Best Sunset Cruise In Oahu – Our Guide To Finding The Best Oahu Sunset Cruises

Oahu is part of the remote and beautiful Hawaiian Ialsna Chain and naturally, all things on the island revolve around the ocean in some way. A great way to see the best of the Island and really get a feel for the Island Life is to head out on the water at Sunset for a Cruise. There are several different types of cruises in Oahu but our guide will help you find the Best Sunset Cruise In Oahu.

We look at the best Sunset Dinner Cruises in Oahu, the Best Oahu Sunset Cocktail Cruises, the Best Cateramran Cruises and even take a look at the various other types of soiling and boat trips you can take on the Island. So wherever you are staying o the Island, you can be sure you will find the best experience for you with our complete guide.

Best Sunset Cruise In Oahu

Cruise Types – Cocktail or Dinner?

There are two main types of Sunset cruises available, Sunset Dinner Cruises and Sunset Cocktail Cruises. The difference is fairly self-explanatory, the dinner cruises offer you the chance to have dinner on the ocean while sipping cocktails and watching the sun go down. While the Cocktail Cruises forgo the dinner and just allow you to drink in the sunset with your favorite tipple.

Both are really excellent ways to enjoy the sunset, but we find the Dinner cruises tend to be a bit more refined and take place on large vessels where as the cocktail cruises tend to be more casual and easygoing, shooting the island breeze while sailing along on a smaller catamaran.

What to Expect?

A sunset cruise will last about 2-3 hours and vary slightly depending on where the vessel sails from. Most of the cruises are based in Honolulu or Waikiki and some even sail direct from Waikiki beach. Beach loading trips are super casual and fun, meaning you might get a bit wet and sandy while boarding so beach wear is the order of the day. The cruise that set sail from the various dock is a little more refined and guests can dress up a bit more without the risk of filling their shoes with sand or drenching the bottom of their dresses!

The Waikiki Cruises all head along the coast, past Turtle Canyon, and out towards Diamond head. As the sun dips the boats gently cruise back up the coast taking in the sparkling lights of Honolulu as darkness falls. Ko Olina boats tend to head up the coast towards Waininie with the stunning mountains as the backdrop.

If you are having dinner this is usually served early in the trip giving you time to enjoy the sunset. Most boats offer a limited number of drinks but some are open bars, while few forgo the liquor license and let you bring your own booze. Whatever your pick you can expect a few hours taking in some seriously stunning scenery while gently cruising along the ocean watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. There is something really magical about Oahus sunsets as the skies erupt into a stunning array of pinks, purples, oranges, and reds.

Waikiki Sunset

Will We See Wildlife?

Maybe, these are not Wildlife cruises but there is a lot of life in Hawaii’s water and the chance of seeing something is quite high. At the very least you should see Honu, Sea Turtles, and there is a really good chance of dolphins too. During Whale season there are really high chances of at least a distant sighting of a whale or two. On the whole, you are definitely more likely to see something than not, but nature is never guaranteed.

Best Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise

We start off with the best Dinner Cruises in Oahu and first look at the Honolulu and Waikiki-based cruises:


Star of Honolulu

  • Location: Honolulu – Aloha Tower
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Cost: $109 – Child (3-12) – $65
  • Inclusions: One Mai Tai
  • Boarding: Docked
Honolulu Star

The Star of Honolulu is an Icon of Waikiki tourism. The huge 1500-passenger ship has cruised the Waters off Waikiki for over three decades. The whole design concept and experience hark back to the glory days of Hawaii tourism and offer an elegant approach to enjoying the sunset.

The evening starts off with Hula dancing and Hawaiian music as you depart the Aloha Tower pier and venture out into the stunning Blue Waters and head towards Diamond head. Dinner is served at your own private table on one of 4 decks each fitted out with a real air of luxury.

There are 3 dinner packages, a Buffet package, featuring roast beef, Catch of the day, and BBQ chicken with a host of sides and on free drink. A 3-curse sit-down meal with Steak and Crab legs, and on free drink, or the Fancy Steak and Lobster package, which includes a whole Lobster and Beef Tenderloin along with 2 Cocktails and a Champagne Toast.

For the Price, the Steak and Lobster Package is a real steal as you get a whole lot more for only a small increase in cost.

There is music and entertainment throughout the cruise and the views from the 60ft upper viewing deck are stunning. The whole evening is very much like a mini cruise and is one of the most complete packages you can find on the island.

The downside, it’s a little old-fashioned. Older visitors will really appreciate the odes f yesteryear and the nostalgia but it does lack a little “cool”. The vessel is also huge, and 1,500 people are a lot of friends to make! It rarely fills up, as that is an astronomical amount of covers, but it’s still a pretty busy and hectic vessel.

But overall it’s such a fantastic overall offering most people will have a great time. The views, the entertainment and the food all add up to a really special evening.

<Book Star Of Honolulu>

There is also the extended private table package, but this is fridays only on so we have looked at that below.

Moana Sailing Catamaran

  • Location: Honolulu – Kewalo Basin Harbor
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Cost: $130 All Ages (0-2 Free)
  • Inclusions: One Drink
  • Boarding: Docked
Moana Sailing Oahu

This is an interesting Option. The Cruise is the same as the Sunset Cocktail Cruise, however, you can add the option of a To-Go Meal from either Fatboys Restaurant or Roys Restaurant. Both high regarded eateries. This way you get a stunning Sunset Cocktail cruise on one of our favorite vessels, and also a top-quality restaurant meal without the need for the crew to operate a full kitchen on board, keeping the costs down. A neat idea really.

The Cruise itself is pretty magical as the catamaran does its best to sail along the Waikiki coastline, keeping an eye out for wildlife as the sun sets and the city lights come to life. This works out as a really good value Dinner cruise, just know what you are getting, a To-Go meal not a freshly cooked meal on the vessel.

< Book Moana Sailing Catamaran Dinner Cruise here >

Pink Sails

Pink Sails Dinner
  • Location: Honolulu – Ala Wai Boat Harbor
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Cost: $101 All Ages (0-2 Free)
  • Inclusions: One Drink
  • Boarding: Docked

Pink Sails offers a dinner cruise aboard its Whale Watching Vessel the Wahine Koa, a rather large and stable powered catamaran. Included in this package is one free drink, with a cash bar aboard, along with an island-style buffet.

While this vessel is designed for Whale Watching it’s still a great platform for Dinner cruises and has Tables and Chairs so you can enjoy the meal seated, but still has loads of great standing room to enjoy your cocktails and Views of the sunset after dinner.

During Whale season there is a great chance to see whales as the crews will have been out all day spotting the whales and know exactly where to see them.

The Buffet is really good and offers a selection of skewered meats (Chicken and Steak) along with Grilled fish and various veggie options such as sweet potato. There is also a fantastic Chocolate Brownie for dessert.

The cruise is overall a really fun and enjoyable experience. The food is great and we love the vessel and the Pink Sails, good vibes attitude.

< Book Pink Sails Dinner Cruise Now >

Ko Olina

Ocean Joy Catamaran- Sunset Snorkel and Dinner

  • Location: Honolulu – Ko Olina Harbour
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Cost: $149 – Child (3-12) – $129
  • Inclusions: 4 Alcoholic Drinks
  • Boarding: Docked
Ocean Joy Sunset

If you are staying in one of the very plush Ko Olina Resort Hotels you might not want to trek all the way over to Honolulu/Waikiki for a cruise. Luckily there are some options right on your doorstep with no need to drive.

The Ocean Joy Catamaran Sunset Cruises is a great dinner option and has the rare addition of having a snorkel stop before your dinner is served. While we love the idea of this, it’s not something often associated with dinner cruises where people like to dress up and enjoy a sophisticated evening, adding a snorkel stop kind of kills that, but it does kill two birds with one stone, a fun snorkel adventure, and dinner after, but this is more of a snorkel cruise than a dinner cruise.

Dinner is pretty basic, Teriak Chckine Sandwiches with Mac and Cheese, Rice, and salad. Again it’s the kind of meal we expect on a snorkel adventure, not a dinner cruise. It is perfectly fine for that purpose though. For a snorkel trip, this is pretty special, however. The waters off Ko Olina are teaming with life, Dolphins, Turtles, and scores of fish, especially if the vessel stops at Electric Beach.

Options down this way are pretty limited and if you really want a fancy dinner cruise you may just need to head over to Honolulu as the facilities to operate bigger vessels just do not exist out here.

< Book the Ko Olina Sunset Dinner Here >

Oahu Sunset Cocktail Cruise

If a Dinner Cruise seems a bit formal, then there are a range of more relaxed Sunset Cocktail Cruises. These take place at sunset and take you on a relaxed voyage along the coast providing drinks and entertainment.


Makani Catermaran

Makani Catamaran Sunset Cruise
  • Location: Honolulu – Kewalo Basin Harbor
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Cost: $129.80 – Child (3-12) – $101.20
  • Inclusions: Open Bar
  • Boarding: Docked

This is one of our go-to Catamaran Tours and offers a really professional and fun experience. It does help that the Tours are included on the Go Oahu Pass (As a Premium attraction) so ends up being really good value, but it is a really great experience regardless.

The Cruise does not include any food options but does have an Open Bar, which is always a big plus for us. The Drinks selection is really good with a range of excellent cocktails and no skimping on the liquor. Served in 16oz Makani insulated mugs meaning you get a large serving and they stay cool. There is also a good selection of beers and the wine is drinkable if not spectacular.

The route takes you out down the Honolulu coastline with great views of the city before heading out towards Diamond head when the sun dips into the ocean. As you sail back the lights of Honolulu start to sparkle and shine.

There are really good chances of spotting wildlife including turtles, whales, and dolphins. It’s not a wildlife cruise, but any time on the water in the right season has a great chance of hitting gold on wildlife sightings, you usually get a quick stop at turtle canyon where surface sightings of turtles are a practical certainty.

It is a really enjoyable cruise along a stunning coastline. The staff are really welcoming and professional and the drinks really flow. There was never a line at the bar and refills come without question. The fact the tour sails from Kewalo Harbor means you can dress up a bit as there is no beach boarding. It’s a bit of a chore to get there but nothing an Uber won’t fix. There is parking there, but with an open bar, you do not want to be driving! Transport can be booked for $12.00 per person round trip from Waikiki

As we mentioned this Tour is included on the Go Oahu Pass as a Premium Attraction, or you can take the daytime version (without an open bar) as a regular attraction. Either way, this is a great way to get some serious value out of your pass.

< Go Oahu Pass Review >

< Book the Makani Sunset Cruise Here >

Holokai Catermaran

Holokai Sailing Catamaran
  • Location: Honolulu – Waikiki Beach
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours
  • Cost: $88 All Ages (children 0-2 Free)
  • Inclusions: Open Bar
  • Boarding: Beach

This tour is perfect for those just looking for a cheap and fun trip out onto the ocean. It is really no-hassle, cheap and cheerful, and tons of fun. With Pick-Up directly from Waikiki Beach, it’s really convenient for most people. And has a price tag that really appeals.

Being a beach boarding means it’s always going to be casual. Getting on board often means getting a little wet and sandy, So beachwear is the order of the day, but at sunset make sure you bring a light sweater or similar as the temp can really plummet once the sun dips, not always, but if there is a breeze it can feel a little chilly.

This would only be for a short while as this cruise is pretty short. It’s just enough to get you out on the water enjoy some drinks and watch the sun dip in front of Diamond Head.

The open bar is pretty decent, but it’s not a great cocktail cruise, with just one option, a pre-mixed Holokai Hooch which is a pretty strong and fruity punch. But they have a great beer selection including Maui Brewing Company (one of our favorite brewers) and a selection of palatable wines.

The Cruise is often called a Booze Cruise, even by the company themselves, but it’s less of a messy booze cruise and more of a nice chilled sail along the Ocean. That said, while they do on occasion get the sails up, this ends to be a powered cruise rather than a sail.

Overall, for the price, it really is hard to beat Holokai if you are looking for a fun, no-frills cruise along Honolulu’s stunning coastline.

< Book Holokai Catermaran Here >

Holokai also offers afternoon Cruises and Turtle Canyon Excursions following a very similar vein.

Moana Sailing

  • Location: Honolulu – Kewalo Basin Harbor
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Cost: $100 All Ages (children 0-2 Free)
  • Inclusions: One Beverage (Cash Bar)
  • Boarding: Docked
Moana Sailing Oahu

A really enjoyable cruise on a beautiful catamaran. The crew on Moana really likes to get the sails up and cut the engines. It’s not guaranteed but they really do try. The Cat sails from the Kewalo Harbor so there is no messy beach boarding.

They only include one drink, but they are great quality and you can always purchase extra drinks from the bar. Even on the Open-Bar booze cruises you usually only get through 3-4 drinks anyway, so this cruise suits those who are not as big drinkers.

< Book Moana Catamaran Here – 30% off >

Moana also offers the unique option of a Sunrise Sail. Early morning may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can drag yourself out of the sheets this is probably the most beautiful time to be out on the water and Wildlife sightings go right up.

Waikiki Polynesian Canoe Sailing Cruise – Kamoauli 

Kamoauli Cultural Cruise
  • Location: Honolulu – Kewalo Basin Harbor
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Cost: $260 – Child (3-11) – $130.20
  • Inclusions: Traditional Food tasting, Hands-On-Cultural-Activities, Non-Alcoholic Drinks
  • Boarding: Docked

The Kamoauli Polynesian Sailing Cane Cruise is a total outlier on this list and offers an experience completely different from the rest. Here the focus is on Hawaiian culture and tradition.

