pods ranging from 5-30 individuals, but there have been sightings of groups even larger than this! They feed on fish, squid, octopus, shrimp, crabs, and other small marine critters. They tend to search for food during dawn and dusk when plankton rises closer to the surface; however, it’s not uncommon for them to stay close to shore as well – making them easier to spot from land!

Lanai Dolphins Pod


Dolphin Sightings

The waters surrounding Lanai provide perfect conditions for these incredible creatures. Though it’s now illegal to pursue dolphins in Maui County, it’s easy to spot them, and they’re friendly enough to come over to our boats. When visiting, please remember that these dolphins are wild creatures relying on an environment rich with resources; therefore, it’s important that we respect their space by adhering to safe wildlife viewing practices so we can ensure these creatures remain protected in their natural habitat.

Lanai Dolphins Sighting


Lanai Dolphin Adventure

In addition to providing refuge for spinner dolphins, Lanai offers us, humans, plenty of exciting activities like snorkeling and scuba diving in diverse and remote sites full of colorful coral reefs, which are teeming with marine life. Ultimately, Lanai provides us with a rare opportunity allowing us to explore beautiful natural surroundings while learning about our marine neighbors – helping us better understand how we affect our ocean’s environment and how we can work together towards conservation efforts for all forms of aquatic life. Join Maui Adventure Cruises on a Lanai Dolphin & Snorkel Adventure from west Maui at Lahaina Harbor.

Lanai Dolphin Snorkel Tour


Maui Adventure Cruises Lanai Dolphin Adventure Information

  • Explorer Super Rafts depart daily from Lahaina Harbor, Front Row Slip 11 at 7:30 AM, with check-in at 7:00 AM.
  • The rafts cross the Auʻau Channel to Lanaʻi, where two snorkel sites are selected by an experienced captain and crew.
  • Snorkel gear, wetsuit top, prescription mask (if necessary), and safety tips will all be distributed once the snorkel tour arrives at the first of several snorkeling sites.
  • Guests can encounter acrobatic spinner dolphins, coral reef, tropical fish, green sea turtles, and occasional manta rays during their snorkeling adventure. In winter months, humpback whales can be seen on our snorkel tours.
  • A deli-style lunch is served on board, along with complimentary sodas, water, and juice throughout the trip; vegetarian or gluten-free options are available upon request.
  • Spinner Dolphins can be seen regularly off of Lanai’s coast as they jump and spin in the air!
  • Return to Lahaina Harbor is 12:00/12:30 PM for a total trip of approximately 4 ½ hours

Lanai Dolphins Swimming