Snorkel with Living Ocean

Relaxing Morning on the Water

by Mariam Beard • Last Updated: October 9, 2022

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LIVING OCEAN snorkeling | OAHU 

Honolulu, Hawaii. One of the best ways to spend a morning in Hawaii is on the water. This morning boat cruise is the perfect short activity (only 2-hours long) to go snorkel with Hawaiian turtles and fish.

What is Turtle Canyon?

Turtle Canyon is an area just off the coast of Waikiki where the turtles go to get their shells cleaned by the fish. It’s kind of like a turtle spa. Living Ocean has become one of my new favorite boats.

What to Expect

The boat departs from Kewalo Basin Harbor, which is about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from Waikiki.


Parking at the harbor is limited so I definitely recommend taking a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to be dropped off. If you’re unfamiliar with the harbor, give yourself ample time to both find parking as well as the boat.


This boat is also a power boat. You board right from the Kewalo Basin Harbor. This is important to note because many snorkel cruises are also beach catamarans. A beach catamaran is one where, as the name implies, the catamaran literally goes right up on the sand or the beach and you board the boat from the water. With beach catamarans, there isn’t a dock. You literally wade out into the water about knee deep or so to board the boat.

For those where accessibility may be a factor, boarding a docked boat right from the pier may be easier.

What’s Included

  • Light snacks and beverages (soft drinks, juices, water)
  • Snorkeling gear (snorkel mask, fins, and inflatable snorkel vest)
  • In-water snorkel guides
    A crew member will be in the water with the group the entire time
  • Giant floating pad (see video)
    For those who are not strong swimmers or first-timers, you can actually lay across on the giant floating pad and then put your face in the water to snorkel. This is a good option for those who have never snorkeled before and want to get more comfortable in the water.


At the time of this filming, the boat goes out four times a day: 7am, 9:30am, 12:30pm, and 3pm.

We chose the 9:30am and it was perfect. It’s early enough where the sun was up but not directly overhead. Visibility was also crystal clear.

The Crew

The crew was friendly from start to finish. There’s also more staff on this specific snorkel cruise than other snorkel cruises that I’ve noticed. This higher crew to guest ratio is great if you’re a novice snorkeler and like having more staff/crew in the water with you – especially if you’re a bit uncomfortable being in open-water ocean.

If it’s your first time snorkeling or you’re a novice snorkeler, definitely make sure to let the crew know and kind of stick with them when they’re showing you different things within the water. This one also provides you with a snorkel vest so if you need a bit more buoyancy, the crew will instruct you but you can also blow air into the snorkel vest that way you have a little bit more buoyancy.

The Boat

The boat is about 50 feet with two (2) decks.

Top Deck capacity: 10-12 people
Bottom Deck capacity: About 40 people
Part of the deck on the bottom is in the shade and part of it is in the sun. There’s also standing and seating area on the bow which is in full sun as well.


First impressions, I really like this boat.


The number one thing that I would highly recommend that you bring is some sort of waterproof bag. People are getting on and off the boat, they’re wet, and water is dripping from them. If you have something valuable that you don’t want to get wet, such as any camera gear or cell phones, it is an excellent idea to get a waterproof bag.

My favorite waterproof bag is a 25 liter in mint green. It’s padded, has clips to make it comfortable, and it’s completely waterproof. It’s also big enough to fit a towel, cell phone, hat, and whatever else you need. It also has a clip section to clip on your sandals, flip-flops, or slippers, so they don’t get misplaced. There’s an outside zipper for you to put more things, but this is not waterproof. On the inside of the bag, there’s an inside pocket where you can put your wallet and cell phone.

Size: 25L, Color: mint green

What I Use:

My personal favorite for underwater is the GoPro Hero 10:

The (optional) underwater housing I use is also by GoPro:

When I’m doing underwater shots for snorkeling, I’ll use a red filter to grab more colors. Although the GoPro 10 is waterproof, I like using the underwater housing (with or without the red filters) to keep it clear of any saltwater. If you opt to use the GoPro brand red filter, you’ll have to use the underwater housing “shell” to attach it.

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Aloha! I'm Mariam.

I'm an Oahu resident sharing my adventures here in Hawaii to help take the guesswork out of planning your trip to Hawaii.

I've worked full-time as a concierge for a decade and have planned thousands of itineraries for travelers like you!


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