Sailing has always been a huge part of Polynesian culture, after all these are seafaring folk and the only way the Polynesians spread through the pacific was wild and daring sea crossings, with only the bravest and most talented way finders reaching the incredibly remote Island chain of Hawaii. While Kamoauli’s canoe is not exactly an exact replica of a real Voyaging canoe(we doubt that would pass many safety requirements these days), it is a pretty cool vessel. Read more about the Canoe( wa’a kaulua ), here.

Aboard the traditionally styled vessel, you will learn traditional arts and crafts, listen to authentic ukulele music, and sample some fantastic traditional cuisine. All while enjoying the stunning Oahu Coastline. It feels a little like a Luau but on the ocean. There is no show and it’s more like the early parts of the Luaua where the Hawaiian culture is presented.

We really love the uniqueness and educational aspect of the trip. We love learning about the culture of the indigenous Hawaiians and the Kamoauli Canoe Cruise really helps immerse you into that culture. It is a million miles from the rowdy booze cruises other tours operate.

< Book the Kamoauli Cruise Here – $198 >

Living Ocean – BYOB Sunset Cruise

  • Location: Honolulu – Kewalo Basin Harbor
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours
  • Cost: $55
  • Inclusions: Soft Drinks
  • Boarding: Docked
Living Ocean BYOB Cruise

If you are looking to get out n the water for the minimum cost then the Living Ocean BYOB Sunset Cruise is the perfect option. The Boat is designed for snorkel tours to Turtle Canyon and doe not hold a liquor license. So no alcohol is provided on this tour. That’s the bad news, but the good news is you can just bring your own!

The Tour offers free Soft drinks so you can just hit the ABC store beforehand and bring a bottle of rum (or your liquor of choice!) or just a few cans or a bottle of wine, wherever your preference. It’s a super cheap way to get maximum drinking on your Ocean voyage. Especially with the Buy One Get One Free offer below (limited time by redemption)

This is not a fancy Catamaran, but a small snorkeling boat and there are very few frills on this trip, but it’s cheap and cheerful, and we love the Bring Your Own Booze element, and after all, no matter what boat you are on the Star of the show it the Stunning Ocean Scenery!

< Book Living Ocean BYOB Here and get a BOGO Offer! >

Majestic by Atlantis – Lounge Cruise

Majestic by Atlantis
  • Location: Honolulu – Aloha Tower
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours
  • Cost: $79 Adult – $39 Child
  • Inclusions: Soft Drinks
  • Boarding: Docked

Most of our Cocktail Cruise options up to now have lacked a little refinement. The Vessels used thus far are a little basic and open to the elements. There is an acceptance of being a little exposed to the elements. You can still dress up for those cruises but it’s not going to be an elegant affair, even for the docked tours sailing out of Kewalo, let alone the beach loading trips. The sunset cruise aboard the Majestic by Atlantis Cruises is very different and offers an altogether more civilized evening.

The Majestic is a very impressive vessel and offers a classical lounge experience. An evening aboard her feels like attending a fancy cocktail lounge rather than a boat cruise. There is a full bar offering specialist and classic cocktails, rather than the pre-mixed drinks most cruises offer, and altogether it’s just a much more refined experience.

There are 3 decks, with refined indoor spaces, a stunning covered open-air top deck and the glamorous open-air bow which is perfect for sunset viewing and grabbing that perfect shot for your socials.

To be completely honest, we prefer being a bit closer to the water and the more rustic feel of a catamaran cruise, but the sophisticated elegance of this cruise is right up some people’s streets.

It is also worth mentioning that Atlantis is one of the very few companies in the world to offer real underwater submarine experiences to the public!

< Book Majestic By Atlantic Now >

Ko Olina

Ko Olina Ocean Adventures – Sunset Cruise

  • Location: Ko Olina Marina
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Cost: $119 Adult – $99 Child
  • Inclusions: 3 complimentary alcoholic beverages
  • Boarding: Docked
Ko Olina Sunset Cruise

For those staying in the ultra-luxury resorts of Ko Olina, the trip over to Waikiki for a cruise is doable, but it’s a bit of a faff. And for many in these resort the whole point is to be self-contained. So it’s much more preferable to find a cruise that is easily accessible from the resorts and Ko Olina Ocean Adventures offers the perfect outing.

This catamaran cruise offers a light selection of appetizers to go with your 3 complimentary cocktails. The Catamaran offers table seating along with cargo nets to relax on as the crew takes you out to some seriously picturesque coastline. Heading north from Ko Olina past the high-end resorts the Waianae Mountains rise up and offer a stunning backdrop for your sail. While the sun will set directly out to sea offering one of the best sunsets on the Island.

