We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“They Didn’t Wait For Me….Sob!”

Expeditions Lahaina/Lanai Passenger Ferry
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 August 2017


….don’t be a doofus and decide to take the LONG WAY back to the pier.

Following a suggestion from a friend, I got a return ticket on the LANIA FERRY from west Maui’s LAHAINA HARBOUR and spent a day checking LANAI island. It was the best day of my 3 week MAUI visit.
The ferry makes 5 return trips daily taking around 50 minutes each way. The boat itself breaks from LAHAINA tradition where buildings are old style wooden jobs refurbished nicely – I was expecting a restored 30s’-style ferry but in fact it was modern in the oversized luxury cruiser style: plenty of seats, quiet and rode well (granted: in summer the ocean between the MAUI mainland and LANAI is benign most of the time). Cost was $60 return – good value in my quest to add another island visit to my total (um, I think I am up to #382).
With the exception of the hard-case passenger manifest guy, the staff was friendly and efficient. An older guy (looked like Hard Case’s brother) kept circulating the passenger area when docking,l cracking jokes.

On arrival at the small harbour at MANELE in the LANAI’S south, a shuttle van was waiting to transfer people to LANAI CITY, central island ($10 each way), an 8 miles-13 km/20 minute trip up into the central caldera. Even though HAWAII’S 6th largest island, LANAI is small at 18X10 miles for the widest axes ( 24kmx16). Max height is 3600ft v 10000ft+ on MAUI. Along the trip the driver explained the scene and history.

TRIPADVISOR has separate pages on the town and my subsequent beach and resort visits where I will post more detail – but to save you time, a quick summary below:

LANAI CITY “CITY” is a misnomer - more a restored/preserved plantation-period small town and a delightful place to spend 90 mins,
HUALOPOE BEACH near the pier (quick shuttle ride from town): delightful – would earn a place in the top half- dozen MAUI beaches, and MAUI is not short on good beaches, After a swim, snorkel and some sun I adjourned to nearby:
FOUR SEASONS RESRORT, a very high end but understated place which doesn’t seem to mind outsiders using the bar and restaurant facilities'

I gave myself 40 mins to get back to the 1630 ferry – 10 across the beach + 30 on the headland track to the harbour which appeared to have some good photo opportunities. Unfortunately this track turned out X4 the distance of the direct road and deteriorated badly over the final half so towards the end I was bush-bashing at a gallop and managed to cut my shins to bits on low hanging thorny bushes. I emerged the opposite side of the harbour to the ferry, yelling and waving – but when I arrived 2 minutes later it had just cast-off. No big deal – there was a later 1845 trip so I walked the <10mins road back to the beach (DUH!!), had a nice swim/relax and made it back to the harbour with plenty of time.
The ferry guy with the passenger manifest conceded he saw me running for the earlier trip “but once the gangplank is up it doesn’t come down for ANYONE”. And the gangplank comes up some minutes before the boat leaves. This bewilders me – I’m used to the NO WORRIES: SHE’LL BE RIGHT MATE, WE’LL CATCH UP NO SWEAT flexible attitude of Oz.
Americans are about the most laid back, friendly folk around but given a uniform and some form of responsibility some turn into inflexible power-trippers. Rules are rules and must be obeyed to the letter – not that punctuality seemed a premium – the later trip was 14 minutes late leaving.
Nevertheless I had only myself to blame. The later ferry was of little consequence with nothing on my dance car back in LAHAINA.

1 The LANAI FERRY leaves from the far northern end of LAHAINA’S small harbour. When out of port, look for the small ticket office.
2 SAFETY FREAKS will be pleased to know the ferry did a short MAN OVERBOARD drill just before docking in LAHAINA.
3 If you are prone to treks off the beaten track and have a dodgy 72 yo memory like mine, re-check those online maps closer than 4 days before the visit.
4 FOUR SEASON’S drink and food prices were not commensurate to the astronomical room rates at not much more than main street LAHAINA.

I thoroughly recommend a LANAI visit gang – and the EXPEDITIONS LAHAINA FERRY does the transfers quickly and efficiently.

5  Thank blackeldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (252)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"four seasons"
in 27 reviews
"shipwreck beach"
in 13 reviews
"day trip"
in 32 reviews
"jeep rental"
in 7 reviews
"round trip"
in 11 reviews
"dollar rent a car"
in 4 reviews
"ticket stub"
in 3 reviews
"wharf cinema center"
in 3 reviews
"pleasant ride"
in 3 reviews
"purchase tickets"
in 4 reviews
"lana'i city"
in 5 reviews
"blue ginger"
in 3 reviews
"the upper deck"
in 4 reviews
"rough ride"
in 4 reviews
"nice trip"
in 4 reviews
"sweetheart rock"
in 3 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 5 reviews

14 - 18 of 252 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2017

We used the Expeditions Ferry to go to Lanai for the day. The ride there was fairly smooth, about 45 minutes. The ride back was atrocious, but that's because of the waves and winds so not the ferry's fault. Every ferry I have ever been on has been the same in that regard. The kiosk to purchase tickets/redeem vouchers is hard to find. There are "slips" on the pier and Expeditions is to the right of slip 1 off to the side. $30 per person, per way which isn't too bad.

1  Thank LouisL1118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2017

We enjoyed the trip to Lanai on the ferry. It was in good shape, had plenty of seats, and large windows to look at the views. They were prompt.

Thank bobndee24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2017 via mobile

This is a great way to get to lanai and enjoy a boat ride at the same time. Always a nice relaxing hour ride, and sometimes see dolphins. Dropped you a five minute walk to the camping area and best Beach in lanai

1  Thank Troy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 4 July 2017

Took the Lahaina/Lanai ferry to and from Lanai for our time there. Could have flown but this was much more fun. Going over we must have gotten ourselves into a school of very large fish. A dozen of them followed us for the better part of 10 minutes. They were jumping and putting on quite a show for us.
The ferry wan't crowded at all. The ride was generally smooth and carefree. The people on both ends seemed to know what they were doing so no complaints here.
Fun ride!

1  Thank Tupelo010835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Expeditions Lahaina/Lanai Passenger Ferry also viewed


Been to Expeditions Lahaina/Lanai Passenger Ferry? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing