Though they both prize the feeling of wind in their sails, there's no way that 15th-century mariners ever had as much fun as the crew of Maita'i Catamaran. Maita'i's leisurely voyages begin from Waikiki Beach, where passengers board the 44-foot, twin-hulled catamaran before breezes catch the specially designed wing mast and carry the boat out onto the water. As the vessel glides across the crystalline waves, the gregarious crew invites guests to relax with beer, champagne, or mai tais as they soak in the sun and sea breezes to a soundtrack of catchy island melodies. For slightly more immersive oceanic experiences, Maita'i Catamaran also leads snorkeling excursions where passengers can swim amid butterflyfish and parrotfish and challenge humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish to spelling contests.
One hundred feet beneath the surface of Maunalua Bay, the Corsair⎯a World War II airplane—rests on a sandy floor. Its massive shell and magnetism for schools of soldier fish lures deep-sea explorers to the site every year. As divers propel themselves alongside the plane's wing and fuselage, they get an up-close look at the wreck's current residents, which range from colorful goatfish to reclusive moray eels.
With more than 30 years of experience, the scuba instructors at Waikiki Diving Center lead daily dives for certified divers to submerged sites such as the Cosair wreck. Earning a five-star Instructor Development Center designation from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the center's team coordinates parties of 12–14 people and takes them out on one of two customized dive boats—The Submariner or Snoopy V—for adventures ranging from snuggling sea turtles to earning PADI open-water certifications. To enhance visitors' experiences, Waikiki Diving Center's crew arranges complimentary shuttle service to and from Waikiki hotels.
Since its founding in 1901, The Hawaii Yacht Club has been considered one of Hawaii's best-kept secrets. That's because its grounds, nestled in the Ala Wait Boat Harbor against the Pacific, provides a wide spectrum of sailing, fishing, class, family, and social activities for its members. The group's territory encompasses a clubhouse, a well-stocked bar, and The Galley—an onsite seafood restaurant that offers spectacular views of boats cruising amongst a sunset backdrop. In addition to affordable libations, live music, and late-night dancing being available up to three evenings per week, the weekly Friday Night Racing Series allows members to closely witness the finish of boat competitions as they pull into the harbor. Patrons may also solicit the space for private parties of up to 200 people.
On his webpage, iDcard CEO Shawn Dohmen explains that his title stands for "Cheap Executive Officer"?a joke that references his fondness for finding deals on everything from restaurant tabs to golf games. Shawn's knack for saving money spawned the idea for his company, which provides discounts on goods and services from hundreds of businesses in Hawaii and elsewhere. It was his desire to save trees, however, which led to the iDcard. Instead of carting around a cumbersome coupon book in a baby stroller, customers redeem their deals by handing their iDcards to the many merchants that accept them.
Participating businesses in the iDcard network include restaurants, hotels, gyms, nightclubs, and pet groomers. Customers can show their card to sponsors over multiple visits, and receive the same discounted massage or meal each time. A downloadable phone app even alerts them to valid sponsors nearby, allowing them to easily locate opportunities for savings.
Surf Honolulu gives clients the lessons and equipment to conquer the white-capped waves off Oahu's shores. Lifeguard- and CPR-certified instructors impart tide-riding techniques during surfing lessons conducted at four beaches selected because their waves are seldom clogged by other surfers or porpoises riding kickboards. Each lesson includes 30 minutes of safety instruction led by both English- and Japanese-speaking surf instructors. For a more leisurely jaunt over the waters, guests can take advantage of standup-paddleboard rentals or guided tours through Kailua Beach or Kahana Bay. Surf Honolulu also offers a wide selection of surf equipment and apparel for those on the market for a new board or looking for a swimsuit upgrade.
With more than 22 years of experience as a professional surfer and parasailer, Greg Longnecker knows how to master unruly waves and harness coastal winds. He shares his adrenaline-charged experiences with clients with the aid of USCG-certified crews at X-Treme Parasail. They lead many of their ocean voyages aboard the Honolulu Screamer, a vibrant water-propelled jet boat powered by twin C-12 engines.
The vessel cuts through coastal waves at up to 40 miles per hour as musical beats pump from its 20-speaker sound system, just below the decibel range of Poseidon's hearing. Greg and his captains alternatively provide tours up the Waikiki coastline, as well as jet-ski training and parasailing tours, which can send customers soaring up to 850 feet above the water's surface. On most excursions, participants may lay their eyes on Diamond Head and the Ko'olau Mountains, or turn seaward to gloat obnoxiously at green sea turtles and spinner dolphins.