Overall this is the perfect experience for those over on this part of the island, we don’t think we would trek all the way from Waikiki, especially with so much choice directly on the doorstep, but for those in the Ko-Olina Resorts, this is perfect.

< Book Ko Olina Ocean Adventures >

North Shore

Go Adventure Hawaii – Private Charter (BYOB)

  • Location: Haleiwa Marina
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Cost: $446 – 4 Persons$670 – 6 Persons (Approx $111 per person)
  • Inclusions: Soft Drinks
  • Boarding: Docked
North Shore Sunset

There is not so much going on over on the north shore as far as luxury sailing cruises go, which is a shame as the scenery is even better than at Honolulu/Waikiki where the majority of the cruises sail from. One great option is this Private tour from Go Adventure Hawaii.

While a first sight this seems pricey, for a private tour this is a real bargain if you can get 4 people together it’s only $111 per person. Sailing from the historic Haleiwa harbor this small snorkeling boat takes your crew out to some of the most stunning locations on the island.

The bring-your-own booze means costs are kept to a minimum and this is one of the cheapest private charters we have seen. Having the boat to yourself means the crew can focus the tour on what you want to see. This stretch of coast has incredible wildlife, Whale () Sharks, Turtles, and Dolphins are all found in huge numbers along this coast. With stunning scenery and an even better sunset than over on Waikiki!

This trip will be a real highlight of any trip and it’s amazing not the have to share it with other people!

< Go Adventure Hawaii – Private Charter >

< Other North Shore boating trips >

Friday Night Fireworks Cruise

Waikiki Friday Night Fireworks

Friday Night Fireworks Cruises

Every Friday night in Waikiki the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on a fantastic Firework Display. These are viewable from many locations along the Sea Front. One of the best ways to see the show though is on a Cruise.

Most of the Cruise trips we have mentioned above also offer Friday Night Fireworks Cruises. These are usually a little longer, and a touch more expensive, but include more extras.

Take a look at the various options here

Star of Honolulu

  • Location: Honolulu – Aloha Tower
  • Duration: 5 Hours
  • Cost: $227 – Child (3-12) – $143
  • Inclusions: 2 Drinks and Champagne Toast
  • Boarding: Docked

The Star of Honolulu offers a really special Friday night Cruise. While they sail on Friday nights anyway and offer their regular options. On a Friday night, they offer their super exclusive 5-Star Private Table Steak And Lobster dinner.

This is a 5-course meal, with Captain’s Receptions and dining at a private table on the top floor. It’s an incredibly expensive and indulgent extravagance but you really are treated like a king with your very own Capatians Table dining.

<Book Star Of Honolulu>

Other Cruise Types

If the Above Cruises do not tickle your fancy but you do want to get out on the water there are several other types of cruises available on Oahu.

Snorkeling Cruises

Hawaii’s waters are teaming with life and the best way to experience this is by hitting the water with your snorkeling gear. There are some really great snorkeling spots right by the shore but the best locations are sometimes a little off-shore and not directly accessible.

This is where a snorkeling cruise comes in, getting you out to the best locations the Island has to offer, as well as being a great way to safely introduce you to snorkeling.

We are currently putting together our top Oahu Snorkelling list, but for now, take a look at the options below.

< Book Snorkeling Cruises >

Shark Diving – North Shore

These adventures are not for the faint-hearted but are utterly magical. The North shore offers the incredible opportunity to actually swim, safely, with sharks. The most feared animals in the ocean these majestic creatures are actually pretty misunderstood.

There are two options, either cage diving or free diving (no experience required) and after a short boat ride, you slip into the ocean and watch as the Sharks begin to circle the boat, curious at what these strange creatures are doing in their world.

These tours are perfectly safe and incredibly well run, and we highly recommend forgoing the cage. These trips are probably our favorite thing to do in Oahu and we just love spending time with these completely misrepresented wonders.

< Book Shark Diving Cruises >

Whale Watching Cruises

From around Mid December through to late April, the Whales arrive in Hawaii for their vacation. If you are lucky enough to be in Hawaii around this time then a Whale Watching cruise is an absolute must.

< Book Whale Watching Cruises >

Have Your Say

Have you taken a Sunset Cruise from Oahiu? What company did you sail with and how did you find the excursion? Did you see wildlife? How was the sunset? What were the drinks like and how was the Ocean? Whatever you have to say about your Sunset Cruise we would love to hear from you, and any questions just fire away.

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