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Last Updated: January 14, 2023

Hawaii Holiday Snorkeling Tours

The growing popularity of full face snorkels means there are many people who have invested in these, and are keen to use them when traveling on holiday, especially to Hawaii.

After hearing reports of tour operators not letting people use full face snorkel masks, I put this article together to help you make an informed decision on which tour company you'd like to use. 


Doug Kramer and Family on Holiday with Full Face Snorkel Masks

Doug Kramer & Family

PBA Champion, Doug Kramer on vacation with his family loving their Full Face Snorkel Masks.

Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/dougkramer/

Click on the line item below to take you directly to the item you're most interested in, or keep scrolling to read the entire article.

Full Face Snorkel Masks

This article is for anyone thinking about buying a full face snorkel mask to take on their Hawaii holiday, as well as anyone who already has one. We provide a brief explanation on why some tour operators are not letting people use their full face masks on a snorkeling tour. 

Below you'll find a the of the most popular Tour Operators on the Hawaii islands and where they stand on this issue. This gives you the opportunity when planning your holiday to work out if you want to pack your full face mask, and support a tour company who's happy to have you and your full face snorkel mask along. 

So you want to use your full face snorkel mask on your next holiday?

Before you head off on holiday with your full face snorkel mask, you need to be aware that there are some snorkeling tour operators who are refusing to let people to bring their own masks. Alongside these operators, there are plenty who are more than happy for you to bring yours along with you. 

Their tour, their rules - but why is this an issue?

For a good couple of years now, there have been stories shared on the internet and social media, of full face snorkel masks causing the deaths of snorkelers in Hawaii.

These click bait headlines are making it sound scary. Enough so that some people are now not even considering buying a full face mask due to the headlines and misinformation. The stories have also stopped some tour operators in popular holiday destinations, such as Hawaii and the Florida Keys, from allowing people use their own full face mask. This is regardless of how experienced a snorkeler or diver they are. 

If you have any concerns at all about the safety of these masks, please click here to read about this issue. It will take less than 5 minutes and you'll be better informed and able to make a choice that you're comfortable with.

Click to play

Why did we do this list? So you can have a great holiday!

We've contacted snorkeling tour operators in Hawaii and asked them if snorkelers can bring their own full face snorkel mask with them. 

Listed below are the companies that will happily let you to bring your own mask. Below this are businesses which are mostly-okay about it but would prefer it if you used the equipment they supply. This is followed by companies who flat-out refuse to let you to use a full face snorkel mask. 

We will be continually updating this page. If you have any experiences of tour operators, both good or bad, please let us know as we'd love to hear from you. 

There are also now many resort hotels in Hawaii who are now providing full face snorkel masks in large qualities for use by their guests. These will be added to the list as we're able to confirm them. 

Hawaii Snorkeling Tour Operators

Snorkeling is about drifting or floating on the surface, and enjoying the view. Most snorkeling tours will run for around an hour, to an hour and a half. You need to be relaxed and not over-exert yourself. 

You'll find when booking a snorkeling tour, operators in Hawaii will provide the snorkeling equipment. This generally includes traditional snorkels and masks, fins, and buoyancy vests. Some also offer wet suits at an additional cost. 

You supplying any of your own gear won't reduce the cost of a tour. If you own a full face snorkel mask, you know these can give you a more comfortable snorkeling experience. This is especially true for people who suffer any teeth issues or jaw fatigue after biting down on a snorkel tube, or men with mustaches. We want to avoid the disappointment of you supplying your own full face mask and booking a tour with an operator who won't let you use it. 

Snorkeling Tour Operators

Operators on the 'YES! - Bring your Full Face Masks' List

The tour companies listed below confirmed that they are very happy for you to bring your full face snorkel along with you on their tour.

Hawaii Tour Operators

Those on the 'Ah okay, BUT we'd prefer you use our traditional gear' List

The companies listed below will allow you to bring along and use your own snorkeling gear, including full face snorkel masks. When it comes to the full face masks, they'd still prefer you use their equipment.

Hawaii Hibiscus

The 'Nope, Nope, Definitely Not' List

The companies listed below will not allow you to bring your full face mask citing 'safety and liability reasons'. These operators provide traditional snorkels and masks for your use.

  • Pure Aloha Adventures
  • One Ocean Diving 
  • Na Pali Coast Hanalei Tours 
  • Hawaii Real Nature Tours
  • Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Tours 
  • Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures
  • Hola Hola Charters
  • Island Star Maui Sailing Excursions
  • Ko Olina Ocean Adventures 
  • Maui Kayak Adventures LLC 
  • Mauna Lani Sea Adventures 

Snorkeling is fun, but...

One thing to remember is that different people have different snorkeling experiences regardless of whether they're swimming with a conventional mask and snorkel, or a full face mask.

Some people tire quickly with a traditional snorkel and mask, and the same applies with a full face mask.

Full face masks have some really great advantages overall, but snorkeling in some popular spots does require a good deal of energy. It's a not a bad idea to consider using a snorkel buoyancy vest to take some of the hard work out of it for you. There's no need to feel embarrassed about wearing a snorkel buoyancy vest. Even seasoned, fit young snorkelers wear them to conserve their energy extend their time in the water.  

Poll - Do you have a favorite Tour Operator in Hawaii?

Below is a list of our favorite Hawaiian Snorkeling Tour Operators. Let us know if you agree with this Poll.

[democracy id="3"]

Do you agree with what others have said?

If you have a new location that's not included here, let us know in the Comments section below, and we'll add it to this list. 

4.8/5 - (6 votes)

About the Author

Sharon McKenzie

Sharon McKenzie is an Advanced Certified Scuba Diver who loves to explore the ocean depths. She is an advocate for marine and eco conservation, promoting sustainable products. In her free time, Sharon also enjoys paddleboarding and snorkeling. She has two upcoming diving expeditions to Bali and the Great Barrier Reef, which are destinations she has always wanted to explore.

Author Web Link

Sharon McKenzie - Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Snorkeling

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  • This could not have been more helpful! We are senior citizens and need to use our full face masks! Didnt even know it would be a problem.

  • We are planning a trip to Hawaii
    Thank you for the up to date information you have provided Sharon.
    We used good quality Ocean Reef Aria full face snorkel masks during our recent family trip to Florida, and my teenage girls assure me it is a whole new world of adventure.

    We are planning a trip to Hawaii, and after reading through your posts, I see that some tour operators are very much against these masks before the full facts are presented.
    I believe it has a lot to do with cheap Chinese knock-offs.

    After all, would you buy in direct from China, a face cream, a food additive, or a hair conditioner that could actually be fatal to humans?
    Well, the same principle applies to any product including these snorkel masks.
    Get a good known brand, and enjoy life. Don’t be scared of the negativity that some people have thrown onto something they basically know nothing about.

  • I love the full mask, I think I would definitely try it out the next time I would in Hawaii, Thanks for sharing what are the best things ones can do to get most out of snorkeling!

  • We haven’t tried a full face mask as yet – sure sounds like if you know what you are doing it would be ideal. I haven’t heard of any deaths from it – but everything sounds like it comes with a positive or a negative. I used to snorkel when I was younger, and my older sons love snorkeling but I haven’t tried it in a while. Hawaii looks so good – would love to visit there one day : )

  • For My Next Snorkel!
    I was lucky enough to get the chance to snorkel once when I was in Lanai. If I ever get that opportunity again, I will definitely have to resort to your post here!

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