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Kailua Shore Excursions: Coral Reefs, Cowboys, & Coffee

When your Hawaiian cruise ship anchors at Kailua Bay on the leeward (west) coast of the Big Island, as the island of Hawaii is known to natives, you’ll want to take full advantage of Kailua shore excursions that show off the island’s incredible natural wonders.

Kailua-Kona boasts some of the most amazing snorkeling sites in the world, so it’s a given that among the best Kailua shore excursions you can book are snorkeling tours either on luxury sailing catamarans or Zodiac crafts. Glide over calm, crystal-clear waters to snorkeling destinations including protected reefs, where more than 600 species of ocean wildlife are found. Snorkeling lessons with certified instructors and all gear are provided, as are plentiful snacks and stories told by captains and crews.

Other ways to see the area’s incredible marine life from your cruise to Kailua Kona include an Atlantis submarine tour, where you’ll descend over 100 feet to a coral reef that rests on a lava bed formed over 18,000 years ago, and a glass- bottom boat tour that shows off multihued coral colonies, countless varieties of tropical fish, and the possibility of a dolphin or two floating or frolicking nearby.

Among the most popular Hawaii island excursions are those that let you explore Kona’s many natural treasures from the mountains to the sea. A cloud forest set 3,000 feet above Kona’s coast and mainly covered in native foliage boasts many species of bamboo, gigantic tree ferns, ancient Koa trees, and Ohia, a native flowering evergreen. A hike into the Pololu Valley of Kohala offers panoramic views of the island and the ancient Kohala Volcano, stretching down to volcanic black sand beaches. Or you can take a family-friendly excursion to a seahorse farm to learn about and even hold the mystical sea creatures.

If you’re curious about Kona’s most famous export, book Kailua shore excursions that let you see coffee growing, harvesting, and processing at the source, a Kona coffee farm, set high in the island’s mountains. Sample several different Kona coffees and discover for yourself why Kona is one of the most sought-after coffee varieties in the world.  

Experience Big Island history and Hawaii’s surprising cowboy culture on a visit to Parker Ranch, where you’ll be treated to a tour of two historic homes in the town of Waimea and learn the historical and  cultural significance of the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) of the 19th century. 

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